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UCT Takes On Noakes

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UCT doctors slams sports scientist Tim Noakes regarding his claims about the popular banting diet.

It seems that there will be no real verdict on whether the Banting revolution, which has been reignited by Tim Noakes, is a viable and responsibly diet, as doctors at the University of Cape Town have now slammed the sports scientist’s views and comments regarding the high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan.

According to IOL, academics in the health sciences department are concerned with Noakes’ claims as there is no real scientific evidence to back them up, and the faculty’s dean, Wim de Villiers, has expressed this in a letter to the Cape Times.

“The message it sends out to the public about healthy eating is cause for deep concern – not only regarding Parliament’s support for it as an evidence-based ‘diet revolution’, but sadly, the long-term impact this may have on the health of the very people they have been elected to serve.”

De Villiers said that while the consumption of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet might lead to initial weight loss, there was “good reason” to believe it could result in nutritional deficiencies, and increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, kidney problems, constipation and some cancers.

“Diets like Banting are, however, typically ‘one dimensional’ in focus. They promote increased intake of protein- and fat-containing foods at the expense of healthy carbohydrate-containing foods, and focus on adherence to a limited food plan,” De Villiers said.

Noakes responded to the criticism, saying that a high-carbohydrate diet was detrimental to the health of people with insulin resistance.

“If that message is without scientific support, then the faculty has every right to cross the civil divide as it has now chosen – an action which, I suspect, is unprecedented in the history of the faculty and perhaps also in the history of UCT.

“If there is evidence for my position, then the faculty is guilty of failing fully to inform its past and present science, medical and dietetics graduates in a manner that should be appropriate for a faculty that considers itself a world leader.”

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