Prof Tim Noakes Blogs about high protein diet and health
By Allistair Wessels, Oct 4 2011 08:16PM
The most recent and controversial perspective on diet caught my attention because it has made big news. I thought you would appreciate some of his candid views, and have extracted some paragraphs from a recent blog.
Prof Tim Noakes a renowned authority on sport fitness published his findings and views in articles and blogs recently. He writes:
"I have been reading Gary Taubes‘ books on nutrition and health – Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It.
It is clear to me now that carbohydrate intake is the factor driving the obesity/diabetes/ heart disease/ metabolic syndrome epidemic globally. Taubes explains how this was known up to 1970 and then was lost as the “fat causes heart disease/diabetes” message came out.
I have proved to myself that in my genetic pre-diabetic state my body fat mass is entirely regulated by my carbohydrate intake. I have lost 15kg of fat (looks like I have lost no muscle) by switching from a “healthy” high carbohydrate diet to an “unhealthy” one comprising 55-60% fat, 30% protein and 5-10% carbohydrate (about 80g CHO per day) diet. Thus I have proved that my body fat mass is inversely related to the fat content of my diet – the less fat I eat, the fatter I become.
The explanation is that my fat cells are profoundly insulin sensitive and store fat (and according to the Taubes hypothesis cause hunger and reduced energy expenditure in voluntary exercise) whenever there is a trace of insulin around. Removing insulin removes the break, the fat cells release the stored fat and hunger disappears and the desire to be physically active increases – this is the Taubes hypothesis that was the standard theory between 1920 and 1970.
Taubes’ book suggests that the idea that dietary fat is bad for your health is another myth that is fueled by those who draw up the US Dietary Guidelines, aided and abetted by the carbohydrate industry who do not want the alternative truth to be realized. There may also be little appetite for Big Pharma to allow it to be known that simply by reducing their carbohydrate intakes all those at risk of diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome might be able to cure themselves without medication – a frightening thought for the industry."
In our home we have all experimented with various diets and exercise programs. This revisiting of earlier research rings true for us, as when we were on protein rich meals, and reduced or eliminated "bad carbs', we looked and felt so much better. It seems that it may not only be that many people are sensitive to wheat, but a whole range of carbohydrates. We are going to experiment with this basic model, and already we realise we are going to have to be very innovative and creative in designing meals.
I will let you know what we discover over the next weeks. We certainly want to look and feel our very best at the coast in December !
Prof TiM Noakes Blog entry:
Here are some links to Gary Taubes
I have tried healthy eating of carbs and low fat diets for . years I am still the same weight I cannot loose any weight. This is like a breath of fresh air at last someone is speaking out for this mad craze that doctors and dieticians are pushing on us. Please give us some more info.
Hi Eileen - at Healingleap we are seeking for real answers, so thank you for the feedback, and we will certainly post more info.
I am looking for info on how to sustain marathon running, ie daily training of 10kms or more with no carbohydrates. How to keep the body going without hitting the wall if there is no input of a carb rich snack ? Would something like Tahini, or almond butter suffice, high fat high protein ?? Can you advise ...
Hi Megan - I am no expert on serious sport nutrition but Prof Tim Noakes is. He has personally tested Taube's approach and has found it credible. Tim Noakes is a runner himself, and with his background, would not publish findings he has not verified.
I suspect you need to get a handle on your calorific requirements for your training activity, to establish the correct amounts of protein and healthy fats. The fats are crucial as they provide the energy usually extracted from carbs. My son who is a heavy gym practitioner has followed the hi-protein, oils and fibrous carbs to great effect. As a guess I would say using a casein supplement with oats and some peanut butter will be a great simple snack that is available and affordable. It would give you that consistent energy burn that would work for your activity. The right quantities is the issue of course.
In any event here is more from Taubes: http://thebrowser.com/interviews/gary-taubes-on-dieting
I will look into publishing some approaches to calculating the correct calorific and protein/oil ratios in the next blog.
I have been on Tim's eating plan for nearly four weeks now and have lost almost five kg in that time. I am in the process of training for Comrades and have not noticed any real improvement in my running times and energy levels yet. My question is, what do I do now inplace of carbo loading in the days leading up to a marathon or longer and what do I do for nutrition on the run? Like Tim, I am a 61 year old male. I am going for my Comrades green number this year and want to give myself the best possible chance. Also, I do have a cholestrol problem, but have it under control with medication.
There has been quite an interest in this new approach, so in view of that I thought an updated Blog about this issue would be useful, so have a look at the most recent postings and even a podcast about it.
I am very interested in the high protein way of eating. I just wanted to know from you if I should be cautious as I have high cholesterol. There is also a theory about acid vs alkaline states and how it can affect health and cholesterol levels. May be you want to comment on that if you can.
HI. I saw Prof.Tim on Robinson Regstreeks last night and was surprised and impressed. I am turning 78 but like to be active. I am going to change from a high Carb diet to the fat/protein diet and hope to get some results. I have a concern about cholestrol though.
Hi Deonette - I like many, am on a learning journey, so therefore am no expert. In regard to cholesterol issues I would always consult my expert team like my health care professional and a qualified nutritionalist, and do keep your doctor(s) in the loop. Health is a team activity.
As I understand the' higher protein and healthy oils' concept, you would be consuming good oils and the right proteins for you, in the right quantities as well. The typical meal looks like a wholesome one, with a lean protein and lots of veggies, plus those good oils.
On the score of proteins and oils, Prof Tim Noakes is very tolerant of all types of oils and fats as you may have read. My approach would be to go for the healthy oils and dense proteins without a lot of animal fats. The thing to remember about healthy oils is to choose oils that don't de-nature in cooking (coconut oil, grape seed oil), there may be others. These oils have a higher flash-point and can cope with normal cooking temperatures.
The other thought is to steam and stir-fry veggies keeping them quite crisp and not cooked to a pulp. That way they keep their goodness. Then once the veggies have cooled a bit from the cooking, add the other good oils like virgin olive oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, or sesame oil. I think peanut oil can be used to cook with as well. If you are a regular eater the fish and poultry can be prepared in these ways to great effect.
So avoid all those oils and fats that are solid at room temperatures (except coconut oil that is solid at room temperatures). This would include butters, margarines, animal fats, drippings etc. The thing to know is that these 'bad' oils when combined with certain proteins and starches, create a rather toxic agents called 'acrylamides', which are known to be health hazards, and this is aside from the potential circulatory effects.
As to your concern about the acid-alkali issue, my sense is that with eating proteins and veggies, with a strong bias towards a lot of greens, the acidic possibility would not materialise. The oils are also on your side in that respect too. If I suspected an acidic tendency I would counter that by simply taking a decent alakali powder at night before bed. Many of my clients use Vogels Alkali powder, which entails a teaspoon tip (1/8th) in some water, or a 1/4 in say a litre of water consumed through the day.
It is important to keep your acid/alkali balance as a acidic condition does encourage infections and invaders. Slightly alkali conditions of between 6.5 to 7.5 ph are considered ideal for health. Coupled to that I would check out my gut health, to remove parasites (sorry we all get them via pets etc), then have a healthy population of good bacteria (probiotics). But more of that in another blog.
Hi George - I see you, like Deonette have a similar concern. I have just replied to her comment, which you can happily read, as it has a lot of thoughts that apply to you as well. I will also gather more on this topic, as it is important.
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Prof Tim Noakes podcast with John Robbie ...
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