to bant or not to bant

I am sure everyone has heard the word “Banting” and it seems the low carb way of life is creeping up everywhere.  Although it appears to be a new concept, the first reference to the benefits of low carbohydrate eating dates back to research by Dr William Banting in 1865.  Being a dietician, it is so important to always be open to new research and I was very fortunate to recently attend the 1st International Low Carb, High Fat Health Summit 2015 at the CTICC, with fantastic guest speakers including Prof Tim Noakes. 

Sugar has sadly manage to sneak into so many foods, and the trend of eating has changed so drastically that we are so reliant on refined carbohydrates and high sugary foods. The effects of low carbohydrate diets on weight loss and diabetes was discussed at length and highlighted a number of proven benefits, which tends to contraindicate previous nutritional guidelines released around the 1970’s.  It is for this reason that the Banting concept is creating such a buzz in the media.  It is definitely an area I would like to learn more about and most people say it is a fad diet and a current craze.  I don’t think it is however and the banting way of life I predict will continue to grow.  

Should active teens be banting?
There has been quite a bit of research conducted by Prof Tim Noakes in the field of sports and low carbohydrates diets, but this has focused mainly on adult athletes.  So before you ditch the carbohydrates completely, remember being children you are still growing and developing and therefore it is important to follow a balanced eating plan and stick to your meal plans. This is equally as important as you are training and performing during the day and require healthy carbohydrates for fuel.  Remember to always include healthy carbohydrates and avoid high sugary foods.

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Some helpful nutrition tips to remember:

Tip 1:
Allow for sufficient time in the morning to wake up, get ready, have breakfast and pack your lunch and snacks for the day ahead.  It is always tempting to hit the snooze button when your alarm goes off.  Allowing sufficient time in the morning will avoid a manic morning, rushing breakfast and possibly running out the door without your required meals for the day.

Tip 2:
Prepare for the week ahead and the foods you require for your meals and snacks.  I am sure mom and dad will be helping you with this and make it a family effort and get involved.

Tip 3:
How and when you eat is as important as what you eat. Going for long periods of time without fuelling your body can result in loss of muscle mass and can potentially increase body fat percentage. Not only can this affect your energy level and performance, but this can lead to undesirable body composition and susceptibility to injury.

Fuelling your body when it needs fuel is one of the best things you can do to achieve or maintain healthy body composition and stay competitive in the sporting world.  Knowing these simple tricks to timing your meals and snacks will actually help you have more energy, stronger muscles and more endurance.

Tip 4:

Drinks lots of water regularly throughout the day and avoid dehydration.  Water is essential for life. It is a major constituent of the body and has many functions including transporting nutrients and compounds in the blood and removing waste products that are then passed in the urine.  Remember thirst is a sign of dehydration so drink regularly to avoid this.