Why I Disagree with Prof Noakes about Food Addiction

At a recent event at the Cape Town Science Centre Prof Tim Noakes discussed food addictions. He titled his talk: Challenging carbohydrate beliefs in our society, especially as it relates to children.


During his talk, which I was unfortunately unable to attend, Noakes warned that having the need to eat every three hours was a sign of food addiction. He proposed a simple test, which involves writing down the times you need to eat during a day. Food addicted people will often find that they eat at three or four hour intervals throughout the day.


The drive for this kind of behavior comes from eating carbs, which drive hunger that is caused by waves of high insulin levels, dropping blood sugar and stimulating hunger.


Noakes suggested eating a high fat breakfast like eggs, bacon and sausage instead of carbs, which would keep hunger at bay for most of the day.


This is true. And very much in line with the Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) theory.


But with all due respect Prof, I disagree.

While it is true that a high fat breakfast reduces hunger and the need to eat so often, like all Banting theory it does not address insulin levels.


Thus while hunger will be banished, high insulin levels still remain, deadly as ever hovering in the background. This is because the high protein levels in the bacon and sausage raise insulin levels!


As a result, many people following this route will eventually hit their heads on those common Banting failings:

  • Plateaus after some initial weight reduction
  • Muffin top middles that simply won’t go away
  • Continuing state of high insulin resistance
  • High baseline insulin levels and all the related health consequences


Take Away

I agree completely with the Prof about the food addiction he highlights. People in our society, rich and poor, young and old, simply eat too much.


But trying to fix this simply by increasing fat intake is at best a stopgap measure.

To really fix themselves people need to eat less and to follow the part of the Prof’s advice that suggests eating once a day is the best solution.

Banting Sucks proposes one meal a day on most days. This results in less concern about the carb content on the food you eat and more emphasis on the quality of your food.

You can read more about this in the book Banting Sucks!