Earlier this year, internationally-renowned professor of sports medicine and qualified medical doctor Tim Noakes ignited a storm of controversy among dieticians and cardiologists by suggesting that a high-protein, high-fat diet could offer a viable solution to heart disease in people with a carbohydrate-resistant (CR) metabolism (ie. those also prone to diabetes and heart disease).
After undergoing the shift in diet himself, and being CR, Noakes experienced substantial weight loss and improved health. He initially reported his findings in the context of exercise science, saying that a shift to this eating plan had improved his running and had gotten rid of a number of health-related problems from headaches to the irritable bowel syndrome he had had since he was a child. He outlined the details of this diet – also known as the Harvey-Banting diet – in Runner’s World magazine, and described it there as an eating plan for life.
But ongoing research and numerous personal testimonies from people with a CR-metabolism has led Noakes to insist that the current theories that high-fat diets cause heart disease are wrong, and it is time to re-open the conversation on heart disease, diabetes and nutrition. He says nutrition is at the heart of most of our chronic diseases, and turning to a high-protein, high-fat diet can reduce reliance on medication for heart disease.
The Skinny interviewed Tim at his office at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa – where he outlined his argument for the diet, and where he explains the case studies that have led him to the conclusion that ‘heart disease is nutritionally-based’.