Do you have to increase your fat intake on the Banting Diet?

On today’s episode of The Ask Prof Noakes Podcast we have a question regarding the intake of fat on the LCHF or Banting Diet. Prof. Tim Noakes helps us understand that we consume more fat on the LCHF Diet than we think and that we don’t have to increase our fat intake if it is working for us.

John got in touch with us and he asked if the reason you eat fat on the Banting Diet is just to curb hunger?

John’s fat intake on the Banting Diet is fairly low but he is not getting hungry. John wants to know if it is ok to keep his fat intake fairly low when following the Banting diet?

Prof Tim Noakes: Absolutely, if he is not hungry. You’ll probably find that the fat intake is actually a little higher than he thinks, because fat is so energy dense that a handful of macadamia nuts provides a huge amount of fat.
So by large, people are probably eating a little more fat than they think. But again, and the point is, if the diet is working and you are not hungry and you are losing weight then that is right for you. That is the diet you want. So it seems to me that John has got the right solution for himself.

You are eating more fat than you think you are on the Banting Diet

For him it may well be the protein that reduces his hunger. I think for most of us it is cutting the carbohydrates that really is the big thing. Cutting carbohydrates is much more important than increasing the fat or the protein.

It is the carbohydrates for many of us, that are highly addictive and drive our hunger and cause us to overeat every 3 hours. So John may have found that actually it is the carbohydrate reduction that is really important in his case, like it was in mine. It may be that the fat and the protein are of course assisting, but in his case he has found that it’s the protein that is more important.

There is a group at Sydney University in Australia, who believe that it is protein that drives hunger, or lack of protein that drives hunger. They look at animals and that is their conclusion.

My own opinion is that, certainly, if you are from the north of England or the north of Europe, if your heritage comes from the north of Europe – you find that 400 years ago our ancestors were eating a lot of fat because there wasn’t much carbohydrate in the environment, and I think that we might be more sensitive to fat load reducing our hunger.

But for other population groups it might well be that protein is the more important regulator of hunger.

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