The Noakes Foundation Responds to the World Health Organisation’s Draft Recommendation on Saturated Fat Consumption


The Noakes Foundation is a Non-Profit Corporation, founded for public benefit, which aims to advance medical science’s understanding of the benefits of a low-carbohydrate, healthy high-fat (LCHF) diet by providing evidence-based information on optimum nutrition. The Foundation is committed to addressing major societal challenges facing not only South Africa, but also the world. Our aim is to promote the implementation of innovative solutions in the medical industry through the Nutrition Network online learning platform, and to effect change in wider society through our Eat Better South Africa community education initiative.

We work in collaboration with other stakeholders and organisations who share our vision. Currently, our specific purpose is to further research into the areas of human health and nutrition and to facilitate further education in these fields.

It is with great concern that The Noakes Foundation notes the World Health Organisation’s draft recommendation that adults and children limit their daily saturated fat intake to no more than 10% and total fat intake to no more than 30%, of their daily calorie intake.  Of additional concern, is that this recommendation is being justified as a necessary guideline in order to reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases, primarily cardiovascular disease.

Such recommendation flies in the face of the mounting research and unbiased scientific evidence across the globe.  According to Dr. Hassina Kajee, Specialist Physician and obesity expert and Board member of the The Noakes Foundation and Nutrition Network, South Africa,  “There has been NO evidence in any good quality Randomised Control Trial (RCT: the gold standard of testing a hypothesis) that saturated fats increase mortality.  In fact, low fat diets have been proven to increase mortality and cardiovascular disease. Limiting fat percentage in one’s diet results in increasing the percentage of foods that have an insulinogenic effect i.e. carbohydrates and protein. This is disastrous for people with hyperinsulinemia”.  

It has been consistently shown, in multiple RCT’s, that a low carbohydrate HIGH fat diet:

– REDUCES weight

– REDUCES  blood pressure

– REDUCES  blood glucose

– REDUCES triglycerides

– REDUCES small dense LDL sub-fraction

– REDUCES inflammation

– REDUCES calories by reducing appetite

– INCREASES HDL (so called good fat),

thereby reducing obesity and cardiovascular risk.

Fellow board member and diabetes expert in general practice, Dr. Neville Wellington states: “ I am a clinician who treats patients with diabetes. For the past 6 years I have been recommending a low carbohydrate healthy fat diet for my patients. For patients who have followed this advice (and who test regularly) the results have been almost miraculous. Their glucose levels normalize, medication usage usually reduces, they lose weight, blood pressure improves and lipid markers improve. While patients reduce their carbohydrate intake significantly, I also encourage them not to cut away the fat from their food. This they find improves the taste of the food and also reduces hunger, a hallmark of LCHF diets. As I have continued to research this myself, I have been reassured that an increased intake of fat is in no ways harmful to my patients. So it is with disdain that I see that WHO is still recommending archaic guidelines around lowering fat intakes in patient’s diets. It makes no sense to me as I am not seeing the harm that guidelines like this presume. I cannot support the call to lower fat intake.”

The Noakes Foundation launched the Eat Better South Africa initiative in 2015 with its sole goal of changing the way South Africa eats.  The initiative has run numerous successful community interventions in local underprivileged communities within the Western Cape. The Foundation has witnessed first-hand the transformation of participants who take part in our low-income community interventions. Participants who reduce their refined carbohydrate and sugar consumption, and increase their healthy fat intake, show remarkable improvements in key health markers such as blood glucose control, blood pressure, and weight.

The Noakes Foundation strongly urges the WHO to critically examine the scientific literature regarding dietary fat intake and to propose dietary guidelines that are truly evidenced-based, and support the work of organisations, such as the The Noakes Foundation, to try and reverse the disastrous consequences of the Diet-Heart hypothesis.  



2016, Mansoor, ‘Effects of low-carbohydrate diets v. low-fat diets on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials; Meta-analysis’, British Journal of Nutrition
2015 Harcombe, ‘Evidence from the randomised controlled trails did not support the introduction of dietary fat guidelines in 1977 and 1983 – A systemic review and meta- analysis’, Open Heart
2004 Seshadri, ‘A Randomized Study Comparing the Effects of a Low- carbohydrate Diet and a Conventional Diet on Lipoprotein Subfractions and C-reactive Protein Levels in Patients With Severe Obesity’, Am J Med
2004 Yancy, ‘A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet versus a Low-Fat Diet To Treat Obesity and Hyperlipidemia: A Randomized, Controlled Trial’, Ann Intern Med
2004 Dashti, ‘Long Term Effects of a Ketogenic Diet in Obese Patients’, Clinical Cardiology
2003 Volek, ‘An Isoenergetic Very Low Carbohydrate Diet Improves Serum HDL Cholesterol and  Triacylglycerol Concentrations, the Total Cholesterol to HDL Cholesterol Ratio and Postprandial Pipemic Responses Compared With a Low Fat Diet in Normal Weight, Normolipidemic Women‘ J Nutr. 2003 Sep;133(9):2756-61.


 A foundation to question The Science™️ 


Get the latest news & updates

Copyright (c) 2023 The Noakes Foundation™️ – Cape Town, South Africa. The Noakes Foundation is a trademark of The Noakes Foundation PBO, established in 2013. All rights reserved.

error: Content is protected !!