back arrowThe Big Middle

Prof Tim Noakes

Episode description

He’s a polarising figure, vilified by medical and dietetics professionals for challenging the orthodoxy of conventional healthy eating. But there’s no denying sports scientist Tim Noakes is sure he’s discovered the truth about what to eat to achieve peak health and performance.

The retired South African university professor is one of the world’s most influential sports scientists. And he’s evangelical about adding fat and cutting carbohydrates to halt the global epidemics of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. He’s reversed his Type 2 diabetes by restricting carbs and eating fat after decades of adhering to standard medical advice and carb-loading to run ultra-marathons.

Prof Tim Noakes is converting countless people to his way of eating. LCHF (Banting in South Africa) has become mainstream. But he had to fight hard to squash a sustained legal attack from South Africa’s dietary traditionalists. In the end, four years after tweeting that a mother should wean her baby on real, low-carb high-fat food, he triumphed. The scientific evidence proved him right.

Hear what when:

01.20 How traditional dietary advice over-50s have followed all our lives is a form of ‘genocide’

“It caused the greatest plague in the history of medicine - the obesity-diabetes epidemic.”

02.00 Kids as young as three are now getting Type 2 diabetes

02.15 How he came to realise the high-carb dogma he’d learned at medical school was making people fat and unhealthy, himself included

“My whole adult life I was on this low-fat diet. And I just got fatter. And it turns out I developed Type 2 diabetes….I read the book The New Atkins for a New You and within two hours I said ‘oh my gosh, I got it all wrong’, I didn’t know there was so much evidence that a low-carb high-fat diet is beneficial....all the science... had been completely hidden from me, as it is from all medical students around the globe.”

04.22 Immediate benefits after introducing fat to his diet and restricting carbs

05.10 His sugar addiction took 14 months to beat

05.37 Feels “amazing” after eight years on LCHF

06.40 Without knowing, he’d been pre-diabetic for more than 30 years with a fasting insulin four times normal

07.29 My broken metabolism after decades of extreme calorie restriction

08.20 Cutting carbs and adding fat is the key to satiety and weight loss

“Hunger is what makes us fat. And if you can’t control your hunger, you will never be thin.”

08.45 Reviews my previous food diaries - vegetables, fruit, fish, chicken, no-fat/low-fat - and finds them “nutrient-poor” as I was religiously following conventional diet and exercise advice but getting no results

10.15 Used to starve all day then stuff himself with sugar-carbs because he was famished and couldn’t wait for dinner

10.58 Insulin spikes drive Type 2 diabetes and a low-carb diet is the treatment; believes this is also the cause of obesity but the evidence isn’t there yet

12.30 Don’t forget to say "Good morning" to your "insulin roll" belly fat

13.40 My years of eating only vegetables and fruit - “natural candy” - and that’s the diet still being advocated by many mainstream dieticians and doctors

“Coming back to the genocide story, the reality is we brought up billions of people across the world eating the diet that’s killing them.”

15.05 ‘Eat cereal, potatoes and pasta like me’ - the advice I got from a generously-proportioned hospital dietician in London years ago when I was trying to discover why my metabolic set point is so low

“The British Dietetics Association... is basically a front for veganism and vegetarianism… The head lady, she was on television once and she was sounding off about how saturated fat definitely causes heart disease, despite the fact that we now know it doesn’t. And so I tweeted - and I shouldn’t have done it - that when she loses weight, I’ll believe her. She was grossly obese. I still don’t understand how you can go to a dietician who’s fat and take her advice.”

17.20 How over-50s can fix metabolic damage done by years of adherence to conventional low-fat high-carb guidelines and starvation diets

18.20 What he eats - more zero-carb these days

19.36 Plants have “anti-nutrients” that can cause autoimmune diseases if not cooked or fermented.

20.21 Why fibre is the other “biggest garbage story” in medicine, a story started by the Seventh Day Adventists and cereal maker Kellogg’s, but continued by dietetics associations funded by sugar and grains industries

21.54 The importance of sleep and balancing hormones

23.08 How to restore gut flora remains a mystery subject to researcher bias

26.00 Only after hunger is conquered by adding fat, cutting carbs and eating much less frequently can you start burning stored fat

28.04 Complications for over-50s dealing with hormonal shifts

29.00 The importance of ditching cereals and grains

30.50 The science behind his controversial view that “you can’t outrun a bad diet”

33.30 Xhosa and Zulu communities in South Africa embracing LCHF because they havent been “brainwashed” by conventional dietary guidance

34.54 "Omerta" in big medicine, postmodernism, and his legal triumph against dietetic professionals in South Africa who tried to sanction him for challenging conventional orthodoxy in a tweet promoting LCHF for a baby

Links Follow The Big Middle

Website I Twitter I Facebook I Instagram

Hosted + produced by Susan Flory with technical help from Adam@Bespoken Podcasting, Cape Town

Music: “Beautiful Day” by Sahin Koc

episodes iconMore Episodes

Lucy Kellaway + Katie Waldegrave

April 11th, 2019

43:11

So many of us hit a career wall at halftime. Circumstances force change or we actively seek it. Even when chucked out due to retrenchment or evil ageism, many fiftysomethings experience an irresistible urge to do …

Marc Freedman

March 28th, 2019

38:09

Search How to Live Forever online and you’ll get one billion 30 million hits - most about conquering disease and death, the mind-blowing efforts of longevity scientists. My guest is a leading expert on longevity but his …

Jeanette Leardi

March 21st, 2019

54:32

Reasons to be cheerful about global efforts to stamp out ageism across the generations on this week's The Big Middle.

Jeanette Leardi is a social …

Ryan Child

March 14th, 2019

41:06

One of the biggest issues or our time, across all ages, across much of the world, is the silent epidemic of loneliness. In our click + connect age, real life disconnection dominates. We’re living longer but too many of …

Deborah Garlick

March 7th, 2019

23:47

These days, we openly talk about virtually everything. So why oh why are some shtum when it comes to menopause? Too many barely whisper the word when it’s a life transition that can be debilitating for so many women, …

Aubrey de Grey

February 28th, 2019

49:30

My third and final guest from the recent Longevity Leaders conference in London is a superstar of the longevity space. Biomedical gerontologist …

Wilf Blackburn

February 19th, 2019

23:36

This is the second episode from this month’s Longevity Leaders conference in London - the first of its kind. Think of the conference as the equivalent of the World Economic Forum's Davos for the rising industry borne of …

James Peyer

February 14th, 2019

27:29

Something completely different on this episode of The Big Middle, a fascinating foray into the science of the future of ageing from the first-ever Longevity Leaders conference in London.

My guest’s vision of a future …

Elizabeth White

February 7th, 2019

41:22

When my job disappeared in my 50s, I didn’t worry. I’d been a good saver, the future was exciting, unknown - let the next adventure begin. I hadn’t …

Marci Alboher

January 24th, 2019

21:28

"What if we looked at our ageing population not as a problem but as an army of experienced social problem solvers"

That quotable quote is from my …

David Sinclair

January 17th, 2019

46:39

Will 2019 be the year we get closer to reaping a longevity dividend? How do we make the most of our ageing society when inequality, inertia and ageism skew the experience of living healthy, longer lives? I put these …

Karen Wickre

January 10th, 2019

36:56

Happy New Year, happy new episode of The Big Middle. The first month of every new year heralds a blizzard of resolution listicles - 10. 20, 50 ways …

Jonathan Rauch

December 13th, 2018

40:59

Subscribers to The Big Middle will have heard just about every guest mention the U-curve of happiness. Along the life course, social and brain science shows the curve is happy-miserable-happy not - as you might have …

Chip Conley

December 6th, 2018

38:23

Hotelier. Author. Social Alchemist. Disruptor. Student. Sage. Modern Elder. That’s how my guest Chip Conley introduces himself on his website. Click into it and you find this quote: “Young enough to take up surfing. …

Nadia Tuma-Weldon

November 29th, 2018

46:56

Changing mouldy mindsets is no small order in a world full of media messages that reinforce arbitrary judgements based solely on age.

If you’re …

Dr Chris Ball

November 15th, 2018

41:20

Not every government and every company are asleep at the switch as healthspans lengthen, birth rates fall, migration slows, and the hard-stop age of retirement disappears. Some are blazing new trails, making big moves …

Ashton Applewhite

November 8th, 2018

44:56

Longevity is here to stay. There’s no disputing that. Retirement as we concocted it in the 50s is all but dead. It’s the age of the 100-year life …

John Tarnoff

October 25th, 2018

43:44

Time was, as recently as 1900, you were a heartbeat away from your coffin if you were lucky to make it to 50.

Now, even a rare, fantasy retirement on a cushy pension loses its lustre when you might live another 30, 40 …

Andrew Scott

October 18th, 2018

41:06

Patchy at best, must do better - the report-card phrases that fit when assessing how government and big business are responding to the social …

Prof Tim Noakes 2

October 4th, 2018

39:53

This is our second look at the low-carb high-fat lifestyle being adopted by so many of us over-50s these days. Those of us who’ve examined the science behind it after years of calorie-counting deprivation and disordered …

Tricia Cusden

September 27th, 2018

25:18

Even when you’re 70, society keeps dishing unsolicited advice about how you should behave, what you should do, how you should look. Bright red lippy …

Shirley Cramer

September 27th, 2018

33:01

Ageism is biting harder than ever in the West, lazy language and attitudes are reinforcing outdated practises and thinking about the presentation and capabilities of people over 50. The negativity across the …

Lord Geoffrey Filkin

September 27th, 2018

27:28

It may have escaped your notice in this age of information overload but there’s a social revolution happening across the West. The fortunate among us …

What's it about?

September 6th, 2018

2:34

We're living healthy longer but how do we do it well in a world that pretty much casts us aside after we hit 50?
Join Susan Flory and guests in …

Loading ...

Download the RadioPublic app for
 FREE and never miss an episode.

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store