Cover art for podcast The Big Middle

The Big Middle

43 EpisodesProduced by Susan FloryWebsite

Journalist Susan Flory's podcast exploring the big issues of longer, healthy midlife, rethinking ageing in a world obsessed with youth.Stereotypes are smashed, mindsets are moved in interviews with the world’s biggest thinkers on all aspects of the longevity revolution.<< Longevity Work Age… read more

37:16

Prof Tim Noakes

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

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

Music: “Beautiful Day” by Sahin Koc

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