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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


Prof Tim Noakes 2

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 eating are finding it makes sense.

We’re sharper on it. Our sugar cravings and hunger are gone. But there’s no end of confusion about how to get started on low-carb high-fat and how to keep it going for life, not just a month or two.

Distinguished South African Professor Tim Noakes is evangelical about cutting the carbage and boosting good fats. He tells Susan what’s what and why.

Hear what when:
  • How it differs from paleo, ketogenic, Atkins

  • Get your blood tested for fasting glucose, fasting insulin and HbA1c, glycated hemoglobin

  • He diagnoses Type 2 diabetes at value of 5.5%, lower than mainstream doctors

"If you took those 5.5%s, I'd guess 50, 60, 70 percent would be already diabetic on proper testing. But we wait until they get to 6.5%, we give them another 10 years before we start acting, whereas if we took everyone when their hemoglobin is 5.5% and said now you must reduce yur carbs and keep on a low-carb diet, they would never develop diabetes."

  • How LCHF came to be called Banting in South Africa - the 1860s London, UK connection

  • Must calories be counted and meals measured and weighed?

  • Men lose weight more easily on LCHF because they have never been restrained in their eating but women who've long controlled intake find it much harder to shift pounds - must reduce fat, add protein and count calories

  • Getting insulin down is the key to improved health

  • Is it an extreme way of eating? No, look at how we ate in the 60s when few were fat

  • The problem with blood test ranges for optimal health

  • How people become insulin resistant - constant consumption of carbs

  • Endurance athletes can load up on carbs but only for a short time before it negatively affects their health

  • Why he advocates once-a-day insulin injections for "properly-controlled" Type 1 diabetics

  • The Mediterranean diet is "complete garbage"

  • What he eats: fish, meat, dairy, cheese, nuts, eggs, vegetables, salt, berries with cream

  • Grass-fed beef wrongly demonised

  • The Noakes Foundation teaches people, especially impoverished South Africans, how to eat on $2.00 a day - pilchards, eggs, milk

  • The devil that is dairy for some

  • His advice for me, the poster girl for calorie restriction before I adopted LCHF, is to eat once a day to compensate for my metabolic damage

  • He can eat every 24 hours only because he has beaten his sugar addiction

"It's all or nothing, you can't have a little bit of sugar."

  • No booze allowed / The "disaster" that is popcorn / The "mythology" of anti-oxidants

  • What carb-fat-protein ratios are best?

  • His mararhon runner friend in excellent outward shape was shocked when he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes

  • My metabolic rate is now so low from a lifetime of no-fat calorie restriction - probably can't ever raise it

"You can be perfectly healthy with a slightly elevated Body Mass Index as long as you restrict the amount of fat that's in your liver."

  • Best snacks for you and your children: macadamia nuts, cheese, coconut shavings, bacon, biltong / beef jerky
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Produced by Susan Flory with technical help from Adam@Bespoken Podcasting, Cape Town Music: “Beautiful Day” by Sahin Koc

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