Tag: heart disease

Tim Noakes: Idiot’s Guide to LCHF and Banting



By Marika Sboros

Some doctors and dietitians will still tell you a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet is dangerous. That’s despite compelling evidence to show safety and efficacy of LCHF for weight loss, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and even dementia.

LCHF is a global phenomenon. In South Africa, there are more than three million “Banters”, as fans of LCHF regimens are known in that country. Banting pioneer is University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes, a world-renowned scientist and medical doctor. Here, in a Q&A, Noakes gives the basics and an Idiot’s Guide to getting started on the LCHF path.

You need 5-a-day fruit and veg? No you don’t! – Zoë Harcombe


5-A-DAY fruit and veg servings – it’s a mantra doctors and dietitians repeat to patients as if it’s written in stone somewhere. They even say you can drink most of those servings, and that fruit and veg juices are instant boosts for your health. Yet 5-a-day has no science behind it whatsoever, says British obesity researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe. It’s a number plucked out of thin air, a memorable number, she says, the same  as the digits on one hand. (Presumably, those who came up with it think that makes it easier for people to count servings?) The campaign is a different number-a-day across more than 25 countries, she says. Some say three, others four, five or more.  Harcombe’s not saying you shouldn’t eat fruit and veg. Just don’t believe the magical health benefits doctors and dietitians promise you because there isn’t any science to show there will be. During my last visit to London, the British government told its citizens that fruit juice should no longer be part of 5-a-day servings – because of the high sugar content. Harcombe says’s she’ll only drink a toast to that advice when …


obesityMany dietitians say that all you have to do to lose weight is eat less and exercise more. They also say you must avoid saturated fat like the plague because it clogs arteries and causes heart disease. And they say that meat is bad, carbs are good and you should eat at least five-a-day fruit and veg.

Those are some of the diet myths that make you fatter and sicker, says UK public health researcher Dr Zoë Harcombe. 

Those myths make dietitians increasingly irrelevant. They also contribute to the obesity, diabetes and heart disease epidemics across the globe, says Harcombe. She demolishes myths in her brilliant e-book, 20 Diet Myths – Busted. Scroll to end for details on where to get it. Here, she gives 12 of those myths in bite-size pieces – Marika Sboros


Tim NoakesDOCTORS often terrify patients out of their wits for no good reason, says University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes. It’s not because doctors are bad people. They just aren’t all that jacked up on science, says Noakes, a world-renowned scientist. They don’t know how to tell relative from absolute risk. 

Many doctors don’t know that they don’t know vital information about heart disease. That for many patients it’s not their tickers but their livers that are the problem. In other words, ‘it’s the fatty liver disease, stupid’, says Noakes.

Harsh? Yes. True? Well, it forms part of the Health Professions Council of SA’s hearing against him. So, take a look at the science he presents below and make up your own mind. This is the second of a two-part series covering Noakes’s evidence. – Marika Sboros

By Tim Noakes

Perhaps the most abused term in medicine is “risk factors” for the reason that few truly …

Salt – should you take advice with hefty pinch?


What’s all the fuss about salt in the diet?

IT’S a perennial debate: do you really need to eat less salt or is this just advice doctors and dietitians dish up because they’ve always done so. Should you heed it or take it  with a hefty pinch of salt? Here’s what experts say on both sides of a controversial scientific fence. 

By Marika Sboros

Are you eating too much salt? Heart foundations and dietitians’ associations globally say you are. It’s practically hardwired into society that this is what you should do if you are concerned about your heart.

Other experts – including scientists at Harvard Medical School and the World Health Organisation – say the same thing: you should eat less salt for your heart’s sake. They say a low-sodium diet protects your heart and blood vessels and ..

Statins: mad, bad world of cholesterol drugs

Statin drugsARE you taking statins? Should you take them? Some doctors want everyone over 50 to take them, even if they have no signs of heart disease whatsoever. Others, among them Scottish GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick (author of The Great Cholesterol Con), say that’s just madness.

University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes calls statins “the single most ineffective drug ever invented”. Statins are the most prescribed and most profitable drug in medical history. Here’s what doctors say about that and ‘new-generation’ statins lurking in the wings.

By Marika Sboros

Welcome to  “statin insanity” – the extraordinary world of  blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drugs: