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The Banting Diet: Making sure your child’s health comes first

Today on The Ask Prof Noakes Podcast we chat to Prof. Tim Noakes about the amount of recommended carbohydates for children versus the amount for adults. Would they consume the same amount or would it be different and why.

Making sure your child’s health comes first

On the LCHF diet or Banting diet does the amount of carbohydrate you recommend for adults on the Banting diet be the same as for children.

Basically what this person is saying is, she gives her child Weetabix for breakfast with full cream milk. They’re working the sugar out of the child’s diet progressively. They then pack a Banting friendly lunch for school, which includes a bit of fruit, and then obviously a Banting friendly dinner. This parent wants to know if she is on the right track here?

Professor Tim Noakes: Yes, absolutely. It sounds like she’s cut the carbs to about 250g. It looks to me, there’s still slightly more than I would like, because you’ve got to watch out for the fruit. When you are eating fruit you rack up carbohydrates very quickly. Each portion size is probably between 25 to 50g.

So I think she’s doing a great job. The key is that you don’t want to get the carbohydrate addiction or the sugar addiction. If she’s cutting the sugar she’s fine.
The problem with fruit is it’s so sweet, that it is a form of sugar as well. You’ve just got to be cautious that you don’t allow that to stretch too much, and that the children start eating more and more fruit, because they’ve been told they must eat five fruits a day, which is completely wrong. That just says you’re loading more carbohydrate.

Sugar is the major enemy of the Banting diet

So I think that what she could do is look at how much carbohydrate she’s giving her children, and if it’s below or if it’s close to 200g then that sounds fine. I would however, and this is just a general statement, that if the child starts picking up weight and picking up fat particularly, be careful because then they’re eating too much carbohydrate, and they need to cut down. Also, just check for their level of insulin resistance.

I think all parents should sometime before the child is 10-years-old, they should measure the glycated haemoglobin, the HbA1c. And if that value is over 5, be cautious. It’s just an indication that your child’s a little bit insulin resistant. I would then repeat it every five years. Doing that will ensure that child will never get diabetes, because as soon as it goes over 5.5 you will realise you’re taking too much carbs. You cut the carbs and you’ll never ever get diabetes.

So every mother or father who is listening to this can make sure their child never gets diabetes, by following the HbA1c their glycated haemoglobin value. If that value goes above 5.5, it’s time to start cutting the carbs back down to 200g or or lower, if you can’t get the, the value below 5.5.

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