Research and anecdotal evidence show the banting diet can help the body and the mind, but the diet fad isn’t without its downsides. Dive into the details below.
The banting diet a high-fat, moderate-protein and low-carb eating approach may help with weight loss and lower blood sugar, but may have some unwanted side effects too. One might ask, where does your energy come from? Most people will answer carbohydrates, but followers of the banting diet take a different approach and source their energy from fat.
The diet calls for consuming high amounts of fat, a moderate amount of protein and a very limited amount of carbs. It’s usually broken down to 75, 20, and 5 percent of your daily calories, respectively. Compare that with the typical American diet which is usually 50 to 65 percent carbs and it’s safe to say this is a completely different way of eating.
After you follow the diet for a few days your body enters ketosis, this means that it has started to use fat for energy. Newbies on the diet find it helpful to track whether they’re in ketosis with a urine ketone strip or a blood-prick meter and eventually learn what ketosis feels like and will know whether or not they’re in it.
What Benefits Can You Expect From Following the Banting Diet?
The No.1 reason people adopt the banting diet is for Weight loss. Initially the weight loss comes from loss of water because you cut down on carbs in your diet, your body will use up the carbohydrates stored in the liver which hold onto water. The diet results in further weight loss because it encourages you to load up on whole foods and satisfying healthy fats.
The first thing most banters will report is, “Oh my gosh, I have this steady energy and I don’t have the need to snack at 3 p.m because my energy is weaning”. They often feel this way because by cutting carbs they also cut down sugar intake,resulting in a steadier supply of energy (say goodbye to sugar highs and crashes!). Research shows that the banting diet leads to fewer hunger pangs and a lower desire to eat. Weight loss is because you’re not hungry every five minutes and can work on your willpower, because of this you won’t eat as much. It may be easier to keep the weight off while you’re on the banting diet, one study found that the banting diet led to greater long-term weight loss than a low-fat die.
What Are the Potential Risks Associated With the Banting Diet?
The possible benefits of the diet are impressive but there are a few potential downsides to take note of. One is the fact that it is hard to stick to and one study showed that more than half the participants stopped following the diet before the research wrapped up. The diet is pretty hard to follow because it’s a complete shift from what your body is used to. Slashing your intake of carbs can also make you feel hungrier than usual a feeling that can last until you’re three weeks in.
It is also common for people starting the diet to experience flu-like symptoms, such as headaches and fatigue. This side effect is so common that there’s a name for it, ‘the banting flu’. You shed a ton of water weight at first, which can lead to dehydration. This can worsen the symptoms of the banting flu and it is recommended to stay hydrated to counter it.
Other potential risks include kidney stones, several vitamin and mineral deficiencies, decreased bone mineral density and gastrointestinal distress. And while some fats can be healthy there’s a risk that in following a high-fat diet you’ll increase your intake of unhealthy trans and saturated fats. These “bad” fats are found in foods like red meat, poultry skin, cheese, and butter and can lead to an increased risk of bad cholesterol and heart disease.
Should You Try the Banting Diet for Weight Loss and Other Health Benefits?
Considering these risks, people who have kidney damage (including those with type 2 diabetes), plus individuals with or at risk for heart disease, and pregnant or breast-feeding women are discouraged to try the banting diet. Individuals with type 1 diabetes shouldn’t follow the plan because of the risk for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) also those who have had their gallbladder removed should avoid it because the diet is so high in fat.
If you’re looking to lose weight keep in mind that the diet likely requires a complete overhaul to the way you normally eat. But it may be worth it if you’re looking to lose weight or have one of the health conditions it’s been shown to help with.
To be on the safe side, be sure to discuss with your doctor whether the keto diet is right for you before you drastically change your eating habits.