The Banting Diet...What can you eat?


I have been following the Banting Diet (a form of low carb high fat eating here for more info on the basics of Banting) for the past 3 months now, and have lost a total of 5kg's. I wasn't planning on losing any weight when I started, but I had been hearing so many great things about the Banting lifestyle that I thought I'd try it for myself. And I must say I was incredibly intrigued by the claims that I could eat cream cheese and still lose weight! 

My body has adjusted and gotten used to this way of eating (this doesn't mean I don't fall off the bandwagon every now and again) but as there are still loads of delicious things you can can eat and make it's pretty easy to stay on the right track (click the following for two yummy recipes; Broccoli & Cheese burgers and Cream Cheese Pancakes). Following the Banting lifestyle does require more thought and effort than eating regular meals, but is is possible to do, even right here in South Korea. Farmboy and I have actually found that we spend less money now on groceries, even though we are buying things like bacon and cream cheese on a regular basis.

Please do bear in mind that everyone's body is different. Banting doesn't work for some people who are very sensitive to dairy, which then can lead to weight  (this is where you can try the Paleo diet which follows similar principles to Banting but without the dairy). But for me the results have been incredible. For the past year I have been exercising consistently 5 times a week and eating healthy meals and had yet to loose any weight. With Banting I am trimmer than I have ever been and I am doing less exercise than before. Granted I am not as toned or strong as I was before and some of the weight will be muscle, but my body looks and feels so different. 

Here are the food lists of what you can and can't eat as set out by Tim Noakes, the author of the book The Real Meal Revolution. You can find out more about the book and get yourself a copy by clicking here. If you want to see results you have to start off being very strict with yourself. Not cheating. Trust me, once you start seeing results that bagel is going to look less and less appealing. And the great thing is, you can still bake! I bake all the time and am still able to satisfy my sweet tooth without sacrificing my hips. Some people will say that the gluten free, sugar free baked goods aren't as good as the real thing. Well, of course they're not, but they come pretty close and eating them isn't harmful to your body like the original recipes.

Also, my favourite Banters, The Banting Blondes have just launched a brand new Ebook full of all of their delicious recipes. Click here to get yourself a copy. By buying their book you are supporting the 'Breadline Africa' Charity Fund which does work to help impoverished communities become self-sustainable . 

Green List

Green is an all-you-can-eat list. You choose anything you like without worrying about the carbohydrate content as all the foods will be between 0 to 5g/100g.

ANIMAL PROTEIN (unless these have a rating, they are all 0g/100g)

  • All eggs
  • All meats, poultry and game
  • All natural and cured meats (pancetta, parma ham, coppa etc)
  • All natural and cured sausages (salami, chorizo etc)
  • All offal
  • All seafood (except swordfish and tilefish - high mercury content)
  • Broths

DAIRY (Please refer to "What is the deal with dairy?" on FAQ page)

  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Full-cream Greek yoghurt
  • Full-cream milk
  • Hard cheeses
  • Soft cheeses


  • Any rendered animal fat
  • Avocado oil
  • Butter
  • Cheese - firm, natural, full-fat, aged cheeses (not processed)
  • Coconut oil
  • Duck fat
  • Ghee
  • Lard
  • Macadamia oil
  • Mayonnaise, full fat only (not from seeds oils)
  • Olive oil


All flavourings and condiments are okay, provided they do not contain sugars and preservatives or vegetable (seed) oils.


  • Almonds
  • Flaxseeds (watch out for pre-ground flaxseeds, they go rancid quickly and become toxic)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pecan nuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts


  • Erythritol granules
  • Stevia powder
  • Xylitol granules


  • All green leafy vegetables (spinach, cabbage, lettuces etc)
  • Any other vegetables grown above the ground (not butternut though)
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Asparagus
  • Aubergines
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Courgettes
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • Sauerkraut
  • Spring onions
  • Tomatoes

Orange List

Orange is made up of ingredients containing between 6g and 25g of carbs per 100g (6% - 25%). 

Chart your carbohydrates without getting obsessive and still obtain an excellent outcome. If you are endeavoring to go into ketosis, this list will assist you to stay under a total of 50g carbs for the day. These are all net carbs and they are all 23 to 25g per indicated amount. Ingredients are all fresh unless otherwise indicated.


C = cups per day
T = tablespoons per day
t = teaspoons per day
g = grams per day
For example: 1.5 apples are all the carbs you can have off the orange list for the day (if you want to go into ketosis and make sure you are under 50g total carbs for the day).


  • Apples 1.5
  • Bananas 1 small
  • Blackberries 3.5 C
  • Blueberries 1.5 C
  • Cherries (sweet) 1 C
  • Clementines 3
  • Figs 3 small
  • Gooseberries 1.5 C
  • Grapes (green) under 1 C
  • Guavas 2
  • Kiwi fruits 3
  • Litchis 18
  • Mangos, sliced, under 1 C
  • Nectarines 2
  • Oranges 2
  • Pawpaw 1
  • Peaches 2
  • Pears (Bartlett)
  • Pineapple, sliced, 1 C
  • Plums 4
  • Pomegranate ½
  • Prickly pears 4
  • Quinces 2
  • Raspberries 2 C
  • Strawberries 25
  • Watermelon 2 C


  • Cashews, raw, 6 T
  • Chestnuts, raw, 1 C


  • Honey 1 t


  • Butternut 1.5 C
  • Carrots 5

Red List

Red will contain all the foods to avoid as they will be either toxic (e.g. seed oils, soya) or high-carbohydrate foods (e.g. potatoes, rice). We strongly suggest you avoid all the items on this list, or, at best, eat them very occasionally and restrict the amount when you do. They will do nothing to help you in your attempt to reach your goal.


  • All flours from grains - wheat flour, cornflour, rye flour, barley flour, pea flour, rice flour etc
  • All forms of bread
  • All grains - wheat, oats, barley, rye, amaranth, quinoa, teff etc
  • Beans (dried)
  • "Breaded" or battered foods
  • Brans
  • Breakfast cereals, muesli, granola of any kind
  • Buckwheat
  • Cakes, biscuits, confectionary
  • Corn products - popcorn, polenta, corn thins, maize
  • Couscous
  • Crackers, cracker breads
  • Millet
  • Pastas, noodles
  • Rice
  • Rice cakes
  • Sorghum
  • Spelt
  • Thickening agents such as gravy powder, maize starch or stock cubes


  • Beer, cider
  • Fizzy drinks (sodas) of any description other than carbonated water
  • Lite, zero, diet drinks of any description


  • Cheese spreads, commercial spreads
  • Coffee creamers
  • Commercial almond milk
  • Condensed milk
  • Fat-free anything
  • Ice cream
  • Puddings
  • Reduced-fat cow's milk
  • Rice milk
  • Soy milk


  • All seed oils (safflower, sunflower, canola, grapeseed, cottonseed, corn)
  • Chocolate
  • Commercial sauces, marinades and salad dressings
  • Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils including margarine, vegetable oils, vegetable fats


  • Fruit juice of any kind
  • Vegetable juices (other than home-made with Green list vegetables)


  • All fast food
  • All processed food
  • Any food with added sugar such as glucose, dextrose etc


  • All unfermented soya (vegetarian "protein")
  • Meats cured with excessive sugar
  • Vienna sausages, luncheon meats


  • Beetroots
  • Legumes
  • Parsnips
  • Peanuts
  • Peas
  • Potatoes (regular)


  • Agave anything
  • Artificial sweeteners (aspartame, acusulfame K, saccharin, sucralose, splenda)
  • Cordials
  • Dried fruit
  • Fructose
  • Honey (except for 1 t on orange list)
  • Malt
  • Sugar
  • Sugared or commercially pickled foods with sugar
  • Sweets
  • Syrups of any kind