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Nutritional Analysis of William Banting’s 1865 Diet

I recently blogged about London’s low-carb diet fad of 1865, originated by William Banting.  He’s often credited with popularizing the first “modern” low-carb diet.  Gary Taubes wrote about it in his Good Calories, Bad Calories book.  A participant at Active Low-Carber Forums took the time to analyze Banting’s diet.

At 100 g of carbs, Banting’s diet had about a third as much as today’s usual U.S. diet.

From elisaannh at Active Low-Carber Forums:

I entered Banting’s diet into my nutritional software and it came up to 1925 calories, 101gr carbs, 8gr fiber and 128gr protein, 34gr fat. I used 5.5 oz when he said 5-6 oz, and did add 3 oz brandy for his “tumbler” of grog which he said “if required”. The total oz for his wine and brandy is quite high, at 20! YUM!

I think the diet is a definite improvement over the diet in England at that time period. However, cooked fruit and bread are not necessary, and he doesn’t mention added fat, which I feel his diet is too low in. Perhaps the meat was well marbled, but I did use fish in the calc for his supper at 2 pm (beef and chicken were the other two meats I used to balance it out in the other meals). Prunes were used for the “cooked fruit from a pudding” and apples for his tea time fruit. Green beans were used for his vegetable.

[Reprinted with elisaannh’s permission.]

For screen shots of the calculations: http://picasaweb.google.com/elisaan…feat=directlink

Elisaannh also has a diet blog at http://thelittlebowl.blogspot.com.  Many thanks to Elisaannh, who is a long-haul trucker.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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London’s Low-Carb Diet Fad of 1865

Dr. Robert Atkins didn’t invent low-carb dieting.  William Banting (1797-1878) sparked a low-carb diet craze in London with his low-carb weight-loss diet, first published in 1863.  Even that probaby wasn’t the first low-carb diet.

According to Wikipedia, Banting was a distant relative of Frederick Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin in 1921.

Mr. Banting attributes his successful program design to a “medical gentleman,” Mr. Harvey, of Soho Square, London. 

Click to read Mr. Banting’s 1865 “Letter on Corpulence” at Internet Archive.

Steve Parker, M.D.


Filed under Weight Loss