Whoever thought that Banting was a hype, soon to be replaced with just another diet, has probably missed its long-term health benefits. Banting for many is a diet that has resulted in incredible weight-loss stories for many that started the journey.
Most importantly though, what Gail Van Niekerk of Banting Blvd stresses, is that there’s so much scientific research about carbs and its relation to the development of diabetes type 2. In South Africa, the diabetes rates are alarming as so many of us have developed diabetes type 2 already, or are at risk of developing it, and therefore it’s critical that we come with alternatives.
That’s what’s Banting Blvd has been doing, developing a range of LCHF (low carb high fat) products, for home use to bake or add to breakfasts, salads, soups, and pastes. It’s been an exciting journey for Gail Van Niekerk, who’s been joined by her daughter Lizanne Van Niekerk who is responsible for the branding and strategy. The Boulevard symbolises how healthy eating isn’t a quick fix but rather a long term journey. Banting is about reducing the after-meal blood glucose spikes that in the long-term increase the risk of developing diabetes, so it’s about keeping your glucose level balanced, on the boulevard.
The Banting Blvd range consists of premixes for breads, breakfasts and treats, flours, seeds, and a few other LCHF basics. Banting Blvd has tried out different methods to optimise their production process, to keep the products as pure as possible without the need for additives. Gail Van Niekerk: “The OmniBlend blenders grind the nuts for the premixes better than any other grinder that we’ve tried, and contrary to the large industrial mills, we don’t need anti-caking agents when we grind in the OmniBlend.”
Apart from the Banting Blvd range that can be purchased online through their website, a highly nutritional range has been developed as an alternative for traditional staple foods. This HEBA (healthy banting) pap, is a good source of protein, high in dietary fibre, low in sodium, grain and gluten free with no added sugar, and this means you can eat less and stay fuller for longer. The HEBA pap was developed to combat poor nutrition, as it can replace maize meal, wheat flour and rice which have lower nutritional value. HEBA contains a mix of ground seeds and coconut flour and is much lower in carbohydrates when compared to common staple foods. It is available at R29 a pack, and can be used to make bread, porridge and krummelpap. Banting Blvd is working alongside the Noakes Foundation in the community outreach around this product, educating communities in low-income areas on healthy eating through the Eat Better South Africa! Programme.
How revolutionary HEBA is, became apparent in August this year, when HEBA received 1st place for Most Innovative Ingredient at the Global Food Industry Awards. The award was presented by the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) which represents over 300 000 members across 65 countries making it the world voice of the industry. “It’s incredible to think that a low-carb, basic product is receiving international recognition,” says Gail van Niekerk, product developer and owner of Banting Blvd.
HEBA was developed with personal identity in mind stemming from South Africa’s rich diversity of tradition, ethnicity, culture and religion. “For individuals suffering from conditions such as diabetes or obesity, healthy lifestyles can’t be a luxury,” explains Gail. “Diets most often unravel at social occasions and celebrations where food is central,” says Lizanne van Niekerk, who conceptualised HEBA, “Our dream was that HEBA, and all our Banting Blvd products, would allow people to stay true to their identity and participate in social situations without ever having to compromise their health.”
A portion of all Banting Blvd products sold (all of which in the Real Meal Revolution’s green list), will assist Eat Better South Africa! Programmes.
Banting Blvd is using the OmniBlend I - 2ltr Pro, as the 2ltr jug is ideal for grinding seeds and nuts.
More about Banting, and some great recipes can be found here.