The Banting Light Red List

“Everything is ok in moderation”


It couldn’t be further from the truth. Moderation is something you exercise with things that are not harmful. And moderation is something you should not exercise with things that are good for you.


I would rather say ‘nothing in excess’ than ‘everything in moderation’. Excess, by definition, means that it is too much. This definition is slightly different to ‘everything in moderation’, because it isn’t dipping its toe into ‘luke-warm’ water, it is actually saying that there is a limit to everything, and you should not cross that limit. You could even eat too many vegetables. That is also known as simply eating too much, or eating excessively.


‘Don’t eat excessive amounts of cake’, for instance, is a rule that applies to everyone in the universe. The clanger here is that ‘too much’ is actually a different amount for everyone. For some people, smelling cake is excessive because that makes them secrete insulin (which makes them store fat). For others, a slice a day at tea time won’t impact them at all.


We’re not interested in helping people who can eat cake and not put on weight.


The Light Red List consists of foods that are likely to hinder weight loss for most people. These foods could be considered in small quantities by those who have a firm grip on their carb threshold and their general ability to maintain their Awesome Weight.


All of these ingredients have an effect on your ability to store fat (they make you store fat more) and should be approached with enormous caution.


The main differentiator on the Banting Light Red List when compared with the Banting Very Red List is an absence of gluten and pure processed sugar.


Remember, this is light red, not dark green. These foods are still not going to help you lose weight and may derail you completely. Approach with caution.


The reason these items are on the ‘Hardly Ever’ category rather than the ‘Never Ever’ is to relieve our members of any guilt and anguish. Those who actually can have a higher carb diet without putting on weight often feel distressed, or feel like they are cheating when they eat some foods that are high in carbs, even though they are not unhealthy. There are a lot of athletes who eat lower carb (not necessarily ketogenic) who might need carbs for fuel but still would prefer to eat ‘real-ish’ food free from gluten and processed sugar.


Here is an explanation of each category on the Banting Light Red Light and how they fit into ‘Light Red’ status.


The Banting Light Red List – HARDLY EVER


Light Red Vegetable Juices and Smoothies

Smoothies and juices are a lie. They do not help you lose weight. They are pure fruit and dairy (smoothies) or pure fruit with the fibre removed (juices) that are both high in fructose (they push up your insulin and make you fat).


When you’re trying to lose weight, or manage diabetes, smoothies and juices are a total no-no. There are arguments about their nutrient density, which can’t be ignored, but there are many other places to find the same nutrients that don’t come with a massive dose of sugar or fructose.


Orange juice, for instance, often contains more sugar than Coca-Cola yet we often see diabetics and cancer patients (who should be avoiding sugar at all costs) drinking orange juice. They say ‘I need it for the Vitamin C’. That’s like taking a shortcut on a road trip, but parking your car and doing the shortcut on a unicycle.


Eat some kale or a red pepper.




Fruits and vegetables and vegetable juices still contain nutrients, and are much better than sodas and fruits juices.


If you exercise regularly, have your weight and your insulin under control (are relatively insulin sensitive), there is no harm in the occasional smoothie or veg juice.

banting light red list

Light Red Treats and Chocolate

We do believe that sweetness is at the core of increases in appetite. Artificial sweetness or not, sweetness drives hunger.


Enter the ‘Sticky Rib Effect’


Have you ever noticed how easily you can mow through a rack of sticky BBQ ribs? Have you ever thought about whether or not you could still smash those ribs if they weren’t basted? Imagine that same rack was dusted with fennel seeds and salt, rather than that sweet poisonous glaze? Do you think you could still devour them in the same volume and at the same pace?

…Probably not.


Now, what if the ribs were basted with a ‘sugar-free’ glaze? It is still sweet and sticky, but just sugar-free. Do you think you’d find it easier to eat more of them than those salty fennel ribs?



That is the sticky rib effect. Regardless of what effect the artificial sweeteners have on your blood sugar or insulin (fat building hormone), they have a negative effect on your appetite (well, positive because they make you eat more).


Real sugar or fake sugar – Sweetness drives appetite


There are many treats in the world that you can’t eat. We encourage you to look for them everywhere (think scuba diving, breathing forest air, great sleep, sexual vitality, family time etc.). When it comes to edible treats, though, we recommend you keep them to a minimum. If you must have a ‘Hardly Ever’ treat, choose to indulge in a piece of chocolate that contains very little sugar, a piece of dried fruit or a spot of honey or maple syrup in your salad dressing from time to time.


They will not help you be healthier, but they are a little bit healthier than donuts and salted caramel lattes.

banting light red list

Light Red Gluten-Free Grains and Grain Products

In low carb and Paleo universes, the stance is clear:


‘Our ancestors never ate grains’

– ‘Grains are grasses and we were not designed to eat grass’

– ‘We cannot eat them naturally without processing them and cooking them first. And that’s bad L’

– ‘They are high in carbs, which make us fat

– and all the other noise


And here’s the thing – Some people can eat them. And if they can eat them, why shouldn’t they? For a similar argument, check out what we said about dairy in the Banting Orange List article.


If you can maintain Awesome Weight as a carb burning athlete or a carb fuelled human, there is no reason to stay away from gluten-free grains that are high in carbs.


If carbs make you fat or unhealthy, you should keep these foods to a bare minimum, even once you have achieved your Awesome Weight. Twice a month, maybe once a week, but only enough to help you stay sane. If the cravings come back, you know you’re in trouble, and it would be best for you to cut them out completely.

banting light red list

Light Red Flours

If you are an RMR die-hard, it may come as a surprise to see these flours in the ‘Hardly Ever’ list.


In the first edition of RMR we made two fatal errors. The Banting Bread Recipe and the Blueberry Flap Jack Recipe. Apart from those two recipes, RMR has never published a Banting dessert or baked good.


Raising Superheroes (AKA Superfood for Super Children) contained some recipes for sugar free, low carb cakes and treats, but those were designed for children (or people who should be in Preservation) and not for weight loss.


Any dessert, pastry or bread, gluten-free or not, has no place in The Banting Diet.


No ‘low carb’ bread or ‘Banting Cheesecake’ will help you lose weight or manage your insulin. It may, however, act as a substitute for foods that would make you gain weight faster, once you have reached your goal.


These are the flours that we consider to be acceptable for consumption for those who are either children, or adults no longer trying to lose weight.


And remember – ‘Hardly Ever’

banting light red list

So the Banting Light Red List is kind of like the collection of loop holes in the Very Red List. All of these items come with terms and conditions.


As with all of the Banting Food Lists, they are simple to follow, but they are layered in complexity.


If you haven’t already, download a free copy of the Banting Food Lists now.


If you want delicious Banting meal plans and low carb recipes that strictly obey the rules of the Banting Food Lists, you should join the Revolution today.


It’s what we do.


Real Meal Revolution is a full service weight loss and healthy eating company that provides just that, along with online tracking tools, a bustling community of Banters and our unique achievement methodology.


Here is what the complete lists look like: