REVIEW - ATKINS DIET
diet review by Auraion Rasmussen
Unlike a strict diet, the stated aims of the Atkins Nutritional
Approach TM is a lifetime nutritional philosophy focussing on the
consumption of nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods such as meat, fish,
and poultry. It also focusses on the restriction of processed and
refined carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, sugar rich foods, cereal,
and starchy vegetables. Core vitanutrient supplementation includes
a full-spectrum multivitamin and an essential oils/fatty acid formula.
This nutritional philosophy has been embraced by an estimated 20
million people worldwide since the release of Dr. Atkins’
Diet Revolution in the 1970s.
As stated by the Atkins diet, four core principles are used to help
individuals achieve their health goals.
1: Weight Loss
You will lose weight. It’s hard not to. Both men and women
who follow the Atkins approach to weight loss readily take off pounds
and inches. For the small numbers who have a truly hard-core metabolic
resistance to weight loss, there are ways to overcome the barriers
that prevent a successful outcome. Optimizing body weight is a valuable
element of any health-oriented program because, by and large, being
significantly overweight is an indicator of health problems, either
now or in the future. When you've pared pounds, you'll see benefits
flow in to take their place—and they'll be more than merely
You will maintain your weight loss. This is where the Atkins
Nutritional ApproachTM leaves most other weight-control programs
in the dust. Almost every experienced dieter has embarked on a weight-loss
program, worked hard at it, lost a lot of pounds and gained them
all back in a few months or perhaps a year. This is usually due
to the expected consequence of low-fat, low-calorie diets: hunger.
Although many people can tolerate hunger for a while, very few can
tolerate it for a lifetime. Deprivation is no fun. Once the biological
gap between hunger and fulfillment grows too large, the rebound
can be rapid, as well as heartbreaking and humiliating. But that’s
the problem with diets that restrict quantities. The Atkins program
refuses to accept hunger as a way of life. People who do Atkins
gradually find their effective individual level of carbohydrate
intake, the tool that allows them to maintain a healthy weight for
You will achieve good health. The change is amazing. With
Atkins, you meet your nutritional needs by eating healthy, wholesome
foods and omitting junk food. As a result, fatigue drops from your
shoulders like a heavy winter coat you mistakenly wore in summer.
This occurs not merely because the pounds drop off, but because
the physical consequences of a truly dysfunctional blood-sugar and
insulin metabolism are reversed. People who do Atkins start feeling
good long before they reach their goal weight. Once they abandon
the catastrophic American diet of refined carbohydrates for whole,
unrefined food, they start to live again.
You will lay the permanent groundwork for disease prevention.
You will change your life, which—believe it or not—is
even more important than looking good on the beach next summer.
By following an individualized controlled carbohydrate nutritional
approach that results in lower insulin production, people at high
risk for chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension
and diabetes will see a marked improvement in their clinical parameters.
The foundation of the Atkins philosophy is a four-phase eating plan
in conjunction with vitamin and mineral supplementation and regular
exercise. The Atkins diets phases are:
Restrict carbohydrate consumption to 20 grams each day,
obtaining carbohydrate primarily from salad and other non-starchy
2: Ongoing Weight Loss
Add carbohydrate, in the form of nutrient-dense and fiber-rich
foods, by increasing to 25 grams daily the first week, 30 grams
daily the next week and so on until weight loss stops. Then subtract
5 grams of carbohydrate from your daily intake so that you continue
sustained, moderate weight loss.
Make the transition from weight loss to weight maintenance
by increasing the daily carbohydrate intake in 10-gram increments
each week so long as very gradual weight loss is maintained.
Phase 4: Lifetime Maintenance
Select from a wide variety of foods while controlling carbohydrate
intake to ensure weight maintenance and a sense of well-being. This
lifestyle is the foundation for a lifetime of better health.
- There is no need to cut out the food you like best like meat,
cream, cheese and other high fat foods.
- You can eat as much as you like of the permitted foods.
- There is greater variety on the Atkins Diet than on low calorie
diets so the risk of cheating is small.
- Not all carbohydrates count in the total allowance. Those rich
in dietary fibre can be eaten more freely because fibre is not digested.
This allows even more latitude in food eaten.
- It is argued that a low carbohydrate diet is more natural for
the human body because grains in the form of wheat, rice, etc, only
became a regular part of our diet 10,000 years ago so our bodies
have not had time to evolve to cope with them satisfactorily.
- Some reseach indicates that people with type 2 diabetes have better
insulin function and better blood sugar control on a low carbohydrate
Although a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine
is sometimes cited as providing evidence that the Atkins Diet works,
in fact its conclusion is that although more weight was lost at
the end of 6 months on the Atkins Diet than on a low calorie diet,
after one year, the difference was insignificant.
- The same study found that both types of diet, Atkins and low calorie,
had a large drop out rate so it seems the apparent choice of food
on the Atkins Diet is not a sufficient inducement to keep people
- The metabolic processes involved in using fat for energy instead
of carbohydrates can lead to increased uric acid and ketones which
can cause kidney problems, gout and headaches.
- There can be low amounts of dietary fibre on the Atkins Diet leading
to constipation and chronic bowel disease.
- Some experts believe that the high amounts of animal fat eaten
on the Atkins Diet can have a bad effect on cholesterol levels and
can lead to cardiac disease.
- There is some argument that a reduction in carbohydrates automatically
leads to a reduction in calories because many high fat foods are
unpalatable in large quantities without carbohydrates. For example,
many people would not want to eat an egg without bread either fresh
or toasted, or a burger without the bun or at least potatoes.
- The Atkins diet doesn't conform to the American Heart Association's
dietary guidelines for a healthy heart.