The Atkins Diet

Wikipedia gave a good description of Dr. Robert Atkins. This is just a snippet:
Robert Coleman Atkins, MD (October 17, 1930 in Columbus, Ohio – April 17, 2003 in New York City) was an American physician and cardiologist, best known for the Atkins Nutritional Approach (or “Atkins Diet”), a popular but controversial way of dieting that entails close control of carbohydrate consumption, emphasizing protein and fat intake, including saturated fat in addition to leaf vegetables and dietary supplements….. He published Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution in 1972, which soon sold millions of copies.

He founded the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in Manhattan, which had 87 employees in the 1990s,[7] and where he said he treated over 50,000 patients, and founded Atkins Nutritionals in 1998 to promote his low-carbohydrate diet, with revenue of $100 million. He published Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution in 1992, which again became a bestseller. Atkins suggested that “carbohydrate is the bad guy” through extensive research and that it causes the body to overproduce the hormone insulin, a condition called hyperinsulinism, which metabolizes blood glucose and thus makes people feel hungry.(Underlined items are links when you go to Wikipedia)

When I first read about The Atkins Diet in the late 1970s, I was very skeptical, especially because I was a vegetarian and eating all that meat and cheese seemed unhealthy.  And because it was geared to a carnivorous diet, I actually could not attempt it.  However, my good friend Rhoda told me about The New Atkins for a New You, a book by three doctors who have taken the diet and made it more manageable, I think.

The idea behind this diet is not really new. In Why We Get Fat, a new book by Gary Taubes, which I plan to review on, the author discusses the roots of the low carb diet, which preceded the last 40 years of the low fat diet, which doesn’t seem to be working. In essence, Atkins (and Taub) discuss how carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates (white bread, fast food, etc.) are the culprits.  By denying your body of carbs, your body is forced to burn fat for fuel and thus you lose weight.

In the updated The New Atkins for the New You by Westman, Phinney, and Volek, the program is much more sensible and even has meal plans for vegetarians and vegans. And even non-vegetarians are required to eat some basic low-carb veggies. (Hooray!) I also plan to watch my alkaline/acid balance as reviewed earlier in this series.

To this end, I am embarking on the Atkins program for vegetarians.  I had a blood test earlier this week and will take another after I complete several weeks on Atkins and let you know the results. Also, if I lose the 8-10 pounds I gained after menopause.

According to the authors, the new book is based on simplicity, versatility, and sustainability. They also tout that it is backed by research.  I agree with the versatility, but not the simplicity, because I don’t think this is an easy plan to follow. And whether or not it is sustainable I have not yet determined. There are references to many studies in the book, as well as anecdotal pages of success stories. (Of course, I don’t think they would highlight the failures!)

If you are interested in purchasing the book, click on the Amazon link below:

New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great.

5 thoughts on “The Atkins Diet

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