I've noticed a lot of threads regarding the Atkins diet. I just hope that all who follow this diet understand the SERIOUS health concerns associated with it.
First of all, your body and your brain need carbs to function properly, period. The brain thrives off of glucose, basically sugar from carbs. When there is not enough glycogen to be used by the brain, your body turns to fat stores, which is why many people lose significant amounts of weight on this diet.
However, after a long period of lack of carbohydrates, the liver begins to produce ketone bodies leading to a condition called ketosis. Ketone bodies create an acidic pH in the blood, causing the body to suck calcium out of the bones to neutralized the blood pH.
This kind of diet can stress the liver and kidneys, destroy muscle tissue and lead to weaker bones. Its definitely a quick fix for losing weight fast, but just ask yourself if its really worth the health risks. Remember, Dr. Atkins suffered a heart attack which the American Heart Association linked to the Atkins Diet.
Just in case you were wondering, I choose to follow a raw, vegan diet.
1) Your get carbs in the Atkins diet. It is not carb free. It does emphasize some slow carbs, not processed foods.
2) Your body also makes glucose from protein in the diet, of which there is tons.
3) Your body has 2 fuels systems, one for glucose and one for fat. Once you have gone into ketosis, you are burning fat ( from your own cells or in the fat you take in by mouth) so have made the switch.
4) Stop scaring people about Atkins .Read Garry Taubes, who has the latest research on low Carb diets.
[quote=RichardBuckner;17119]Your message is discouraging for serious contemporary dieters and shows a complete lack of ignorance of the scientific research that had taken place over the last 20 years. Your body converts fat and protein into glucose and using the net carbs count makes it a little easier than strictly counting carbs. You sound like the old school fat free diet thinking. Moderate ketosis does no harm; hunter gatherers, modern day Eskimos and careful Atkins dieters live without harm. Of course everything in moderation. I am on the pre maintenance phase of New Atkins and have lost 35 pounds. I carefully monitor my nutrition intake and exercise. I get plenty of calcium without supplements. I go to see my doctor regularly and have CBC, lipid panel and complete metabolic screenings. Everything is in normal range. My cholesterol is off the normal range on the low side. I do not take mobic or any cholesterol or tri glyceride controlling drug. My acid reflux has disappeared. Most of the time I am hunger free and have higher energy. This kind of sophomoric palaver just does harm.
Totally agree with above statements. If Low Fat/High carb was so great, how did the USA get to be one of the fattest nations in the world??? These people have been duped by food processors into buying cheap carbs, the kind farmers feed cattle to fatten them up. See, it works. Big Pharma benefits too, by selling all kinds of drugs to control the diseases ( obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes) that are rampant in this nation.
It's silly to argue about Atkins or low-carb or any other diet. You're on a fitday forum, which means you are sitting smack dab on top of all the nutirtional information you need.
If you follow a diet, Atkins or ANY OTHER, be extremely honest about putting the amounts of foods you eat into the food log. You should run reports at least once a week, and run them to cover a month's worth of food logs, for example. You can see if you are getting all the vitamins you need. And if you aren't, the answer is not to say, 'Oh, yeah, well, Atkins said that wasn't important' or 'Taubes thinks that's no big deal...'
Those vitamins are so friggin' basic (Taubes says he eats 'lots of vegetables' and that actually means he's getting plenty of carbs in his diet - to hear HIM tell it) that if you are showing up deficient in some, believe me, there are lots that aren't even being calculated, and some of those will be deficient, too.
If Fitday is not enough calculating power for you, you can possibly find other websites (don't know, cuz fitday is fine for me).
If you are doing the XYZ or the XYZ or the ZYX diet, just check out what the nutrition that is going into your body is like - without supplement. The Atkins and low-carb support websites are going to be full of either a recommendation to take a multi-vitamin or the forums will show you that Atkins dieters take a ton of supplements, some of them quite 'far out there.'
Whatever diet you do, you know exactly what you are putting in your mouth. If you measure it (not hard to do, pretty soon you can 'eyeball' an item and tell the quantity), you will know your calories and you will know your nutrients. Fitday will tell you if you are getting all the basic nutrients you should . If you are eating a balanced diet, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and lean meats, fish, and dairy, you're covering a lot of bases. If you're only eating hunks of flesh and a tossed salad twice a day, you aren't getting a variety of micronutrients.
Fitday will show you right away. You're on the fitday website!
The thing about Atkins, I reckon, and probably every other diet system out there that gives a goodly amount of choice with what you eat (and if it's too restrictive, that will cause compliance problems - at the extreme, apparently it's possible to live nutritiously entirely upon beansprouts, but I doubt that anyone would be able to stand it) is that you can apply it well, or you can apply it badly, and because there's a choice involved, there are always going to be people who will apply it badly. This is especially true because a lot of people don't bother to research what they eat, and also because many people are hoping for a quick fix. As far as I can tell, the main problem with Atkins is when people stay in Phase 1 for far too long in the hope that they'll lose more weight that way. You can't just say, "But they shouldn't be doing that," because the way the diet has been set up and the way people approach dieting in this culture, this is going to happen with quite a few people. There also seems to be a problem with the brand name processed foods, and of course lots of people are lazy or short of time and for one reason or another, will grab any opportunity they can find not to have to prepare all their food freshly.
It's a bit like the efficacy of condoms: they're far less effective in real life than they are in the "perfect use" stats because they need to be used carefully, and many people don't realise that they're not quite using them properly or make mistakes for other reasons, and this level of human error has to be taken into consideration because it's part of the whole picture. They're still marvellous things in many ways, but you can't just leave out the poor users and pretend they're not part of the picture. What you can do is educate people, help them find the diet/contraceptive method which suits them the best, and make sure it's one that they'll be able to follow well.
So perhaps it's more realistic to talk about the dangers of a poorly-applied Atkins diet, which are certainly there, just as there are dangers to any poorly-applied diet. We've all heard about people who were eating poor extremely diets to begin with and turned vegetarian by simply eliminating some foods but not looking at their diet to see how to make it balanced. This doesn't mean that vegetarianism is inherently unhealthy, as some people try to claim ("she was eating nothing but potato waffles and toast, and once she added chicken back in she was so much healthier!" sort of thing), it just means that further limiting an already highly limited and unhealthy diet is likely to make it worse.
One thing has been bugging me a bit, though. Atkins is a viable option, many people do well on it, I get that. But it does seem to have spawned a ferocious anti-carb sentiment, where the very idea of having more than 40% carbs in your diet is treated as completely unthinkable. Cutting down sugar is definitely a good thing, but insisting that nobody should be eating grains in any form - and yes, I've seen that stated quite a few times - is daft. Ironically, one of the flaws of Fitday, and one which I know that many people here have asked to have fixed, is that it doesn't distinguish between sugars and starches, let alone look at glycaemic index. Maybe that's helping fuel the idea that carbs are evil, or maybe it's simply that low-carb diets are a current fashion, and we all know what the media is like for blowing things out of proportion. Eating a danish pastry for breakfast really shouldn't be considered the same way as a healthy bowl of porridge!
Atkins is a viable option, many people do well on it, I get that. But it does seem to have spawned a ferocious anti-carb sentiment, where the very idea of having more than 40% carbs in your diet is treated as completely unthinkable. Cutting down sugar is definitely a good thing, but insisting that nobody should be eating grains in any form - and yes, I've seen that stated quite a few times - is daft. Ironically, one of the flaws of Fitday, and one which I know that many people here have asked to have fixed, is that it doesn't distinguish between sugars and starches, let alone look at glycaemic index. Maybe that's helping fuel the idea that carbs are evil, or maybe it's simply that low-carb diets are a current fashion, and we all know what the media is like for blowing things out of proportion. Eating a danish pastry for breakfast really shouldn't be considered the same way as a healthy bowl of porridge!
I agree with you totally.
And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.
I think fitday doesn't need to break down starches and sugars. For one thing, I think starches do get broken down to sugars in the body anyway. Could be wrong about that, but that's what I've gleaned from discussions.
I don't even think sugars are bad. What's wrong with Atkins is that it simplifies everything (sometimes, that's useful) but dumbs it down so much that Atkins people will rant about carbs while bragging about the healthful salad they ate - totally made up of carbs. That the carbs in the salad are low-CALORIE lettuce leaves and watery vegetables is fine, but they are carbs. Eating a potato and staying within a limit is not going to hurt the diet, if you're counting carbs. Instead, foods are actually demonized, and people act like foods are poison to a diet. Overeating, going over limits (calorie or carb, doesn't matter) is what throws the balance of energy off, leading to weight gain.
Meanwhile, no one misses the fact that all kinds of nutrients are out of the equation. There are always supplements, right? It just becomes an extremely narrow, restrictive diet like any other that cuts out whole food groups.
Short-term, it works fine.
These days, I can't think of a single food that I can't eat or wouldn't eat. Done with all that restrictive nonsense - been there (Atkins). I know how to boil, broil, and bake protein; it's not that versatile.
I would like to have a sugar count, not really fussed about starches. I'd personally like to be able to see a count of natural sugar versus added sugar, much in the same way I like to look for the unsat fats being higher than the sat fat. (Yes, I realize that it is also a point of contention about whether sat fat is bad, but we all have our own things we like to keep an eye on).
I probably eat more carbs than most people here, so I apologize for hijacking the Atkins thread...I just saw Esofia's post and thought it was very well worded.
And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.
Well, it wasn't so much that I wanted a count for sugars and starches, but I believe that carbs are divided into those, so it was more that I'd like some kind of recognition of the difference. The usual nutrition labelling I see in the UK is "29.5g carbohydrate, of which 15.6g is sugars", and that's what we'd all like, I think. And won't get, from what I've heard, since it seems that while the forums and such are very much alive, whoever's running the show isn't interested in updating the software. I'd quite like to be able to log glycaemic index/load as well, though not enough that I can be bothered hunting down different software and transferring all my custom data to it.
I wonder how many people do notice a difference between sugars and starches? Diabetics, presumably. I'm not not diabetic, but I certainly do in all sorts of ways: how my energy levels behave (spiking versus sustained), migraine, whether or not it sets off an ME/CFIDS relapse. I often get an immediate head rush, not the pleasant sort. I can tell the difference between chestnut and chocolate buns (now off the agenda, alas) which I've baked with caster sugar, and which I've baked with agave syrup. Since I get fairly obvious effects, and since I'm eating a whole foods diet and don't have to contend with much in the way of hidden sugars, I also find it relatively easy to know when I'm getting too much sugar, which is why I'm not terribly bothered about this lack in the Fitday software. Exactly what sugar would be doing to me in a more subtle fashion, such as how it affects weight gain, is something I don't know in the same way, but I'm pretty much staying off it for other reasons anyway, so hopefully that side of things will take care of itself.
Er, we have hijacked a bit, haven't we.
That said, one more point about supplements, which affects Atkins and all diets too. I've heard it said a number of times (and am a bit tired to check references right this minute, I may later if people want) that modern farming methods have depleted the soil to the extent that fruit and veg have substantially less vitamins and minerals in them than they did fifty years ago, and that pretty much unless you're personally growing all your food yourself and can make sure the soil is up to scratch, you're going to be short of some nutrients, and that a good multivitamin is therefore a wise thing however good your diet.
If Low Fat/High carb was so great, how did the USA get to be one of the fattest nations in the world????
If you have a look at statistics of fat consumed in the USduring the last 30 or so years, you will see that Americans as a nation never really embraced the low fat approach. And of course, the phenomenon of supersizing. I heard that McD in America sells chicken nuggets in 20ps, even 50pcs! Is that true? Here in Europe, the standard size is 6pcs and 9pcs.
Briggie73, I too read The China Study, i was a semi-vegetarian before, and after reading it i am slowly and steadily moving towards full vegetarianism with limited egg/dairy produce. I was never a big fan of Atkins and meat in general. Excessive meat eating is dangerous for the body and our planet. I recommend a book called '15 Reasons Why the Chinese Don't Count Calories'
Atkins diet works because when you follow it, you reduce your total calorie intake. There's no magic in it.
__________________ Muna 28 5'2''
It is foolish to keep doing the same things and expect different results.
I searched this thread and didn't find these two things addressed. No, I didn't read every post on every page to check.
Yes, this way of eating has been oversimplified and so many believe the simple version is the right version because they have some success on it. The book can be pretty dry when he's getting into the complicated stuff. That's why I read it over and over again and still refer back to it.
One statement that sticks out in my mind is that (paraphrased) Harvard metabolic scientists found that keytones were a preferred fuel for the brain over blood sugar. He sites resources if you want to check.
The other is how politically motivated the USDA was in creating the food pyramid. Think about it. Sugar and flour are huge exports for this country. Our beef producers were sacrificed in order to promote sugar and flour. This is the food pyramid that was pushed on us for over 50 years.
We learn from the book about the 20 year rule. When you introduce something new into a society's diet you will see the results in about 20 years. Here comes obesity and diabetes at epidemic levels after we are told that fat is so bad for us. When you remove fat, you take away the flavor. (Some raised without much fat in their diet don't know what they're missing.) So now we add sugar and flour to offset the taste. Remember his explanation that around 20 years after we started using processed flour we saw our very first case of heart disease in this country?
One final thing that I didn't see addressed. Eating fat doesn't turn into fat in our bodies. It actually mobilizes it. Animal fat, from red meat isn't evil. In fact, for those of us who have lost over 100lbs following Dr. Atkins' advice correctly, fat was a very essential part of the food we ate. One benefit was adding elasticity back to loose skin so that it drew back up after the weight loss.
The USDA caused a lot of misconceptions that they're not really admitting to now. They convinced doctors and dietitians of wrong information all because of exports.