Posted by: 007boer | 2009-05-11

Atkins diet

Hi doc, I' d appreciate a definitive answer or at least an expert' s opinion on the atkins diet. Most criticism of this diet could easily be leveled at diets in general so I would like to know: 1) is it any worse than a generic high carb diet and 2) if I take vitamin supplements and drink lots of water to prevent dehydration from ketosis, would I be in any danger I would otherwise not be in if I continue my usual bad eating habits?

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Our expert says:
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Dear 007Boer
The reason why I and my dietetic colleagues have a problem with high-protein diets like the Atkins diet, is that such diets automatically will expose you to high levels of fat, saturated fat and cholesterol because all animal protein foods such as meat, eggs and poultry contain animal fats which in turn contain these 'bad' fats which in turn can exacerbate high blood cholesterol and lipid levels predisposing to heart disease and certain cancers. A high protein intake may also have a negative effect on kidney function and leach calcium out of the body. There is also not yet sufficient evidence that shows that these high-protein diets sustain weight loss in the long-term, which is after all the purpose of trying to lose weight. Then there is also the problem of a lack of protective nutrients (bioflavonoids, phytochemicals, etc which are mainly found in plant foods) and dietary fibre, so that using a high-protein diet for long periods can cause certain deficiencies and constipation. So, if it works for you and you don't use it for longer than about 2 weeks at a time, then that is fine. but please be aware of the potential dangers of such diets. You should still be getting at least 1-2 portions of carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index (GI) at each meal to supply you with fibre and readily available energy. Do a Search on the Diet site with 'Atkins diet' to read about the problems associated with this type of diet.
Best regards

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Our users say:
Posted by: 007Boer | 2009-05-13

Thanks for the info anon.

Reply to 007Boer
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-05-12

Hi. I have been on the atkins diet for 3 years. I am a 31 year old female and I reduced my weight from 89kg to 67kg in the first 4 months. I have also maintained this weight since. I reduced my colesterol level and blood pressure. While the induction phase of atkins is not considered healthy,it does work.I drank plenty of green tea and vitamin supplements and experienced no side effects or ketoacidosis.

Reply to Anonymous

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