Posted by: CATHRINE | 2004/02/28

Hi doc. This worked for me.

Hi doc. I know you don't support the whole Atkins thing. I don't really know what it is but I can tell you that I use to eat allot of things like Hi-fibre bran, oats, LOTS of pasta, and found it really made me hungry all the time. I was eating carbs after carbs just to feel full. I also then ate allot of sugar which obviously just made everything worse. Since I stopped this high carb routine I am feeling allot better. I'm not hungry all the time and I also have lost that weight that I have tried to loose over the last 3 years. I did it in 3 months and it feels good. I only had 5kg to loose but to me it was a big thing. I don't eat allot of meat really, but instead of having oats for breakfast for e.g. I now have pink salmon and an apple. Or for dinner instead of pasta I have fat free chicken with another fruit. Nothing out of a box. It really does work and most importantly I don't feel so tired anymore. I do have oat bran and yoghurt now and then (low GI) but try to have meat with it, even if its just a small amount. If all my meat if white and fat free and I eat lots of fish, and I feel better, why is this approach so bad. I'm not supporting the Atkins thing, I'm not sure what they do, but what I've done has made the world of difference to me. Its so easy to over eat on things like oats and cereals, rice and pasta. Once you start you don't want to stop. Is it because of the insulin rush that you just want more? The same with sugar? Thanks for all your help of the months. Appreciate it.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Cathrine
Thank you for your contribution. Please keep in mind that the reason why I and my dietetic colleagues have a problem with high-protein diets 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 the prescribed period (2 weeks at a time, if I remember Dr Atkin's instructions correctly), then that is fine. but please be aware of the potential dangers of such diets.
Best regards

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Our users say:
Posted by: Nutrition Nut | 2004/02/29

Don't you just love the censorship on these forums? Maybe I should have written poppyrooster. :-)

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Posted by: Nutrition Nut | 2004/02/29

Mm. DietDoc doesn't appear to know much about Atkins.

Dr Atkins recommended lots of vegetables, some fruits, good sources of protein, and top quality fats. The only thing that you can't eat on Atkins is junk carbohydrates.

Anyone that is interested in losing weight and getting off the carbohydrate/insulin rollercoaster permanently should read Dr Atkins themself, and not rely on third-hand criticisms.

Research has shown that a low-carbohydrate diet is the most effective for almost everyone.

Potential dangers? Poppy -|- . Most people on Atkins achieve a significant improvement in their blood lipid profile, lose more body fat than any other diet, and have more energy than ever before.

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Posted by: Nutrition Nut | 2004/02/28

Hi Catherine

Many people are addicted to carbohydrates. You eat a plate of pasta, then an hour later, you're hungry again, so you eat a chocolate, and so forth.

The whole approach that Dr Atkins pioneered (in a sense) was that of reducing carb intake to break the cycle of carbohydrate addiction, and insulin resistance.

What he rediscovered was that the body does not treat carbs the same as fats or proteins. He found that the effect of the hormone insulin is not very well understood.

Insulin is the transport mechanism for getting glucose from the blood into the individual cells. But it also has a number of other functions. For instance, insulin seems to have an influence on the process of storing excess glucose that the body does not immediately need for energy as fat.

Atkins also rediscovered the simple truth that the body is either in glucosis (burning glucose) or in lipolysis (burning fat). This is the natural feast/famine cycle that our ancestors would have experienced regularly. We don't experience the famine part at all because there are convenience shops everywhere open 24 hours a day where we can get junk processed carbohydrates. So, we tend to always be in glucosis, and we store the excess glucose as body fat.

A low-carb lifestyle breaks the pattern and allows our bodies to burn fat naturally.

The thing that sends the low-fat evangelists into a flat spin is that low-carb implies that you eat more protein and fat than a carbohydrate junkie. So they start warning us that "a high-protein diet can be dangerous" without bothering to provide any proof. They also warn us that "too much" saturated fat causes heart attacks.

The research actually shows the following:

1.A low-carb diet is the most effective for almost everyone.

2. Eating more protein than is strictly necessary for survival is not dangerous or harmful to a person with normal metabolism.

3. Saturated animal fat in the diet is not the cause of heart disease. It is at most, a secondary factor. The primary cause of cononary artery disease is a nutritional deficiency of Vitamin C and two of the essential amino-acids.

4. The primary cause of most diseases that we humans currently experience is the primary product of agriculture (grains) and the food industry (highly refined carbohydrates).

A "primative" diet that excludes refined carbs and emphasises nutritionally dense items such as vegetables is exactly what DietDoc recommends, so there really is not a huge gulf between the Atkins approach and the "Prudent Dietary Principles" that she espouses, except for the proportions of carbs, proteins and fats.

The low-fat brigade wrongly blame dietary fat for heart disease and spread lies about the "dangers" of a high-protein diet. It's odd, then, that the Innuit (Eskimos) used to eat mainly raw meat and fat, and they knew none of the diseases like diabetes, obesity, cancer, PMS, heart disease, tooth decay, and so on UNTIL contact with so-called civilisation introduced refined carbohydrates into their diet. Some 20 years later, they were just as badly off health-wise as the Europeans.

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