The Atkins Diet - Reviewed by Jack Medina, President, Designs For Fitness
A number of Quick fix diets have been pushed on the public recently. Perhaps one of the more popular ones is the "Atkins Diet". This diet first made its appearanc in 1972 saying "eat all the bacon, hamburgers and other meats you want and cut down on such things as bread, pasta, and the like". The question is: Can a person eat unlimited calories and still lose weight, as long
as carbohydrates are severely restricted? The answer is NO, not without great risk. The chief danger is a condition called ketosis in which the body lacks carbohydrates as a primary source of energy. The liver is forced to make sugar out of whatever protein is available; since every cell in the body is composed of some form of protein this is scarey. The body can literally eat
itself inside out, including muscle. Since carbohydrates are limited, intake of fat usually increases which causes ketosis (increased blood ketones,which are acids, from fat breakdown) which helps suppress hunger and aids in caloric! restriction.
This low carbohydrate diet is characterized by rapid initial weight loss primarily due to water loss. Restricting carbohydrates also reduces the kidney's ability to concentrate urine, leading to increased excretion of sodium. You may be losing weight but at the same time you may be dramatically increasing your risk of Heart Disease because of all the saturated fats you are getting from the high protein. The Atkins Diet is also deficient in fiber and calcium which can cause additional problems.
Dieters love the rapid weight loss that occurs during this diet and assume it represents fat loss. This is not true; the body's fat stores are virtually untouched as the body tries to save itself by storing more fat.
There are many negavive things associated with this diet; ketosis, dehydration, electrolyte loss, calcium depletion, weakness (due to inadequate dietary carbohydrate) nausea, irritability, lightheadedness, bad breath, constipation and, possibly kidney problems. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are another problem in such an unbalanced crash diet regimen; in fact, Dr. Atkins, the author of both old and new versions of the Diet Revolution, admits that his diet doesn't supply enough vitamins and minerals and he recommends that people take supplements. This is very troublesome since isolated vitamins and minerals have now been proven to rarely, if ever work isolated by themselves.
I could never, in good conscience, recommend this type of diet to anyone.
Jack Medina, President
Designs For Fitness