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Popular, but Faltering Diets...

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  • Popular, but Faltering Diets...

    Although, I'm a vegan...I would never encourage anyone to go on the atkins diet. My old roommate did and lost 10% of her muscle mass for doing this faltering diet for over a year and she's only 21 years old.


    Recently, many people have turned to the low-carbohydrate Atkins diet to lose weight. What most people don’t understand is that, while eating a high-protein, animal-based diet might help them shed unwanted pounds for a short time, those pounds will come back with a vengeance. People who go on the Atkins diet often end up fatter than when they started and experience additional health problems, including kidney and liver trouble.

    James Anderson, M.D., professor of medicine and clinical nutrition at the University of Kentucky’s School of Medicine, explains that the Atkins diet “is absolutely the worst diet you could imagine for long-term obesity, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. If you wanted to find one diet to ruin your health, you couldn’t find one worse than Atkins.”

    Dr. Dean Ornish advocates a vegan diet as the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off. He points out that “none of the high-protein diet authors ha[s] ever published any studies in any peer-reviewed journals documenting that their approach can help people lose weight safely and keep it off. In contrast, my colleagues and I at the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute have published our findings in the leading peer-reviewed medical journals.”

    The Atkins diet is also associated with an array of other health problems, which is why it has been denounced by so many members of the medical establishment. See, for example, the commentaries offered by the following doctors and organizations:

    • The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
    • Dr. John McDougall
    • Dr. Dean Ornish
    • The American Heart Association
    • The American Dietetic Association

    ****If anyone has links to international Heart and Dietetic Associations, please post them for me. I would truly appreciate it. *******

    How Dr. Atkins died:

    Leaked coroner's report says diet doc
    was obese and had heart disease


    Dr. Robert Atkins

    Maybe they should call it the Fatkins Diet.
    A medical examiner's report mistakenly made public reveals that diet guru Dr. Robert Atkins was a bloated 258 pounds and had a history of heart problems when he died.

    The bombshell sparked a new round of debate yesterday on whether the high-protein, high-fat regimen sweeping the nation is a weight-loss miracle or a health hazard.

    "This has people questioning if it [the diet] is as safe as Dr. Atkins claimed," Bonnie Liebman, nutrition director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

    Atkins' widow and disciples quickly fired back, claiming his ailments were unrelated to the diet and his excess weight was from water retention.

    "It has become clear to me that something as simple as the truth will be perverted and manipulated by dishonest individuals," Veronica Atkins railed.

    Her husband - the best-known diet doc in the world - died of head injuries on April 17, nine days after he slipped on a patch of ice in Manhattan. He was 72.

    At the request of his family, no autopsy was performed, but the city medical examiner did examine his corpse and health history and make a report.

    The document was supposed to be confidential but was released to a Nebraska physician. He gave it to a Washington group that promotes a vegetarian diet, which leaked it to The Wall Street Journal.

    The blunder came three weeks after Mayor Bloomberg slammed Atkins as "fat" during a pasta lunch, even suggesting that his death had more to do with his health than the fall. Bloomberg eventually apologized to Atkins' widow.

    "We made a mistake," said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office. "Hopefully, we will make sure nothing like this ever happens again."

    But once the fat was out of the bag, it raised questions about Atkins' entire philosophy.

    While alive, the cardiologist claimed that severely restricting carbohydrates causes pounds to melt off and prevents disease.

    The medical examiner's report, however, said he had a history of myocardial infarction (heart attack), hypertension (high blood pressure) and congestive heart failure.

    Veronica Atkins and Stuart Trager, chairman of the Atkins Physicians Council, bristled at the notion that Atkins' menu of steak, eggs and butter was to blame.

    They insisted Atkins' heart problems stemmed from cardiomyopathy caused by a virus, and that he had never had a heart attack - only a cardiac arrest episode in April 2002.

    As for his 258-pound weight - obese under federal guidelines - Trager said Atkins normally weighed between 180 and 195 pounds. During his nine-day coma, he packed on another 60 pounds in water weight, he said.

    But some experts questioned whether such a sudden weight increase is possible.

    "It is amazing how much weight can be gained as a result of fluid retention, but I find it difficult to accept he gained 60 pounds in nine days," said forensic expert Dr. Cyril Wecht, the coroner of Allegheny County, Pa.

    Dr. Daniel Fisher, an NYU cardiologist, confirmed that Atkins' heart failure could have been caused by a virus, but said it would be difficult to rule out diet as a factor.

    Atkins Diet principles

    Claims to convert dieters from carbohydrate-burning to fat-burning metabolism, stabilize blood sugar and control cravings.
    High-protein, high-fat foods are recommended. That includes beef, lamb, pork, poultry, seafood, cheese and eggs.
    Carbohydrates are strictly limited. That means cutting back on bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, starchy vegetables, sugar, flour and fruit.
    Purports to lower insulin production, lessening the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes.
    What the critics say

    Atkins skimps on disease-fighting fruits and vegetables.
    A diet high in fat and red meat puts followers at higher risk for heart disease and some cancers.
    There are no large-scale studies that show ­Atkins dieters fare better than other dieters eating the same calories.

    Dr. Robert Atkins’ health problems

    Congestive heart failure
    History of cardiac arrest

    *All medical diseases strongly linked and caused by too much cholesterol, saturated fat, toxins, and hormones for starters.

  • #2
    When i was married, all my inlaws went on the Atkins diet and were raving about it so i started to read the book... what absolute RUBBISH!

    Atkins claimed it was the most "natural" diet. In addition to his being historically incorrect, what, short of insanity, would make anyone think that a diet where you have to take Metamusil daily in order to sh*t could possibly be natural? HAHAHHAHAHA... DUH.

    The big cover-up is: Atkins himself diet from massive heart failure brought on by his own diet!

    And for anyone desperate enough to think they still want to do Atkins 'for a little while' just to lose the weight and then resume a healthier diet... think again! The body will want to balloon in size after you go off the diet. You should have seen my poor ex-mother in law!... within a few months she was TWICE the size she was before she BEGAN Atkins! SCARY!


    • #3

      It is kinda funny, though. Everyone I know was trying to get me to go on the 'vegetarian' version...Which I don't see how that's possible.

      They all got sick, went to the doctor more for headaches, and are chubbier than previously - like your ex in-laws.

      It's not worth it.

      Other Problems with Atkins and all Low Carb Diets:

      -Any diet that limits carbohydrate causes the body to rely on fat or muscle for energy, and may cause dehydration. When our body breaks down stored fat to supply energy, it creates a by-product called ketones. These by-products suppress appetite, yet they also cause fatigue and nausea.

      -Anyone with diabetes, heart, or kidney problems should not follow a diet that promotes the formation of ketones, including the Atkins plan.

      -Eating unlimited amounts of fat, especially, saturated fat found in meat products, can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

      Any diet that doesn't allow you to eat fruit, is not one I would take seriously.


      • #4
        I couldn't agree more with both of you. I was on a low-carb diet for about 4 months, of which I've been coming off of for the past few weeks. During that time, not only was it a totally boring, bland diet; but, given that heart problems majorly run in my family, I was always concerned about the high amount of saturated fats recommended and the high cholesterol levels. As it is, I have to take Lipitor for the rest of my life due to being genetically disposed to bad cholesterol levels/heart problems; certainly don't need any extra help!

        When I came off of the low-carb diet, I can tell you wholeheartedly that fruits and vegetables NEVER tasted so good!!! And, too, one thing I did notice when commencing to eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains again, my thinking became clearer, as well; I felt more with it.

        As far as regaining the weight lost, I have regained some, but part of that is probably because have also been binging on sweets. Shame! shame! The canned foods grocery outlet here in town, for the past month or so, has been selling chocolate chip shortbread cookies for .99/box, so I've just gotten them by the case. But these cookies were imported from Scotland. Have become so spoiled by Scottish shortbread cookies (had some at Christmastime, too), that I've become a bit of a snob where American-made shortbread cookies are concerned. Too many preservatives and this and that in them. Scottish ones have only between 4-6 ingredients in them...... period, and that's including the chocolate chips! But, I really need to watch it with sweets, though, because I still need to lose another 30 pounds (have already lost about 25). But it sure ain't gonna be done the low-carb way...... just the common-sense way.

        As the stars in their vast orbits, God's timing knows neither haste nor delay.


        • #5
          I've always found Atkins useful for his wake-up call regarding sugar and simple carbs, but agree with you all that he threw the baby out with the bath water!

          Linda, you're so right - the brain goes cloudy without enough good carbs. Glad you're clear-headed again!

          I have a friend who did the South Beach diet, and went off of it because she started looking like a cancer patient. Why? Because she wasn't just losing fat - like you said smb, she was losing muscle.

          She lost a total of 30 pounds in two months. Since the body can only metabolize 1-2 pounds of fat per week, we know that at most she only lost 16 pounds of fat. And that's being very generous. She lost a few pounds in water, and the rest was lean mass lost.

          But here's the kicker: When you go off a diet like that, your body scrambles to put the protein (muscle) back on. Of course, you're going to gain some weight back, because muscle is heavy! But the problem goes beyond that: for every pound of muscle your body puts back, it requires four pounds of water to metabolize that protein. So while the ratio of muscle loss to water loss on a diet is usually 4 to 1 (4 pounds of muscle lost to every one pound of water), the ratio to put it back is 1 to 4!!! For every pound of muscle you put back, you gain four pounds of water weight.

          But here's an even worse kicker: there's a sequence in which
          your body will put these forms of weight back on:
          first muscle, then fat, then water. So the fat comes
          back by default, because it happens before water gain,
          and your body is striving for that water gain. What's more, this happens whether you go off the diet to eat sugar &
          fritos, or whether you've simply stopped restircting
          calories to the degree that you had been.

          I know, from actual experience, that it's possible to lose fat, and ONLY fat (OK, a little water) without dieting! It breaks my heart to see others do this stuff to themselves. :-(