Atkins and Eco-Atkin’s Diet

Posted 03/06/2012 | By HealthCorps

Dr. Atkins was a prominent cardiologist who espoused a diet with virtually no carbohydrates, while rich in proteins (including red meats) and fat (including no restriction on saturated fat). His theory was that carbs cause weight gain and heart disease, among other health conditions, so it makes sense to remove carbs but essentially allow dieters to eat an unrestricted amount of all sorts of proteins (red meat, bacon and egg consumption is actually encouraged) along with full fat dairy foods. Experts acknowledge that dieters do tend to lose weight on the program, but at the risk of certain other health complications. Studies did seem to show that the program may lower insulin resistance and diabetes risk, but has little impact on the bad cholesterol, LDL.

Because of all the negative press the diet has received, the Atkin’s community now offers Eco- Atkins, a vegetarian format of the diet. Carbohydrate-rich foods are still limited on this diet, but vegetarian sources of protein replace all the meat proteins. This version of the diet was associated in one study, with better cholesterol levels (LDL too) and improved blood pressure and triglyceride levels. You eat healthy fats, nuts and seeds, soy foods, beans, no starch gluten products, some fruits and vegetables. About 45% of the diet is carb-sourced and you do use vegetable-based oils.

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