The Atkins Diet:
What’s It All About?
The Atkins Promise
Quick, easy weight loss & you get to eat tasty food
The Atkins Diet is probably the most well known of all the “low-carb” diets. Some 2-5 million Americans have tried the diet with widely varying results(some lose weight, others gain, some feel great, and others don’t). The focus of the diet is on changing what you eat not so much the amount you eat.
As the title “low-carb” implies this diet poo-poos carbohydrates as a main energy source, favoring meats, vegetables, fruits and even fat as better than bread. Their promise is fast and long lasting weight loss without giving up great tasting food.
The only problem is no Carbs! This means that we don’t get to eat some of our favorite foods like cake, hot french bread, blueberry muffins, french toast, biscuits, donuts, chips, mashed potatoes, and my favorite – cookies.
The truth is – most of these foods are made of low-quality carbohydrates that definitely aren’t good for anybody. Processed sugar and grains lose most of their nutritional value as they are refined. Sugar in its natural state is loaded with vitamins and minerals and natural honey has well-known anti-bacterial properties. Unfortunately, through the refining processes all this goodness is lost.
The deal with grains is that they have a respectable amount of protein and vitamins, but these are found mostly in the germ of the grain. Again, during processing the germ is usually removed, thus we get “white” rice and “white” flour. Whole grains(quinoa, whole wheat and whole rice) are far better for you, but you have to be careful because not all whole wheat for instance has the germs – always be sure to check the labels!
Carbs also lead to more weight fluctuations because in general they are easier for your body to process, especially simple carbohydrates found in sweet, sugary things. That means that our bodies actually more easily convert carbohydrates into stored fat than the fat we eat. These simple carbohydrates also wreak havoc on our body chemistry and are thought to play a significant role in the emerging diabetes epidemic engulfing our healthcare sector.
As you can see, the “low-carb” diet fans (read Atkins) have good reason for a bad taste in their mouth when in comes to carbohydrates. But remember, not all carbs are bad for, as with all things in life we must strive for balance. Skip the chocolate cake, but some pasta with your steak is still good for you.
The Atkins Verdict
Get off the refined sugars and grains, red meat in high quantities is still not good for you and come on people – you have to exercise.