The Benefits of the Atkins Diet
The Atkins diet has been attacked in recent years and been accused of being a fad diet that does not successfully cause weight loss and is the causes of health problems. The most criticized area of the Atkins diet is the seemingly unlimited amount of fat and meat that is allowed within the diet. This unconventional method of weight loss is the center of the animosity towards the Atkins diet. Though this diet may not be the best method of weight loss for all dieters, it is beneficial and extremely efficient for others. The Atkins diet is the best choice for dieters looking to lose a few superficial pounds quickly because dieters on the Atkins diet lose more weight within 3-6 months and do not experience the heart disease characteristics that some accuse it of.
The method of the Atkins diet is to restrict carbohydrate intake, while allowing the consumption of foods that are high in protein and fat. This method has been controversial because it contradicts the conventional food pyramid, which promotes the consumption of foods with less fat and the largest proportion of food being carbohydrates like whole wheat. The food pyramid promoters do not agree with Dr. Atkins’ promotion of foods high in protein and fat. In fact, most believe that he allows an unlimited amount of protein and fat in his diet; but this is not true. The Atkins diet is supposed to contain 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates (though most deviate from the fat and protein limits). Therefore in the first phase of the diet where the dieter is supposed to consume no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates, they are to also consume no more than 100 grams of protein and 280 grams of fat. So, the Atkins diet does not allow an unlimited amount of fat consumption, but the amount that is allowed is much higher than the low-fat diets.
The high fat content of the diet has caused many opponents of the Atkins diet to jump to the conclusion that it must cause heart disease. This has been found to be completely untrue. In fact, research from the New England Journal of Medicine found that several heart disease indicators actually improved for those on the Atkins diet. They found an increase in serum triglyceride levels and serum HDL (the good cholesterol) that was greater than those on the low-fat diets. They also found that both diets saw similar decreases in LDL (the bad cholesterol). Therefore, those on the...