General chatter - Atkins and health risks




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harrismm
04-02-2009, 04:28 AM
If anyone is interested there is a new article on Web MD about the dangers of Atkins and increased cholesterol and arterial damage which is irreversable.It compares Atkins to South beach and Ornish diets.Just FYI.I come from a family of physicians and this way of eating has always concerned me.


JerseyGyrl
04-02-2009, 07:34 AM
I'd be interested in seeing the article before making any conclusions:) Mind posting a link?

Suzanne 3FC
04-02-2009, 08:01 AM
This is probably it, it's dated for yesterday
http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20090401/how-the-atkins-diet-fares-in-cholesterol


murphmitch
04-02-2009, 10:19 AM
This study included only 18 people and lasted only a month. The Atkins followers were on the induction phase of the diet, not the maintenance phase. It doesn't say which phase of South Beach they were on. I, personally, would want to see a much larger study than this to base conclusions on.

JerseyGyrl
04-02-2009, 11:05 AM
Thanks for the link Suzanne:)

I seldom agree with anything that comes from Atkins Nutritionals Inc...however, I have to agree this time!

"a spokeswoman for Atkins Nutritionals says the eating plan the study participants followed in no way resembles what is recommended for weight maintenance.

In an email exchange with WebMD, Atkins Vice President of Nutrition and Education Colette Heimowitz, MSc, says that on the maintenance phase of the Atkins diet, fat should make up no more than 40% of total calories, and no more than 10% of calories should come from saturated fat.

The study participants typically ate about three times as much saturated fat as they should have if they were following Atkins for weight maintenance, she says.
Heimowitz says that Atkins dieters consistently show improvements in blood fats, or lipids, in the form of decreased triglycerides. But this improvement was not seen in the study participants while they were on the low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet.

“Whatever diet Dr. Miller used, it was not ‘Atkins’, and the lipid response he reported is what one might expect to result from a rich mixture of carbohydrates and fat and overfeeding to avoid weight loss,” she notes.

She says three decades of research has shown the Atkins diet to be safe, and that the study by Miller and colleagues was too small and too short to allow for meaningful conclusions.

“The final sample size was 18, yet they make generalizations to many people,” she says. “The entire duration of the treatment was four weeks, yet they make statements about ‘long-term maintenance.’”

People don't realize there is a HUGE difference between Atkins Induction & Atkins Lifetime Maintenance. Contrary to popular misconception, Atkins is NOT the all you can eat red meat, bacon & butter diet. Sadly, people also fail to remember Dr. Atkins was a cardiologist

I'm on Atkins 5 years next week:carrot: My DBF eats low carb and got all his numbers down, particularly his LDL, from 191 (very high) to 123 (anything under 130 is good) and his triglycerides went from 184 (high) to 114:carrot:

As with most of these so-called "studies" ....they are only as accurate as the accuracy they are performed with. Its obvious this one doesn't appear to have been done correctly.

kaplods
04-02-2009, 04:04 PM
In studying the research that is critical of Atkins, you see often that the subjects are not following Atkins as outlined by the book. It's almost always induction level, not OWL that is being followed - and often it's not clear if the patients understand and are actually following anything resembling the recomendations in the books.

The biggest concern for me, is that Atkins is very popular among people who hate vegetables, because Atkins, after all is the all-bacon diet (that's the common perception - unfortunately even among many people who have read the book, or claim to have). There's been a few studies of Atkins (wish I had the reference handy) that have shown that when subjects even on induction level of carbs ate the full recommended quantities of vegetables according to the book, had little or none of the adverse effects reported by other studies.

So the person who is eating eggs, bacon and salami (and ignoring the book's position on nitrates and nitrites) eating at most one serving of vegetables - is far different than the person eating lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, kale, blueberries, cranberries, fish, chicken (and even beef and pork - but someone who isn't choosing the fattiest cut of meat they can possibly find - and maybe even adding more fat to it).....

There was another study done in the last ten years (again, I don't have the reference), not of Atkins, but of the effects of a high vegetation diet with and without significant amounts of animal fat and protein. They found that vegetable consumption (regardless of animal food consumption) predicted cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood lipid levels better than did the amount of animal food consumption. This contradicts previous research that suggests that consumption of animal protein and fat are associated risk factors - it very well may be that fruit and vegetable consumption is the real boon to health. That is previous studies found high meat consumption to be associated with higher risk only because people who eat large amounts of meat may be more likely to eat fewer fruits and vegetables. Is it that meat is harmful, or that not eating fruits and vegetables is harmful? Or perhaps fruits and vegetables can "compensate" for some risks of eating animal protein and fat.

There hasn't been enough research to answer these questions. Some studies of Atkins finds reduction in cardiac risks, and some have found increases - it sounds much like the researchers aren't asking the right questions, ore aren't looking closely at how the subjects are choosing to interpret and implement the Atkins diet.

nelie
04-02-2009, 11:12 PM
There was another study done in the last ten years (again, I don't have the reference), not of Atkins, but of the effects of a high vegetation diet with and without significant amounts of animal fat and protein. They found that vegetable consumption (regardless of animal food consumption) predicted cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood lipid levels better than did the amount of animal food consumption. This contradicts previous research that suggests that consumption of animal protein and fat are associated risk factors - it very well may be that fruit and vegetable consumption is the real boon to health. That is previous studies found high meat consumption to be associated with higher risk only because people who eat large amounts of meat may be more likely to eat fewer fruits and vegetables. Is it that meat is harmful, or that not eating fruits and vegetables is harmful? Or perhaps fruits and vegetables can "compensate" for some risks of eating animal protein and fat.


There was a recent study (from the UK I believe) I was reading about that actually compared various diets including vegetarian and vegan. An issue with vegetarian (non vegan) diets is they often have a higher than average amount of dairy products and are at risk for cancer/diseases associated with dairy consumption. The vegetarians did have lower incidents of certain diseases but not considerable but the vegans had a lot lower incident of various diseases.

flatiron
04-03-2009, 05:44 AM
I did the Adkins diet and followed the book along with several friends. As SOON as we went off the diet all of our weight jumped back on us so fast it was kind of scary!

Also I had a guy I worked with who lost a massive amount of weigh (80lbs+) and he would get periodic dizzy spells. Well one day he blipped out for a second running a piece of wood through a table saw and sawed off half of his left thumb.

I personally picked up the piece of thumb and put it in a cup of ice for him to take to the ER but they couldn't attach it, it was too damaged. His doctor told him it was because he was TOO extreme with the no carbs things, he was like eating NO carbs.

I don't believe in that diet anymore at least for me. And the people it worked for I am happy for you, but it's not for me.

Also didn't Dr. Adkins faint and fall on an icy sidewalk and hit his head which eventually killed me?

There has been a LOT of speculation as to WHY he fell.

Was he a victim of his own diet???

JerseyGyrl
04-03-2009, 06:23 AM
I did the Adkins diet and followed the book along with several friends. As SOON as we went off the diet all of our weight jumped back on us so fast it was kind of scary!

Going off ANY diet will cause weight gain...this is not just ATKINS exclusively. Diets don't work, permanant lifestyle changes work. It also proves that restricting bad carbs does work! When you return to eating those things...the weight returns quickly!

Also I had a guy I worked with who lost a massive amount of weigh (80lbs+) and he would get periodic dizzy spells. Well one day he blipped out for a second running a piece of wood through a table saw and sawed off half of his left thumb.

I personally picked up the piece of thumb and put it in a cup of ice for him to take to the ER but they couldn't attach it, it was too damaged. His doctor told him it was because he was TOO extreme with the no carbs things, he was like eating NO carbs.

This is very tragic indeed...but...NO carbs is NOT ATKINS.

I don't believe in that diet anymore at least for me. And the people it worked for I am happy for you, but it's not for me.

Also didn't Dr. Adkins faint and fall on an icy sidewalk and hit his head which eventually killed me?

There has been a LOT of speculation as to WHY he fell.

Was he a victim of his own diet???


Just when I thought I had heard it all about Dr. Atkins death...fainting before he fell & hit his head...I've got to tell you, this is a new one even to me!
This is such a sad misconception:(
Six years after Dr. Atkins death the ignorance still continues:( But, it sounds good to all the naysayers of his lifestyle plan. Rest in peace Dr. Atkins....you were a brilliant man!:)
http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/atkinsdiet/a/dratkinsdeath.htm

Operator265
04-03-2009, 07:42 AM
The man was 72 years old when he died. He had been on the diet for some 30 years. C'mon, if the diet was dangerous, I would think it would have gotten him a whole lot sooner.

Any diet is gonna be what you put and read into it. I had also heard that Atkin's was the "Bacon at every meal" diet. Didn't take much reading to find out that wasn't accurate. It's a good diet, especially for those who are carb sensitive. My best friend's husband did it and was happy with it.

Anyone can pick and chose facts to suit their own purposes. BTW, Cass Elliot didn't choke to death on a ham sandwich either.

Jen415
04-03-2009, 08:54 AM
The man was 72 Anyone can pick and chose facts to suit their own purposes. BTW, Cass Elliot didn't choke to death on a ham sandwich either.

Thank you for saying this!! I love Cass, and I hate how some people STILL believe this stupid rumor!

http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/mamacass.asp

Sunrose
04-03-2009, 11:07 AM
I did the Adkins diet and followed the book along with several friends. As SOON as we went off the diet all of our weight jumped back on us so fast it was kind of scary!

I was on Atkins last year for a few months and went down from 245 to about 235, I think. I went off of it and began a regular lower calorie diet and continued to lose. Now I'm about 225. When I gain or stop losing it's because I am eating more than I should be eating, regardless of what diet I am on. If I stopped Atkins and went directly back to my old ways, of course all the weight would have come back quickly.

I found Atkins to be a very healthy way of eating because I followed the book! I was eating more veggies even on induction than I was when I was eating my "regular" not so healthy way. I find it sad that people judge Atkins without ever having actually read the book! I also find it sad that the judgment and misconceptions might cause people who could really be helped by it not try it at all.

kaplods
04-03-2009, 11:39 AM
I did the Adkins diet and followed the book along with several friends. As SOON as we went off the diet all of our weight jumped back on us so fast it was kind of scary!

Of the 10,000 diets I've been on, including the two times I was on Atkins, As soon as I went off the diet (any diet) all my weight jumped back on me so fast it was scary. Calorie counting, carb counting, fat gram counting, Nutrisystem, Weight Watcher's when it was an exchange program, Weight Watcher's Quick Start, Weight Watcher's 1-2-3, Weight Watcher's Core, TOPS, Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating meals, Richard Simmon's Deal-a-Meal, Richard Simmon's Food Mover, Susan Powter's high fiber/low fat "Stop the Insanity," the Zone (several incarnations, including the Soy Zone), The Autoimmune Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet, The Banana and Hot Dog Diet, The one food a day diet (as much as you wanted, but only of one food), The Glycemic Index Diet, Volumetrics, South Beach and thousands of plans from books, and of my own invention.

The simple fact of dieting is that if you stop paying attention, you will gain all the weight back, plus an extra 10% or so of your body weight for good measure.

_______________

Also I had a guy I worked with who lost a massive amount of weigh (80lbs+) and he would get periodic dizzy spells.... His doctor told him it was because he was TOO extreme with the no carbs things, he was like eating NO carbs.


The Atkins book actually warns about this. Anything under 20g (and for some people more than that) is too low. Atkins does allow you to stay on induction as long as you'd like (I disagree, but that's beside the point), however common sense on ANY diet must prevail - if you're having dizzy spells - first, do NOT operate a vehicle or dangerous machinery (regardless of what food plan you're on, operating a table saw when you're experiencing dizzy spells is just plain Darwin Award level stupidity), and secondly SEE YOUR DOCTOR.

Induction level is too low for me (results in light headedness, dizziness, and nausau), because I have blood sugar issues and am on blood sugar lowering medications. I didn't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that 20 grams of carbs were too low for me, and that regardless of what ANY book said, paying attention to your own body is key. Dizzy spells are dangerous, regardless of the cause, and need to be addressed medically.

Because I have compulsive eating issues and unreliable hunger controls, I can overeat on almost any food plan. In some way, I have to control for quantity (calorie counting, WW points, or an exchange plan). However, I have a very instense difficulty with carbs (even many of the ones South Beach and Low GI plans identify as "good" ones). Carbs trigger blood sugar spikes, which result in insulin release, blood sugar drops (and resulting hunger - insane "even if my stomach is fulled to bursting" hunger). When I eat a high carb food, I find it very difficult to stay on plan - and low carb is the only way of eating that allows me to feel and eat like a mostly normal person.

harrismm
04-03-2009, 11:56 AM
The intent of this information was not to @#$@ anyone off.Be objective when you look at the research.Research costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.They dont spend the money for no reason.Talk to many physicians, some will tell you losing the weight is better than being fat, others will give you stories of caring for patients who have had irreversable damage from atkins dieting.Be reasonable.I could tell you many stories from my cardiologist father.Trust me.I am just concerned for everyone here.People tend to take dieting advice as personal as religion and politics.....

JulieJ08
04-03-2009, 12:07 PM
Also didn't Dr. Adkins faint and fall on an icy sidewalk and hit his head which eventually killed me?

There has been a LOT of speculation as to WHY he fell.

Was he a victim of his own diet???

I don't even like Atkins, but good grief, speculation??? Why, because 72-year-olds falling doesn't happen all the time??? Are you kidding me?

Suzanne 3FC
04-03-2009, 01:51 PM
I did the Adkins diet and followed the book along with several friends. As SOON as we went off the diet all of our weight jumped back on us so fast it was kind of scary!


I agree with the others that pointed out that going off any diet will cause a regain. The diet really lasts forever.

But, studies have shown that of those that regain weight after a diet, those that lost on low carb diets regain faster than those who followed other types of diets.

kaplods
04-03-2009, 02:18 PM
The intent of this information was not to @#$@ anyone off.Be objective when you look at the research.....


Actually, I've been quit objective in looking at the research. Some research links Atkins to serious risks, and others do not, and still others link it to health improvements. Two reviews of the research, one fairly recent (I'll try to find the source, as I know I have it somewhere) - concluded that they could neither endorse nor condemn the Atkins diet (which to me indicates that more research needs to be done). I've read a fair amount of the research, and I would also say that there is no more evidence AGAINST Atkins as there is in it's defense.

Personally, I believe that anyone can conduct their own research - in that if they attempt the diet, or any other to do so under doctor's supervision. If your personal results are improving your health indicatiors (cholesterol, blood pressure), and you're feeling healthier, then that's pretty good evidence. And on the contrary, if at your checkup your cholesterol or other health indicators have worsened - then maybe that's evidence that the diet is not for you.

For most of my dieting live (over 3 decades) I dismissed all low carb diets as extremely dangerous (without looking at the actual research), and when my doctor recommended low carb, it took almost a year (and another doctor's consensus - a doctor who had lost almost 100 lbs herself on a low carb diet herself). Then I went to the research and found as many studies exonerating Atkins as condemning it.

As for low carb diets resulting in faster regaing - It doesn't surprise me much, becase the carb/blood sugar/insulin spike cycle has many parallels with true addictions. And just as many drug addicts will spiral into severe drug addiction faster after a period of abstinance, so I believe is true with carb-addiction (this is a theory, not a proven fact). It's been my own experience that high carb foods trigger an insane hunger response - and it's a vicious cylcle the high food carbs make me very hungry - for more high carb foods - which trigger my eating more carbs, which makes me hungrier for more carbs.

Not everyone has this response to carbs (which the research also shows). Some people are more resistant than others to vicious carb/binge cycle, and I wouldn't advise those folks to resort to Atkins, as less extreme methods are likely to work equally as well. However, for anyone who HAS experienced the insane out of control carb-triggered binging, low carb may be the only reasonable option.

JerseyGyrl
04-03-2009, 02:37 PM
The intent of this information was not to @#$@ anyone off.Be objective when you look at the research.Research costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.They dont spend the money for no reason.Talk to many physicians, some will tell you losing the weight is better than being fat, others will give you stories of caring for patients who have had irreversable damage from atkins dieting.Be reasonable.I could tell you many stories from my cardiologist father.Trust me.I am just concerned for everyone here.People tend to take dieting advice as personal as religion and politics.....

I'd like to begin by making it clear I am not @#$@ off:)
My beef (no pun intended) is people....as well as the medical profession...dissing Atkins when accurate research has not been done.
Almost 5 years ago when I began Atkins, I heard comments such as "Eating all that bacon & red meat will kill you" "Atkins causes kidney damage" "Atkins causes heart disease" etc. etc. etc. Obviously, none of these people have ever cracked the Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution book or they would KNOW, these comments are total lunacy.
I don't doubt your cardiologist Father has cared for patients with irreversable damage from Atkins dieting which I am sure is the result of doing Atkins totally incorrecly....or....worse yet, trying to do Atkins as a NO carb diet. People unfortunately do not take the time to read the book to obtain knowledge of the plan & the way it works....as well as how to do it CORRECTLY. Instead, they eat a bunch of things they THINK they are allowed to eat on Atkins and they don't feel well from it ....or....they don't lose any weight. They then turn around and say "Oh yeah, I tried that Atkins diet and that doesn't work"
Speaking for myself, Atkins has worked beautifully for me. I can honestly say I eat healthier now than I've ever eaten in my entire life. My nearly 79 year old Father was just told by his cardiologist & primary physician to eat eggs, meat, vegetables, cheese (in limited quanities)....that is ATKINS! My Dad is an insulin dependant diabetic for many years, as well as someone who suffers from congestive heart failure and in Aug 2007 underwent open heart surgery. When its done CORRECTLY, its healthy:)
My advice is & has always been, if you want to do Atkins....READ THE BOOK!

kaplods
04-03-2009, 03:51 PM
I also was not offended - I'm not even on Atkins. Atkins seems to allow unlimited protein and fat, but it really does not. It states very clearly that you are supposed to let hunger control your appetite (that is what is often called mindful eating). You're supposed to eat only until satisfied, not full, just until you are barely no longer hungry. I don't know if I wasn't born with a hunger shut-off switch, or decades of dieting turned mine off - but I can overeat on any program. After Atkins, I tried South Beach - but again I can overeat good carbs nearly as easily as bad. Calorie counting only works if I also avoid carbs, so I chose an exchange plan. Old-fashioned, but sensible because it enforces a certain amount of balance (but one can make bad as well as good choices in each category. For example, both hot dogs and chicken can be used as protein sources. Beans can be as well (but their a combination food, half starch exchange and half protein exchange). I was also told by a friend that exchange plans are too high in carbohydrates (not true, exchange plans come in all carbohydrate levels, in fact there's no "law" against choosing which and how many exchanges you need to include).

People have misconceptions about many diet plans, and it doesn't always seem to matter whether or not they've "read the book." Many people seem to interpret Atkins as "all you can eat," literally meaning all you can stuff into yourself without puking. That is NOT Atkins. Many do not eat their 20 carbs, because they eat little to no vegetables, because they don't like them. That is NOT Atkins. Many people ignore the warning against preserved meats, and fill up on bacon, hot dogs, bologa, and sausages and luncheon meats, without even checking the label for preservatives, including the nitrates and nitrities that Atkins warns about (Again, NOT Atkins).

Part of the confusion, I suspect, is the "urban legend" aspect of Atkins that color the judgement EVEN of many who read the book. There is also a diet that gets passed along (it's so old, that the first copy I was given was mimeographed) that I think adds to the confusion. I've seen it titled "The Mayo Clinic Diet," (although the Mayo Clinic did not develop the diet nor have ever endorsed it), but I've also seen it titled "Atkins in a Nutshell," (which it so, is not).

I don't remember the diet exactly but it was large amounts of meat and eggs (sometimes with a half a grapefruit at every meal).

Even if studying Atkins followers who ARE following the diet as written, I don't think the studies will be reliable until they are studing the internal variables more closely. Atkins is too variable - which is why many only do study induction - because the carb content has to be under 20. In OWL, there is no stated carb content for any individual - A person is supposed to find their optimal level by trial and error, adding 5g of carbs a day each week until they stop losing, and then backtrack. Optimal carb level for weight loss or weight maintance could be as low as 20 or as high as 200 or more.

Aside from people just not following Atkins as outlined, there's also a lot of variability in how any one person's diet would look, even if following Atkins to the letter. In a sense, studying Atkins is like studying veganism - Veganism is linked to many health benefits (providing the person has educated themselves on veganism). However it is also linked to nutritional deficiencies and health problems (if the person is following a vegan diet, with no knowledge of nutrition).

K8-EEE
04-05-2009, 04:27 AM
I went on the super hard-core original Atkins diet in high school...this would have been in the 1970's, the FIRST Atkins "diet revolution," which called for no carbs and by that I mean NONE, NADA, ZERO CARBS.

After a few days of hard boiled eggs for breakfast, turkey slices for lunch and hamburger patty/cottage cheese dinners, I was down several pounds, had no energy, bad breath, and was literally dreaming about food at night.

I was sitting outside by the pool trying to force yet another dry hamburger patty and my mom was picking tangerines off the tree....I almost started crying because I wanted a tangerine so bad. My mom was like GO OFF THAT DAMN DIET! But I wanted to fit into some dress for dumb date or something and I didn't go off it til after that event and then BOY DID I EVER! Gain it back? Oh yes, and then some.

Apparently Dr. Atkins mellowed out later in life and decided a little broccoli ain't gonna kill ya. But I have unpleasant memories of it.

JerseyGyrl
04-05-2009, 08:20 AM
Very true, LOTS of differences between Atkins 72 & Atkins 2002:)