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Atkins and health risks

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Old 04-02-2009, 05:28 AM   #1
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Default Atkins and health risks

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.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:34 AM   #2
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I'd be interested in seeing the article before making any conclusions Mind posting a link?
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:01 AM   #3
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This is probably it, it's dated for yesterday
http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/n...in-cholesterol
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:19 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:05 PM   #5
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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 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

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.
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:04 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:12 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:44 AM   #8
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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???
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:23 AM   #9
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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/atk...tkinsdeath.htm
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:42 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:54 AM   #11
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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!

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Old 04-03-2009, 12:07 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:39 PM   #13
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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.

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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.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:56 PM   #14
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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.....
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:07 PM   #15
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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?
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