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Old 11-23-2007, 11:54 PM   #1  
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Default High-fat Atkins diet damages blood vessels: Study

Full story here, excerpt below.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071106/...heart_diets_dc

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The high-fat Atkins diet can cause long-term damage to blood vessels, as well as some of the inflammation linked with heart and artery disease, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.

In contrast, low-fat regimens such as the South Beach and Ornish diets lowered cholesterol and appeared to benefit artery function, they said.

"It really is the Atkins diet that is the worst," Dr. Michael Miller, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, said in a telephone interview.

"The Atkins diet caused the LDL levels to go up by about 7 percent, whereas in the Ornish and South Beach diets ... they went down 7 to 10 percent."

Low density lipoprotein or LDL is the "bad" cholesterol that clogs blood vessels.

Various researchers have tested the benefits of the popular diets and reached wildly differing conclusions. Miller designed what he said was a unique approach -- to see how people fared once they stopped losing weight on any of the diets.

Studies show that people usually lose weight rapidly on any diet if they follow it properly and the weight loss itself can cause cholesterol to plummet.

"When you lose weight everything looks good but after a while you plateau and you hit a maintenance stage," said Miller, who presented his findings to a meeting of the American Heart Association in Orlando, Florida.
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Old 11-24-2007, 12:20 AM   #2  
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This was a very interesting study. I think some of the low-carb websites have tried to say the study wasn't significant. However, the study lasted 5 months and was very high tech. It's in a little more detail on the website at http://www.umm.edu/news/releases/thr...ular_diets.htm

The issue, from what I understand, isn't that Atkins is low in carbs, but that it's high in saturated fats. Maybe Atkins would be safer longer term if they reduced saturated fats and focused on "good" fats? They certainly considered it. I'll never forget the announcement to the press by the Atkins dietitian several years ago, in which she stated that saturated fats were to be reduced due to clear evidence linking them to heart disease. The very next day, someone in Atkins PR rescinded the statement saying they did not intend to reduce saturated fat recommendations. It was pretty obvious that if they had done so, it could have had serious financial implications due to the mass marketing of their food products and books.
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:06 AM   #3  
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This was a very interesting study. I think some of the low-carb websites have tried to say the study wasn't significant. However, the study lasted 5 months and was very high tech. It's in a little more detail on the website at http://www.umm.edu/news/releases/thr...ular_diets.htm

The issue, from what I understand, isn't that Atkins is low in carbs, but that it's high in saturated fats. Maybe Atkins would be safer longer term if they reduced saturated fats and focused on "good" fats? They certainly considered it. I'll never forget the announcement to the press by the Atkins dietitian several years ago, in which she stated that saturated fats were to be reduced due to clear evidence linking them to heart disease. The very next day, someone in Atkins PR rescinded the statement saying they did not intend to reduce saturated fat recommendations. It was pretty obvious that if they had done so, it could have had serious financial implications due to the mass marketing of their food products and books.
I agree with all you expressed here. Thanks for the University of Maryland Medical link. It's great to reach what the experts say on these matters directly.
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:09 AM   #4  
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Link is not working. I already know the Atkins diet inside and out, but others who don't might want a working link.
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:26 AM   #5  
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I don't have anything "scientific" to add, I just want to add my experience with Atkins. I went on the diet and followed the book to a T, yeah, I lost weight, but gained a cholesterol problem. My doctor made me stop the diet and cut the fat. No, I was not eating bacon 3X a day either, ate the recommended 20 gr. carbs, stopped induction after 2 weeks, actually ate about 80 grams carbs.....I think any diet that excludes whole food groups is not good...


just my 1 1/2 cents...
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:38 AM   #6  
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How many more years do you think it will be before they realize fat is not what makes you fat??


This study has nothing to do with what makes you fat It's not a study about weight loss. It's a study about the effects of saturated fats on our health.

But I don't agree with your statement anyway. Of course fat makes you fat. But so does everything we eat if we eat too much of it. It's all about calories in vs calories out. Fat has calories. So does broccoli, cheese, apples, blueberries, Snickers bars

Yes, Atkins maintenance phase does include more carbs, but it's still a high fat diet, and still includes plenty of saturated fats which also appear to be a main cause for the inflammation.

What did the group eat when they tried the Atkins maintenance phase? They ate the plan that the Atkins program said to eat. Why is that even a logical question? What concerns me about this is that the results seen in the participants of this study don't have to come from "maintenance", but what about all of the ones that stall during weight loss phase? My question is how many Atkins dieters stall? From what I've seen from members here and on other low carb forums, stalls are very common. If you continue to follow the plan (not maintenance) while stalling, what kind of damage are you doing, as shown with this study?

Dr. Miller says he was surprised by the extent of some of the changes in such a short time, particularly the pro-inflammatory characteristics from the Atkins Diet. “Some markers of inflammation were increased by as much as 30-40 percent during the Atkins phase,” says Dr. Miller, “whereas during the South Beach and Ornish phases, the markers either were stable or went down, some by as much as 15-20 percent.” "

Imagine the results if the study had lasted longer

Personally, I'm 45 years old and I'm thinking about antioxidants and the other necessities of fighting off old age and age related health problems I've tried Atkins, following the menu in the book to the letter, but didn't continue with it because it made me feel yucky and I hated the food. Plus my rate of weight loss was no different than when on a high carb diet. I prefer foods that make me feel more energetic, and that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and who knows how many undiscovered nutrients that are important to my overall health not just now, but 30 years down the road. I can't get that from the very small amount of vegetables and fruits allowed on Atkins.

For these reasons, the Akins plan and other low carb plans are not appropriate for me and a lot of people. It has nothing to do with weight loss.

Everyone has to choose the diet they feel most comfortable with, based on their own personal health goals. All diets work, if you stick with them. But sometimes the goal is more than weight loss.
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:47 AM   #7  
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One diet that has been proven, without a doubt, to improve health is the Mediterranean diet. On the Med diet, you eat beef maybe once a month, chicken a few times a month, fish a few times a week, but most meals are plant based. Plant based foods are carbs. The fats in this diet are unsaturated good fats like olive oil, not animal fats. People that follow this type of diet live longer, have fewer incidences of heart disease and cancer, and maintain their weight. Asian diets are also beneficial. The MediterrAsian Diet pulls together these aspects as well.

This is the best example of how millions of people over a thousand years have lived longer, healthier lives through a higher carb, moderate fat diet, without sat fats.
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:58 AM   #8  
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I deleted my previous post because I am not here to debate.
All I'm going to say is...Atkins has worked for me for almost 4 years now...I've never been healthier.

All the best to you all!!
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Old 11-24-2007, 10:12 AM   #9  
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I personally never followed atkins but I have done some versions of modified low carb and to me it really isn't about weight loss entirely, it is about what I feel is eating healthy foods. I find that I am happiest with my health when I am eating lots of whole foods and limiting meat. Now that it has been over a month without eating meat and eating a whole foods vegan diet, I feel awesome. The weight loss helps too but really it is about what I eat more than how much I lose.
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Old 11-24-2007, 12:42 PM   #10  
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Lightbulb I think Atkins is the most misunderstood diet there is

I was waiting for Jerseygirl to step up to the plate! I guess, I feel like until I've lost all of my weight, Jerseygirl's results speak volumes to me!

I have the Atkins book on my shelf. Everyone thinks that all you do is eat ham, bacon and steak all the time. You can but you don't HAVE TO. From what I remember he recommends eating turkey and chicken and fish but says if you want you can eat those other meats. Somehow, the bacon and the steak aspect of his diet has gotten engraved in people's minds to the point where they think that is ALL you eat. You don't! And, that is one stereotype of this food plan that has got so many people freaked about it.

This is a sample menu pg. 202-203 in the updated rev 3 "Dr. Atkin's New Diet Revolution" book:

Breakfast: smoked salmon and cream cheese roll-ups
two hard boiled eggs
Lunch:homemade chicken soup
Dinner:broiled steak, oven fried turnips, arugula and boston lettuce salad
Snack:turkey, romaine lettuce, mayonaise roll-up

Breakfast:western omelette with green salsa
Lunch:vegetable broth with shredded white radish
shrimp salad over greens
Dinner:turkey cutlets with green peppercorn sauce, cauliflower leek puree, gelatin dessert made with sucralose topped with whipped cream
Snack: 1 ounce Swiss cheese

Breakfast:crustless quiche, two tomato slices
Lunch:chicken salad served over chopped cucumber, radishes and watercress
Dinner:maple mustard glazed salmon, sauteed broccoli w red peppers, small green salad with vinaigrette
Snack:ten-twenty olives

Sounds pretty good to me. I see a lot of foods that are providing some very important vitamins like Omega 3, calcium, iron, magnesium, B vitamins, lutein, and Vitamin C.

This is directly taken from the book. I did not make this up.

Has any one ever thought that since Dr. Atkins, who is no longer with us (he died in early 2006 of an accident falling on an icy sidewalk), has incited such professional jealousy that these other doctors live to discredit him? It could be possible.

Last edited by pamatga; 11-24-2007 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:06 PM   #11  
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pam,

The study was done following the atkins maintenance diet as written in the book. I don't think someone who follows atkins eats buttered bacon all the time, trust me. But atkins does still have a lot of saturated fats.
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:13 PM   #12  
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The problem with the interpretations of most of these studies is that it assumes a "one size fits all" approach. I think the study has serious implications, but I think more important than learning how something tends to affect some or even most people, is learning what effects you. I think if you have a significant amount of weight to lose (or really want to radically change any of your eating or exercise habits) that you do so under medical supervision. Every 3 to 6 months have blood drawn and have a doctor check things like blood pressure, cholesterol, sodium, possibly blood sugar....

If you're enjoying Atkins or another low carb plan and all your numbers are going in the right direction, then I think you're being responsible about it. If at some point the numbers aren't looking good then you and your doctor can decide what behaviors and food choices you should change.
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:25 PM   #13  
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I'm also not here for a debate. For me, Atkins was an important tool that helped me in my weight loss. I wasn't an Atkins purist that went strictly by the book. I included plenty of fruits and green veggies from the beginning. I did forgo the pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, flour and sugar. I tried to use sensible lower fat cuts of meat and chicken.

In the beginning, I probably did eat an overabundance of fat. I quickly tired of bacon, cheese, steak, hamburger patties and such. It didn't take long for a nice grilled chicken salad to become my preference.

I really don't know the long-term effects of Atkins, but my health is now drastically improved after losing over 90 lbs. I now follow SouthBeach diet for my maintenance per my Dr's instruction.

But, if I ever did find myself obese again , I would again use the basis of Atkins to lower my carbs and take the weight off. Cause it does WORK.
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:32 PM   #14  
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The study was done following the atkins maintenance diet as written in the book. I don't think someone who follows atkins eats buttered bacon all the time, trust me. But atkins does still have a lot of saturated fats.
QFT
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:36 PM   #15  
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QFT
Quantum Field Theory??
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