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    New Atkins for a New You
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    Michael Dansinger, MD posted:
    The Atkins Diet is back again! The Atkins diet, which raises controversy every time it re-emerges, is getting publicity in the form of a new book: The New Atkins for A New You.

    The controversy comes down to the questions of whether the counter-intuitive strategy of eating significant amounts of animal fat helps reverse heart disease and diabetes risk, and whether cutting carbs to the minimum is problematic in any way.

    In this new book, which remains true to the core concepts of Dr. Atkins' previous books, authors Dr's Westman, Volek, and Phinney have laid out the cumulative body of scientific evidence supporting the low-carb approach, most of which has accumulated after the death of Dr. Atkins in 1994.

    See this link to the Washington Post story
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/02/AR2010030202091.html

    If you have any comments about or experience with the Atkins diet, for weight loss, diabetes treatment, or heart disease risk reduction, please share them!

    Michael Dansinger, MD
     
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    Manoj_in_Bangalore responded:
    I am not convinced that the Atkins diet is the right diet. It has been around for so long and it hasn't helped to reduce or stop the diabetes and heart disease epidemic.

    My view is that both saturated and unsaturated fats are good and should be consumed substancially for the body to function. What should be avoided is trans fats found in refined oils.

    Use either coconut oil, sesame oil or butter (or ghee) for heat cooking, and extra virgin olive oil for cold dressings. Avoid canola oil, sunflower oil, and other refined heat treated oils.

    All animal proteins are bad for the human body. This includes meat, poultry, eggs, milk and cheese. The only animal product that is useful is animal fat, like butter.

    Only plant based proteins must be consumed.

    Switching to a vegan diet and eliminating all trans fats would go a long way in avoiding and reversing type 2 diabetes (and also heart disease and cancer).
     
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    Manoj_in_Bangalore responded:
    And regarding carbohydrates, my view is that all vegetables and fruits are good and can be consumed without restriction. Consuming them is the raw form (or minimally cooked) is best. They do not contribute to weight gain.

    It is the refined carbohydrates that must be avoided, like sugar, white bread, etc.
     
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    EngineerGuy responded:
    Hi Dr. Dansinger,

    The nail in the coffin for the Atkins diet (never mind that Dr. Atkins died of a stroke and was obese), is found in the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) ( http://www.nwcr.ws/ )

    Anyone who has lost 30 pounds, kept it off for over a year, and has a note from their doctor to prove it, is invited to let this website know how the people successfully lost weight.

    Jeff Novick, nutritionist at the Pritikin Center (now with Dr. McDougall) contacted the university professor authors of the NWCR website. The vast majority of the successful weight losers eat lots of vegetables, exercise daily, and overall eat a low fat diet. Only 1% of the folks followed an Atkins like diet.

    All diets have difficulty keeping weight off, when the goals are met and the motivation wanes, or perhaps deficiencies of bad diets create cravings. However, Atkins like diets appear to be worse. Nearly everyone who has tried to lose weight, has tried Atkins. We all know people who vigorously defend Atkins, who have lost weight on it in the past (and almost always regained it). I spoke to the TOPS (Take Of Pounds Sensibly) Colorado state queen once. When she told me she was a past state queen, I hope my eyes didn't roll. She said yes, she gained it all back, and more. She used the Atkins diet.

    If Atkins worked, then NWCR would be full of them, but it doesn't work for long term weight loss. Then, what's the point?

    The new incarnation of Atkins is better than before, encouraging vegetables. But all the comments are correct, that animal protein and fat, especially in large quantities, have huge problems for most people's health. Some person's cholesterol levels go down, and some person's cholesterol levels skyrocket. Even when cholesterol goes down, they may be emulating the Masai (African tribe with high fat, high cholesterol diet), who have worse atherosclerosis than we do, but have an average cholesterol level of 150.

    Dr. Ornish was the first person to demonstrate reversal of atherosclerosis. There are proven programs that reverse diabetes, heart disease, etc. That's why Dr. Dansinger is here!!

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
     
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    DavidHueben responded:
    The only "experience" I have with the Atkins diet is that my best friend tried it and he didn't lose much weight. He had been convinced by his personal trainer that he needed more protein in his diet. My friend was frustrated because I was able to lose weight and he wasn't. And he was doing much more intense exercise than I was.

    I didn't follow any "special" diet when I was losing weight nor do I now. My approach was much simpler and less restrictive. By working with the diabetic dietitian five years ago, we established daily "targets" for such things as calories, calories from fat, total grams of fat, percentage of saturated to unsaturated fats, carbohydrates, protein, sodium, and cholesterol.

    I do my best to try and meet those goals each day by eating a well balanced diet that includes many types of foods.

    I don't believe all animal based foods must be eliminated nor do I believe very many people are interested in doing that. You can responsibily eat meat, poultry, and dairy (milk and eggs) as long as you don't do it to excess. In fact, I believe that reasonable consumption of animal based foods has a beneficial effect. Each day, I have about 8 ounces of skim milk with my breakfast (Grape Nuts or Wheaties) and I have 4 - 6 ounces of chicken, fish, beef, or pork for dinner. I am not much of an "egg eater" and probably have two or less each month.

    As far as cooking goes, I frequently use extra virgin olive oil and real butter. I use peanut oil when doing Chinese stir fry dishes.

    I have no problem with eating lots of vegetables and fruits. I do that frequently. That's a good thing, but I also don't exclude reasonable portions of other carbohydrates like pasta, rice, or good breads.

    I think the key to managing glycemic levels, getting to and maintaining a healthy weight, reducing your risk of disease, and having a life enjoying a variety of foods is to practice a modicum of self-discipline.

    David
     
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    Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
    I am not a big fan of the Atkins diet-but perhaps only because I really prefer a vegetarian diet for the most part. I am technically flexitarian but if my mom didn't live with us full time-it would be far less flex and more vegetarian. I also have one child who is a confirmed meat eater and would probably prefer to starve than eat a completely meat free diet. (oddly, she is the skinniest child of the six, except for the always vegetarian child)

    I tend to be a bigger fan of diets that don't have names-shrug.

    On the other hand, we had a man named Heretic on our Diet Debate board for years who was pro saturated fat-and very passionate about it.

    Now, if I could just convince my doctors that high cholesterol isn't a heart disease marker...I could go pro saturated fats!
     
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    feelinghigh replied to Louise_WebMD_Staff's response:
    I would have concerns about getting ketones. There are some Type I's that are overweight that might try this diet. Dr Dansinger would this be safe for Type I's???

    I get ketones when my bg's are high and low.
     
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    DisHammerhand responded:
    A high fat diet just doesn't make sense to me. A low carb one does, especially for a diabetic.

    I had a friend who tried Atkins. She lost a few pounds but not much more.

    The diet I follow is both low carb and low fat. By low carb, I mean I stay away from anything terribly starchy. I get my carbs, but I get them by eating lots, I mean LOTS of non-starchy veggies. Like a pound bag of frozen broccoli or green beans, or cauliflower, or a huge bowl of colorful salad. I'm more careful with fruit because too much at a time can mke my bg go higher than I like. So I much my apples right before I go on the exercise machine

    There was the time when I really really wanted to eat a softball sized nectarine -so I ate it while on a two mile walk. My bg was 100 when I was done.

    I started out at 218 pounds in Dec 08. I'm 5'4". Now I weigh 122. I think my diet worked. (I have a credit Dr. D. for getting me to think in the right direction.)
     
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    jambajuice replied to DisHammerhand's response:
    If chronic high blood sugar and high cholesterol is highly destructive to our internal organs, then, logically, any diet that reduces high blood sugar and high cholesterol passes the true diet "acid test"...It's the "holy grail".

    I hadn't read Dansinger's paper on diabetes reversal prior to last week but it's so eloquently explains what I have long suspected...Are bodies were never meant to eat Cinnabons, Snickers bars, Coca Cola, fetucini alfredo, french fries/double cheeseburgers, and Chunky Monkey ice cream.

    We have the scientific data to support it...Nobody wants to buy it!

    Anyway, until Atkins significantly lowers A1c and LDL levels in controlled tests covering thousands of test subjects over many many years, I'll pass on the bacon, for now.
     
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    KennyCrox replied to EngineerGuy's response:
    Engineering Guy,

    For the majority of individuals, NO diet works long term. The problem isn't the diet. It is the "Dieter."

    Research show that approximately 90% of those who lose weight regain it.

    Statistics indicated that approximately 20% of the population maintains a consistent exercise program.

    The problem is that most individuals are inconsistent with their eating and/or exercise program for a variety of reasons.

    They always have a reason why they stopped their eating program and/or exericse program. However, it never a good reason.

    Most individual will tell you they don't have time. It is not that they don't have time. Its that they don't "make time".

    Ironically, we all find time for the things we like to do.

    Kenny Croxdale
     
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    KennyCrox replied to DavidHueben's response:
    David,

    Since your only experience with Atkins, that means you understaning of Atkins is limited.

    The problem with you friend not doing well with Atkins was most likely his fault, rather than the diet. He probably did not adhear to the diet. Either because of a misunderstanding on his part or because he "cheated" on the diet.

    As you know the key to weight loss is diet. Exercise contributes to that process. However, intense exercise won't get the job done if you taking in more calories than you burn.

    Kenny Croxdale
     
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    DavidHueben replied to KennyCrox's response:
    Kenny:

    I thought I made it clear that I only had limited knowledge of the Atkins diet. I wasn't trying to portray myself as an "expert", just offering one person's opinion. I have no idea why my friend didn't lose the weight he expected.

    If you are a "fan" of the Atkins diet and it worked for you, that's great.

    DMH
     
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    chanson3633 responded:
    I think the Atkins approach is very helpful particularly for me, a Type 1 diabetic. Eating a low-fat diet (as was recommended by the ADA for many years) is problematic because it essentially means a high carbohydrate diet. The lo-carb veggies are always good, and I do eat alot of those. I often wonder if the emphasis on "lo-fat" during the past 20 or 30 years has spurred the increase in obesity in the U.S.
     
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    betaquartz replied to chanson3633's response:
    I have to agree with chanson on this. I am not necessarily following any diet plan, but I have probably tripled the veggies that I eat, smaller amounts of meats, but lean with a few exceptions. Breads and Grains way down over what I used to eat, and when it comes to condiments/dressings I don't worry about low fat because after reading labels for several years I have concluded that the low fat stuff often is higher in calories or carbs, or has things in it that I don't want to deal with like High Fructose corn syrup, or Mono-sodium Glutamate. So I usually don't go low fat, unless I make my own dressings at home. The thing that bothers me about so much of the diet craziness and the diabetes is that I used to be a big sandwich fan, one on a whole grain or high fiber bread for years, lately with this diabetes I don't get very many sandwiches unless at mid day. If I went straight Atkins, no sandwiches, if I went vegan, no meat for in the sandwiches. Looks like I am out of luck either way, so I am cutting my own path.
     
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    GeorgiaDave replied to EngineerGuy's response:
    EngineerGuy,

    Dr. Atkins died of a FALL on ICY STEPS that caused a brain hemorrhage. He DEFINITELY didn't die of a stroke due to being obese. He was thin.

    I agree that the Atkins diet is like all "diets". Down, then back up.

    It takes a lifestyle change to stay at your target weight, not ham and eggs 3 times a day.


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