Is there a danger of Dr. Atkins diet being bad for you? It’s a question that even now, almost thirty years after Dr. Atkins introduced his weight loss plan, is now being debated. There are more and more doctors and health care professionals who have come to realize that the Atkins approach can help people lose a significant amount of weight, but there are still some misinformed hold-outs, especially with regards to any possible danger of Dr. Atkins diet plan.
I used the Atkins Diet myself to lose a lot of weight, and I’ve been using the Maintenance Phase since then to keep the pounds off. It upsets me when I read reports that are inflammatory and based on poor information that beat up on the Atkins program. Why do some people still do this? I believe it’s because they just can’t accept that something so different from what people have been doing for years can really work.
But isn’t that bad science? To condemn a new approach because it doesn’t fit the mold of the accepted way of doing things that has been accepted for years means no one would ever learn anything new and better. So I’ve taken a good hard look at some of the so-called “dangers” of Dr. Atkins Diet and come up with some answers.
Below are some of the misconceptions and common criticism on the Atkins diet plan and what the real truth is:
How Does the Atkins Diet Affect Cholesterol?
While some critics claim that a low carb diet can’t possibly good for cholesterol levels, the opposite has actually proven to be true. Even with the higher fat and protein content of the Atkins Diet, most people using it see a drop of anywhere from 5 to 50 points in their cholesterol levels after just a few months. Why? Because the weight loss and the stabilized blood sugar levels contribute to a reduction in bad cholesterol. It sounds like a contradiction, but dozens of studies have proved that it works.
Is the Atkins Diet Bad for People with Diabetes?
Since most diabetics can’t tolerate sugary foods, the Atkins Diet can actually help people who are diabetic. It reduces the swings in blood sugar that bothers people with Diabetes, and helps control the over-production of insulin that causes problems in most Type 2 Diabetics. Should diabetics use the diet with a doctor’s supervision? Absolutely – but that’s the case with any diet, isn’t it?
Does the Atkins Program Make You Tired?
This is something I’ve heard before, and I’m always quick to explain that this is sometimes true in the short term, but the long term effect is much different. During the first few days of the Atkins Induction Phase, you may feel a bit tired or have a mild headache. This isn’t because the diet is unhealthy. It’s because your body is going through a major adjustment from the unhealthy eating habits you were using to the healthier eating habits of Atkins. Your body is adjusting to not relying on carbohydrates for quick, easy energy. While doing this, you may feel a bit sluggish until ketosis kicks in and you start efficiently using your body’s own stored fat supplies.
Many Atkins dieters are also giving up caffeine for the first time in years, and this can cause a sort of mild withdrawal syndrome. Once your body has adjusted to fewer carbs and no caffeine, it will be working more efficiently and you will discover that you have more energy as time goes on.
Do You Get All the Nutrients You Need on Atkins?
This depends on whether you’re actually using the Atkins Diet properly. I have talked to people who didn’t thoroughly understand the program, and ended up loading up on meats and fats and not eating enough of the healthy salad greens and vegetables. This isn’t really an Atkins approach! Dr. Atkins always stressed the importance of balance, and carefully outlined what you should eat.
The Atkins Diet also stresses the importance of supplementing your diet with a good multi-vitamin and mineral combination. This ensures that you won’t miss any of the vital nutrients you need while you are dieting. Dr. Atkins also suggested exercise be a part of your diet to keep you fit.
Are there people who should be concerned about these dangers of Dr. Atkins' diet and not go on the Atkins plan? Like any diet, there are those who shouldn’t use it because of underlying health concerns, so it’s always important to talk to your doctor. But for those of us who are looking for a good way to lose weight and keep it off, the Atkins Diet is one of the best programs available.