The Atkins Diet has become perhaps the most polarizing of weight loss diets in modern history. Now 40+ years after the publishing of the book, The Atkins Diet Revolution, and 11 years after the bizarre death of it’s creator, Dr. Robert Atkins, where does the medical community and science stand on the Atkins Diet?
The science of low carbohydrate diets has been validated many times over as an effective weight loss strategy. And in the last decade research has also shown “low carb” to be more effective at improving cardiovascular health. Even the government created food pyramid has been traded in for a color-coded plate graphic which moves away from grains as the foundation of a healthy diet and presents them more as an important part of a balanced diet.
The Main Atkins Diet Concerns
The main controversial elements of the Atkins Diet and a myriad of similar diets, is the level of protein and fat intake. In it’s original design, the Atkins Diet guided you to eat extremely low carbs and high amounts of meats, fatty meats were fine.
Fat intake has long been thought to be primary contributor to heart disease, but as we explain this belief is changing as a result more research and proper analysis of old research. But still in most traditional medical circles, low fat diets are a preferred recommendation. It may take another 10 years or more to accept the idea that fat is not bad for you.
So the slow to change medical community is not a fan of any protocol that recommends high fat intake.
The real concern with high fat in the Atkins Diet
The valid concern with a higher fat intake is for people with compromised kidney or liver health, or type 1 diabetics who may not be able to metabolize fats properly. Fat is converted to something called Ketones which are then burned off for energy in healthy individuals.
Animal protein intake is the other concern. The Atkins Diet recommends uncapped levels of animal meats which are not only high in fats, but high in DNA and RNA in the protein cells. The body converts these to purines, which can lead to elevated uric acid levels in the blood. This is why some people get kidney stones or cases of gout while on this type of diet.
Neither of these issues would be terribly concerning if this diet was followed under proper medical screening and supervision, but most are self-administering this potent diet with the guidance of a book.
Medical concerns aside, what most people find is that the Atkins approach isn’t very practical for more than a couple weeks.
You can only eat so much meat and eggs before it just becomes a struggle. First off it’s not very convenient. Who has time to prepare sources of protein throughout the day? The Atkins meals and drinks have mixed reviews but either way will get old pretty quickly. Ultimately, the only way this becomes healthy in the long-run is if you learn to prepare and eat real food.
Even if you’re able to stick with it, if you’re self-administering your own diet, statistics show your outcomes (and possibly your safety) will be compromised. With regular counseling visits and medical supervision, the Atkins Diet could serve as an effective therapeutic lifestyle modification tool, unfortunately that’s rarely the case since the whole premise of Atkins is self-administered dieting with a book as your “supervision”.
The Atkins Diet Transformed Into Something Better
But what if we take the core science of restricting carbohydrates and eliminate the dangerous fats and high levels of animal protein?
And what if we were able to get adequate levels of protein in a form that is practical, preservative-free and satisfies all of our flavor cravings?
While doing this, what if we were also getting educated by professionals daily, meeting with a trained coach under licensed professional supervision on a weekly basis, and learning how to prepare and eat better whole foods?
This is the approach used at the weight loss clinics recommended by myweightclinic.com.
Safety is Priority #1
Safety is the primary concern for any reputable licensed health professional. That is why it’s always best to choose a well-respected health care practice in your community who can guide and support you through your weight loss journey.
But that doesn’t mean we have to look for a clinic so conservative that they are advocating outdated nutrition. Find a provider who recognizes the science of avoiding carbohydrates (sugar/wheat) and understands that when you eat very little sugar, higher fat intake is actually a good thing as part of a balanced diet (but not as part of a weight loss protocol). For some powerful insight check out the movie, Cereal Killers.
The Atkins Diet has led to many variations of the core low carb theme – South Beach Diet and the Zone Diet are popular ones. Other trending philosophies such as Paleo and Wheat Belly are also worth reveiwing. Finding the right diet for you depends on your goals and level of commitment. For those who are serious about rapid, safe weight loss that is also very practical and results in long-term lifestyle adjustments, we encourage you to watch our free online workshop and get a referral to a professional clinic in your area.
Through our weight loss clinic partners we serve several Florida regions including Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa and surrounding areas.