Discussion
  • Thanks for the easy to understand good reminders about diet.

    From Ivan martin
    October 3, 2010

  • Ivan, always great to hear from you.

    From Bob Wright
    October 5, 2010

The Atkins Diet Emerges Again

A couple of days ago a guest asked me my opinion of the Atkins Diet. Yes, it’s been years since Atkins dominated the weight management scene, but there is still interest in it.  As those of you who have long been a part of the H3 family will remember, we were not then, nor are we today, fans of the traditional high protein, high fat Atkins Diet.  A study recently published in the Annuals of Internal Medicine supports our position.  

The results of the study however did suggest that a low carbohydrate diet, whose fat and protein comes from plant sources rather than meat, is healthier.  Dr Frank B Hu, a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and the article’s lead author, commented “You can have the initial Atkins type low-carb diet which is loaded with sausage, bacon and steaks, and you can have a healthy version of the low-carb diet with more plant or vegetable based protein and fat. We looked at these two versions and found that the impact of the two to be drastically different. Those who follow the animal-based version have increased risk of total mortality and cancer mortality in particular.”  Those on the plant based version had lower death rates, especially from heart disease. The plant based diets got their fat mostly from vegetable oils, nuts and peanut butter, and the proteins from legumes, nuts and whole grains.

While we have been recommending a plant based diet for years, we have not recommended low carbohydrate diets.  If you are going to follow one, it should be one that gets the majority of its fat and protein from plant sources.  While we have not specifically recommended a plant based low-carb diet, or a vegetarian diet for that matter, we have endorsed a “more vegetarian” approach for years.

For information of the benefits of and tips for including more plant based food in your diet on a regular basis, check out New American Plate campaign on the American Institute for Cancer Research’s web site, www.aicr.org.

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