Our guest author today gives us the low-down on the "new" Atkins diet. Is it safer than the former one? Do dieters still get amazing results in a hurry? Read on and find out …
In 1972, Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution was among the top five best selling diet books on the market. Dr. Atkins, a cardiologist rather than a nutritionist, set the dieting world alight with his promise of weight loss following an unlimited regimen of the consumption of meat and fats like butter, olive oil, and animal fat. The diet allowed followers to gorge on eggs, cheese, and bacon – so long as they gave up all fruits and severely restricted their intake of most vegetables. Anything “white” was off the menu: rice, bread, and potatoes were considered poison, as were any natural items that contained a great deal of sugar, such as bananas and pineapples.
The Atkins regimen was a controversial diet back then, and more than a few headlines were stolen by tales of people who suffered kidney failure and other problems thought to have been related to this low carb program.
In one famous case from 2004, Florida businessman Jody Gorran sued Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., over the severe heart problems he attributed to the high-fat, high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. Prior to going on the Atkins Diet, his cholesterol and arteries were in excellent shape, according to medical records – but after only two years following the Atkins diet, he developed a 99% blockage in a major artery that required a stent, and his cholesterol went through the roof. His lawsuit was ultimately dismissed, despite medical evidence supporting his claims of negligent and misleading advertising against Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. because the diet was deemed “not misleading” and the ideas purported by its founder are protected speech under the First Amendment to the constitution.
One year ago this month, Atkins Nutritionals sought to rebrand its controversial diet, publishing a new book entitled “The New Atkins For a New You,” and re-launching its website and online store with new Atkins products designed to offer sweet treats to low carbers who were never allowed to endulge in sweets during the most restrictive Phase 1 of the diet, when nearly all carbs are eliminated during a 14-day Induction period.
The new book also emphasizes the importance of eating large servings of low-carb vegetables each day, and of abandoning saturated fats and processed meats such as bacon, hotdogs, and bologna in favor of lean protein sources. The new plan even has a version that vegetarians can follow.
Although it seems markedly healthier than before, this diet still makes fruit the bad guy, and now, with the inclusion of Atkins sweet treats and more vegetables, it is less effective at what it was designed to achieve: rapid weight loss.
While the new Atkins diet may be safer than the old one if followed according the new book, it is essentially no longer The Atkins Diet – but something more similar to the South Beach Diet, apparently developed by Atkins Nutritionals to avoid trademark issues with Dr. Atkins’ widow, who owns the rights to the original diet. Because it still severely limits carbohydrates – a necessary source of fuel for the human body and brain – its safety remains dubious.
M. McLaurin enjoys writing about diet, nutrition, and health. She currently writes for Allied Satellite TV.