Pros and Cons of the Atkins Diet
Designed by Dr. Robert Atkins, the Atkins diet plan was first introduced during the ’70s and received phenomenal success. Author of the famous and most favorite book of most weight watchers around the world ‘Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution.
Dr. Atkins re-introduced his revolutionary ‘low carb; diet mantra again about 10 years ago and considering that nearly 25 million fellow Americans are rigorously following a low car diet plan at any one point in time, this is definitely not a fad but a reality, here to stay.
The low carb diet has met such success that today in any supermarket you would see rows of ‘low carb’ foods stacked as did ‘low fat ‘ foods in the ’90s.
So what is this Atkins diet?
To begin with, the individual is put on 20 grams of carbohydrate a day during the first two weeks.
This period, termed as the ‘introduction’ period consists of a diet made up of meat, eggs, cheese, butter, bacon, sausage, seafood, and oils.
During this period the individual is barred from having milk, grains, bread, cereals, fruits, or “high glycemic index” foods such as peas, corn, potatoes, and carrots.
In the following weeks, 5 more grams of carbohydrates are allowed in the diet per day.
Once this period is over, the individual is put on a ‘maintenance’ diet which consists of 40 to 90 grams of carbohydrates and this is to be followed on a permanent basis. However popular this diet may have become it directly opposes the dictum of many health organizations and touts the recommendations of many health experts.
Pros and Cons of the Atkins Diet
- No getting hungry, you can eat as many of the permitted foods as you like.
- More variety of food because many foods are permitted.
- Men prefer this diet because of the hearty foods that can be eaten such as steak and hamburgers.
- Diet does not provide enough carbohydrates which can cause weakness and low energy.
- Can cause dehydration, constipation, and halitosis.
- Diet does not include the required amounts of fruits and vegetables.
Going against nutritional guidelines?
If we take the example of the Japanese people their diet is rich in carbohydrates from sources like rice, beans, legumes, vegetables, and fruits.
Considering that the Japanese have one of the lowest rates of heart ailments, cancer, diabetes, and obesity, their diet plan is in direct contrast to Atkins’s diet.
The Atkins diet has been met with a lot of opposition from health professionals regarding the long-term health risks it involves. For instance, the high protein diet taken over an extended period of time can lead to more acid in the urine which drains out the calcium content in the body and subsequently results in kidney stones and osteoporosis.
The Atkins diet also promotes high levels of cholesterol as well as electrolyte imbalances.
Sometimes the Atkins diet is referred to as a standard ketogenic diet.
Here the term ketogenic means that the body must go through ketosis for the diet to work. Ketosis is a state when the body and the brain cease to use the sugar to function and starts to use ketones.
Bodybuilders have used this diet plan to lose weight for many years.
In case you are thinking of starting with the Atkins diet, it is best to consult your doctor regarding the safety of the plan, etc. However, it is important to remember that while on the Atkins diet, the first few weeks are the most difficult to adapt as the body is gradually getting used to the ‘ketones’.
A lot of people experience a condition called brain fog which causes severe headaches.
Our personal conclusion of the Atkins diet is that it’s very hearty and for those who can’t take the thought of going home to a plate full of veggies and grains, the Atkins diet is great considering that you can consume meats of all kinds which are high in protein.
The Atkins diet has had a facelift over the years before it was just plainly known as the meat-eaters diet, now they push soy products and seafood such as Salmon, and you can have a limited but varied amount of fruits and vegetables, Atkins diet has even added its own brand of nutritious snack bars so, in fact, this diet has come a long way over the years.