Atkins vs QuackWatch: Why is this super-popular low carb diet not approved by conservative nutritionists?
by Tanya Zilberter, PhD
Why is Dr. Atkins' Book Listed on Quackwatch's quackery list?
First of all, the Quack Watch is Web site devoted to fighting against all and any alternative medicine methods. Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution is among the Quack Watch's Non-Recommended Sources of Health Advice (if you go there you'll see that there's no review on this book.) It's hard to say why, since Quack Watch does not list reasons ? scientific or otherwise? for placing this book on its list - for at lease two years now.
As to Dr. Atkins diet being an alternative medicine method, this viewpoint seems to be outdated. First, because there are dozens of clinical studies on low-carb diets - and now a direct study of Atkins diet conducted at the Durham VA Medical Center in North Carolina - showing that the diet is efficient and safe.
What ís interesting is that even the more restrictive low-carb diet, the Ketogenic Diet, exists as a conventional medical program in at least 35 states and at 10 countries.
Even for the most restrictive and least balanced of low-calorie diets, the Ketogenic Diet, no serious negative effects have been ever reported. Quite to the contrary - studies described in peer-reviewed medical journals reported the following facts: (Click here for clinical evidence)
Why Are There so Many Doctors and Dieticians Warning Against Low-Carb Diets?
Many conventional medical professionals, including several medical institutions' official sites on the Net, warn of the potential dangers of low-carb dieting, but no scientific publications seem to exist that can confirm or explain these warnings.
Launching my Low-Carb Workshop at Weightloss.about.com, I've invited all low-carb opponents to share their opinions and to factually back them up. During two years of ongoing discussion ñ sometimes very fierce - there were plenty of negative opinions but no evidence whatsoever provided against low-carb diets. I keep watching scientific literature very closely, but, so far, there's still no clinical or experimental data against low-carb dieting.
Isn't it True That High-Fat Intake a Low-Carb Diet can Cause a Bad Blood Test Reading?
Indeed, it is very well known that consuming foods that are high in fat seriously impair our blood biochemistry. However, this conclusion is a misconception. Clinical data shows that the high-fat, high-carb diets - not high-fat, low-carb diets - made blood tests numbers worse.
A few cases in point:
Researchers from Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of Texas, concluded, "Compared with the low-carbohydrate diet, the high-carbohydrate diet caused a 27.5-percent increase in plasma triglycerides and a similar increase in LDL ("bad cholesterol") levels; it also reduced levels of HDL ("good cholesterol") by 11 percent."
Out of my About.com weight-loss community members, 39 low-carb dieters mentioned cholesterol changes along with their weight loss. Two of them have had their numbers worsen and 37 had their numbers improve. Six reported that their blood pressure also decreased.
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