Atkins diet.... - page 11

i asked for your help a couple of weeks ago. there were a few of you who emailed me. i found the exercise ideas to be the most help. i went to the dr and i tipped the scales at 258lb :imbar i am only... Read More

  1. by   Mandarella
    What does your daily diet consist of. I mean start from the time you get up in the am to the end of the day. I need to change the way I eat. Period. But I just grab whatever's on the "go." Maybe some examples can get me a clearer picture. I just want healthy, low carb doesn't really need to fit here I guess. But if it works, it works. Has anyone actually had blood tests done while on Atkins?? My husbands labs came back elevated but he doesn't know what they were before so we really can't go by that. He has modified his diet to a low fat one.

    QUOTE=suzanne4]Carbs are in Atkin's, just healthy carbs................you want to stay away from simple sugars. Quite simple. I don't have any of the synthetic foods over here, I bring over my own Splenda. That's it..............And I am probably healthier than many other people. Try cutting out sugar form your diet, and you will seea significant difference in how you feel. Atkin's has been around for over 20 years, so it isn't just a fad. And no one says that you have to stick strictly to it, you need to find what works for you. If you go on it to lose 25 pounds and do not modify your eating habits, you will gain it back more than likely.

    For get about all of the low-carb foods that are out there and just try to eat healthy....not substituting one junk food for another, because it is low-carb.
    I actually eat brown rice 6 days per week at lunch, and my waist is where it was in high school, and I have been a nurse for over 25 years.

    Good luck.................. [/QUOTE]
    Last edit by Mandarella on Jul 25, '04
  2. by   suzy253
    You got it Lizz!!!
  3. by   Sheri257
    Quote from suzy253
    You got it Lizz!!!
    Thanks Suzy.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Jul 25, '04
  4. by   Energizer Bunny
    Quote from lizz
    If anybody remembers basic bio or physio, this is why you should be concerned about Atkins. Not to the mention the USDA, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Association, among others, have published papers pointing out the unhealthy effects of the diet.

    Fact 1: The average American diet consists of 50 percent carbs. Atkins cuts carbs to 10 percent or 20 grams a day. The brain alone needs 130 grams of carbs daily to function. Therefore, the body is forced to convert oxaloacetic acid into glucose to fuel the brain. You may recall that oxaloacetic acid is a key component of the Krebs cycle necessary to make ATP energy for the body. Without it, the body cannot efficiently make ATP. Acetyl CoA accumulates and is eventually converted to acidic ketones, forcing the body into ketosis. Highly acidic conditions are not good for the body since it throws off pH balance, where even slight variations are dangerous. With Atkins, the body's buffer systems can't tie up the ketones fast enough, which is why Atkins dieters frequently complain of bad breath. The respiratory system is struggling to eliminate ketone byproducts, as well as trying to blow off additional CO2, in order to force blood pH back up to normal levels.

    Fact 2: Excessive protein consumption is not healthy for the body. The average American diet consists of 15 percent protein, Atkins doubles protein intake to 30 percent. Since the body doesn't efficiently process proteins for energy, additional ammonia and urea waste products are created. Ammonia is extremely toxic for cells, and excess urea strains the kidneys. A 2003 Harvard study found additional protein consumption worsened conditions for patients with previously mild renal problems. And, additional protein consumption is often discouraged for renal patients, since it strains the kidneys.

    Fact 3: Even Atkins funded research has disclosed problems with the diet. Atkins dieters reported adverse symptoms more frequently than non-Atkins dieters. (Symptoms included constipation, headache, halitosis, muscle cramps and diarrhea.) And "bad" LDL cholesterol levels associated with heart disease actually rose in the Atkins diet group, despite weight loss. Perhaps this is not surprising since fat intake with Atkins is substantially increased from the average 35 percent of total calories to 60 percent. Of course, numerous studies have shown that increased fat intake also increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, among other ailments.

    Unless we want to discard everything we've learned in school, and the last 40 years of scientific research, I don't see how anybody can argue this diet is healthy.

    Lizz...I just learned all this in the past couple of weeks in my nutrition class. I have to agree with you. I never really saw how Atkins could be healthy before I took nutrition and I certainly don't now that I am EDUCATED about it. I'm not going to read some dr's book, who is out to make money from the whole diet, and believe everything he says just because he has an MD after his name. My tendency would be to believe what many, many people are saying in ALL the nutrition texts and my instructor who is obviously well schooled in the area.

    Thank you for putting it into words that make sense. (I would never have taken the time) I just know it's not for me and I am having problems with my digestive system and probably will have to be on a modified diet that will lower my carbs. considerably. I will have to find other avenues for my carb. consumption.
  5. by   SCmomof3
    Quote from lizz
    if anybody remembers basic bio or physio, this is why you should be concerned about atkins. not to the mention the usda, the american heart association, the american cancer association, among others, have published papers pointing out the unhealthy effects of the diet.

    fact 1: the average american diet consists of 50 percent carbs. atkins cuts carbs to 10 percent or 20 grams a day. the brain alone needs 130 grams of carbs daily to function. therefore, the body is forced to convert oxaloacetic acid into glucose to fuel the brain. you may recall that oxaloacetic acid is a key component of the krebs cycle necessary to make atp energy for the body. without it, the body cannot efficiently make atp. acetyl coa accumulates and is eventually converted to acidic ketones, forcing the body into ketosis. highly acidic conditions are not good for the body since it throws off ph balance, where even slight variations are dangerous. with atkins, the body's buffer systems can't tie up the ketones fast enough, which is why atkins dieters frequently complain of bad breath. the respiratory system is struggling to eliminate ketone byproducts, as well as trying to blow off additional co2, in order to force blood ph back up to normal levels.

    fact 2: excessive protein consumption is not healthy for the body. the average american diet consists of 15 percent protein, atkins doubles protein intake to 30 percent. since the body doesn't efficiently process proteins for energy, additional ammonia and urea waste products are created. ammonia is extremely toxic for cells, and excess urea strains the kidneys. a 2003 harvard study found additional protein consumption worsened conditions for patients with previously mild renal problems. and, additional protein consumption is often discouraged for renal patients, since it strains the kidneys.

    fact 3: even atkins funded research has disclosed problems with the diet. atkins dieters reported adverse symptoms more frequently than non-atkins dieters. (symptoms included constipation, headache, halitosis, muscle cramps and diarrhea.) and "bad" ldl cholesterol levels associated with heart disease actually rose in the atkins diet group, despite weight loss. perhaps this is not surprising since fat intake with atkins is substantially increased from the average 35 percent of total calories to 60 percent. of course, numerous studies have shown that increased fat intake also increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, among other ailments.

    unless we want to discard everything we've learned in school, and the last 40 years of scientific research, i don't see how anybody can argue this diet is healthy.

    myth - your brain needs carbohydrates to function


    one of the myths spread about the low carb diet is that your brain needs carbohydrates to function well. actually your brain needs just a small amount of glucose - which is provided by protein quite easily.

    your brain is an organ of course, and is mostly comprised of fatty tissues (it is 70% fat). your brain does require around 50g of glucose a day to do its normal routines. this isn't equivalent to 5 slices of pizza!! amino acids convert readily to glucose at a rate of just under 60%. and you get amino acids from proteins. so if you are following a proper low carb diet, you are easily getting enough protein into your system to give your brain all the glucose it needs.

    on the other hand, while your brain needs that small amount of glucose, many studies have proven the brain actively needs fatty acids to work properly. in fact, studies have shown that fatty acids help fight off alzheimer's. so if anything, it is people on a low fat diet who are starving their bodies of this essential nutrient. most low carb plans recommend people eat ample intakes of fish and nuts each week plus take a fatty acid vitamin to supplement this.

    additionally, the brain's functioning properly is tied to even levels of blood sugar. people who are on high carb diets know that when they get hungry, they get shaky and irritable and stop thinking clearly. they then gorge on sugar (carbs) and feel better for a little while, until those carbs are gone in an hour or so and they start sliding towards their next extreme hunger stage. so people on a high carb diet are constantly having that hunger - thinking issues cycle, as they rollercoaster from high blood sugar to low blood sugar.

    in comparison, on a low carb diet you are eating low glycemic index food at a constant rate, so your blood sugar levels are also constant. so your brain is always humming along at an even, good rate. it is not being jolted into frenzy and then deprived into befuddlement.

    a good comparison is with a sports athlete. the high-carb cycle of jolt - deprivation would be like a football player who went from jittering around the field with little control to slumping on the bench without any motivation. the low carb blood-sugar smoothness would be like a quarterback who was "in the zone" and feeling at one with the game, easily picking out the open receivers and drifting the ball right into their hands. your brain wants an easy, constant flow of energy. it doesn't want to be lept around from high sugar to low sugar states.

    with studies showing that overweight women have a higher risk of alzheimer's than those with a healthy weight, staying on a low carb lifestyle can truly help your brain both short term and in the long run!

    to be continued....
  6. by   SCmomof3
    From http://www.fi.edu/brain/carbs.htm My responses and additions are bolded. This source is NOT A low carb source. It is a medical site.

    Complex vs. Simple Carbohydrates


    Complex carbohydrates are like time-release capsules of sugar. Simple carbohydrates are more like an injection of sugar.

    Complex carbohydrates tend to be in natural foods - and have long chains of sugar molecules that the liver gradually breaks down into the shorter glucose molecules the brain uses for fuel. In natural foods, the cell walls are made of cellulose fiber that resists digestion, slowing the breakdown and the subsequent release of sugars into the bloodstream, kind of like the way a time-release capsule works.

    Simple carbohydrates are found in most processed or refined foods and some natural foods. These carbohydrates have short-chained sugar molecules and, because they break apart quickly, enter the bloodstream quickly. Sugary foods--including corn syrup, fruit juices, and honey--contain glucose that is absorbed directly through the stomach wall and rapidly released into the bloodstream, almost as quickly as if delivered by syringe.


    ATKINS DOES NOT REMOVE ALL CARBS - just the simple ones!!!!!!!!


    Too Much Blood Sugar - Too Little Brain Sugar


    A sugary snack or soft drink that quickly raises your blood sugar level gives you a boost (and any caffeine adds to the lift), but it's short-lived. When you eat something with a high sugar content your pancreas starts to secrete insulin. Insulin triggers cells throughout your body to pull the excess glucose out of your bloodstream and store it for later use.

    Soon, the glucose available to your brain has dropped. Neurons, unable to store glucose, experience an energy crisis. Hours later, you feel spaced-out, weak, confused, and/or nervous. Your ability to focus and think suffers. The name for this glucose deficiency is hypoglycemia , and it can even lead to unconsciousness


    This is what Atkins changes!!! I have experienced myself the incredible difference now that I don't get those carb highs and lows. Carbs (particularly those with a high glycemic index) turn into sugar which is eventually stored as FAT, if you take in more than your body needs for fuel, which the majority of Americans do! Atkins is a way of eating that STABILIZES blood sugar eliminating the spikes and valleys that most people experience. This is BETTER for your brain and your whole body.


    High Sugar Intake Over Time


    Repeatedly overloading the bloodstream with sugar can diminish the body's ability to respond to insulin, and type 2 diabetes may develop.
    This is not good for the brain, because diabetes causes a narrowing of the arteries and makes the brain more susceptible to gradual damage. People with diabetes are more vulnerable to depression and are more likely to suffer a decline in mental ability as they age.



    How Diabetes Can Develop


    When for years you repeatedly overload your bloodstream with simple sugars, refined carbohydrates, soft drinks, etc., the swings in blood sugar can take their toll on your body's ability to respond to insulin. Receptors for this hormone may eventually malfunction, becoming "insulin-resistant," so that blood sugar levels remain high - even as your pancreas continues to secrete insulin. Type 2 diabetes can develop.
    Nearly 6% of the American population has diabetes. For African Americans, it is 10%. For Native Americans, diabetes increased by 29% between 1990 and 1997 - more than twice the rate for the general U.S. population.

    An estimated five million more people have diabetes but don't know it, and nearly 800,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

    How to Control Blood Sugar Swings


    Frequent blood sugar swings stress the mind and emotions, and chronic stress raises insulin levels - creating a vicious cycle.

    A helpful way to learn how to minimize blood sugar swings is to know which carbohydrates are the slowest time-releasers of sugar. The glycemic index measures how quickly blood sugar increases after eating a particular food.


    Atkins works in conjunction with the glycemic index (as does South Beach) later in the program to help you add in carbs to your diet as you reach and maintain your goal weight. You learn to eat carbs low on the glycemic index. The initial TWO WEEK induction period is more restrictive (but HEALTHY if done correctly!!!!) and serves several purposes. One of the most important purposes of induction is to break any food addictions (sugar, etc.). It totally works!!!


    I have more to say but I need to go study... I'll try to come back later.
  7. by   SCmomof3
    oops i had to comment on this -

    Quote from lizz
    fact 3: even atkins funded research has disclosed problems with the diet. atkins dieters reported adverse symptoms more frequently than non-atkins dieters. (symptoms included constipation, headache, halitosis, muscle cramps and diarrhea.) and "bad" ldl cholesterol levels associated with heart disease actually rose in the atkins diet group, despite weight loss. perhaps this is not surprising since fat intake with atkins is substantially increased from the average 35 percent of total calories to 60 percent. of course, numerous studies have shown that increased fat intake also increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, among other ailments.
    these symptoms are common in the initial two week induction period, again, as your body adjusts to a new way of eating. after being fueled by 300-400g of carbs a day (most of which are refined for the majority of americans), the body goes through an "induction flu" until the body's stored glucose is burned and the body begins using fat as the primary source of fuel. there is still glucose being made from the complex carbs you are consuming, and the amount is plenty for brain function. but the amount of glucose is no longer enough to fuel the body itself, which is why the excess fat is burned. also, atkins basically forbids the consumption of trans fats which make up a big portion of america's diet and is listed on the labels of most baked goods and many other packaged foods as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil. this fat is very unhealthy and the fda agrees.


    the "halitosis" is ketone breath, which is a result of fat burning and is usually easily remedied with adequate water intake. i have experienced this, and it is a reminder to me to drink more water


    constipation can be a problem in the induction period and dr. atkins recommended psyllium husks (the pure form of many laxatives including metamucil) as a supplement. personally, i am more regular now for the past 5 weeks on atkins that i have ever been and my ibs is great!!!!!! :icondance:


    initially "bad" ldl levels can rise during induction, again while the body adjusts to the new woe, but in an overwhelming number of people, their "good" levels rose dramatically and "bad" levels dropped significantly when retested after 3-6 months.


    diarrhea is usually a result of people who consume too many sugar alcohols (malitol, sorbitol, etc) in sugar free subsititutes of the foods induction aims to break their addiction to. too much of this substance can produce laxative effects, which i sadly found out a few days into induction. then i found out that you're not supposed to have those products anyway (only later and in moderation )


  8. by   All_Smiles_RN
    Your arguments aren't even relevant to the points that you are trying to disprove.
    ...Jennifer...
  9. by   Sheri257
    To address some of your points SCmomof3:

    I don't think any of the Atkins critics advocate excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates. In fact, reduction of simple carbohydrates is probably the one major point of agreement between both sides. I think everyone agrees that complex carbohydrates are always better in any diet.

    Your link confirms what I've already said: the brain needs carbs for fuel. My source for the 130 grams of carbohydrates necessary to fuel the brain is the National Academy of Sciences. Perhaps you've heard of them, since they are a major scientific research agency for the federal government.

    http://books.nap.edu/books/030908537...7.html#pagetop

    "The recommended dietary allowance for carbohydrates is set at 130 g/day for adults and children based on the average minimum amount of glucose utilized by the brain. This level of intake, however, is typically exceeded to meet energy needs." (200-330 grams for men, 180-230 grams for women).

    The Atkins.com website recommends only 20 grams of carbs at the beginning of the diet, with gradual increases which still fall well below the required 130 grams for the brain, not to mention additional carbs needed for the rest of the body.

    http://atkins.com/Archive/2001/11/29-367514.html.

    My primary source on ketosis is the Anatomy and Physiology textbook written by Elaine Marieb, p. 968 of the 6th edition. This is a standard college textbook used by many nursing programs. As Marieb states in the textbook, "Ketosis is a common consequence of starvation and unwise dieting in which inadequate amounts of carbohydrates are eaten."

    I guess you'll say a standard nursing textbook is wrong. :wink2:

    I've reviewed at least a dozen Atkins studies, and none of them found reduced LDL levels. In fact, an Atkins funded study conducted by Duke University reported increased LDL levels, and acknowledged other studies which found the same.

    Some independent studies, funded by the National Institutes of Health (among others) did find that LDL levels remained stable. But none of the LDL levels were reduced, even after a year. HDLs did rise in some studies, but researchers noted this was not beneficial since it didn't help reduce the LDL levels, which is what HDLs are supposed to do. The weight loss didn't help reduce LDLs either. This is problematic since many of the study participants were obese and already had high LDL levels.

    As far as the symptoms, they lasted a lot longer than two weeks in the above mentioned Duke University study, which was conducted over a six month period. And, a couple of low carb participants had to drop out because of concerns about their high LDL levels. Another participant dropped out because he developed heart disease during the course of the diet.

    I'm not saying the body doesn't need fat. It does. But the 25-30 percent recommended allowance in moderate fat diets, or 10-15 percent recommended low fat diets for obese patients, is probably a lot safer than the 60 percent allowed by Atkins.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Jul 26, '04
  10. by   maire
    I just have to make a comment here. I've been reading this thread since it started, and I'm thrilled for those of you that have gone the Atkins/SBD/etc route and been successful. I'm not a big fan of meat, so after buying the Atkins book and reading it I decided it really wasn't for me, but on a whim I decided to try Suzanne's suggestions...whole grain bread...brown rice (I am an official addict of brown rice, thankyouverymuchsuzanne LOL)...lots and lots of veggies...I had maybe 10-15 pounds I wanted to lose but really wasn't trying...
    You want to talk about energy increase! Sheesh. I've exercised sporadically for years (I am so lazy ) but once I started to modify my way of eating I've actually started to look forward to moving and shaking - so MUCH energy! Instead of doing my Firm workout a couple times a month (LOL) I do it several times a week, or else I walk, or dance with my son ("The Wiggles" tapes are awesome for those of you with small children). The weight has started to come off, but it's not so much the pounds I've lost but my CLOTHES look EVER so much better now. I finally found I have one butt, not 2.

    Anyhoo, just wanted to share, and my personal kudos to Suzanne...it worked, thanks.

    A note: I have to make a confession, though...I still eat pizza. Bad Marianne. I love it. I just eat a huge salad first and then I only have room for one slice instead of devouring 3. LOL
  11. by   suzanne4
    Quote from maire
    I just have to make a comment here. I've been reading this thread since it started, and I'm thrilled for those of you that have gone the Atkins/SBD/etc route and been successful. I'm not a big fan of meat, so after buying the Atkins book and reading it I decided it really wasn't for me, but on a whim I decided to try Suzanne's suggestions...whole grain bread...brown rice (I am an official addict of brown rice, thankyouverymuchsuzanne LOL)...lots and lots of veggies...I had maybe 10-15 pounds I wanted to lose but really wasn't trying...
    You want to talk about energy increase! Sheesh. I've exercised sporadically for years (I am so lazy ) but once I started to modify my way of eating I've actually started to look forward to moving and shaking - so MUCH energy! Instead of doing my Firm workout a couple times a month (LOL) I do it several times a week, or else I walk, or dance with my son ("The Wiggles" tapes are awesome for those of you with small children). The weight has started to come off, but it's not so much the pounds I've lost but my CLOTHES look EVER so much better now. I finally found I have one butt, not 2.

    Anyhoo, just wanted to share, and my personal kudos to Suzanne...it worked, thanks.

    A note: I have to make a confession, though...I still eat pizza. Bad Marianne. I love it. I just eat a huge salad first and then I only have room for one slice instead of devouring 3. LOL

    Thank you.................the important thing is that you have to find what works for you, But isn't the change in the amount of energy amazing?
    And you definitely don't feel depirved of anything................
    Please keep me posted on how you are doing......
  12. by   Ortho_RN
    Ugh.. I have been wanting to try this diet but every time I think about doing it I talk myself out if it.. Basically b/c of the people that have done it who say the first few days to first week are really hard... Headaches, etc.. I have migraines as it is, and I definatley don't need more... But I really want to do something..

    So I think instead of doing the Atkins diet, per the book.. Im gonna cut out all the junk in my life... No more sodas (unless diet), white bread gone, white pasta gone (gonna be hard to get rid of that white stuff)... No more chips etc...

    So eggs are good on this diet correct??
  13. by   SCmomof3
    Just have a quick second but yes eggs are ok. Go to www.atkinsdietbulletinboard.com for an incredible amount of information, not to mention support and amazing success stories. Good luck.

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