Encyclopedia > Atkins Nutritional Approach

  Article Content

Atkins Nutritional Approach

The Atkins Nutritional Approach, popularly known as the Atkins Diet, is a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet popularized by Dr. Robert Atkins in a series of books, starting with Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution. It has been the subject of heated debate in medical circles for three decades. [1] (http://www.lowcarb.ca/) The Atkins diet has generally been considered by most medical and nutritional experts to be unsound, even bogus, so much so that until recently no serious research has been done on it or other low carbohydrate diets. However a few small research projects, as well as a great deal of anecdotal evidence, have shown such diets to help participants lose weight. Two large-scale studies are planned, one funded by Atkins's nonprofit foundation.

A research study carried out by the Weight and Eating Disorders Program at the University of Pennsylvania, reported in May 2003 that the Atkin's diet raised levels of HDL cholesterol, known as good cholesterol, by an average of 11 per cent compared with only 1.6 per cent in conventional dieters after one year.

Fatty triglycerides were slashed by 17 per cent after one year on the Atkin's diet compared with no significant change in people on the high carbohydrate diet.

Weight loss was also statistically greater in Atkin's dieters after three and six months compared with conventional dieters (although this did not remain statistically significant after a year), in the study of 63 obese men and women.(See New Scientist May 21 2003)


The primary objective of the diet is weight loss for those who are overweight. Atkins claims that if people restrict their intake of carbohydrates, their bodies will enter a state of ketosis and will begin burning fat. He recommends a diet high in protein and fat with little or no carbohydrate. The main advantage of the diet, according to Atkins, is that it reduces your appetite, while a high-carbohydrate diet causes your body to produce large quantities of insulin which stimulates your appetite.

Dr. Robert Eckel of the American Heart Association[?] says that high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets put people at risk for heart disease. [2] (http://www.lowcarb.ca/articlesb/article332)

Atkins claims that insulin is a bad thing to have, and that ketogenesis[?] is desirable. Scientific data shows that this is not true. One only has to look at the consequences of ketosis in an untreated Type I diabetic -- metabolic acidosis[?] and low insulin levels are very dangerous for diabetics, as they are for anyone. The Atkins diet will cause this type of ketoacidosis[?].


  • New England Journal of Medicine: (vol 348, p 2082)

See: Diet, Dieting, List of diets, Quackery


All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article

... most famously Jason. Aeson sent Jason to Chiron to be educated while Pelias, paranoid that he would be overthrown, was warned by an oracle to beware a man wearing one ...