All About: The Atkins Diet

Wooden table with carrots, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and a knife

The Atkins Diet is a trendy, fad diet that claims it will help you rapidly lose weight. But does it work? Is it safe? Learn all about that as well as a shopping list with the ingredients in the Atkins Diet.

What is the Atkins Diet? How does it work?

The Atkins Diet is a diet that recommends low intake of carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and rice in favor of higher fat or protein foods like meat, nuts, or dairy products.

The Atkins Diet is one of the oldest fad diets and has somewhat changed over the years. Robert Atkins published his first book about dieting in 1972. Eventually his recommendations became known as the Atkins Diet and experienced a surge of popularity in the early 2000s. Their current recommendations can be found on their How it Works page. They also brand themselves as "the more flexible Keto Diet".

The claim of the Atkins Diet is that high-carbohydrate diets result in sugar "highs" and sugar "lows", which makes people more prone to overeating. Alternatively, its claimed that low-carbohydrate diets burn fat as fuel, which results in steady energy throughout the day.

Does the Atkins Diet work?

There are many mixed opinions on whether the Atkins Diet works or not. Our opinion is that there is some merit to avoiding carbohydrates, particularly if they're highly processed or pure sweeteners with no other nutrients like sugar. Some of the benefits of avoiding carbohydrates:

  • High-protein foods typically have far fewer calories per serving than high carbohydrate foods, which helps avoid over-eating.
  • High-carbohydrate foods generally have a higher glycemic index than high-fat or high-protein foods, which spikes insulin and makes you hungry.

For these reasons the Atkins Diet might help you lose weight. However, we also believe that maintaining a low-carbohydrate diet is unsustainable and will make you moody and miserable. Furthermore, having some carbohydrates are absolutely vital for ideal health, particularly after vigorous exercise.

Is the Atkins Diet healthy or unhealthy? Is it safe?

Always trust the judgment of doctors over opinions on the Internet.

We believe some of the concepts of the Atkins Diet are generally healthy. For example, it's great to limit your intake of sugars and sweeteners. It's also ideal to avoid excess processed carbohydrates like pasta, bread, potato chips, and crackers.

However, we believe any extremely, low-carbohydrate diet is unhealthy as carbohydrates are a vital nutrient for life. Also, the Atkins Diet has recommended unlimited amounts of dairy products and meat, which can contribute to other health issues.

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