The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving. Because of this, as we research for our daily content on food trucks, food carts and street food, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know.
We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in our section titled “Did You Know?”
For today’s Did You Know we will look at the Atkins Diet.
The Facts: The Atkins Diet, officially called the Atkins Nutritional Approach, is a low-carbohydrate diet promoted by Robert Atkins from a research paper he read in The Journal of the American Medical Association published by Alfred W. Pennington, titled “Weight Reduction”, published in 1958.
- The diet involves limited consumption of carbohydrates to switch the body’s metabolism from metabolizing glucose as energy over to converting stored body fat to energy.
- This process, called ketosis, begins when insulin levels are low; in normal humans, insulin is lowest when blood glucose levels are low. Reduced insulin levels induce lipolysis, which consumes fat to produce ketone bodies. On the other hand, caloric carbohydrates affect the body by increasing blood sugar after consumption.
- Despite being high in fat, it does not raise LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol on average, although this does happen in a subset of individuals.
- Groups such as the National Academy of Sciences, AMA and the ADA oppose the use of the Atkins Diet.
The Atkins diet is split into 4 different phases:
- Phase 1 (Induction). Under 20 grams of carbs per day for 2 weeks. Eat high-fat, high-protein, with low-carb vegetables like leafy greens. This kick-starts the weight loss.
- Phase 2 (Balancing). Slowly add more nuts, low-carb vegetables and small amounts of fruit back to your diet.
- Phase 3 (Fine-Tuning). When you are very close to your goal weight, add more carbs to your diet until weight loss slows down.
- Phase 4 (Maintenance). Here you can eat as many healthy carbs as your body can tolerate without regaining weight.
Foods eaten while on Atkins diet:
- Meats: Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, bacon and others.
- Fatty Fish and Seafood: Salmon, trout, sardines, etc.
- Eggs: The healthiest eggs are Omega-3 enriched or pastured.
- Low-Carb Vegetables: Kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus and others.
- Full-Fat Dairy: Butter, cheese, heavy cream.
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Healthy Fats: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and avocado oil.
Avoided foods on Atkins diet:
- Sugar: Soft drinks, fruit juices, cakes, candy, ice cream, etc.
- Grains: Wheat, rye, barley, rice.
- Vegetable Oils: Soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil and a few others.
- Trans Fats: Usually found in processed foods with the word “hydrogenated” on the ingredients list.
- “Diet” and “Low-Fat” Foods: These are usually very high in sugar.
- High-Carb Vegetables: Carrots, turnips, etc (induction only).
- High-Carb Fruits: Bananas, apples, oranges, pears, grapes (induction only).
- Starches: Potatoes, sweet potatoes (induction only).
- Legumes: Lentils, beans, chickpeas, etc (induction only).
Atkins Facts We Missed
Please feel free to let us know if we may have missed some Atkins Diet facts in the comment section below. We always love to add to these lists. If we can verify that the facts is just that, a fact, we will give the reader credit in the article.
Reference: Wikipedia: Facts about the Atkins Diet
Please Note: We do not recommend following this or any diet, please consult your physician before attempting.