Atkins and other High-Fat Diets...

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by chiffonade, Jan 1, 2002.

  1. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    I'm hoping more than a few token "hits" happen with this thread but I decided to file it in the appropriate place and hope for the best.

    My brother follows Atkins and that scares me to death. For people unfamiliar with this diet, it basically cuts out 95% of carbohydrate intake and increases protein and fat by huge margins. As far as I'm concerned (and most research points to this) any diet that instructs one to cut out all of any particular food group is considered a "fad" diet. If you're denying your body all of any one food group, there is a part of you that is not being nourished. Even sugar has its place!

    My brother cites weight loss (in poundage) as his defense of this diet. I pointed out that we sometimes don't know the long term effects of fad diets until 20 years later and used him as my case in point! He had a recent intestinal problem. The doctor diagnosed (I think it was) diverticulosis and he asked, "How could this be? I live on psyllium husk [Metamucil]!!" The doctor replied, "It's not your current lifestyle that causes this, it's how you lived as a kid." (He ate loads of cheese and Kentucky Fried Chicken - plus other fast and convenience foods.)

    He also defends the diet by claiming more doctors are recognizing it. I rebutted with "That's funny, I've never heard of a doctor who didn't scream 'Throw the book out!' upon hearing a patient is following Atkins."

    A mutual friend of ours did this diet and one weekend, she nearly passed out on the subway. The doctor said, "A quick exam is not telling me much, what are you doing...eating habits, exercise...?" When our friend confessed she was on Atkins, the doctor nearly burst a blood vessel. The doctor made it clear that she needed to put aside this high-fat diet for at least 2 days and consume carbohydrate. Some internal function was going kaflooey. The only fix was to consume carbohydrate. This very same girl once made a statement that caused my jaw to drop in disbelief. I made tuna salad and offered her some with no bread and she asked me what was in it. I rattled off the ingredients and she declined when I mentioned carrots. "Carrots are my killers." How could ANYONE make the sentence "Carrots are my killers" yet chow down to 4 cheeseburgers and feel good about it because there was no bun????

    I'd like to make this thread primarily about high-protein diets but if anyone else has had a terrible diet experience and wants to thrust out a red flag, please feel free to use this little corner to do so.

    I have to admit, I'm a statistic. I, like so many others, made a "resolution" to lose weight. I plan to do it in the most healthful way possible via: Balance, appropriate portions, adequate exercise, enough water and enough sleep. I believe that with some planning and a firm commitment, I will be able to accomplish this.

    Let's discuss...
     
  2. katherine

    katherine

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    I wouldn't worry too much about it, if he's otherwise in good health. Worrying won't help, and you can't nag common sense into him. Keep in mind that the diet is so unnaturally low in carbohydrates that eventually he'll develop extraordinary cravings for the food he's denying himself and be unable to stay on it any longer.
     
  3. irene

    irene

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    I am a doctor.

    My hair go to the ceiling when I hear about Atkinks diet.
    Althought I think that there is a new one, more dangerous. The Blood type diet of a certain doctor d'Adamo.

    There is no need for me to narrate you cases of people, especially of teens and young women that fill the emergency room everyday because of a wrong diet.

    Being slim and wanted is something that we all want but whatever we do, we cannot change our nature and our body type.
    I am not fat, but I will never have a model's body however hard I try and starve.

    I strongly suggest to people to forget about diets. A balanced nutrition with A LOT OF EXERCISE is what we all need. Balanced nutrition and SMALL QUANTITIES OF FOOD.
    Eat everything but in small quantities.

    Of course in case of diabetes or heart disease a dietician is necessary.

    Loose weight but in a healthy way. Let this be the motto of 2002
     
  4. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    What's healthful for one may be unhealthful for another. Even Dr. Atkins doesn't try to insist it's the right plan for everyone. I, for one, gain weight on any carb-rich plan, even if it is calorie-reduced.

    I have been limiting carbs for over 2 years, and have had good lipid results because of it. I recently regained a few pounds and decided to add more carbs in the forms of whole grains and fruits. I promptly put on 3 pounds in 5 days, although I followed a plan of portion control. I have posted here on several occasions about limited-carb plans (check old posts on this topic) and continue to hope that people will keep an open mind about this and any eating plan. I know a couple of hundred people on carb-restricted plans through another board on which I am a moderator. In the real world, do not go out of their way to eat fat; rather, they seek protein. A close reading of the Atkins plans and others will set you straight on this point. I respectfully recommend that you do wider reading and investigation than you have done before making a blanket statement about carb-restricted plans. BTW, I am not on Atkins, although my physician-brother is.
     
  5. melina

    melina

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    Being dogmatic is not very wise anyway.
    Some people apart from a good program , they need psychological support.
    That's why I think a dietician is usefull in every case of a diet.
    I think also that is not very wise , when it comes to diets, to stick on a case we know and drag general conclusions.
    In my opinion the most succesful programs were those of Weight Watchers.
    But this is only my opinion.

    :)
     
  6. svadhisthana

    svadhisthana

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    It seems like the matter of diet and weight control has become one of those topics that fires everyone up. Not unlike religion and politics. ;) If you ask 10 people how to lose weight you'll get at least 10 different answers. The important thing is to choose a diet plan with the help of your physician.

    It is also important to remember that not every "low carb" diet is the same. There are a multitude of books on that very topic that take diverse approaches. Some safe, some not.

    I personally would not use a low carb diet to lose weight. I know (from experience) that I need a low fat, high fiber diet to feel and look my best. I also know (from reading her posts) that Mezzaluna is an erudite woman who would not do anything as a "fad" and if she says it works for her and is safe for her I believe her. This is one of those times that many of us will have to agree to disagree. But, that is just my opinion. :D
     
  7. chefboy2160

    chefboy2160

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    About 18 years ago I tried Dr. Atkins diet . This diet in order to be effective requires you to consume 0 carbs . Protien and fat are your 2 food groups . I lost about 15 pounds in 3 weeks but I felt horrible all the time . I tried it one more time that year with the same results . On this diet the body goes into ketosis on the third day and this is not healthy at all .
    Now for the last 4 years I have been a Food Service Manager
    in a hospital and I share an office with a dietician . Also last year
    I aquired diabetes . I have realy been learning a lot about diet and food and its work to change the habits of a lifetime . To enjoy life in a healthy fashion I must make these changes and like the doctor said , balanced nutrition , small quantities ,lots of water ,
    and exercise are the keys to staying healthy . Also you can eat whatever you want but like the Doc said in small portions .
    Of course thats just my opinion..............;)
     
  8. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Thank you for your kind words, Svad. Chefboy, I'd also feel lousy on the original Atkins; if fact, I don't do well on the current Atkins. After lots of tweaking and tinkering, I'm still not "there" on what foods I can eat, how often, and in what amounts. Hey- that's life.
     
  9. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    I understand the logic behind the statement "What's healthy for one is not healthy for another" but there is no denying that eventually all that fat is going to rot away a person's insides.

    Lean protein like chicken, turkey and fish are indisputable building blocks on which to base a protein-rich diet, but this is not what Atkins prescribes. To show an advertisement for a diet on TV that depicts a plate heaped with bacon cheeseburgers (bunless) as healthy is a downright lie. Later life problems like gout and liver ailments are pretty much in the cards for someone who ingests that much meat and fat and cuts out the more healthy components (like vegetables which make up a small fraction of the Atkins diet).

    I spent a miserable 4 days on this diet thinking I'd give it a try. Let's just say I spent a great deal of time in the bathroom. It took me days to get back to normal. Also, the idea that I could never again eat a portion of pasta or a bagel or a potato depressed me more than I could say.

    If someone's body reacts adversely to carbohydrates, some dietary considerations should definitely be made. There are people who are wheat sensitive and have to work around this. However, prescribing a huge amount of meat and fat to the general public, then telling them they'll feel great, lose weight and have no adverse affects to their body, is absolutely criminal.
     
  10. marmalady

    marmalady

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    I'm so glad so many of you feel the way I do about the Atkins diet! For all the same reasons - the only beings who can consume an all protein diet are carnivores - and even they get some carbs from the vegetable matter in the stomachs of their prey!

    I really believe in 'all things in moderation'. I'm trying to shed the weight I gained while my son was in hospital and rehab, and during his first year home - it really was mostly psychological for me. Every thing else in my life crashed with his accident, and the only pleasurable thing I had left was eating - so I did! That, plus the combo of being at the hospital all day, then coming home and eating right before I went to bed, ballooned me up 20 pounds over. But one of my new year's resolutions is to get rid of that! Starting a new job at the end of the month as kitchen manager in a new restaurant, I'm sure will help shed some of that, as I'll also be way more active!
     
  11. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    I think some users of this diet mistake quick poundage drops for "healthy results." Nothing could be further from the truth. The only way quick drops in weight can be anywhere near healthy is if they occur at a spa where lowfat, sensible eating is the rule of the day, you get daily exercise and doctors are all over you. These are highly controlled, closely monitored situations. For the lay-person, a manageable weight loss of (maximum) 2-3 lbs. a week is more desirable. (A quick loss of water may yield an early weight loss of say 6, 7, 8 lbs. but this won't be the trend.) If you replace high-fat eating with lower fat foods that you enjoy, the easier it is to create healthy habits and stick to them. In other words, if you don't like tofu, don't try to make a difficult change in your diet with this as your main source of nourishment. (Talk about setting yourself up for failure!) If, however, you like boneless turkey breast or fish, use these as your segue into healthier eating. Just don't deep fry them ;).

    Training your body to do without certain food groups does not negate your body's need for these foods. With time, the negative effects of fad diets show up. With extraordinarily low amounts of fat, you can have hair loss and terrible skin problems but with the huge amounts of fat prescribed by Atkins, the symptoms probably won't be so external.

    If someone uses Atkins (or any other fad diet for that matter) for quick weight loss because they need visual results - and it's for short term use, that's a "quick fix." It's what you choose to do once you've achieved these short-term results that dictate whether or not you'll keep weight off and stay healthy. Touting high-fat as an acceptable lifestyle will prove to be its own demise in time.

    What about those two jerks who thought that could not drink water with a meal? Egads, what passes for credentialed information these days...

    I'm dusting off the spa books. I actually have a Canyon Ranch book that includes a low fat Pumpkin Creme Brulee recipe. If I can include creme brulee in my life, I might just be able to win this fight.

    :bounce:
     
  12. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Well, I am a doctor and insulin dependent. Ever since I undertook breadmaking one year ago, I've lost weight - especially during the last 6 weeks after increasing my jogging routine by approximately 1 mile. Despite an increase in bread and butter intake, blood tests revealed that my cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL's and LDL's have decreased (that's DECREASED) BY 25%; and, those values all fall within the 'healthy' range. I feel more energetic than ever before.

    Homemade bread really satiates me; very little of it fills me up. I eat less food, especially meat, overall. Thank god for homemade bread.

    PLEASE PLEASE BEAR IN MIND THAT A HIGH PROTEIN DIET IS HARMFUL. That diet taxes the liver due to increased production of urea; and it wears on the kidney tubules, those microfine, fragile filtering mechanisms. Americans have the highest rate of kidney failure worldwide.

    :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :p :p :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
     
  13. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    Thanks so much for confirming my hypothesis on the long-term effects of a high-fat diet. I applied common sense and deduced that the organs most responsible for filtering would be the most hard hit.

    Congratulations on your bread-baking hobby. There is something sensual and fulfilling about kneading bread to that baby's bottom smoothness. Not to mention that you control what goes into the bread and kneading is a wonderful way to slam out any aggressions! When I first moved here to CO from NY, my husband embarked on a mission to provide me with great bread. What passes for bread out here, I wouldn't use to scrub the walls even though it's quite spongy. I'm thrilled to say he succeeded and now his bread is the envy of our town.

    My concern is that for every doctor like you who speaks up about the perils of high fat ingestion, there will be another who cites a study that disputes it. Many of these "studies" are funded by the creators of high-fat diets, so what do you think the outcome would be?? The cigarette companies do this all the time...fund studies that say cigarettes don't hurt you. We all know what a pile of cow dung that is.

    I type this message as one sweaty heap. I just blew the dust off my aerobics tape and slid it into my VCR. No, I didn't do this joyfully and with much glee, rather I grumbled and groaned about it. However, I bucked up, grabbed myself a huge glass of water and dressed properly for exercise.

    I'm happy to say that it was definitely not as bad as I anticipated at the outset. Yes, I sucked wind occasionally but I combatted this by modifying the routine at the times I felt the most taxed. For example, if a higher impact portion of the routine left me winded, I marched in place for about 10 beats before resuming.

    We're going to the supermarket later to restock on healthier items. Even my husband, Zombiechef, is on this bandwagon. I tried in the past to change our eating patterns but he's feeling a bit "poochy" after the holidays, so now it's full steam ahead. Remember, any change of eating habits begins in the supermarket. If the pint of Ben & Jerry's never gets into your cart, it can't be applied to your @$$.
     
  14. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    I m glad that doctors stress the need to exercise!

    Exercise-exercise-exercise :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
     
  15. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    Just for giggles I did a Google search on "anti-atkins." I went to some of the hits I got and was astounded at the ferver with which some people defend this diet!! It's incredible! No matter how many doctors point out that certain necessary functions of your body require carbohydrates, they continue to point to the scale in defense.

    I'm sure the people who extolled the virtues of Phen/Fen swore it was the answer to all their prayers. Now many of them are dead of heart valve problems. Thank God that happened as quickly as it did - and didn't take 20 years to surface. Can you imagine how many more people might have succumbed had more begun the therapy?

    What I'm finding is that even those who think Atkins works admit that it's not a feasible permanent lifestyle change. Even more admit that as soon as they indulge in the smallest amount of carbohydrate, the pounds come bouncing back.
     
  16. melina

    melina

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    It's a heated subject ,but you seem very passionated too chiffonade.

    I mean, at the end we are adults. We try to get informed, we try to hear to what the doctors have to say and we decide.

    No need to take things so personally.

    I think:)
     
  17. anneke

    anneke

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    What alarms me with the multitude of radical diets out there and the lack of clear and concise information available (how many people know how to interpret clinical testing?) to the public is that there are very few people that you can really rely on to help you sort through this maze.

    No offense to the doctors on this board, but my family, friends and myself have all had our share of irresponsible doctors. Many have no clue what diet - if at all - you should be on. If you express concern over a drug you are on, they give you the party line, that is, whatever the drug companies tell them to say. They'll put you through a series of tests and not even look at the results if some of your symptoms are going away. Sorry, I'm venting, there's a long list of horror stories that I could share but won't because it would be too long and I don't want to discourage anyone from seeing their doctor regularly..

    Some doctors, I would swear don't remember their basic nutrition classes. Frankly, if I want to know whow to take care of my health, my doctor is the last person I would consult.

    Bottom line is, we are forced to take our health in our own hands. Unfortunately, we are less likely to be objective about our own health, especially when it involves body-image and self-esteem. I've been lucky enough never to have had a weight problem. But I have seen how greed and low self-esteem combine to desastrous results, and I wish we all could just settle on ONE notion of what common-sense health management meant.

    Atkins is a perfect example in my mind, of someone who has capitalised on the public's insecurity. You can't tell me that after selling 10 million copies of his book and having prescribed his diet for 25 years that he still hasn't produced a study to confirm the results. Even if it is the miracle diet, that's pretty dispicable; he's gambling with your life.

    Mezzaluna, I think you are taking a very responsible approach and using common sense. Bravo. We all know that North Americans consume far too much carbos. The fact is we consume the wrong carbs, and no responsible diet should tell you to eliminate fruits, vegetables and grains. Going from one extreme to the other simply can't be healthy.
     
  18. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    A bruised and battered Mezzaluna thanks you, Anneke.
     
  19. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    Scooted right over that...I hope your son is doing well. He'll need you strong, so make sure you stay that way. Also, a 20 lb. weight gain after a traumatic event is definitely not insurmountable. Just think of the weight loss effort as your therapy ;).
     
  20. shimmer

    shimmer

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    I tried Atkins. I tried CALP. Never for very long, because I felt absolutely gross and my house smelled like bacon eternally.

    One of my Mom's best friends suffered kidney failure followed by a very difficult kidney transplant and recovery, because of following the Atkins Plan. She now also has to deal with a different type of Diabetes, the one that is the opposite of having too MUCH insulin. Her doctor blames her diet entirely for her kidney failure.

    As far as unhealthy diets go, I would like to point out that people suffering from anorexia can also point to the scale as evidence that their diet works, but we could hardly use that as a logical defense.

    On the other hand, I do know so many people who feel they have benefited from low-carb eating. (I think they also think it is an adventure to go to a restaurant and try to find a meal without carbs).

    I once lost 40 pounds. It was simple. I ate only when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, because I love to eat more than anything. I eat when I'm emotional, I eat for entertainment, I eat for socializing, etc. But when I really listened to my BODY and what it NEEDED, I ate about 1/5 of what I consume otherwise, and the pounds dropped away. It didn't matter what I ate as much as how much. And if I only ate chocolate for one day, inevitably the next day when I got hungry, I knew I wanted salad. I think our bodies are made this way for a reason. Pay attention!!! Be creative by responding to what you need! And I will try to do the same!!

    ~~Shimmer~~:bounce: :bounce:
    Who will be doing aerobics in the morning because you have inspired me!!!