Feasibility of the Atkins Diet

The Free essays given on our site were donated by anonymous users and should not be viewed as samples of our custom writing service. You are welcome to use them to inspire yourself for writing your own term paper. If you need a custom term paper related to the subject of Health or Feasibility of the Atkins Diet, you can hire a professional writer here in just a few clicks.
Abstract Today more than ever, people are tremendously preoccupied with their physical appearance and many go to drastic measures to sculpt and shape their bodies to their personal ideal. To most people this means dieting. Over the years many dieting trends have come and gone, from starvation diets to diet pills. But the Atkins Diet has steadily gained a large following since Dr. Robert C. Atkins published his first book, Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution, in 1972. Besides being touted as an effective, safe method of weight loss, the Atkins Diet also claims to have significant healing abilities to common ailments such as joint and muscular pains, fatigue, Attention-Deficit Disorder, headaches, and heart disease. Dr. Atkins also claims that his diet is one of the best forms of preventive medicine. Followers of this diet claim to suffer less illness than most people. As Dr. Atkins has modified and redefined his diet over the years, it has become the basis for treatment at the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in New York City, which he founded in 1970. Despite the claims made by Dr. Atkins and his colleagues, and the many testimonials of people who seem to have had success with this diet, it is still hotly debated whether it is truly a healthy and viable alternative to lose weight and maintain weight loss. It is also still a matter of opinion whether or not this diet is capable of the healing abilities it claims. Is it the current mindset that only low-fat diets can be successful and healthy that causes the mainstream to readily dismiss the Atkins Diet? Whatever the case, the Atkins Diet has thrived and become more popular as the years go by, and can no longer be dismissed as just another diet fad. Glossary Fructose A six-carbon ketose sugar with the same configuration at its chiral atoms as that of glucose. It is the most rapidly absorbed simple sugar and is sweeter than sucrose. Hyperinsulinism Abnormally increased secretion of insulin by the pancreatic islets, leading to hypoglycemia. Ketosis A disordered metabolic state occurring in starvation, acute alcoholism, and uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, characterized by the accumulation of ketone bodies in cells, extra cellular fluid, and plasma. Maltose The disaccharide of glucose containing an 1-4 linkage. It is a hydrolysis product of starch and glycogen. Mannitol The alcohol formed by chemical reduction of mannose. Sorbitol The alcohol formed by reduction of the -CHO group of glucose to - CH2 OH. It is used as a sweetening agent. Introduction People have always looked to dieting as the most important factor to weight loss and good health. This has lead to the development of many different diet trends over the years, from miracle pills to diets that claimed to help you lose fifty pounds in a month. As our society becomes more and more concerned with physical appearance and increasingly health conscious, much effort is put into creating new methods of dieting that will help achieve these goals. While the face of dieting and health is constantly shifting, there is one diet that has steadily gained popularity over the past few decades, and now seems on the verge of being looked at as a possible alternative to the traditional high-carbohydrate/low-fat diet. The Atkins Diet, despite being negatively criticized by mainstream media, has been taken up by many different types of people, whether in an effort to lose weight, achieve good health, or simply because of medical reasons. The Atkins Medical Center for Complementary Medicine in New York City, which was founded by Dr. Robert C. Atkins, the creator of this diet, uses the diet as the foundation of all its medical treatment. Dr. Atkins, along with other supporters of this diet, believes that the Atkins Diet is not only the best way to lose weight, but also the best treatment against many of the common ailments that plague people. History Dr. Robert C. Atkins, founder and medical director of the Atkins Center, graduated from the University of Michigan and Cornell University Medical School, and has specialized in cardiology and internal medicine for over 30 years. The Atkins Centers mission is to first attempt to address major health disorders through vita- nutrient therapies, diet modifications, and lifestyle changes before patients have to resort to prescription drugs or surgical procedures. Over 99 percent of people who followed the diet to lose weight did so without going hungry and with increased energy. (33) The Atkins Diet When starting the diet you consume as little as 650 to 1,000 calories daily. The body uses about 2,000 calories each day, so the extra 1,000 to 1,400 calories will come directly from the fatty acids stored in the body. (Ezrin and Kowalski 155) Take no more than 40 grams of carbohydrate daily ( See fig. 1.0) Daily caloric intake: 650- 1,000 for women 850- 1,000 for men Daily protein 55- 75 grams Fat Facts In the U.S., fat constitutes 40 to 42 percent of total calories The American Heart Association recommends people should consume no more than 30 percent fat The Atkins Diet recommends people consume 25 percent and as low as 20 percent fat One gram of fat contains twice as many calories as a gram of protein or carbohydrate (Ezrin and Kowalski 64, 134, 214) (Cox and Brusseau 47) Food Statistics There are a wide variety of foods that can be eaten on this diet. Listed below are some of the foods that can be eaten and foods to avoid. An 8-ounce glass of milk contains 12 grams of carbohydrate. The milk group is eliminated during the weight loss phase. (Ezrin and Kowalski 54) A serving of any fruit contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate and must be strictly limited during weight loss. (Ezrin and Kowalski 54) Chicken without skin provides 173 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and no carbohydrate. With skin it climbs to 222 calories and 10.9 grams of fat. (Ezrin and Kowalski 55) Oil and vinegar dressing contains from 0.6 grams of carbohydrate per tablespoon to 6.6 grams per tablespoon. (Ezrin and Kowalski 58) Vita-Nutrients 90 percent of vita-nutrients are competitors to pharmaceutical drugs. (Atkins 15) Magnesium is the hearts most important mineral, yet 80 percent of Americans fail to consume the daily requirement. (Atkins 85) 80 to 95 percent of nutrients in food are lost by the time it reaches your kitchen. (Atkins 76) B1 taken daily expands the learning capacity up to 25 percent. (Atkins 43) Calcium which is one of the body's most abundantly stored dietary components which slows bone loss by 30- 50 percent. Lesser Known Facts People who eat infrequently (one or two large meals daily) put on more weight than people who eat more often did. (Cox and Brusseau 18) The slower you lose weight, the more fat you lose rather than muscle tissue. (Cox and Brusseau 23) 80 to 90 percent of clients that go to Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, or Jenny Craig gain back the weight lost. (Cox and Brusseau 32) 34 million people in the U.S. aged 20 to 75 are at least 20 percent over the ideal weight. (Ezrin and Kowalski 102) People 10 percent and up of being overweight increase the chance of heart disease by two. (Ezrin and Kowalski 65) What is the Atkins Diet The Atkins Diet is a nutritional philosophy that focuses on the consumption of nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods and vita-nutrient supplementation. The diet restricts processed/refined carbohydrates (which make up over 50% of many people's diets), such as high-sugar foods, breads, pasta, cereal, and starchy vegetables. The worst of these offenders are sugar and white flour. Core vita-nutrient supplementation includes a full-spectrum multi-vitamin and an essential oils/fatty acid formula. This diet does not seek to completely remove carbohydrates from your diet, only stop the intake of refined carbohydrates found in processed foods. Diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, and low-fat processed foods increase your body's production of insulin. When insulin is at high levels in the body, the food you eat can be readily converted into body fat, in the form of triglycerides. On top of this, high triglyceride levels in the body are one of the leading factors of heart disease. Even worse, high carbohydrate meals leave a person less satisfied than those that contain adequate fat levels; so you eat more and get hungrier sooner. For example, think about how much pasta you could eat in a meal, and how hungry you are a couple of hours later. Sugar One of the worst types of carbohydrates a person can ingest is sugar. It contains absolutely no vitamins or minerals and, since it is 100% carbohydrate, it must be metabolized immediately. The stores of nutrients in your body are set to work converting the sugar, and similar forms like glucose and fructose, into ready energy, depleting your body in the process. Despite popular opinion, sugar is actually an energy drainer. You may feel a sudden burst of energy after consuming high amounts of sugar, but it passes through your body quickly, leaving you feeling drained. White Flour White flour is nearly as bad as sugar. Because it has had nearly every nutritional aspect of it removed in the refining process, it is transformed into almost 100% carbohydrate. This causes the same effects in your body as sugar does. When consumed with sugar on a regular basis, the body is forced into a constant state of nutritional deficiency. Major Benefits You will start to burn fat for energy because carbohydrates are the primary energy source of the human body. A person rarely uses their secondary energy source, body fat, unless carbohydrate consumption is restricted. This forces the body to burn its own fat for energy. The result of this is a lifetime of body fat burning, which is the goal of the majority of people attempting to lose weight. You won't feel hungry between meals. The number one problem most people face when trying to lose weight is their constant obsession with food. This is usually caused by blood sugar fluctuations, which are aggravated by carbohydrate consumption, especially refined carbohydrates. By cutting down on carbohydrates, your blood sugar level will stay at a more constant level throughout the day. This will eliminate false hunger pains that occur between meals. Your overall health will improve and you'll feel better. Most toxins taken into the human body are stored in fat cells. By forcing your body to burn stored fat, you cause it to clean toxins out of your system also. When this is combined with the benefits of stable blood sugar levels, many common ailments you have been experiencing could well be alleviated. Fatigue, irritability, depression, headaches, and many forms of joint and muscular pain simply vanish. You will also see a significant improvement in your blood profile, (including cholesterol and blood pressure levels). These things all lead to better health and well being-¬Ěsomething most people strive for. Positive Feedback At the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine, over 60,000 people have been treated using the Atkins Diet as the basis for treatment. According to the center, these patients experience all the beneficial effects detailed above, as well as a lower or completely eradicated dependence on prescription drugs. Despite the mainstream media's continued assertion that fat consumption is at the root America's growing weight problem, fat consumption has declined in the past few decades while carbohydrate consumption has skyrocketed. This is due to the idea that the low-fat/high carbohydrate diet is the only possible way for every person to achieve good health. This is simply not the case, however. Over the past thirty years obesity has risen to affect 33% of Americans, up from 25%. Heart disease, which accounted for 40% of all deaths in the early 1970's, now is responsible for 50% of all deaths. And, diabetes is beginning to afflict a greater number of Americans than ever before. Recently, there are numerous cases of children now contracting adult-onset diabetes. Hypertension, chronic fatigue, and attention-deficit disorder (A.D.D.) have now become recognized medical conditions. All of these conditions are not linked by the amount of fat in a person's diet, but by the amount of carbohydrates a person consumes. The average person now consumes over 150 pounds of sugar a year, up from less than ten pounds in the 19th century. This causes blood sugar disturbances and insulin disorders due to the excessive intake of refined carbohydrates. Even though medical and nutritional journals are filled with studies documenting the body's requirement of essential fatty and amino acids, it has never been shown that there is such a thing as an essential carbohydrate. Despite this, the FDA recommends an average of sixteen servings per day, leading people to further believe that it is necessary to maintain a low fat/high carbohydrate diet. The Atkins Diet does not seek to eliminate the consumption of carbohydrates. Instead, it focuses on very limited consumption of the types of carbohydrates that tend to spike blood sugar levels the most, such as non-whole grain breads, pastas, refined sugar products, juices, and high/sugar starchy fruits and vegetables. A person on the Atkins Diet determines their personal sensitivity to carbohydrates as a way to manage their weight and health for life. The Truth About High Protein Diets The resurgence of high-protein diets is based primarily on the misconception that carbohydrates alone induce weight gain. All of the best-selling high-protein diet books insist that carbohydrates and insulin are the true villains in the battle of the bulge. These programs claim that eating carbohydrates triggers the secretion of insulin, which causes carbohydrates to be taken to the cells and stored as fat instead of being used for energy. Unfortunately, these claims rely on unpublished research or studies that have not been peer reviewed or controlled, meaning they have little respect in the scientific community. The truth is, all calories from food are converted into glucose to be stored for energy. Glucose is stored as fat only when you have consumed excess calories. So it's your overall calorie intake and not carbohydrates that cause fat to be stored. And besides, foods that are high in protein, such as meats and cheeses, are also high in saturated fat, which we now know will increase blood cholesterol levels if eaten in excess. High-protein diets have always had the reputation of being able to produce quick weight loss. However, quick doesn't mean lasting and most of the initial loss from protein diets is water rather than fat. People who manage to stay on high-protein diets also lose weight because these diets restrict carbohydrate calories such as fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, and legumes. By eliminating so many foods from your diet, you automatically reduce your calorie intake, resulting in a negative calorie balance and therefore weight loss. Unfortunately, you also reduce your intake of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. If you look at populations where people have good health and a long lifespan, you'll find that their eating habits support the wisdom of a high-carbohydrate, moderate-protein diet that is also low in fat. The Japanese eat a diet abundant in rice and vegetables with only small amounts of protein and have a very low incidence of heart disease. If you want to manage your weight and your blood cholesterol level, skip the fad diets and stick with a low fat diet, which accounts for less than 30% of your total calories. If you have heart disease, a diet less than 25% fat calories is probably to your advantage. Make sure your diet includes plenty of whole grains, beans, cereals, low fat and non-fat dairy products and at least five servings of fruits and vegetables everyday. Protein foods should be limited to approximately six ounces per day, preferably of lean meat, poultry, fish, low fat dairy products and vegetarian sources. The recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein for the "average" adult man and woman is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight (this does vary). (Drummond 44-45) To determine your protein needs: You must first calculate your calorie needs. If you are overweight, multiply your current weight by 10. If you are at your desired weight, multiply your current weight by 15. Example: 160 lbs. x 10 = 1600 kcal/day To find your protein needs multiply your caloric needs by 12% (.12). Divide that number by 4 to see how many grams of protein you should consume daily. Example: 1600 kcal/day X .12 = 192. Divide by 4 calories per gram = 48 grams of protein. (Atkins 98) Protein Problems Caused by Atkins Diet When protein is used to supply energy (in low carbohydrate diets) muscle, which is made up of protein, is broken down and then the body is unable to repair and build tissue. Because proteins are made of long chains of amino acids, the loss of protein also depletes the body of amino acids, which are building blocks for everything from your hair to your DNA. (Drummond 48-52) Even though the body will burn much of its proteins away, the Atkins Diet causes excessive protein intake. If these proteins are not burned at an even level through a moderate exercise program tailored to the individual, protein build-up may occur. This can cause calcium to be lost in the urine, which drains the bones of their vital mineral. Vitamin B6 deficiency could also occur. Very high cholesterol levels can also if people are not carefully monitoring this. (Atkins 103-106) Ketosis If your diet is low in carbohydrates the body burns fat or protein for its energy source. When it burns fat for energy it does not complete the process and causes a condition called Ketosis which is characterized by the byproducts of fat breakdown. Ketones accumulating in the blood in excessive levels can cause the blood to become to acidic, which effects transportation of oxygen in the blood. If not monitored carefully through the use of ketonin sticks, which measure ketones in urine, dehydration is possible, and in a worst case scenario, a fatal coma. (Drummond 81-83) Insulin "Understanding your insulin is the key to understanding your overweight"(Atkins and Westherwood 144). It plays a large role in your metabolism. Insulin, a hormone, is produced in the pancreas in small clusters or cells called Langerhans. It is sugar (glucose) that is used in our body to produce energy, if it is not used it will turn into fat and be stored. After eating something sweet or something that will trigger its senses your pancreas will release insulin. Your body will also release insulin when it gets low in the blood. Each food that makes your blood sugar fluctuate a lot (and the insulin floods your system) aggravates your permanent sensitivity to carbohydrates. So the more sugar you eat in your lifetime, the more abnormal your response to sugar becomes. (Atkins and Westherwood 157-171) If you are allergic to carbohydrates "carbohydrates taken into your body release a flood of surplus insulin in your blood stream"(Atkins 201). This means your body will overreact and produce more fat. (Atkins and Westherwood 157-171) Other problems- low blood sugar can also exaggerate or even falsely mimic symptoms of: Migraine Schizophrenia Heart Disease Manic-Depression Hysteria Epilepsy Brain deterioration in old age Ulcers It may also contribute to a child's learning disability or hyperactivity. (Atkins 62-65) Appendix A Commonly Asked Questions 1. Is it true that the Atkins Diet works because it's a low-calorie diet? Ask anyone on The Atkins Diet and they will tell you this is completely false. While some Atkins Dieters eat fewer calories than before, it's not because The Atkins Diet is restrictive or unduly limiting of food intake (as is true for every low-fat nutritional philosophy), it's because people are generally less hungry and are less obsessed with food on The Atkins Diet. This occurs for two reasons: 1. Stable blood sugar throughout the day ensures that you will have fewer food cravings or false hunger pains. 2. The food you eat on The Atkins Diet (meat, fish, cheese, nuts, eggs, low sugar/starch vegetables and fruit...etc.) is less processed and more nutritious then the typical pre-Atkins diet. Give your body fewer empty calories, providing it with more nutrient-dense alternatives, and your body will logically be satisfied sooner and require less food. For those that need further convincing, try this 500 calorie test: Day 1 breakfast: 500 low-fat calories, including cereal (maybe one of the high-sugar versions endorsed by the American Heart Association), skim milk, orange juice and a bagel. Day 2 breakfast: 500 "Atkins" calories, including a Cheese/broccoli omelet, bacon and/or sausage (make sure each breakfast measures out to 500 calories). If you're like most of the population, the low-fat breakfast will cause your body to be screaming for more food well before lunch, while the "Atkins" breakfast will keep your mind off food so long you'll be shocked when lunch time comes around. 2. Why isn't sugar or caffeine allowed on the diet? Sugar: It's the worst food of all. If you don't understand why, we suggest you re-read the book until you master all of the myriad reasons. Caffeine: Caffeine stimulates an over stimulation of insulin, which ultimately promotes weight gain. The biggest need is to stop a caffeine addiction. Once you go 2 weeks without caffeine, you may have it again as long as you don't become dependent on it for energy. 3. Saturated fat lowers insulin sensitivity and is not recommended in high amounts by leading health organizations. Why do you allow so much? I have not found any benefit from cutting down on saturates and replacing them with monounsaturates. However, medium chain fats (MCT's) may be helpful. The reason for including meat, chicken, egg and cheese fats is to maintain the maximum enjoyability of the diet, especially since no harmful effects have been shown. 4. What medications interfere with or need adjustment during the diet? Virtually all medications will inhibit weight loss. The most incompatible medications are: 1) Diuretics (water pills) 2) Psychotropic drugs, including Prozac, Zoloft, Lithium, etc. 3) Hormones and steroids, including estrogen (Premarin), birth control pills and Prednisone 4) Arthritic drugs, especially NSAIDS (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) 5) Cholesterol lowering drugs 6) All anti-diabetic medications, including insulin with the exception of glucophage 7) Tranquilizers 8) Seizure medications Fortunately, doctors who work with the diet can usually use it and certain supplements to help you get off each and every one of the above or taper you to minimal doses. Please DO NOT COME OFF MEDICATIONS BY YOURSELF without medical supervision. 5. If some of my medications can affect the diet, what can I do? There are certain medical conditions that require tapering off medications ONLY under the supervision of a physician familiar with the diet and the use of nutritional supplements. However, there are some options open to you especially if your health care practitioner is willing to monitor you during the tapering process. Blood Pressure Medications: In my practice, I can always discontinue the use of diuretics and other medications for blood pressure management by using nutrients such as the AH#3, Taurine, Asparaplus, Magnesium, L-Carnitine, and CoEnzyme Q10. Allergy Medications: During the allergy season I usually can keep patients comfortable using my Allergy Formula and Pantethine without side effects such as drowsiness. People who can't use anti-histamines due to potential complications of other medical problems can also safely use these nutrients. Antibiotics: Since the use of antibiotics can stimulate candida (yeast) overgrowth that can interfere with weight management, I rely on my special formulation, "Cold & Flu". Taken at the onset of symptoms, this formulation of special vita-nutrients supports the immune system during the crucial first days of infection. Often this can prevent the need for antibiotic treatment. Arthritis Medications: Due to the chronic nature of arthritis, relying on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for arthritis can affect weight loss. 6. What medical conditions should be monitored by a M.D. during the diet? All medical conditions requiring prescriptions, and even some that don't, like diet controlled diabetes mellitus, need to be monitored by a physician. This is necessary because the diet an

Our inspirational collection of essays and research papers is available for free to our registered users

Related Essays on Health

Everything Anyone Could Possibly know about Dumb Fire Extinguishers

Name: I am poo September 27, 1999 Block 3, Davis Fire Extinguishers There are four different basic types of fire extinguishers. They all are used to put out fires, but each fire extinguisher is ...

Aids

AIDS - What's new ? ------------------- Is the message getting through? We already know enough about AIDS to prevent its spread, but ignorance, complacency, fear and bigotry continue to st...

HIV

The Effects of HIV Mutations on the Immune System Science C.J. Stimson INTRODUCTION The topic of this paper is the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, and whether or not mutations undergone...

Abortion and the Mentally Handicapped

Matt Domin MWF 9:00 Abortion and the Mentally Handicapped Ms. Smith, We of the Ethics Committee have reviewed your case for an extended period of time. We took into con...

Work Stress

1.0 Introduction Throughout the eighties and into the nineties, work stress have continued to rise dramatically in organizations across North America. The eighties saw employees stressing ...

The Roy Adaptation Model

Roy began work on her theory in the 1960s. She drew from existing work of a physiological psychologist, and behavioral, systems and role theorists. She was keenly interested in the psycho/social...

http://adulttorrent.org

http://adulttorrent.org/