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Atkins 'can put you in bad mood'
BBC ^ | 1 March, 20041 March, 2004

Posted on 03/01/2004 8:04:35 PM PST by traumer

The Atkins diet - and others that limit carbohydrates - are likely to put you in a bad mood, research has found.

A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found carbohydrates help to stimulate production of a key brain chemical called serotonin.

It controls our emotions, and a shortage can lead to mood swings and depression. The Atkins diet has become hugely popular despite concerns over its effect on health.

Some experts are concerned about whether it might trigger diabetes and kidney damage in the long term.

Researcher Dr Judith Wurtman said: "When serotonin is made and becomes active in your brain, its effect on your appetite is to make you feel full before your stomach is stuffed and stretched.

"But serotonin is crucial not only to control your appetite and stop you from overeating; it's essential to keep your moods regulated."

Antidepressant medications are designed to make serotonin more active in the brain and extend that activity for longer periods of time to assist in regulating moods. Because carbohydrates raise serotonin levels naturally they effectively act like a natural tranquilizer.

The MIT team discovered that the brain makes serotonin only after a person consumes sweet or starchy carbohydrates.

Key combination

Essential for a good mood? However, these carbohydrates must be eaten in combination with very little or no protein. So a meal like pasta will allow the brain to make serotonin, but eating chicken and potatoes will actually prevent serotonin from being made.

This may explain why people may still feel hungry even after they have eaten a 20-ounce steak.

Their stomachs are full, but their brains may not be making enough serotonin to shut off their appetites.

A lack of carbohydrate may have more impact on women than men, as women have much less serotonin in their brains.

Dr Wurtman said some people, who she dubbed carbohydrate cravers, need to eat a certain amount of carbohydrates to keep their moods steady.

Mood, and energy levels are related to many factors, and as such reaching conclusions like this is not practical. Dr Stuart Trager They tend to experience a change in their mood, usually in the late afternoon or mid-evening, she said. And with this mood change comes a yearning to eat something sweet or starchy.

According to Dr Wurtman's clinical studies, if the carbohydrate craver eats protein instead, he or she will become grumpy, irritable or restless.

Filling up on fatty foods like bacon or cheese is no answer. That will just make you tired, lethargic and apathetic.

Dr Wurtman said: "When you take away the carbohydrates, it's like taking away water from someone hiking in the desert.

"If fat is the only alternative for a no - or low-carb dieter to consume to satiate the cravings, it's like giving a beer to the parched hiker to relieve the thirst - temporary relief, but ultimately not effective."

Findings disputed

Dr Stuart Trager, chairman of the Atkins Physician Council, said clinical research had contradicted Dr Wurtman's findings. He cited one study which found controlling carboydrate intake improved the mood of 51% of those who took part.

He said: "We would hope that medical practitioners and those who participate in low carbohydrate lifestyles will recognize that mood, and energy levels are related to many factors, and as such reaching conclusions like this is not practical.

"Controlling carbohydrates helps people manage their weight, improve body image and stabilizes blood sugar.

"Additionally, it is important to remember that serotonin, the chemical these researchers are discussing is made within the body from ingested protein, rather than carbohydrates."

Brigid McKevith, a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation, told BBC News Online the effect of diet on serotonin was far from clear cut.

She said: "It has been suggested that a meal high carbohydrate may lead to an increase in serotonin, but the effect is unlikely to be significant when eating a meal because as little as 2-4% of calories from protein will prevent this.

"It is worth remembering that many foods - such as milk, beans and even potatoes - contain both carbohydrate and protein."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: atkins; atkinscultists; atkinsdiet; atkinseenoevil; health; lowcarb
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1 posted on 03/01/2004 8:04:36 PM PST by traumer
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To: traumer
SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT POSTING THIS CRAP...oh wait, sorry about that guess I need some ice cream :)
2 posted on 03/01/2004 8:06:37 PM PST by chance33_98 (Check out profile page for banners, if you need one freepmail me and I will make one for you)
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To: Lil'freeper; JenB
More Atkins-bashing ping.
3 posted on 03/01/2004 8:07:35 PM PST by ecurbh
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To: chance33_98
I - personally - felt a bit grumpy during the 2-week (very strict) 'induction' phase ....
4 posted on 03/01/2004 8:14:35 PM PST by traumer (Even paranoids have enemies)
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To: traumer
I did Atkins last year for about two months and lost 14 lbs (from l68 to 154 lbs.) Felt great, not hungry all the time, had more 'pep' (72 yrs old)...but then went back to my old ways and gained it all back, but, ready to do it again and this time I'll be firm on the 'maintenance' end of it.


5 posted on 03/01/2004 8:15:08 PM PST by TailspinJim
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To: traumer
Here's an idea...

PUT DOWN THE BON BONS, GET OFF YO' FAT LAZY ASSES AND GO EXERCISE.

6 posted on 03/01/2004 8:15:59 PM PST by misterrob
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To: traumer
Nonsense. I eat mostly protein, a few veggies, and almost no carbs. I am very happy, I am never in a bad mood. I don't get mood swings, nor am I violently aggressive.
7 posted on 03/01/2004 8:16:35 PM PST by irishtenor ("Trying is the first step toward failure." - Homer Simpson)
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To: traumer
"Findings disputed

Dr Stuart Trager, chairman of the Atkins Physician Council, said clinical research had contradicted Dr Wurtman's findings. He cited one study which found controlling carboydrate intake improved the mood of 51% of those who took part.

I have been on the low carb since August. I can tell you I feel better now than I have in ages. Atkins works. I have lost 30lbs and my mood has gotten 100% better.

I don't know why they keep trying to trash the Atkins way. They keep making it sound like all a person eats is fat and that is the furtherest from the truth.

8 posted on 03/01/2004 8:19:19 PM PST by Spunky (This little tag just keeps following me where ever I go.)
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To: TailspinJim; traumer
Okay....I WANT to do Atkins, BUT, whenever I start it....it STOPS me all up....if you get my drift....LOL. No matter how much other stuff (psyllium, Vit C, etc.) I cannot do it. Anyone have suggestions? I'd really like to lose 20 lbs.
9 posted on 03/01/2004 8:21:55 PM PST by goodnesswins (If you're Voting Dem/Constitution Party/Libertarian/Not - I guess it's easier than using your brain.)
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To: traumer
Too much carbs = BAD
Nothing but protein = BAD TOO

Eat your protein with the good carbs like apples, pears, cucumbers, broccoli, plums, oranges, celery, onions, cauliflower, grapes, etc and you will feel great physically and be sharp as a tack mentally and lose just as much weight as the atkins. The only difference, you can maintain the diet forever and live happily healthy ever after.
10 posted on 03/01/2004 8:23:05 PM PST by Prolifeconservative (If there is another terrorist attack, the womb is a very unsafe place to hide.)
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To: goodnesswins
pick up some hot sauce like 100% Pain and add it to your foods and maybe that will solve your problem.....
11 posted on 03/01/2004 8:23:24 PM PST by misterrob
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To: traumer
As I munch on my chips and dips and drink a Coke it occurs to me that I am very happy when doing this. Afterward I am depressed that I allowed myself to indulge to this extent.

However, the thought occurs, being overweight can make you depressed also.

I was a Dr. Atkins fan (1978) long before low-carb was the rage.I go on the diet for 3-4 weeks (just after New Years and just before football season) and knock off the weight I need to lose to be a glutton through football season and the holidays.

I could not endure the discipline it requires for more than a month.
12 posted on 03/01/2004 8:23:27 PM PST by Rhetorical pi2
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To: goodnesswins
Do a lot of walking.
13 posted on 03/01/2004 8:25:13 PM PST by irishtenor ("Trying is the first step toward failure." - Homer Simpson)
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To: traumer
And the sample group was what, three people?

This is bunk!

I have been "doing Atkins" for over a year.
What I eat has NO bearing on my attitude.

The "article" is so full of falsehoods and misconceptions I have to think it is fiction from the desk of some high carb product companies publicist.
14 posted on 03/01/2004 8:25:50 PM PST by Richard-SIA (Nuke the U.N!)
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To: irishtenor
I already walk about 20-25 miles a week with my dog, and then about 10-15 miles around the house, etc....more?
15 posted on 03/01/2004 8:26:24 PM PST by goodnesswins (If you're Voting Dem/Constitution Party/Libertarian/Not - I guess it's easier than using your brain.)
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To: misterrob
Hey man, chill out and have some pasta....

No, you have a point.
Exercise is a must.

But you really should get off whatever diet you're on now.
It might be making you cranky.

16 posted on 03/01/2004 8:26:40 PM PST by dogbrain (.....uh,...DOH!)
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To: goodnesswins
Are you taking any prescription drugs?
17 posted on 03/01/2004 8:27:33 PM PST by I got the rope
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To: I got the rope
Nope, None. Don't need 'em.
18 posted on 03/01/2004 8:27:53 PM PST by goodnesswins (If you're Voting Dem/Constitution Party/Libertarian/Not - I guess it's easier than using your brain.)
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To: goodnesswins
During the two week induction phase you will probably not go as often. Don't over do on cheese and drink lots and lots of water. After the two week induction you can add about 3 oz of almonds or peanuts a day and that should help. Also they have low carb breads and hot cereals now that add fiber.
19 posted on 03/01/2004 8:28:52 PM PST by Spunky (This little tag just keeps following me where ever I go.)
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To: goodnesswins
Are you taking the hide off the meat?
20 posted on 03/01/2004 8:28:53 PM PST by I got the rope
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To: misterrob
"hot sauce like 100% Pain".....LOL....can I get that at a grocery store?
21 posted on 03/01/2004 8:29:35 PM PST by goodnesswins (If you're Voting Dem/Constitution Party/Libertarian/Not - I guess it's easier than using your brain.)
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To: goodnesswins
Shredded wheat. Or, if you're Type II diabetic, glucophage.
22 posted on 03/01/2004 8:30:05 PM PST by varina davis
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To: dogbrain
Sorry, crack habit has been getting out of hand lately.....
23 posted on 03/01/2004 8:30:30 PM PST by misterrob
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To: I got the rope
"Are you taking the hide off the meat?"

HUH? Not sure what you mean....

24 posted on 03/01/2004 8:31:51 PM PST by goodnesswins (If you're Voting Dem/Constitution Party/Libertarian/Not - I guess it's easier than using your brain.)
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To: goodnesswins
O.K., I hate to post twice, but since you asked for advice about your "being regular", there is a solution.

There are some low-carbohydrate chocolate candy bars on the market (Walgreens has the best price - $1.25/bar) now that are both low carb and taste as good as Hershey's. Eat one or two of those during the day as a snack and they satisfy that craving for desserts that you have.

They also do two other things. They cause gas, flatulence and embarassment (if you are in a group)like you won't believe. They also tend to make you "regular", if you get my drift. :o)

I lost twenty pounds starting the night after the LSU/Oklahoma game and ending on Valentine's night. I had all the bacon, cheese and mayonaise I can take for a while.
:o)
25 posted on 03/01/2004 8:32:08 PM PST by Rhetorical pi2
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To: misterrob
Please.

Smoke crack responsibly.

It's for the children.

26 posted on 03/01/2004 8:32:11 PM PST by dogbrain (.....uh,...DOH!)
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To: ecurbh
More Atkins-bashing ping.

Actually there is some truth to this one. Atkins recommends avoiding SSRI anti-depressant medication.

27 posted on 03/01/2004 8:32:23 PM PST by Alouette (Mitul d'min kadam Shemayo malchusa v'shalim b'ammaya)
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To: Spunky
I've been on the Atkins diet for roughly 5-6 weeks. I've lost 20-25 lbs. (didn't have a scale for the first couple of weeks).

In that 5 weeks, I think I've eaten more salads than I have the previous 3 years of my college career.

I've lost about an inch of my neck, most of my double chin, and now my stomach is starting to recede. The suit I bought 18 months ago falls right off me if I don't wear suspenders.

28 posted on 03/01/2004 8:33:32 PM PST by jude24 (Explore the meaning behind THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST -- www.thelife.com)
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To: dogbrain
Actually, there's more to this. Sugar/carbs has a soothing affect on people almost like an addiction being fed. Take people off of sugar and the withdrawal is a bit rough, sort of like a smoker going cold turkey.

working out is one way to manage weight and it also helps to balance blood sugar. If you are working out then eat some carbs. The people who don't exercise tend to store them as fat.
29 posted on 03/01/2004 8:33:37 PM PST by misterrob
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To: varina davis
Shredded wheat? Why....that's too carb loaded....I use bulgur or oatmeal when I'm not attempting the Atkins way. I like my food close to the bottom of the food chain. No, I'm not Type II (although it runs in my family) - I've been carefully making sure I don't become Type II, actually.
30 posted on 03/01/2004 8:33:41 PM PST by goodnesswins (If you're Voting Dem/Constitution Party/Libertarian/Not - I guess it's easier than using your brain.)
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To: Spunky
Cheese is a binding agent...

Beware
31 posted on 03/01/2004 8:34:33 PM PST by misterrob
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To: goodnesswins
Specialty food stores have jalapeno and habanero based sauces...

guaranteed to rip you a new one.
32 posted on 03/01/2004 8:35:41 PM PST by misterrob
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To: Spunky
I think you may be onto something....I do love the cheese part of the induction....maybe I over did that....think I'll get rid of that....and try again.
33 posted on 03/01/2004 8:36:39 PM PST by goodnesswins (If you're Voting Dem/Constitution Party/Libertarian/Not - I guess it's easier than using your brain.)
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To: misterrob
That makes sense.
Dieting, by itself, is not the answer.
Are you familiar with any books by Covert Bailey?
His books are very informative.
34 posted on 03/01/2004 8:37:03 PM PST by dogbrain (.....uh,...DOH!)
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To: misterrob
Thanks....I love hot sauces, so it probably would help.
35 posted on 03/01/2004 8:37:19 PM PST by goodnesswins (If you're Voting Dem/Constitution Party/Libertarian/Not - I guess it's easier than using your brain.)
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To: goodnesswins
You'd be surprised how much weight you can lose simply by exercising three times a week, and cutting back a little bit on food intake. I lost 15 pounds, and I'm in the best shape of my life simply by doing that.

You don't really need Atkins, especially if it gives you side effects such as that.
36 posted on 03/01/2004 8:37:21 PM PST by Quick1
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To: goodnesswins
HUH? Not sure what you mean....

LOL! When you eat meat... don't eat the wooly or hairy parts.

Just kidding. Seriously...drink more water. This happened to me too. It will go away in a few weeks.

37 posted on 03/01/2004 8:37:38 PM PST by I got the rope
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To: traumer
Dr Stuart Trager...cited one study which found controlling carboydrate intake improved the mood of 51% of those who took part.

And 49% noticed that their mood was not improved? Allowing for a margin of error, that's statistically even. Meaningless.

When will people realize that the secret to weight control is quantity control. In other words, eat anything you like, but don't stuff yourself. If I could name one type of food which is most likely to make you fat, it would be fluffy foods like bread, pasta, any sweet beverages, cakes, cookies, crackers, chips, or anything else that takes up space in your stomach.

Dense foods such as cheese, peanut butter, small amounts of meat, candy, chile con queso, and fish are best, in small quantities. Even salads can be fattening if you eat too much. Never fill up. Stop while you're still hungry.

38 posted on 03/01/2004 8:38:03 PM PST by giotto
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To: chance33_98
SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT POSTING THIS CRAP...

LM*O! My exact sentiments, sans the ice cream. Would much rather have a shooter.

39 posted on 03/01/2004 8:38:16 PM PST by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Timothy McVeigh)
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To: I got the rope
Um....I can't WAIT a few weeks, LOL....I really can't....it's VERY uncomfortable....LOL! But, thanks for the advice!
40 posted on 03/01/2004 8:39:07 PM PST by goodnesswins (If you're Voting Dem/Constitution Party/Libertarian/Not - I guess it's easier than using your brain.)
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To: goodnesswins
If you're walking 50 miles a week and not losing any weight, then you are probably eating way too much. Either that, or you're overestimating how much you actually walk (15 miles around the house in a week? Do you live in a huge mansion?)
41 posted on 03/01/2004 8:39:22 PM PST by Quick1
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To: dogbrain
No, never heard of him.

I started weight lifting about 12 years ago and have about 35lbs of muscle which I had supplemented over the years with about 35lbs of spare tire. What I found was that cutting down on carbs, doing 35-40 minutes on an incline treadmill and variations on my weight work caused me to lose 20 lbs over six months. I still manage to eat well but if I didn't work out then no way I could get away with most of I manage to.
42 posted on 03/01/2004 8:41:16 PM PST by misterrob
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To: giotto
"Stop while you're still hungry.

Yes,.....but, that seems so weird .....but I know you are correct. As a child who fought the "CLEAN YOUR PLATE" orders from my mother (who dished the plate)....I have been conditioned to think I have to eat more than I need. Slowly I'm changing that.

43 posted on 03/01/2004 8:42:08 PM PST by goodnesswins (If you're Voting Dem/Constitution Party/Libertarian/Not - I guess it's easier than using your brain.)
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To: traumer
Swede sausage and fried potatoes. Beer.
44 posted on 03/01/2004 8:42:13 PM PST by Spruce
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To: traumer
people may still feel hungry even after they have eaten a 20-ounce steak

What kind of freak could do that? Also - I think that insulin has more to do with mood swings than serotonin.

45 posted on 03/01/2004 8:43:12 PM PST by NotQuiteCricket (10 kinds of people in the world)
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To: goodnesswins
LMAO! What I mean is that you will become regular eventually in a few weeks. Your constipation will become managable if you drink lots of water. I think I drank up to 10-12 glasses of water/day for a week.
46 posted on 03/01/2004 8:43:42 PM PST by I got the rope
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To: Quick1
"do you live in a huge mansion?" LOL...no....but I'm kind of the hyper type....don't sit still much (except for FR)...and I've been wearing a pedometer for the past 2 months....so I know what I'm walking...I do think I probably eat too large of portions - I'm working on that!
47 posted on 03/01/2004 8:44:14 PM PST by goodnesswins (If you're Voting Dem/Constitution Party/Libertarian/Not - I guess it's easier than using your brain.)
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To: goodnesswins
Popeye had the solution to your problem:

And as anyone knows who has eaten too many of them, macadamia nuts work too...

48 posted on 03/01/2004 8:47:42 PM PST by hellinahandcart
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To: traumer
Researcher Dr Judith Wurtman...

Did they mention that she has a financial interest in getting people to use "her diet plan", The Adara program?


Dr. Wurtman has come up with a diet plan covering all the food groups including complex carbs, like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain breads, oatmeal and potatoes.

Dr. Wurtman has come up with a tasty carb shake, but you can also eat snacks like graham crackers or half a bagel.

The Adara programs are developed and run by Judith Wurtman, PhD


http://www.adaracenter.com/NewFiles/home.html

ADARA - Media

Woman’s World, March 2004
WCVB-TV ABC Affiliate, Boston, Chronicle: “The Low Down on Low Carb,” , January 2004
WHDH-TV NBC Affiliate, Boston, “Cranky for Carbs,” news segment, January 2004
Discovery Channel, 2003-2004 (Multiple airings)
Food Network, 2003-2004 (Multiple airings)
49 posted on 03/01/2004 8:50:40 PM PST by kcvl
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To: goodnesswins
Prunes... (or 'dried plums').
50 posted on 03/01/2004 8:50:45 PM PST by girlreporter
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