Skip to comments.(UK) Official: Atkins diet can be deadly
Posted on 09/20/2003 4:56:31 PM PDT by Pikamax
Official: Atkins diet can be deadly
Jo Revill, health editor Sunday September 21, 2003 The Observer
The first official warning about the dangers of the Atkins diet has been issued by the Government amid concern about the rising number of people opting for the high-fat, high-protein regime. The Food Standards Agency, which is responsible for all the Government's nutritional guidance, has published a statement alerting the public to the health risks of low-carbohydrate diets, including Atkins, claiming that they are linked to heart disease, cancer and even obesity.
In the past two months senior nutritionists have held talks with the Department of Health about the slimming fad and were asked to investigate the full risks of the diet.
But Ministers, who did not want to be accused of running a 'nanny state' by issuing the warning themselves, decided that it would be best if they were distanced from the advice, by letting it come from food experts.
The dangers are clearly spelt out on the agency's website, without actually naming the Atkins diet, which has been tried by more than three million people in Britain.
'Cutting out starchy foods, or any food group, can be bad for your health because you could be missing out on a range of nutrients,' the statement says. 'This type of diet also tends to be unrealistic and dull, and not palatable enough to be tolerated for a long time.'
It adds: 'High-fat diets are also associated with obesity, which is increasing in the UK. People who are obese are more likely to develop conditions such as diabetes and some cancers. Low-carb diets tend to be high in fat, too, and eating a diet that is high in fat could increase your chances of developing coronary heart disease.'
The advice, compiled in a question-and-answer style by senior nutritionist Sam Church, states that rather than trying to avoid carbohydrates, it is better to base your meals on them so they make up one-third of your diet.
But she does not include a warning about the possible risk of kidney or liver disease for anyone who spends a long time on the diet, possibly because of lack of reliable research to back such claims.
Dr Atkins' Diet Revolution toppled Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix off the number one spot during the summer; it now stands at six the UK bestseller list, having sold more than half a million copies in the past year.
Supermarkets report a surge in meat and cheese sales and a slump in pasta and rice. The price of eggs has risen by 9 per cent, bringing fears of a shortage because devotees of the diet are using the food as a way of ensuring their daily fix of protein. Some sandwich bars are also offering 'Atkins-friendly' meals, such as chicken and salad, to respond to demand and counteract the fall in sandwich sales, as bread is on the banned list.
A spokeswoman for the Atkins company argued that research showed it was consumption of large amounts of carbohydrates with a high-glycemic index, such as white bread, white rice or white potatoes, which increased the risk of coronary heart disease.
'At all stages of Atkins, we encourage consumption of nutrient-dense foods including plenty of vegetables, with the introduction of fruits and wholegrains later in the programme as one approaches ideal weight,' she added.
The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). They don't need no stinking credentials, they are from the government, and they are here to help us. Whether we want it or not.
Being fat is very bad for your health too. I'm cutting carbs and losing but Atkins to strict for me. It works though.
I thought that title was reserved for only us conservatives.
Ya, and that low fat diet the traditional "dieticians" recommend is a real taste treat . . . NOT!!!
The low carb diet makes perfect sense and works for millions. I knew it was the thing to try for me when I remembered what my livestock farmer father fed his cattle to "fatten" them for market, and it wasn't PROTEIN or FAT!
And I suppose they have research to prove this?
So far I think all the research is going in Atkins' direction....
Well, yet another scare-mongering article that would have one believe that a low-carb diet consists of gorging oneself with absolutely nothing but meats, eggs and cheese.
Since adopting a "normal-carb" diet (as I prefer to call it) back in April, I have dropped over 80 pounds off my body. Furthermore, I have never eaten so many vegetables and berries in my life. As well as yogurt, nuts, olive oil and other all-natural products. Yeah, I also eat meat, eggs and cheese. So what. Fact is, my health has never been better and I am at a level of fitness I have not been at since I was in my early 20s.
Here is a list of foods I gave up to go on my "normal-carb" diet: Candy, pastries, cookies, frozen foods, pies, chips, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oils, fried foods, fast foods, and sugar-sweetened drinks.
Is this article implying that I should start eating those foods again in order to have a "balanced" diet in line with that Kelloggs-Nabisco food pyramid?