Atkins Diet Risk - Is Atkins Healthy?

Low carb diets and in particular the atkins diet risk, have long been the subject of much controversy and heated debate within the medical and scientific communities.

More recent research however appears to support some aspects of the atkins diet claims, especially in relation to it being an effective method for short-term weight loss.

From its introduction in the 1970's, the atkins diet has come under vigorous criticisms by both nutrition and scientific experts, who claimed that the atkins diet's ethos of, low carb dieting being the best approach to successful weight loss, was seriously flawed and un-healthy.

In the midst of much heated debate on the atkins diet risk, the diet grew in popularity, making it probably the most popular weight loss diet ever.

So, what are the atkins diet risks, as identified by both the medical and scientific communities?

atkins diet risk of heart disease and other serious health conditions

  • The American Heart Association (AHA) points out the atkins diet risk, of consuming high protein foods such as meat, eggs, (which contain high cholesterol high fat and low fibre), puts you at risk of not only coronary heart disease, but also the potential to induce other health conditions of osteoporosis, stroke, liver disorders, diabetes and a pre-disposition to kidney stones

  • A further atkins diet risk identified by the AHA, is the restriction of nutrient-rich foods. The AHA make the point that since most of you will already be consuming a diet of more protein and fat than you would really need, a further atkins diet risk is your exposure to many other types of diseases.

  • atkins diet risk of harmful side effects

  • Other associated atkins diet risks comes from a study undertaken by (Internal Medicine: Anals), showing that the atkins diet can lead to harmful side effects: namely, concerns over the induced metabolic state of 'ketosis', which leads to further side effects such as headaches, tiredness, nausea, dehydration, dizziness and constipation - during the induction stage

  • According to the (May 2004 Annals of Internal Medicine) a study showed that people on the atkins diet also experienced significantly more diarrhea, general weakness, rashes and muscle cramps. (To address this, the Atkins organisation conceded a fiber supplement was in order)

  • atkins diet risk of inadequate nutrition especially for womens health

  • A further atkins diet health risk, concerns the level of nutrition, which is seen as being below that of the daily recommended values for some vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, potassium and magnesium

  • There have also been claims that the high protein food intake can cause acidity, leading to osteoporosis. This is especially the case for womens health, since an inappropriate level of nutrition can lead to bone fractures - most commonly associated with osteoporosis

  • There have also been criticisms as to the atkins diet lack of emphasis on the need to carry out physical exercise, - a well known requirement especially for womens health, that can help strengthen bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis

  • Conclusion: atkins diet risk

    While the debate, both for and against the atkins diet health benefits and the atkins diet risks continues, more recently shorter-term studies have not only shown the effectiveness of a low carb diet in the short-term - i.e. 3-6 months, but has also highlighted the need for more research into the longer-term effectiveness and safety of low carb diets in general.

    This is even more the case, following a criticism from The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, as to the atkins diet low carb claims. In their comparison of the atkins diet to the diet of people from East Asian countries such as Japan and Thailand, they state: 'The dietary lifestyles of these countries largely consists of carbs such as rice and noodles, yet they have very few issues of obesity and that the average Asian person is far slimmer than their Western counterpart'.

    However, the point which seems to have been overlooked in this criticism, is that the average Asian person eat a far healthier diet, consisting of mostly fresh, unrefined and unprocessed fibre-rich carbs derived from whole grains, which are healthy, filling and will keep them slimmer; compared to those carbs consumed by the average Westerner.

    It is also fair to say that Asian people consume in much smaller quantities; as well as their eating less of the foods containing unhealthy saturated fats as would typically be found in every day carb food products consumed by Westerners.

    If you're considering the atkins diet or any other low carb diet for your weight loss goal, the above information should give you a good grounding into the associated atkins diet risk. Do bear in mind that one diet will now suit all and at the end of the day the choice is yours and yours alone to make.

    "I want to do it because I want to do it" (Amelia Earhart)

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    Reference Source:

    cause Osteoporosis (Feskanich D, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study. Amer Jrnl Public Health 1997;87:992-7.

    February, 2003 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Vol. 77, No. 2, 504-511);

    Cumming RG, Klineberg RJ. Case-control study of risk factors for hip fractures in the elderly. Amer Jrnl Epidemiology 1994;139:493-503.

    Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine 68(2001): p.761

    The information on this site is purely of educational value and is not intended to replace your seeking medical advice. You must consult your doctor over all your health concerns.

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