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‘New’ Atkins Diet Review From 2 Experts

We've asked two nutrition and obesity experts to comment on "The New Atkins for a New You."

Keith Ayoob, registered dietitian and associate professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Also part of the Weight-Loss Challenge blog squad at dietchallenge.usatoday.com.

"Basically, there are new recipes, and it's a kinder, gentler Atkins than the original diet book, but it's still basically the same plan -- carbs are mostly considered bad, and fat, including saturated fat, are allowed. People do lose weight on this plan, but that doesn't make it optimal.

"Some examples of same-old, same-old: Skim milk is still bad, heavy cream is still good. Bananas and apples are still bad.

"If you want to eat whole-grain bread, can't live without a baked potato, don't want to limit yourself to a quarter-cup of strawberries and don't see anything wrong with eating a whole apple, this isn't the diet for you. Instead, try the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). It's awesome, high in volume, super healthy, and it has got proven health results. And it's a good way of eating for the whole family. I wouldn't put kids on the Atkins diet."

Gary Foster, director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia and the lead researcher on two weight-loss studies of the Atkins diet.

"Like every diet book, this one suffers from hyperbole about quick and long-term weight loss. It overstates the virtue of fat and the evil of carbohydrate. Nonetheless there are nearly a dozen randomized controlled trials of obese people trying to lose weight that show those on a low-carb diet do as well or better in the short and long term as people on conventional low-fat, low-calorie diets. Surprisingly, a low-carb diet is associated with favorable improvements in some heart disease risk factors.

"The research shows that many of the original concerns about the Atkins diet's impact on LDL (bad) cholesterol and rapid regain were not realized.

"If you tell people to count carbs, they end up eating fewer or equal calories than if you tell them to count calories, but at the end of the day, it is still about calories. The low-carb diet is just a way to wrap your mind around eating less."

3 Responses »

  1. Wow, these experts really don't know what they're talking about. Foster is more knowledgeable but still thinks it's "still about calories"...Well it's about calories from carbs being bad. Anyone interested should read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes, as well as this new Atkins book which is written by three scientists, not some hacks recruited by the Atkins company.

  2. Patrick, I agree. Dr. Atkins, Gary Taubes, Dr. Robert Lustig all had/have it right. There are good carbs and bad. Some people are more affected by the sugar intense or starch intense carbs. Atkins explains this clearly through science and example. All calories are not equal and how they're expended is not equal. Put the right fuel in the tank and you'll have a more fit machine. I eat meat, fat, vegetables, dairy, nuts, fruit, and minimal grains. I am wheat intolerant, so no wheat products for me. That is NOT a limited diet whatsoever. What I don't eat is junk, sugar, starch, flour, processed foods. How is that a bad thing? And Ayoob is selling the DASH diet, 'nuff said.

  3. btw--the book shown on this article is the old book (last printed in 2002). The new book is not written by Dr. Atkins himself (as he passed away from a slip and fall accident), but by two other doctors continuing the Atkins plan. The new book looks different than that pictured above. Amazon has a correct picture for anyone interested. I do agree that the plan is more user-friendly this go 'round. Targeting an audience that likes things simple to understand and easy to maintain. Here's to hoping it catches on with the masses and the MEDICAL COMMUNITY finally catches up. Stop pushing drugs to mask problems and start pushing a healthy diet to fix the problems!!