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Atkins Diet

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In nowadays, the world is full of diets you can choose from. People are choosing any diet if they are sure that it will help them to decrease weight. However, many people are ignorant to the fact that the diets can cause some negative problems that can really endanger and damage the health. They should be more careful and before they go on the diet, carefully examine what it takes. For many people, the ways, consequences and effects of the diet are not essential, but the time, and concentration on the scale, and the final results they achieve. Many people ignore the fact that there is long term side effect; because they want to achieve short term weight lose (Weight loss and diet facts, 2001). The most popular diet this day is the Atkins high-protein, high-fat and low carbohydrate diet. Using this diet you lose weight rapidly in short term; however, for the long term you can suffer from some negative health problems that this diet causes.

The Atkins diet was developed by Robert Atkins, the cardiologist, in 1970. It claims that what make a person fat are carbohydrates, so by decreasing them, the body will burn the fat faster and more easily. Low carbohydrate, high fat and protein consumption create ketosis, which according to Atkins is a good thing because ketosis causes dramatic decrease in weight, "because your kidneys have to get rid of this ketosis, and this takes a lot of water to flush this out of your body. Ketosis changes your body's blood chemistry, and can be dangerous for people with diabetes and those who are pregnant" (Personal Diet, 1999-2003). "The diet works on the principle of ketosis, a process by which excess body fat can be burned as fuel, resulting in a rapid weight reduction" (Leonard, 1999-2001).

Atkins diet is famous and very request; more than 10 million copies of Dr. Atkins' New diet Revolution book were sold. Even though the Atkins diet makes the results, it is not the best diet approach for the long term period. It is based on low-carbohydrate; high fat and high-protein which causes negative health effects. It is a diet where you eating the food with high protein such as eggs, cheese, hamburger, steak, oils, butter, nuts or fats and low carbohydrates (Leonard, 1999-2001). Neal Barnard, MD, president of the Physicians Commission for Responsible Medicine, a non-profit research group based in Washington, says: "Low-carbohydrates diets have been linked to increased frequency of colon cancer, formation of kidney stones, kidney disease, and even osteoporosis. The reason for the health worries is in large part due to red meat. People who eat meat every day have three times greater risk of developing colon cancer" (Collins, 2000-2003.a.).

On the other side Atkins diet discourages carbohydrates food such as bread, pasta, fruit or sugar. Due to the low level of carbohydrate, the body can burn more fat that is store in the body. This diet does not contain any amount of calories or the amount of food you have to take (Wells, 2002). "The diet works by inducing a state of ketosis in the body and you may eat as much food as you like while in this state. Ketosis is when the body believes it is starving and is deprived of carbohydrates to burn so it burns fat instead" and there is also important to drink lots of water which help flush away the fat (Dieting review, n.d.). In theory, high-carbohydrate diets rapidly increase the body's production of insulin, and insulin invites body cells to store fat. So, by limiting carbohydrates you avoid high insulin levels and lose weight (The Atkins diet, n.d.).

Atkins diet is based on four stages, the first one called "Induction phase" lasts two weeks, where one can eat unlimited amount of fat and protein food such as butter, oil, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese and cream. There is only 15-20 grams of carbohydrates, such as lettuce, cucumbers and celery per day allowed, which is the equivalent to three cups of salad veggies. It is the phase where one loses weight rapidly. In the second stage, "Ongoing Weight Loss Phase", the consumption of carbohydrates increases to 15-40 grams per day. Pre-maintenance phase is the third stage where the individual is about 10 pounds from reaching his or her desirable weight. The forth stage is the maintenance phase where the desirable weight is reached and 40-60 grams of carbohydrates are allowed per day, such as a piece of fruit or slice of whole-wheat bread. Reaching this stage, does not mean you finish with the diet and you can eat what you like, because this is the life long eating (Wells, 2002). Dr. Atkins admit that his diet is the diet for life, because "If a person does Atkins, loses weight and then returns to his old way of high carbohydrate eating, he will likely regain the weight," he says (The Atkins Diet, n.d.).

If you want to lose weight as fast as possible it is the right way to use the Atkins fat diet. It really works, however, it is just for a short and temporary period of time, when you loss the weight, and the long period brings several health problems caused by low carbohydrate diet, for example, bad breath, as you eats only fat, oils and protein (Leonard, 1999-2001). Because of the low content of vitamins and nutrients, and high fat, many health organizations, such as American Medical Association, American Dietetic Association (ADA), and the American Heart Association are against the Atkins diet. "In a hearing before the U.S. Congress on February 24, 2000, an ADA representative called the Atkins diet "hazardous" and said it lacked scientific credibility"(Wells, 2002). Eggs and cheese that contains high cholesterol are the right way for heart attack. Other problems are gout (painful inflammation of the joints), high cholesterol, kidney and liver damage that are caused by low carbohydrate levels (Leonard, 1999-2001). In US, the research they made, that people with the mild kidney problem taking and eating high-protein diet showed some deterioration (BBC News, 2003). "High-protein diets may cause permanent loss of kidney function in anyone with reduced kidney function. Other studies have shown that meat-heavy diets significantly increase one's risk of colon cancer and osteoporosis." Said Dr. Amy Joy Lanou, director of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in America (Collins, 2000-2003.b.).

It also increase cancer risk, weakness, dry skin, thinning hair, increase risk of having a heart attack, vitamin and mineral loss, and others problems cased by not equal balance of nutrition (Leonard, 1999-2001). Belinda Linden, head of medical information at the British Heart Foundation, has the following view on this diet. "Previous studies have shown that weight loss from the Atkins Diet may involve muscle loss rather than body fat. With minimal fruit and vegetables included in the



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