New Study Damning The Atkins Diet Isn’t The Atkins Diet

Filed under: Health,In The News,Study — @ September 8, 2010

Be encouraged, my friends, because despite the negative stigmatism that livin’ la vida low-carb has been receiving over the past few years, we are winning the argument. How you ask? Well, consider this–when the Atkins diet was in its prime of popularity back in the early to mid-2000′s, those in opposition to it said that it was “dangerous” to remove the body’s primary fuel source (carbohydrates) and that consuming fat of any kind is harmful to cardiovascular health. Flash forward now to the year 2010 and there’s a whole new tune being sung by those who have long espoused the conventional wisdom of less fat and calories and more “healthy” carbohydrates like whole grains, beans, and the like. Now they’re conceding that Dr. Atkins was right when he encouraged people to control the amount of carbohydrates consumed (limited to the “good carbs” found in berries and green leafy veggies, etc.) while insuring you get fat in your diet from sources like avocados, nuts, and other sources.

While this may not seem like such a giant leap for those of us who espouse low-carb living as a healthy way of eating, in reality it’s a really big deal. And the acknowledgement of the benefits carbohydrate-restriction brings comes at a time when the low-fat apologists are absolutely giddy with excitement about the results of a new study published in the September 7, 2010 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine that allegedly proves a meat-based low-carb diet leads to higher rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer-related deaths than a low-carb diet that is vegetable-based (dubbed “Eco-Atkins”). We’ll get into the curious details of this study out of Harvard momentarily, but does anyone else see what has happened here? No longer are we simply debating the idea of low-carb vs. low-fat–that argument is ancient history now that the high-carb, low-fat crowd has conceded the uniquely fattening properties of carbohydrates that Gary Taubes wrote so brilliantly about in his 2007 masterpiece Good Calories Bad Calories. And perhaps the Taubes effect is responsible for this seemingly sudden change of heart about the negative role of carbohydrates in the diet. With the upcoming release of his more consumer-friendly Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It on December 28, 2010, all I see are good things to come on behalf of healthy low-carb nutrition in the years to come.

However, now they’ve turned their attention to the fat and protein sources of the Atkins-styled low-carb diet–meat primarily–and are hammering away at the point that red meat will somehow kill you faster than if you chose a low-carb diet that includes mostly plants. They tried making this point with this March 2009 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, but it didn’t pass the scientific muster or the common sense smell test with those of us who actually looked at the data used by the researchers. This is what I like to refer to as the veganization or more appropriately the “Pollan”ization of livin’ la vida low-carb (named after bestselling author Michael Pollan who famously wrote in his book In Defense of Food for people to “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”). It seems we are subjected to this kind of nonsense about once a year that makes a big splash in the headlines against a high-fat, meat-based, low-carb diet and this new study is no exception.

Click here to read more about why this study had very little to do with what the Atkins diet is all about.


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