Thread: Cholesterol
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Old 06-17-2005, 03:04 AM   #8
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"prob may be the Aktins diet"

Here is another copy and paste information. Which is how we all learn.

Weighing Atkins Diet Pros and Cons
By Louis Neipris, M.D., HealthAtoZ writer

The famous Atkins diet has been around for years. However, the medical establishment is hardly about to embrace this diet of low carbohydrate, high protein and high fat. The results of many studies, including two published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and intense news coverage have still not resolved the differences of opinion. Why all the continued fuss? People lose weight, and even increased the good cholesterol after being on the Atkins diet. However, long-term success is unproven. Also, the diet may be risky.

What is the Atkins diet?
The Atkins diet reduces carbohydrates while curbing hunger with fulfilling food choices. Appetizing alternatives, high in protein-and fat-replace the calories from carbohydrates. You use stored energy by "burning" fat without going hungry. There are four phases: induction, on-going weight loss, pre maintenance and maintenance. Induction is a 14-day period when carbohydrates are limited to 20 percent of total calories; the dieter is advised to eat a liberal amount of protein and fat. Atkins proponents claim the body goes into a mild ketosis using fat, instead of the usual carbohydrate, for energy. During the next three phases, carbohydrates are reintroduced, with emphasis on the nutrient rich, whole grain, low-calorie sources.

Long-term benefits are questionable
Recent studies show promising results. However, researchers did not demonstrate long-term benefits or risks. Two studies in May 2003 in the New England Journal of Medicine showed carbohydrate-restricted diet produced weight loss and improved lipid profiles compared to typical dieters who followed calorie-restricted, low-fat diets. The "good" cholesterol increased and triglycerides were lowered. One study followed people for six months, while the other followed subjects over a year.

Potential health risks
The health risk of low-carbohydrate high-protein dieting is probably not from burning fat. Rather, the alternatives, though appetizing, lead to unhealthy eating habits.

High fat is not heart healthy. Atkins food choices do not reflect American Heart Association guidelines, which calls for a reduction of fat to 30 percent of total calories a day, and to limit that to mostly unsaturated fats. Since proteins and animal fat go hand in hand, Atkins dieters tend to increase saturated fats, which puts them at risk for coronary artery disease and heart attacks.

High protein diets stress the kidneys. Studies show the kidneys work harder to process proteins broken down in dieters on a high-protein diet. This puts them at risk for kidney disease, as well as gout.

If you need to lose more weight - especially if you are obese -- work with your doctor and a licensed nutritionist. Following an exercise program is a key ingredient to any successful weight loss program.

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