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The Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet Find more family blogs at Families.comThe Atkins Diet is among the most well known diets. This is due in part to how long it has been around. People recognize the name from all the Atkins food products that they see in grocery stores. Before beginning a diet, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor.

What is the Atkins Diet?
The Atkins Diet is the original low carb diet. The main idea is to limit the amount of carbohydrates that you eat, especially during the early stages of the diet. According to the Atkins website, the purpose of this diet is to “flip the metabolic switch” from burning carbs to burning fat.

There are two plans to choose from. The Atkins 20 plan starts a person with a total of 20 grams of net carbs a day. The Atkins 40 plan starts people at 40 grams of net carbs a day. Both plans allow people to gradually increase their carbs.

Where did the Atkins Diet come from?
The Atkins Diet was created in 1972 by cardiologist Robert C. Atkins. It was originally called the Atkins Nutritional Approach. The Atkins Diet is credited with launching the low-carb diet trend. In 2002, the diet was revised and a new book Dr Atkins’ New Diet Revolution was published. It drastically reduced carbohydrate intake.

Atkins Diet Controversies
The Atkins Diet severely limits the amount of carbohydrates a person can consume. It allows for an unlimited amount of meat (including eggs, bacon, and steaks). There has been concern that Robert C. Atkins died of a heart attack. The implication was that this was due to the high protein, low carb, diet he created.

Snopes points out that Robert C. Atkins died after sustaining a head injury after a fall outside his New York clinic. It also notes that in 2002 Robert C. Atkins suffered a heart attack, which he said was “in no way related to diet.”

Potential Dangers with the Atkins Diet
Drastically cutting carbs in the early phase of the Atkins diet program can result in some side effects These include headache, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, and constipation.

Ketosis can occur. It is a normal metabolic process that your body does when it doesn’t have enough carbohydrates from food to burn as energy. It starts burning fat and makes ketones.

For healthy people who are eating a balanced diet, this is not a problem. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. Ketosis can cause dehydration. It can also change the chemical balance of your blood. Low carb diets are not ideal for people who have kidney problems, kidney stones, or osteoporosis.

Image by m01229 on Flickr.

Related Articles at Families.com:

* My First Day on Atkins

* Staying on Atkins at the Buffet

* Easy to Eat Snacks for the Atkins Diet