Atkins Diet - Does it Really Work and Is It Safe?
 
September 2, 2004
Health Talk
http://www.healthtalk.ca/atkins_diet_09022004_9022.php

With over 45 million copies of the Atkins diet sold, many questions remain concerning the safety and effectiveness of the popular weight loss lifestyle.

In a Rapid Review article in the medical journal Lancet, Dr. Arne Astrup of RVA University in Copenhagen, Denmark, said there is no evidence that Atkins-style diets help people stay slim.

Three recent randomized trials looked at the long term effects of low-carbohydrate diets, and for the most part, all subjects on a low-carbohydrate diet did lose more weight over a six month period, compared to subjects on a low-fat diet. However, by 12 months, no difference was noted.

Safety

Astrup reports some heart risk factors improved in subjects on a low-carbohydrate diet, however, Astrup noted the Atkins diet is not healthy because it restricts whole-grains, fruit, and vegetables.

The absence of these foods "might increase the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease," wrote Astrup.

Side-effects from the Atkins diet include muscle cramps, diarrhea, general weakness, and rashes.

Dr. Astrup also indicated long term studies of up to 2 years are needed to assess the effectiveness of the low-carbohydrate diets.

He recommends people who want to lose weight and keep it off, increase physical activity and eat a diet low in fat and reduced calories.
 
Atkins Facts:
 
> What the Experts Think of Atkins
> Faulty Science
> Short-Term Side Effects
> All Long-Term Studies on Atkins a Wash
> Long-Term Side Effects
> The Safer Alternative
> References 1-1160

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