AtkinsFacts.org Engages in Selective Citation
Atkins Ignores Trans Fats in the Atkins Diet
Dr. Atkins was asked "Isn't the consumption of fat related to cancer?" He replied "According to the multitude of studies published, fat per se was not linked to cancer, with the exception of trans fats, which are not included in the Atkins Nutritional Approach." This is incorrect on two counts. First of all, trans fats are not the only exception; saturated animal fat has been linked to cancers of the breast, prostate, endometrium, lung, and pancreas. And second, trans fats are included throughout the Atkins Diet.
Trans fats are basically found only one place in nature, animal fat. The food industry, however, found a way to synthetically create these toxic fats by hardening vegetable oil in a process called hydrogenation, which rearranges their atoms to make them behave more like animal fats. Although most of America's trans fat intake comes from processed foods containing partially-hydrogenated oils, a fifth of the trans fats American adults consume comes from animal products.
According to the official National Nutrient Database, 5% of the fat in a burger is trans fat. The fat in cheese averages 3% trans fat and butter can be up to 7% trans fat. Hot dog and turkey fat average about 4% trans fats, and the fat in pork rinds, described as the "secret manna of every Atkins dieter," is 1% trans fat.
Is 1% a problem, though? The most prestigious scientific body in the United States, the National Academy of Science, concluded that the only safe intake of trans fat is zero. In their report condemning trans fats they couldn't even assign a Tolerable Upper Daily Limit of intake because "any incremental increase in trans fatty acid intake increase coronary heart disease risk."
Trans fats, according to the report, "are unavoidable on ordinary, non-vegan diets..." One of the authors of the report, a nutritional epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, explained why they didn't recommend a vegan diet: "We can't tell people to stop eating all meat and all dairy products," he said. "Well, we could tell people to become vegetarians," he added. "If we were truly basing this only on science, we would, but it is a bit extreme."
"Nevertheless," the report concludes, "it is recommended that trans fatty acid consumption be as low as possible while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet." The Atkins Diet seems to accomplish neither.