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Los Angeles, California


Tips for Success
Never skip a meal!

Favorite Atkins-Friendly Food
Roasted turkey with green beans

More “Best Diets” Media Coverage

I wrote a blog about this in June. But once again, the U.S. News and World Report has updated its rankings of the “best” diets to include a new category of nutrition and safety. The DASH diet came out on top (again) while Atkins weighed in at #20. According to the article, Atkins has “way too much fat and too few carbs, in the view of the experts, who questioned whether dieters can build a nutritious and safe diet with the severe restrictions imposed on veggies, whole grains and fruits. Absent long-term safety data that might indicate otherwise, the panel put Atkins at the bottom of the pack.”

The U.S. government’s Dietary Guidelines were used to determine the “nutritional completeness” of the diets included in the rankings. And since these guidelines focus on low-fat recommendations versus low-carb, it’s logical that Atkins surpassed the suggested daily amounts of total fat and will come up far short on carbs. Based on the Atkins score and rating it seems the panelists are not fully aware of the studies and research

A few key points that the “experts” did not seem to take into account:
**The Atkins Diet is designed to “flip the body’s metabolic switch” from burning carbs to burning fat.  Graduated carb introduction helps avoid blood sugar and insulin spikes, which cause hunger and cravings resulting in overeating and weight gain. As a result, hunger and cravings are reduced more quickly with a low-carb approach than they would be with a low-calorie/ high carb diet.  In fact, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Obesity, those on a low-carb diet had significantly larger decreases in cravings for carbohydrates/starches and preferences for high-carbohydrate and high-sugar foods. The low-carb diet group reported being less bothered by hunger compared to the low-fat diet group.

**Although the fat level is higher on Atkins than low calorie/high carb standard diet - our menu plan actually contains a majority of mono-saturated fats, and is so flexible that even vegetarians can be on Atkins. Fat is burned for energy on Atkins and does not pose the health risk associated with a high carb/ high fat diet.

** Atkins is an effective plan for the millions of Americans that have a reduced ability to process carbohydrates – known as carb intolerance.

**A diet high in simple carbohydrates puts stress on the body causing spikes in blood sugar and a rush of insulin from the pancreas, followed by a drop in blood sugar causing hunger and cravings.  Over time, the body can lose its ability to metabolize these carbs and becomes resistant to the rush of insulin.  In turn, this can become metabolic syndrome, which is a condition where the body has a decreased ability to metabolize carbohydrates (carb intolerance).

**Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a condition characterized by central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. It is estimated that 34 million Americans have metabolic syndrome. The syndrome has been linked to increased risks of both Type 2 diabetes and CVD.  A study published in Nutrition & Metabolism found that carbohydrate restriction improved all of the features of metabolic syndrome. A next step with metabolic syndrome, if left uncorrected, is Type 2 diabetes which affects more than 25 million people today.

**In addition, Atkins has many scientifically-proven health benefits that have been demonstrated in multiple research trials.
--Independent third-party clinical research has found that Atkins reduces risk factors for heart-disease, insulin resistance and diabetes. One example is a two year trial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine³, which showed a low-carbohydrate diet is associated with favorable changes in cardiovascular disease risk factors.

And as far as the suggestion that the Atkins Diet is lacking in long-term research studies and is also deficient in vegetables, fruits and whole grains, I beg to differ. Atkins is the leading low-carb weight-loss plan that provides quick, satisfying and balanced weight loss based on an extensive body of scientific research—more than 60 published, peer-reviewed journals. In addition, Independent third-party clinical research has found that Atkins reduces risk factors for heart disease, insulin resistance and diabetes. The Atkins Diet teaches individuals to find their personal ideal carb balance. The Atkins Diet does not overly restrict vegetables, fruits or whole grains. From day one, Atkins encourages the consumption of vegetables. Throughout the plan, the dieter can eat more vegetables on a daily basis than is recommended by USDA guidelines. Atkins restricts only high-sugar fruits—beginning by re-introducing berries as early as the third week.  Atkins allows all the cancer-fighting superfoods, such as berries, colorful vegetables, seeds and nuts. We introduce "healthy" carbs gradually until each person's body reaches the level they can process and not gain weight. Some people are just not able to process the amount of carbs recommended by the USDA without gaining weight. We feel our approach is appropriate for those for whom a traditional high-carb diet hasn't been effective—those who are carb intolerant. We do focus on fat, but a balance of fats that are commonly agreed to be healthy, such as mono-unsaturated fats like olive oil and avocado. If you wish, you can easily avoid almost all saturated fats while on Atkins by following the plan as a vegetarian.

For all of you who have had success with Atkins, it is certainly the best diet for you. U.S. News and World Report is planning to release diet reviews again in January. Hopefully their panel of experts will give Atkins a closer look.

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Do diet rankings affect your opinion of a diet? What makes Atkins work for you? I’d love to hear! Please share your thoughts with the Atkins Community and also let me know what you’d like to hear about in the future. Finally, to subscribe, just go to



Published Monday, November 07, 2011 01:06 PM by colette_heimowitz
Filed Under:
BugSupreme said:
Well stated...I've been on Atkins for 10 years and I started with extremely high LDL, triglyceride and blood pressure levels—all through the roof!! After eating bacon, cheese, and a host of other "bad" foods, my weight dropped 40 lbs. within 4 months and every problem has gone away. How can this be if the "establishment" is right about saturated fats and other "target bad foods"? They just seem to ignore empirical data and keep on touting the same “company line”. I find that dieticians have been taught a certain curriculum and just can't accept that it may have been wrong—it flies in the face of their education so badly that they have to ignore it instead of trying to learn from it. Also, vitamins have been over-rated as well. I keep hearing how food X has a good source of a certain vitamin and Atkins limits this, so Atkins is bad. A multi-vitamin and Snickers bar has more vitamins than any food in existence. They even go as far to try to "legislate" the type of oil fast-food restaurants cooks their fries--duh, it's not the oil, its the potatoes; and they wonder why America keeps getting fatter/sicker. THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES, but nobody is listening!!!
December 12, 2011 02:07 AM EST
shalisha42 said:
The people who review these "best diets" have an agenda. Atkins will never be touted as one of the top best diets because it goes against all the big corporations that endorse white flour and sugar products. Dominos, Aunt Jemima, Pillsbury, Kellogs, etc. These are powerful corporations and these companies invest alot of money so that the government can continue to lie to us and say that sugar and flour is good for us.
November 07, 2011 03:37 PM EST
wellzen said:
Mass marketing at it's finest
November 07, 2011 06:12 PM EST
irismsimmons said:
I too, have tried just about every diet there is...Weight Watchers worked somewhat but I tired of keeping track of every morsel I ate and soon fell off... My blood pressure and both cholesterols are all normal...I AM HEALTHY - JUST OVERWEIGHT! Atkins is allowing me to eat healthy, loose weight and not have to worry with tracking every bite once I adhered to eating properly! I've shed 25 pounds so far with 30 more to go! Atkins, keep on doing what you are doing...
November 27, 2011 01:02 PM EST
deepblueiz said:
It is so sad that there is so much misinformation out there. Hundreds and thousands of people could be helped with this simple concept. With a bmi of over 60 (I know, I know) I have excellent bp, normal cholesterol (both kinds), blood sugar under control, etc etc. AND I am on my way to losing the weight-- 45 pounds so far. It is just sad that others don't know the simple answer!
November 14, 2011 02:16 PM EST
Ida1 said:
I wish there was a place where those of us who have faithfully been following a low-carb lifestyle for many years could check in, and once and for all prove to the medical community that we enjoy extremely good health!!!
November 25, 2011 03:18 PM EST
mrainwater1977 said:
Atkins followers should be happy that Atkins ranked low on the "best diets" list because basing a diet's nutritional completeness on the FDA's food pyramid is what got most of us 'here' in the first place - an overweight lethargic place, that is. Not to mention I do not consider Atkins a diet, but rather a better way of feeding my body what it needs to run efficiently. So, with that being said, I am actually glad Atkins did not rank high on a list filled with fads or diets that give little return on big investments.
November 07, 2011 03:59 PM EST
mrsburkoff said:
Atkins is the best diet i can say for a fact. I've been on it for 8 months... lost and kept off 35 lbs! I'm changing peoples minds too. I've always been the fat lady in church. Now everyone is asking me what i do? obviously its working. nothing else ever did. I've got a couple of new recruits. My sister, my best friend... and they are excited, its working for them too.
November 12, 2011 11:58 PM EST
Kmam54 said:
I started Atkins many years ago but felt yucky. I hadn't done my homework then because I was not eating any carbs at all. This time I included lots of veggies, which i love and some nuts(before I read I shouldn't have them in phase one) With the meats and cheesesetc. I am feeling so great and lost over 10 lbs in a couple of weeks. Also for psychological reasons I have included some diet cran drink for vitamin C and some of the all phases shakes and all phase Atkins lo carb bars. I have energy and other symptoms have gone away as well. I wish I would have done this the first time.
November 24, 2011 03:56 AM EST
Kmam54 said:
Been on low fat, complex carb diets, the zone where you balance each meal with fat protein and complex carb. Worked some but I o yo'd back. I had developed metabolic syndrome and had a very hard time losing wt and blood sugars all over the place, high and low. Gosh I feel so much better.
November 24, 2011 03:59 AM EST
SybilYeaman said:
Well, I can agree on one point with the experts....fat is bad...the fat on my belly and butt that Medicine is constantly advancing, but we've barely scratched the surface on how we internally function chemically. So many experts and all with differant opinions just demponstrates no one really knows.
June 08, 2012 09:41 PM EST
nanse484 said:
I tried the dash diet lost a little, but the key is low carbs, hight fiber, I started on Atkins and had so much energy I felt like a young woman. acted like a 50 year old at 69 everyone thought i was 60. I will be 70 this year. I slipped on christmas, and now it is Valentines, eating sugar cookies etc. I am diabetic and my sugar dropped down to 6.6 now I have gained 10 lbls. I love bread, like wonder bread multi grain. Josephs bread, make pizza out of it. They take me out for pizza I scrape all the toppings off, throw the crust away and eat all the vegetables, multgrain, with flax seed, etc. Really does the trick. But I am feeling bad, no energy. So I am coming back. I want that energy. can't sit for five min. always up and down. I had my calbladder out and have problem with bloating. fiber. Don't know what to do about it. less I stop the fiber
February 17, 2014 03:20 PM EST
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