All you need to know about the Atkins diet!

Atkins, vegan, paleo, alkaline… all these words are invading your newsfeed. Everywhere you go, health specialists are trying to sell you a new diet, swearing by its benefits and how it could change your life! For years, we have been trying to figure out what are the best practices and the best diet to adopt for a healthy and balanced body. If you are looking for an “in” diet to embrace, such as the Atkins diet, then you came to the right place. Let’s take a look into one of the trendiest food diets!

The Atkins diet was created by Dr. Robert Atkins, an American cardiologist. In an attempt to lose weight, Dr. Atkins looked for diets to follow. He stumbles upon one in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) and decided to create a new one based on it. Hence, the Atkins Diet came to life! He later started recommending his own patients to adopt his diet.


The Atkins diet

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The notion behind the Atkins diet is regulating the body’s insulin levels. This is done by reducing carbohydrate intake. The obsession over low carb diets came from Dr. Atkins’ book (Thanks, doc!). The diet’s program is divided into 4 phases coupled with vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as exercising. According to Atkins, the major culprit in weight gain is refined carbs, particularly sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and flour.

Pros of the Atkins diet:


The Atkins diet


One of the encouraging factors to adopting this diet is that heavy food such as steaks and burgers, bacon, and so on, are allowed. Another advantage in adopting the Atkins diet is the restriction of refined carbohydrates, i.e. anything baked or doughy. It also calls for limiting snacks and alcohol, which are sources of empty calories and carbs which result in weight gain. Also, many studies have concluded that Atkin-ers see better levels of cholesterol. Following this diet will result in major weight loss, up to 80 pounds or 36 kilograms.

Cons of the Atkins diet:

Unlike other diets, fatty foods like butter and bacon are allowed in the Atkins diet. It also encourages food high in protein. However, food high in protein are most likely also high in fat which increases the level of bad cholesterol.


The Atkins Diet


Also, fruits and vegetables are very limited and almost restricted. This robs people from necessary fibers that help digestion and antioxidants that lower the possibility of cancer and cardiovascular illness.

Other side effects of the Atkins diet are:


The Atkins diet


  • Lack of energy – Lethargy: due to low carb intake which causes fatigue and possibly dizziness and insomnia.
  • Bad digestion: due to low fiber and fruit intake which might cause constipation and dehydration.
  • Halitosis: bad breath due to dietary changes.
  • Weight gain: once dieters go back to eating carbs, they regain all the lost weight or maybe even more.

Verdict of the Atkins diet:

So after dissecting the Atkins diet, the question is: is it doable? And if yes, is it worth it?

A study by Stanford University has found that compared to other diets, the Atkins diet was a winner. Good blood pressure, better cholesterol and major weight loss made it the champion in results.

However, since we like to criticise everything, there is a downside to this diet. Many dieters find it too strict, specially for a long-term diet. People find it hard to stick to it and often quit. And don’t forget about the bad cholesterol from the fatty food!

So bottom line, who should follow the Atkins diet?


The Atkins Diet

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The diet helps manage type II diabetes by keeping your insulin levels in check.

Additionally, it was found that women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, have hyperinsulimia or high levels of insulin. This, in return, exacerbates the symptoms of the condition and might cause diabetes. The solution? The Atkins diet, of course!

Finally, those suffering from hypertension can benefit greatly from the Atkins diet since it helps in lowering the blood pressure and losing weight (which is highly correlated with high blood pressure).


The Atkins diet

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In conclusion, people with these 3 conditions should consider following the Atkins diet. For those who are healthy but are considering to adopt the diet should consider introducing the dietary changes gradually for better long-term results. Also, don’t forget about the cons!!

ChefXChange has a variety of healthy menus with exceptional chefs! Check out Chef Vanessa (DXB), Chef Darius (LDN), or Chef Madea (WAS). If you have any comments or thoughts, don’t be shy and share them below!