We can never get too much data and assurance about healthy eating. Now a study puts Atkins back in poll position, despite endless attempts to try and dislodge him. As I have said elsewhere, the diet is not “his”; what he advocates has been around since the 19th century and William Banting, later known as the RAF Diet and was also featured in Richard Mackaness’ 1960s book “Eat Fat and Grow Slim”.
But it’s good to see that so many studies support a low carb, high fat diet. This is what man traditionally ate and was very healthy.
The latest study appeared in January 1, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The Atkins diet raised good HDL cholesterol and lowered “bad” triglycerides more than the other diet.
The more traditional approach did lower LDL cholesterol. But who cares, if your HDL goes up and the triglycerides come down?
Blood pressure, fasting glucose, insulin, and homeostasis model assessment were all reduced with weight loss, with no difference observed between the diets.
A study last year, known as the Atkins-Traditional-Ornish-Zone (A TO Z) trial, found that premenopausal women randomized to the Atkins diet lost statistically more weight than women on the Zone diet and numerically more than on either the Zone diet or Dean Ornish’s diet (low fat). 
Atkins has emerged time and again as a clear winner. Investigators did their best to prove the Atkins diet was harmful “because it must be”, they continue to evade the issue that saturated fat has little or no harmful effects on humans. The myth persists only through ignorance and prejudice, not science.
The interesting thing is that neither high fat, low carb or high carb, low fat had any serious negatives in the study. Blood pressure, fasting glucose, insulin, and homeostasis model assessment were all reduced with weight loss, with no difference observed between the diets.
My answer to all this is eat what your body tells you. My book DIET WISE is an advanced program to tell you what is right for you and that has no relation to what everybody else might need.
The rewards for getting it right are very considerable: Luigi Cornaro, at Italian nobleman, chose foods that were right for his body and lived to 98 years old. That was in a time when the average life expectancy was less than 40 years and it was quite exceptional to achieve your three score years and ten.
1. Tay J, Brinkworth GD, Noakes M, et al. Metabolic effects of weight loss on a very-low-carbohydrate diet compared with an isocaloric high-carbohydrate diet in abdominally obese subjects. J Am Coll Cardiol 2008; 51: 59-67.
2. Gardner CD, Kiazand A, Alhassan S, et al. Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: the A TO Z Weight Loss Study: a randomized trial. JAMA 2007; 297: 969-977. Abstract
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