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The Atkins Diet: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

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Introduction

The Atkins Diet: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks? Introduction There are numerous diet programs promising results, all were based on healthy eating coupled with regular exercise. When Dr. Robert C. Atkins launched his revolutionary approach to losing weight, by eating high fat foods combined with no exercise, many doubted its validity. Ten years on, 'The Atkins Diet', is the buzzword in the industry and the most popular way to lose weight with his bestseller book still selling strong, having sold over 10 million copies worldwide. In this investigation, I shall look at the Atkins diet and explore its advantages and disadvantages. About the Atkins Diet The Atkins Diet is a revolutionary diet which promises fast and effective weight loss whilst eating all your favourite fatty foods. It is a low carbohydrate-high protein + fat diet. The main purpose of the diet is to use your fats and proteins as the body's preferred energy source instead of carbohydrates, which is the normal energy source for the body. When there are insufficient amounts of carbohydrates in the body, it starts to burn fat as its main energy source, thus reducing body weight. This revolutionary weight losing program has many advantages as well as drawbacks, which I will now discuss. Advantages The Atkins diet is considered as the most effective diet in the world by many people and dieticians alike. ...read more.

Middle

and high density lipo-protein (HDL). LDL is harmful to the body clogs to arteries and vessels, sticking to them and eventually blocking them, which leads to heart disease. This is 'bad cholesterol' and fortunately there is little of this cholesterol in foods in the Atkins diet. Foods in the Atkins diet contain a higher amount of 'good cholesterol' (HDL) than expected. HDL helps in the removal of cholesterol from arteries, and therefore reduces the risk of heart disease. This shows that not only is the Atkins diet an excellent weight reducing program, but also helps in preventing heart disease and circulatory problems. There are many benefits of weight loss, such as better self esteem for the dieter, more freedom, and a more comfortable and healthier way of life. Disadvantages However, good as the Atkins diet may seem on paper, it has many flaws and problems which, if exposed, can cause major problems to the person's health and mentality. Although Dr Atkins claims in his book that his diet has no health risks whatsoever in the long term [1], most doctors generally agree that this is not really the case. There have been countless health risks involved with the Atkins diet, most of which are very serious [2, 4&5] Fruit and Vegetables are essential to the human body and should be eaten regularly in good amounts. ...read more.

Conclusion

This caused millions of people to actually try the diet out to see for themselves. It seems that overall, there have been mixed feelings about the diet in terms of effectiveness and the risks involved. Many have seen the wonders that the diet can do to our physical shapes in a short space of time. It has been proven that if you stick to the plan, you can lose weight effectively in a short space of time [1]. However, as for the long term, the risks are both positive and negative. Studies have actually shown that foods part of the Atkins diet have a higher level of 'good cholesterol' than expected, which can lead to a reduced risk of heart disease. In spite of the apparent advantages, The Atkins diet has been linked with many conditions in the long term, including heart disease, cancer and kidney problems. Also, it is almost impossible for vegetarians to follow the diet as it mainly involves eating meats high in protein. Personally, I believe that the only safe way to lose weight is to totally change our eating patterns. If we go on these high protein diets and lose weight, and then go off the diet once we have done so, we will just put the weight back on again. If we eat only what is required per day together with good exercise, the weight will easily be lost in a safe and healthy way. ...read more.

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