Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Today's FYI: Carbs are NOT taboo and Atkins is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!

Okay, I'm not quite sure where to begin, because I am so overly passionate on this subject (so you will probably see me write about it more than once). First I will start with WHY the Atkins Diet (and any similar low carb-high protein diets) are horrible for you.

For those that may not quite be familiar with the Atkins diet, it is a diet of virtually no carbohydrates (no breads, starches, nada..), and high amounts of protein (meat, cheese, eggs, etc). Some people may ask "So why did I lose weight when I did Atkins?" Well, because naturally, many foods that are lower in carbohydrates are lower in calories, hence you were eating too many of them before. So the next question is.."Well, if I lost weight, how could it be THAT bad?"...This is the good part..Cholesterol is a whole different topic to get me started on, and one of my specialties at that..but the majority of high protein foods that are OK to eat while on this ridiculous diet are so high in cholesterol, that after a few months on this, your cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL(low-density lipoprotein), and all other blood tests related to the fat in your blood will be through the roof. Now, I'm sure most of you know the high cholesterol increases plaque in the arteries, slows down the movement of blood through them, and will eventually after a long enough period cause a heart attack or heart disease in general.
Let me state this really quick..your body naturally produces 85% of it's cholesterol and only 15% should come from your diet. The recommended daily intake (RDI) for cholesterol consumption (you can see how many mg of cholesterol on the back of almost everything you eat-make sure you're looking PER SERVING), is 330mg/day. (Some experts vary this number, but this is a general number used in the nutrition field for how much you should consume from your diet daily). So for those of you who aren't too familiar with this, cholesterol comes from animal products. (Dairy, meat, eggs, etc.)
Back to the subject. One egg has how much cholesterol? Go ahead..guess...I'm waiting...240mg PER EGG! How many people do you know eat just ONE egg? That's what I thought. And then they are being told that eggs are GOOD to eat while on this diet? So now people are going to eat more than usual. Wow. An average 5 oz portion of red meat (which is also "allowed") in this low carb-high protein diet, has an average of 110 mg cholesterol..now many people eat red meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because "it's okay, I'm following my diet". (Don't forget about my BBQ post- red meat is never okay more than once or twice per WEEK). Cheese..ohhh cheese..cheese is not that innocent either. ONE slice of deli cheese has 20mg (average) of cholesterol. So if you are trying not to eat carbs and filling yourself up and eat 5 slices of cheese, there is 100mg, your already at 1/3 of your daily allowed intake for the day..and all you've eaten is cheese! Is this making sense to you? I hope so! Now on to the other half of today's topic..CARBOHYDRATES!

I am not going to lie, I LOVE carbohydrates. I probably eat more than recommended for the normal person, but I am also more physically active than a person that lives a sedentary lifestyle. (Don't worry, exercise topics are coming soon). This is NOT, I repeat..NOT telling you to go binge on carbohydrates, you WILL gain weight, that is not what this is about. If you go out and eat a loaf of bread and a bag of cookies right now, I am not responsible, because I am telling you that's not what this is about, ok? Here we go. The recommended daily intake (RDI) for carbohydrates is about 250 for someone that typically consumes 2,000 calories a day. More if your diet requires more. Without carbohydrates, our bodies cannot function normally. We will have no energy for simples tasks, our brains will not function normally, and our bodily processes can't do all they need to do. Keeping this short and sweet, carbohydrates are not the enemy. Everybody needs them, overweight, thin, in between, everybody. Now I have been asked the question: "Carbohydrates raise blood sugar what should diabetics do?" I don't claim to know much about diabetes, but I have done some research. Not all carbohydrates will cause a "spike" in blood sugar. There is a very good website to go to if you are diabetic and have questions about how carbs interact with glucose levels, but the bottom line is, if it has carbohydrates and a lower glycemic index, the spike in blood sugar will not be nearly as drastic as something made with sugary carbs and a high glycemic index.

"Not all carbohydrates cause a "spike" or rapid rise in blood sugar. Only carbs with a high glycemic value do this. Some diet "experts" imply that all carbs are bad for our blood-sugar levels. This is not true. Indeed, even the effect of higher glycemic index carbs can be mitigated by combining them with lower glycemic value foods." 

This was obtained off of http://www.carbs-information.com/blood-glucose-levels.htm

Bottom line, everyone, unless you are on a restricted diet of carbohydrates or certain foods, my advice is for the average person who is not on a special diet. To sum up everything that I've put, the Atkins diet is very dangerous, your body NEEDS carbohydrates to function, and the high protein foods that are "good" to eat while on the low carb diets are high in saturated fats and cholesterol and after a period of time ultimately clog your arteries and lead to heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, and so much more. Go have a bagel everyone, Carbs are your friend, not enemy. Once I am an RD I plan on writing a book on this subject! Have a great day! <3

If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will answer everything to the best of my ability. If I can't answer it, I will find the answer :)


  1. Didn't Dr. Atkins drop dead of a heart attack at 45?

  2. That is what I've heard and what I believe. His people try to cover it up with having been a "severe fall"..I didn't include that because I can't say I know FOR SURE lol..but I think if he fell, it was on his way down from a massive coronary. =/