Just because a diet plan features reduction in carbohydrates doesn’t make it “caveman friendly,” and the Atkins diet is a case in point.
Visit the Atkins community online and you will immediately understand what sets their plan apart from a true Paleo diet. Not a mention of health or wellness is made on the homepage, and there is a good reason why.
At the heart of the Atkins diet is a single-minded focus on losing pounds—a “lifetime approach to weight loss and weight management.”
The premise behind every aspect of the Atkins approach is controlling carbohydrate intake. Fewer grams of carbs consumed means more stored fat burned and hence more weight lost.
Did cavemen worry about counting carb-grams? Heck no! They didn’t have refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup additives to contend with either. They ate fresh fish and meat, whole fruits and vegetables, nuts and berries.
Atkins will recommend some of these, too—however, not because they are high in antioxidants or Omega-3 oils, but because they are low in carbohydrates.
What’s more, Atkins makes no distinction between good carbs and bad carbs. Nutritionists have shown that carbohydrates delivered as dietary fiber, as opposed to starches or sugars, are actually good for your body. They are necessary to proper digestion and regularity, and you can get them from fruits, vegetables, nuts and a selection of whole grains.
Instead, Atkins advocates loading up on “bacon and eggs for breakfast, heavy cream in your coffee, plenty of meat and even salad with dressing for lunch and dinner.”
It stands to reason that a diet advocating unbalanced consumption of protein, fat and cholesterol is going to cause problems.
As more and more data on the results of Atkins dieting comes to light so do its dangers. Sticking to Atkins may actually increase the risk of cancer and other diseases.
If you are considering the Atkins diet, proceed with great caution. As the pounds come off, your body will rebel. Pay attention to its warning signs like a caveman would. Then, be sensible and get back to eating for your health.
Alfablue, September 2012