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Atkins and Similar Diets
by Allan Spreen, M.D.

What is your opinion of the Robert Atkins Revolution Diet (low-carb diet)?

No diet is right for everyone, but I have a lot of respect for this one. I have seen amazing weight loss from a plan that at first I thought was nuts.

I have become more convinced that a huge majority of us have problems with carbohydrates, made even worse by the fact that most of our sugars and starches (carbohydrates) are highly refined. This does away with invaluable fiber, along with the nutrients required to assimilate that carbohydrate.

Robert Atkins, M.D., bypasses the problem (in the early phases of his diet) by doing away with carbs all together. Then he adds back small amounts of unrefined carbohydrates. The idea is to keep people in a state of "ketosis" (not ketoacidosis), so that their bodies preferentially burn fat over carbs. He also believes in high-dose nutrient supplements (which gets him on my side right away, as I don't believe the standard American diet is adequate for optimum health).

Some people get constipated in the early stages of the plan and need added fiber supplements. Others just don't like taking in so much protein and fat, believing that the low-fat craze is preferable.

High-protein diets are worth learning about, whether you use them or not.

Good Health,
A.N. Spreen, M.D.

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