"Diet food can be better, richer, and more sumptuous than most everyday foods," says Dr. Robert Atkins, author of the massive bestseller, Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution
. Carbohydrates, in his opinion, are the root of metabolic evil and the source of hyperinsulinemia, a condition that makes it next to impossible to lose weight. Billed as a companion to his Diet Revolution
book, this collection of recipes focuses on ultralow-carbohydrate dishes. His anticarb stance leads to some unconventional dietary advice: "Remember that, as a rule, the lower the fat content of a milk product, the higher its carbohydrate grams. Use cream, not skim milk; use sour cream, not yogurt."
While these recipes are certainly quick and easy to prepare and feature easy-to-find ingredients, some are very high in fat (Zabaglione, Crab and Avocado Salad, Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Baked Eggs in Bacon Rings). While it may be true that fat is flavor and is necessary to some extent to keeping blood sugar on an even keel, these recipes won't be helpful for those who are watching their cholesterol or are on similarly restricted diets.
To readers of celebrity and/or health and beauty magazines, Dr Atkins and his low-carbohydrate diet are as familiar as Audrey Eyton and her low-fat F-Plan diet were in the early 1990s. The main difference between them is that nutritionists were able to endorse the F-plan, with its emphasis on vegetables and fibre, as a healthy way of eating regardless of whether weight loss was the desired objective, whereas the official health view seems to be more ambivalent about the benefits of Dr Atkins's so-called New Diet Revolution, with its high-fat, high-protein, low-carbohydrate regime, and its assertion that it is better to cook with cream than with skimmed milk. That said, anything that helps to ameliorate the effects of the obesity epidemic sweeping the West certainly has to be a good thing, and Atkins is not short of celebrities queueing up to endorse his system, which offers sumptuous food of a quality that probably means the dieter is more likely to stick to the regime. His wife, Veronica, provides the low-carbohydrate recipes you will find here, all easily prepared in 30 minutes or less and all of which, it must be said, sound delicious and unlike any diet food you will ever have tried before. Imagine a dinner of artichoke hearts wrapped in bacon, followed by pork tenderloin medallions with soured cream and dill, with a dessert of chocolate butter cream, or baked goat's cheese and ricotta custards followed by steak au poivre and zabaglione, and you can see how people are attracted to the idea of this no-deprivation diet. Atkins runs through some of the principles behind his carbohydrate-free regime at the beginning of the book, but to understand properly the principles behind it one would probably have to read this in tandem with the two earlier books. There is no denying, however, that most of the recipes sound quite delicious and simple, and if this diet works for you, then that can only be a good thing. (Kirkus UK) --na