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New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great. Paperback – March 2, 2010
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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"For once, a book where the scientific facts outweigh the hype and where the results fulfill the promise. Once you have read the book, your diet and lifestyle will never be the same." -- Dr. William J. Kraemer, professor of kinesiology, University of Connecticut
About the Author
Dr. Eric C. Westman is the Director of the Lifestyle Medicine Clinic at Duke University, the Vice President of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, is on the editorial board of Nutrition and Metabolism and has penned articles for numerous peer reviewed publications. He is an expert in low carb diets, diabetes and obesity, and insulin resistance.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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I started the diet in September of 2011 and lost 10 pounds the first month. I was thrilled. However, my weight loss stopped and my constipation was horrible. I was eating lots vegetables and salads, but it made no difference. I added psyllium husk and still no difference. After two months, my constipation problems resolved and I thought that my body had simply adjusted. I continued this way of eating afraid of gaining the 10 pounds back. I kept checking the strips to make sure I stayed in ketosis and was very strict with my diet. I ate "healthy" the way it indicated in all these books. I had lots of vegetables and a handful of berries each day, along with the regular meat, eggs and cheeses with no bread and no sugar. By February of 2012, I had a visible tumor on my neck. This scared the heck out of me, but I thought, "this can't be cancer....cancer feeds on sugar right?" Well, sure enough, it was a thyroid tumor. Now, these tumors are usually very treatable and not aggressive. However, after my surgery, I was told by my surgeon that it was very unusual to have this kind of tumor behave so aggressively and invade so many lymph nodes around my neck.
Can you imagine how confused I was? Here I'd been on this no sugar, no carb diet for the last 6 months and yet.....a tumor had grown rapidly and aggressively in my neck.
After researching for many many months as to how this could be, I came across some articles that say that ketones fuel tumors. I had a huge 'Aha' moment. This is another alternative idea as to why diabetics get more cancer. Is not that the sugar is feeding the cancer, but that the KETONES are feeding the tumor and it makes them more aggressive. I also kept coming across the Warburg Effect of cancer, but more importantly, came across the REVERSE Warburg Effect which indicates that the cancer tumors have other ways of feeding themselves besides glucose. I also saw some reports or contra-arguments about that, but to me, I need no further proof. SUGAR DID NOT feed my tumor, but the ketones sure did. It also showed me that going into ketosis will NOT get rid of cancer tumors as I've seen over and over in many internet pages.
I just want to warn people to please, please, please, take care of your health and not go into ketosis. Yes, I agree that lesser carbs is better, but some carbs are good. I found out about the relationship between IP6 and cancer. Where is IP6 found? In bran.....rice, corn, wheat. High intakes of IP6 have been strongly associated with less cancer.
The main advice is to please read everything you can about an anti-cancer diet BEFORE you have cancer. Otherwise, you'll be like me, like a deer in the headlights....frozen and afraid.
If you want to kill a cancer patient fast or if you want to grow a cancer, I am convinced, you just need to follow the advice in this book....Scary. Am paying the consequences and would hate to see more people be ignorant of these other factors.
Stay healthy and informed. The worst thing to do is to be convinced that what you are doing is THE right way. Always stay curious and question everything, no matter how scientific it sounds. It applies to me too.
SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE ATKINS DIET DURING WEIGHT LOSS THAT THE BOOK WON'T TELL YOU ABOUT
1) It raises LDL in 30% of patients and causes many unpleasant side effects in most patients.
A May 2004 study, financed by Atkins and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, described two participants in the low-carbohydrate diet group (Atkins) who dropped out of the study because of concerns about elevated serum lipid levels. In one participant, the LDL-cholesterol level increased from 184 mg/dl (4.75 mmol/l) to 283 mg/dl (7.31 mmol/l) in 3 months. Another participant's LDL-cholesterol level went from 182 mg/dl (4.70 mmol/l ) to 219 mg/dl (5.66 mmol/l) in 4 weeks. Overall, LDL-cholesterol increased by more than 10% in 30% of the people on the low-carbohydrate diet.
Several symptomatic adverse effects occurred more frequently in the low-carbohydrate diet group than in the low-fat diet group, including constipation (68% vs. 35%; P < 0.001), headache (60% vs. 40%; P = 0.03), halitosis (38% vs. 8%; P < 0.001), muscle cramps (35% vs. 7%; P < 0.001), diarrhea (23% vs. 7%; P = 0.02), general weakness (25% vs. 8%; P = 0.01), and rash (13% vs. 0%; P = 0.006). One participant sought medical attention for constipation but had no complications. One 53-year-old man in the low-carbohydrate diet group who had a family history of early heart disease developed chest pain near the end of the study, and coronary heart disease was subsequently diagnosed.
While most patients did not seem to worsen their health during this short term weight loss study, it clearly worsened the blood lipids of 30% of patients and as well as caused unpleasant side effects in an even larger percentage of patients. Clearly the Atkins diet is not healthy for everyone. Even during the weight loss phase, this diet would be extremely unlikely to prevent or reverse heart disease in anyone.
Yancy WS Jr, Olsen MK, Guyton JR, Bakst RP, Westman EC. A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet versus a Low-Fat Diet To Treat Obesity and Hyperlipidemia: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2004 May 18;140(10):769-777.
2) High meat diets increase IGF-1 which is a risk factor for cancer.
"Reducing protein intake from an average of 1.67 g kg '1 of body weight per day to 0.95 g kg '1 of body weight per day for 3 weeks in six volunteers practicing CR resulted in a reduction in serum IGF-1 from 194 ng mL '1 to 152 ng mL '1 ."
Luigi Fontana,1,2,3 Edward P. Weiss,1,2,4 Dennis T. Villareal,1,2 Samuel Klein,1,2 and John O. Holloszy. Long-term effects of calorie or protein restriction on serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 concentration in humans. Aging Cell. 2008 October; 7(5): 681-687.
"Men with relatively high intakes of total protein (top quintile) and minerals (top quintile of the five minerals combined) had a 25% higher mean plasma level of IGF-I compared with those in the low quintiles simultaneously."
Giovannucci E, Pollak M, Liu Y, Platz EA, Majeed N, Rimm EB, Willett WC. Nutritional predictors of insulin-like growth factor I and their relationships to cancer in men. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003 Feb;12(2):84-9.
EVEN MORE SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE ATKINS DIET DURING WEIGHT MAINTENANCE THAT THE BOOK WON'T TELL YOU ABOUT
3) During weight maintenance the Atkins diet greatly increases LDL compared to South Beach or Ornish diets.
According to a study in 2009 by Miller et al that compared three diets (Atkins, South Beach and Ornish) during weight maintenance, LDL went up 8 percent on the Atkins diet, fell 11.8% on the South Beach diet and fell 16.6% on the Ornish diet. The Atkins also produced less favorable results for flow-mediated vasodilation than the other two.
4) During weight maintenance a high saturated fat, high beef diet increases the number of small dense LDL particles.
In a study co-authored by Ronald Krauss, during weight maintenance two low-carb diets (one high and one low in saturated fat) were compared to a high carbohydrate diet that was also high in saturated fat. The values for small dense LDL were 222 nmol/l in the low-carb, high saturated fat diet ; 207 nmol/l in the high-carb diet, high saturated fat diet; and 187 nmol/l in the low-carb, low saturated fat diet.
Mangravite LM, Chiu S, Wojnoonski K, Rawlings RS, Bergeron N, Krauss RM. Changes in atherogenic dyslipidemia induced by carbohydrate restriction in men are dependent on dietary protein source. J Nutr.2011Dec;141(12):2180-5.
LIFELONG REDUCTIONS IN LDL LINKED TO CONSISTENT REDUCTION IN CHD RISK
Scientists studied nine single nucleotide polymorphisms which influence LDL levels. From homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia at the high extreme (over 600 mg/dL LDL cholesterol) to hypobeta-lipoproteinemia at the low extreme (less than 15mg/dL LDL cholesterol). Since these SNP's are present from birth, this allowed them to see the effect of low LDL levels maintained over a lifetime. The results show a three times greater benefit for these life long low LDL levels compared taking statins later in life. Ference stated, "the effect of each of the included SNPs on risk of CHD is mediated largely or entirely through effect on circulating levels of LDL, rather than through some other pleiotropic effect."
"The researchers also conducted a meta-analysis of the "natural" randomized trials by combining non-overlapping data from multiple SNPs involving 326,443 participants. Results of this study indicated that lifetime exposure to lower LDL was associated with a 54% (95% CI, 48-59) relative reduction of CVD for each 38.7 mg/dL (1 mmol/L) lower LDL." There is a clear dose response relationship. And no one is suggesting that people that statins all their life, but low animal fat diets can do a lot to improve LDL.
Ference BA. Late-breaking clinical trials IV. Presented at: the American College of Cardiology 61st Scientific Session & Expo; March 24-27, 2012; Chicago.
OTHER REASONS TO DOUBT HEALTH CLAIMS FOR THE ATKINS DIET
Meat intake and mortality: a prospective study of over half a million people.
Conclusion: Red and processed meat intakes were associated with modest increases in total mortality, cancer mortality, and cardiovascular disease mortality.
Sinha R, Cross AJ, Graubard BI, Leitzmann MF, Schatzkin A. Meat intake and mortality: a prospective study of over half a million people. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Mar 23;169(6):562-71.
Post-diagnosis dietary factors and survival after invasive breast cancer.
A study of breast cancer survivors showed that "Women who consumed the highest quartile of saturated fat (median of 13% kcal) had a 41% statistically significant higher risk of all-cause mortality compared to women in the lowest quartile, who consumed a median of 7% calories from saturated fat (P trend = 0.03)."
Beasley JM, Newcomb PA, Trentham-Dietz A, Hampton JM, Bersch AJ, Passarelli MN, Holick CN, Titus-Ernstoff L, Egan KM, Holmes MD, Willett WC. Post-diagnosis dietary factors and survival after invasive breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Jul;128(1):229-36. Epub 2011 Jan 1.
Dietary fatty acids and pancreatic cancer in the NIH-AARP diet and health study.
In this large prospective cohort with a wide range of intakes, dietary fat of animal origin was associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk."
Thiébaut AC, Jiao L, Silverman DT, Cross AJ, Thompson FE, Subar AF, Hollenbeck AR, Schatzkin A, Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ. Dietary fatty acids and pancreatic cancer in the NIH-AARP diet and health study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 Jul 15;101(14):1001-11. Epub 2009 Jun 26.
Bill Clinton had been on the South Beach low-carb diet long enough to lose 30 pounds before needing to undergo heart bypass surgery. While South Beach gives much better cardiovascular biomarker's than Atkins, it still wasn't good enough to prevent his heart condition from getting worse.
There are some people on Dr. Davis track your plaque website who claim to have reversed heart disease on a low carb diet, but they also achieved extremely low LDL levels. "LindyBill" says he reduced his plaque by over 30% but he also reduced his LDL from 119 to 52 mg/dL. (Dr. Davis recommends grass-fed meat [which happens to be low in saturated fat] as well as supplements that improve lipids.)
The Atkins type diet is often characterized as being the diet of our ancestors. But hunter gatherers didn't eat dairy or factory-farmed meat which this diet permits. The online USDA National Nutrient Database shows that factory-farmed meat contains about five times as much saturated fat as grass-fed meat (ground meat doesn't count because the same amount of fat is added to both making comparisons meaningless.) And wild game eaten by HGs contains even less saturated fat than grass-fed domestic meat. And LDL in modern HGs who eat wild game averages 50 to 70 mg/dL (far below average American levels), while the average person on an Atkins diet during weight maintenance eating factory-farmed meat and dairy sees their LDL go up to above average levels.
The book tells us not to worry about saturated fat because the more saturated fat we eat the less saturated fat there is in the blood as if this had any relevance to heart disease. What matters is that saturated fat in the diet increases LDL in the blood. This is what matters.
In every long range study that I've seen increasing animal fat and reducing sugar either fails to reduce heart attacks or actually increases them. This doesn't mean that everyone has elevated LDL or an increased risk of heart disease during weight maintenance. Studies just report averages.
THE TRUTH ABOUT DIFFERENT KINDS OF LOW FAT DIETS
Not only does the book make false promises about the benefits of high animal fat diets for heart disease but it misleads us about the evidence that low animal fat diets can prevent or reverse heart disease. The book uses the Women's Health Initiative to claim that low fat diets are ineffective for weight loss or the prevention of heart disease and cancer. But in that study people were free to replace fat with anything they chose and in this country that's usually sugar, white flour and fried potatoes swimming in trans fat. And there was no significant lowering of LDL. However there are other kinds of low fat diets that are very effective at lowering LDL and reducing heart attacks.
In the 1950s, Dr. Morrison put 50 heart attack survivors on a 15% fat, high protein diet and another 50 survivors were told to eat as usual. Total cholesterol fell from 312 mg/dl to 220 mg/dl in the experimental group. That's a reduction of 29%. And over a period of 8 years, 38 patients eating as usual died while only 22 in the experimental group died. See The Low-Fat Way to Health and Longer Life.
In the 80's Dr. Esselstyn used a 10% fat, high fiber diet plus low dose statins to arrest or reverse heart disease in 18 severely ill heart patients. We know it worked because of before and after coronary angiograms and cardiac PET scans. Some had been given less than a year to live by their referring cardiologist. After 12 years, "Adherent patients have experienced no extension of clinical disease, no coronary events, and no interventions. This finding is all the more compelling when we consider that the original compliant 18 participants experienced 49 coronary events in the 8 years before the study." There was no requirement to count calories or exercise to get these results. Although the sample was small, the results were statistically significant. The percent of reduction in mortality and cardiac events by far outperforms any other study that has ever been done on coronary artery disease patients. See Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure.
Dr. Ornish also reversed heart disease using a similar diet plus exercise and meditation but no statins. Since then Dr. Ornish has enrolled at least 3800 patients in demonstration projects (to demonstrate savings on surgery) which resulted in over 40 insurance companies including Medicare covering a program in diet and lifestyle for heart disease patients. According to Dr. Ornish, "In brief, we found that almost 80 percent of patients who were eligible for bypass surgery or angioplasty were able to safely avoid it for at least three years." Insurance companies wouldn't pay for something that made a lot of people worse. If any one got worse it had to be a small minority of patients. See The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health.
According to an objective evaluation of all the evidence by Harvard School of Public Health, "The answer to the question What should I eat? is actually pretty simple. But you wouldn't know that from news reports on diet and nutrition studies, whose sole purpose seems to be to confuse people on a daily basis. When it comes down to it, though-WHEN ALL THE EVIDENCE IS LOOKED TOGETHER-THE BEST NUTRITION ADVISE ON WHAT TO EAT IS RELATIVELY STRAIGHTFORWARD: Eat a plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; choose healthy fats, like olive and canola oil; and eat red meat and unhealthy fats, like saturated and trans fats, sparingly. Drink water and other healthy beverages, and limit sugary drinks and salt. Most important of all is keeping calories in check, so you can avoid weight gain, which makes exercise a key partner to a healthy diet." This is basically a Mediterranean diet.
Dr. Atkins advice has always been on the fringe and still is. Studies show that during weight maintenance high animal fat diets increase total LDL, small dense LDL and IGF-1. They also increase the risk of heart disease, cancer and all-cause-mortality in the average person. But if you feel you absolutely must eat low carb, then the evidence says that however good your health is on a low-carb, high animal fat diet, it'll be better on a low-carb diet that is low in animal fat and animal protein.
BTW, someone said I was a vegan who was against animal food on principle, regardless of the health consequences. They're wrong. I'm not a vegan. This is only about health. And Aktins versus vegan is a false dilemma. There are many ways to eat low-carb, some of them much better than others. The original Atkins (low in vegetables and high in animal fat) is probably the worst of them all. And there are many ways to eat vegetarian. And some of them include a lot of sugar and junk food and aren't healthy for anyone. But the vegetarian Seventh Day Adventists live longer than any group that has ever been studied. So it's possible to to be a healthy vegetarian. Actually there are more studies supporting the Mediterranean diet than for any other eating style. Ancel Keys (who has been libeled by Uffe Ravnskov and others especially since his death) promoted a Mediterranean diet (which is a near vegetarian diet). He lived to be 100 and and his wife lived to be 97.