www.whyville.net Mar 27, 2004 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Atkins: Low-Carb Innovation

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Hola, Whyvillians! I am so impressed with the success I have had with the Atkins diet, I decided to tell everyone the real 411 on 'Atkins.'

There are dozens of diet plans out there, from Slim-Fast, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and many others. Until recent years, the traditional diet was low-fat (fruits and vegetables, no sweets, and lots of exercise). However, a truly unique man, Dr. Robert Atkins, discovered a supposedly perfect diet plan for the overweight and obese as well people in general. His diet is based on the idea of eating foods low in carbohydrates and high in protein. He called it 'The Atkins Diet.'

When Dr. Atkins first proposed the idea that a good diet would consist of few carbohydrates, or "carbs," and much protein, the public thought it was preposterous (to put it mildly). But recently, the low carbohydrate concept has been booming into a world-renowned low-carb industry! The fast food restaurant Carl's Jr. is currently vending a "low-carb burger" -- a regular cheeseburger without the bun, wrapped in a blanket of lettuce to significantly lower the grams of carbs. Also, T.G.I. Friday's is presently offering an "Atkins approved menu," which consists of two low-carb appetizers and seven low-carb entr??es.

Dana Carpender is one of the many Americans who have devoted their lives to going low-carb. She has written several books about the Atkins diet and eating low-carb foods, two of which include "500 Low-Carb Recipes" and "How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds," which I highly recommend for anyone. "How I Gave Up My Low Fat Diet..." tells more about carbohydrates and how they work. Dana is also the founder of Hold the Toast Press, which publishes the biweekly online newsletter "Lowcarbezine!"

What is it about not eating carbs that makes you lose weight? Experts believe that dense carbohydrates were not part of the Paleolithic diet when our bodies were developing thousands of years ago. That means that our bodies are not supposed to eat the complex kinds of starches and sugars.

Carbohydrates are starches and sugars, and therefore eating the processed, "dense" kinds cause us to gain weight. A carbohydrate is a group of organic chemicals that your body burns to produce energy. Many believe that the Atkins diet is unhealthy because carbohydrates are the only source of energy for your body. That is untrue; although carbohydrates are the main source of energy, protein also supplies it. The energy in protein, however, takes longer for your body to absorb, because to produce energy the protein must be converted into sugar.

I give great respect to Dr. Robert Atkins as I acknowledge his marvelous studies and mourn his death one year ago. In a tragic accident, he slipped on the ice and hit his head on his daily walk to work in New York City. Whether Dr. Atkins' diet is the perfect diet or not, we should still thank him for his understanding of nutrition and health.

For more information on the Atkins diet, go to http: //atkins.com/.

Or visit the Lowcarbezine! website at http: //www.holdthetoast.com/.

Reminder: Diets that are planned out for adults don't necessarily work for teens and kids!?? They might even be very very dangerous for you.?? Adults need different nutrients in different amounts, so be careful -- talk with your parents and a doctor or another medical professional before starting any diet.?? No one diet can work for everybody, because we're all so different.

Editor's Note: Excellent report, penny305.?? Now, what can you tell us about other popular diets -- and can anyone find real scientific studies about any of them??? I'd like to know exactly how biologists believe they work or don't work.?? You'll find it's harder to prove this stuff than you'd think!


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