THE GOOD: Dr. Atkins promotes exercise as an essential part of any weight loss program. Atkins also advises his readers to avoid processed foods such as sugar, white flour, and typical junk foods. Atkins recognizes the benefits of antioxidants for protection against heart disease, cancer and aging; however, he misses the boat by recommending this intake come from supplements and not plant foods such as fruits, vegetables and grain products. Many protective nutrients found in these foods continue to be discovered, therefore, they are not found in any pills. The best chance to get them is by eating whole foods.
THE BAD: Dr. Atkins bases his weight loss premise on ketosis. Ketosis occurs when your body is deprived of carbohydrates and must break down its own fat for energy. This is an inefficient means to create energy and is potentially dangerous. The by-products are called ketones, which must be filtered out by the kidneys. No long-term studies have been conducted on the effects of ketosis on the kidneys. Foods that are permitted in this diet are high in artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol.
THE UGLY: Ketosis causes fatigue, nausea, headaches and bad breath. Your body doesnít recognize the difference between self-induced starvation (which is how your body reacts to ketosis) or the real thing. As a result your metabolism will slow and guess what? You guessed it, once you begin eating normally, chances are you will gain back all the weight you lost and more. If thatís not enough, the foods which are severely restricted in this plan, whole grains and fruits, are also abundant in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Not only do they reduce your risk of developing cancer, but they protect against cardiovascular disease too.