Paul pointed out “The perils of the Atkins diet,” from Texas A&M’s The Battalion which discusses how Atkins isn’t healthy in the long-term and isn’t really all that effective as a weight-loss diet, either. One point the writer makes that’s kind of unique, though it’s probably not news to long-time vegetarians, is that the Atkins diet is more expensive than low-fat, reduced-meat diets. Add this to the years of research that goes against the Atkins hi-fat, hi-protein philosophy and the recent study of more than 90,000 women that links animal fats to breast cancer, and you have pretty much every reason in the world not to follow Atkins. Erik Marcus over at Vegan.com also made a good point a while back when he referred to the Atkins diet as a nightmare for the animals.
Someone said to me the other day, “I want to lose some weight… how can I cut out carbs from my diet?” I said, “Well, first of all, you don’t want to cut carbs from your diet. You want to replace simple carbs with complex carbs… whole wheat bread instead of white, whole wheat or mixed pasta instead of regular pasta, high-fiber cereals, etc. Then you want to cut back on saturated fat and trans fat… avoid the snacks with partially hydrogenated oils… replace your cooking oils with olive oil, canola oil, and high oleic safflower oil (for high-temperature frying)…” And then I realized I was starting to sound like my mom. :)
I think people just have this idea that they want to lose as much weight as they can, quickly, and with little effort. Eat more meat? Sure! Everybody loves their steak, why not eat more of it and lose weight! Really, who needs fiber, anyway? What we need to be thinking is, “How can I be healthier?” Weight loss doesn’t necessarily map one-to-one with health… after all, anorexia can help you shed those pounds fast, but it’s not exactly helping you get your nutrients.