The New Atkins Diet Versus the Original Plan
How is the new Atkins diet different from the original plan? The Atkins Diet needs no introduction. Perhaps the best known high-protein, low-carb diet out there, Atkins has been criticized for being too high in fat and for its potential to cause heart disease and other health issues – especially on people who are not careful about their choice of proteins.
Based on this consideration, a group of researchers recently looked into a vegan version of Atkins, which they referred to as “Eco-Atkins.” Their study – published in the Archives of Internal Medicine – shows that going low-carb while avoiding saturated fats might be one of the healthiest, easiest ways to protect your heart and lose weight at the same time.
In fact, the study shows that new Atkins diet has the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease by 10 percent. Participants in the study also lost weight and saw their total cholesterol go down after the six-month research period was over. Even more surprising, the results were better for people on the Eco-Atkins diet than those following a traditional vegetarian diet.
What Can You Eat on the New Atkins Diet
The Eco-Atkins diet used in the study consisted of 31 percent protein, 43 percent fat, and 26 percent carbohydrates. This translates to about 130 grams of carbs per day, which is considerably higher than the original Atkins recommendation of as little as 20 grams. Still, 26 percent is a lot lower than the amount recommended by the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which calls for 45-65 percent of the diet to come from carbohydrates.
Because Eco-Atkins is a vegan diet, all the protein must come from non-animal sources. Soy products, gluten and nuts are all good sources of protein for this diet. This can be eaten plain or in the form of meat-alternative items, such as veggie burgers and similar products. Nuts also provide part of the fat content in this diet, as do vegetable oils and things like avocados.
The carbohydrates in the diet come mostly from fruits and vegetables. Certain cereals and other grain products were allowed during the study, but flour-based products (pasta, bread), starchy vegetables such as potatoes, and rice were all banned.
Drawbacks of the New Eco-Atkins Diet
As with all vegetarian and vegan diets, Eco-Atkins can feel restrictive. Since you won’t be consuming any eggs or dairy products, a lot of common, everyday products might need to be excluded simply because they contain whey or other animal derivatives. In addition, Eco-Atkins requires that all foods are prepared from scratch, so this can be a very time consuming diet to follow.
Finally, keep in mind that all vegan diets must be properly balanced to ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need. Skipping meals, avoiding certain foods or not eating enough of a certain groups could lead to vitamin/mineral deficiencies.