the atkins diet

Dr. atkins low carb diet

While we have basic dietary guidelines, we also know that because of karma, genetics, variations in biology, etc., bodies can be radically different from each other, and have radically different needs.  Thus we’ve long been proponents of individual special diets for keeping your body well, so it can serve as a good vehicle for your spirit.  Also, environmental conditions are different depending on where you live, and the environment itself grows more "out of wack" everyday.  So what a person eats should be customized to what their body and spirit require.  So keep that in mind regarding the following.

Recently, I listened to extraordinary comments made by a cardiac surgeon, named Atkins, regarding diet, weight loss and cardiac health.  I was impressed with what he heard, both intellectually, and spiritually – My inner voice resonated with it as truth.  Then I began meeting numerous people who’ve had great success with it.  Jon and several of our monks have now successfully modified there diets using some of the concepts, with great success, and we want to enthusiastically pass along the information, and give our friends resources to find out more about it. 

Dr. Atkins (an MD) originally created his diet for people who came to him with serious heart conditions.  I think he said he put 10,000 people who came to him for bypass heart surgery on this diet, and they both lost weight and no longer needed surgery.  This is even more amazing sounding when you consider that the diet includes things like lots of fat (cheese, cream, butter, bacon and other high fat meats [if you aren’t a vegetarian of course]).  Sounds absurd of course, but after years of people avoiding fatty foods, thinking it would cause them to gain weight and be unhealthy, many people have found that the truth is just the opposite.  Many people on low fat diets, still gained weight.  But we’re now hearing that many people on the low-carb diet, have lost much weight and gotten healthier, even though they have a high fat diet.  And it seems that the fat and protein are what keep people from feeling hungry all the time (and blowing their diets).  Tibetan’s practically live on fat (of course, they also have high amounts of oxygen in their blood, even though living at very oxygen poor high altitudes – don’t forget that genetic factor).  The only things you can’t eat on this diet are foods with a lot of carbohydrates.  Atkins insists it’s actually carbos that become fat in your body, and are stored as fat if they aren’t all burned off.

This diet isn’t just for overweight people.  A lot of average weight or thin people find that they just feel better eating that way (if it is the right diet for their body type remember). Jon has had many heart attacks and was having severe angina heart pains multiple times daily for about a year - no problems since lowering his carbohydrate intake.

The “induction” part of the Atkins diet involves denying your body all but 20 grams of carbohydrate per day.  What this seems to do is cause the body to go into “Ketosis”, which is essentially when your body starts burning its own fat for fuel, instead of the burning the carb amounts you eat.  Keep in mind, this stage of the diet isn’t a healthy permanent diet – but it does what it was designed for very well.  While you’re body turns to burning off its old toxic fat, you experience some bad breath and dehydration, and it’s a bit taxing for the organs that deal with the detox process, like the kidneys & liver.  But after hitting target weight, you can start adding more carbohydrate counts and other foods to create a well balanced diet.  The amount of low carbohydrate foods each person can tolerate without gaining weight varies from person to person.  Any diet change that is made for optimizing your health, including losing weight, must be a permanent lifestyle adaptation, not just a “crash” or temporary swing.  So once you find your target, that’s what you stick to.  And new products make this easier than ever, and require little or no sacrifices of foods you like (discussed later).  

Some people call the Atkins diet a high-protein diet, but from what we’ve seen that’s not really true. We believe that a true high-protein diet can cause kidney damage.  The Atkins diet would more accurately be described as a low-carb diet, and maybe a high fat/low carb diet, because you don’t need to add protein (as long as you’re already getting enough), but you DO need to cut carbohydrates, especially refined ones like sugar, bleached white flour, etc..

The biggest high-carbo sources are sugar and bread (basically anything that is starchy or sweet) – something that until recently had to be sacrificed if you wanted to do the Atkins diet.  The diet even requires you to be careful of how much of the higher sugar or starch fruits & vegetables you eat.  But there are now low-carb soy & whey based breads & baking mixes available so you don’t have to do without.  You can find low carb bread, bagels, tortillas, muffins, pancakes, etc..  And a new sweetener was developed that takes care of the sweet problem.  Called “Splenda”, it has been used safely in Canada, Australia, Japan, and other countries for many years – the FDA just approved it for the US.  So now dieters can eat gourmet chocolates, ice cream, cheesecakes, and other treats.  It also doesn’t give kids the sugar rush that makes them “spazy”, nor does it feed plaque so it doesn’t contribute to dental cavities.  Plus, unlike other artificial sweeteners, it has no aftertaste – it just tastes like sugar because it’s made from sugar.

If you are interested in finding out more about this, and similar diets, check out Atkins book “A new diet revolution”, or books like “The carbohydrate addict’s handbook”.  

Also, to read more about dr. atkins diet, or order low carb foods, visit www.lowcarbyummies.comYou'll also find free low carbohydrate recipes, and a carbohydrate counter.  We were impressed enough by what we’ve seen and heard from people on a low carb diet, including CLO monks and GRO members, that Windsor-Hill has set up an easy on-line ordering system for the site.   

Some profits from this site go to supporting us.       

(Note: The above is not medical advice, only personal experience.  Some doctors and dieticians disagree with Dr. Atkins regarding his diet. As with any diet or exercise plan, check with your own doctor before starting something new). 

UPDATE: December 2002. CNN.  Finally legitimate long term medical studies have come out proving Dr. Adkins claims!.

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