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Atkins Diet Research

To research the effectiveness and safety of low carb diets, read these Aktins Diet/Low Carb articles:

Teens Triumph on Controlled Carbohydrate Program

Atkins Center - A recent but significant study pokes a large hole in the idea that weight loss is simply a matter of restricting calories(1). Results of the study, conducted at Schneider Children's Hospital in New Hyde Park, N.Y., were presented at a meeting of the Society for Adolescent Medicine in Washington, D.C. Marc Jacobson, M.D., reported on his findings, involving children ranging in age from 12 to 18, all of whom were between 20 and 100 pounds overweight. He found that teens following a controlled carb plan were more successful in their weight-loss efforts than those following a low-fat, high-carb plan, even though the former ate an average of 730 more calories daily.

Members of the controlled carb group were allowed to eat as many calories as they wanted in the form of meat, fish, fowl and cheese, two salads a day and minimal other carbs. The low-fat group ate fat-free dairy products, whole grains, low-fat meats, poultry and fish and many fruits and vegetables. They were limited to 1,100 calories a day. The results speak for themselves: Teens in the controlled carb group lost an average of 19 pounds during a 12-week period; low-fat dieters averaged 8.5 pounds. The controlled carb group also showed a greater decrease in overall serum cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels were reduced by 52 percent, as compared to a 10 percent drop for the low-fat group. High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol levels increased in the controlled carb group and decreased in the low-fat group.

Two myths often perpetuated by critics of Atkins were also addressed in this study. Skeptics who don't actually understand the process of lipolysis/ketosis have often stated that the Atkins Nutritional ApproachTM is effective only because fewer calories are consumed. As Atkins followers can attest, they can eat plenty of delicious, whole foods. In the Schneider study, the controlled carb group consumed an average of 1,830 calories a day, 66 percent more than the low-fat group's average, while losing almost 1 pound more per week. Another myth is that Atkins can damage kidneys. Schneider researchers monitored kidney and liver functions and found that they were unaffected by the controlled carb diet.

Dr. Jacobson attributes the weight loss success of the controlled carb dieters to suppressed insulin levels, resulting from carbohydrate restriction. This, in turn, stops the body from "laying down new fat," he says, forcing it to burn fat already accumulated in the body. After three months on a weight-loss plan, study participants followed a maintenance diet that included additional carbohydrates. Six to 12 months later, most of the controlled carb followers had maintained their new weight. The study provides additional evidence for the efficacy of a high-protein, controlled carb weight loss program, specifically for teenagers.

Selected References
1. Sondike, S.B., Copperman, N.M., Jacobson, M.S., "Low Carbohydrate Dieting Increases Weight Loss but not Cardiovascular Risk in Obese Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial" Journal of Adolescent Health, 26, 2000, page 91.

Go to next article (Atkins vs. Low Fat)

Atkins Diet Beat Low Fat Fare
Study finds surprising weight loss, cholesterol benefits: The low carb Atkins diet beat the low-fat American Heart Association plan in a head-to-head comparison.

New Studies Confirm Calorie Reduction Not Only Reason Atkins Diet Works
Examines two published studies: The first study demonstrated that subjects in ketosis, due to a controlled carbohydrate diet, experienced statistically significant improvement in blood markers that have been shown to predict coronary artery disease. The second study found that people lost fat (an average of seven pounds), while actually gaining muscle (an average of two pounds) in only six weeks.

Low-Carb Diet Effective In Research Study
Researchers found that 80 percent of the 50 enrolled patients adhered to the diet program for 6 months and lost an average of 10 percent of their original body weight. The average amount of weight lost per person was approximately 20 pounds.

Studies suggest Atkins diet is safe
Over four months on the Atkins Diet, participants lost an average of 21.3 pounds, and showed a 6.1% drop in cholesterol, and almost a 40% drop in the level of triglycerides in their blood. In addition, their HDL levels increased by about 7%.

New research on Atkins Diet
New studies have taken an objective look at the Atkins Diet and found that low carb dieters lose more weight even while consuming more calories than people on a so-called healthy diet. An Atkins study that was intended to "show it doesn't work," found that after three months, the overweight men and women had lost an average of 19 pounds, 10 more than people on the standard high-carb approach.

The Role of Carbohydrate Restriction in Reducing Cardiac Risk Factors
A recent study on obese adolescents comparing a low-calorie diet with an unlimited calorie, controlled carbohydrate eating plan showed a greater than 50 percent average drop in triglycerides for individuals on the controlled carb plan and a 10 percent drop for those on the control low-fat diet.

Teens Triumph on Controlled Carbohydrate Program
Teens in the controlled carb group lost an average of 19 pounds during a 12-week period; low-fat dieters averaged 8.5 pounds. The controlled carb group also showed a greater decrease in overall serum cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels were reduced by 52 percent, as compared to a 10 percent drop for the low-fat group.


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