The Atkins diet is a four phase, low carb weight loss plan that is designed to increase your body’s capability to burn fat and regulate blood sugar levels. The program was created by Doctor Robert Atkins, a cardiologist, who designed the program as a way to make the body burn carbs at an accelerated pace. Dr. Atkins authored a number of books including cookbooks. His first book illustrated the diet plan and was published in 1972 “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution.” Dr. Atkins passed away on April 17, 2003 after suffering a head injury sustained in a fall. His legacy continues with the Atkins diet that has become the most recognizable, low carb diet nationwide and has launched an international campaign bringing the diet and products to numerous countries. One of the highlights of the diet is the ability to eat many high protein foods in satisfying quantities and the ability to lose up to 15 pounds in the first two weeks.
Dr. Atkins first began developing the program in 1963 after he was inspired by a Journal of the American Medical Association article. He found out that when one controls or limits the amount of carbohydrates consumed on a daily basis, not only was blood sugar levels improved, but weight loss was possible, and the body began to burn fat quickly and more efficiently. According to the official Atkins site, there have been more than 80 scientific studies conducted that show the results and effectiveness of the Atkins diet. What may be one of the greatest benefits of the diet is that users may enjoy delicious meals without deprivation while continuing to lose weight, improving their risk of obesity related diseases, and regulating their blood sugar levels. The diet has shown great benefit for those who suffer from diabetes, however, it is recommended that those interested in starting the diet check with their health care provider before they begin.
The ability to manage blood sugar levels is a tremendous benefit for those who choose the Atkins diet. Those who may have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic may find the diet helps to normalize blood sugar levels, ensuring the body remains in a healthy state. The reason Atkins helps in the fight against diabetes is that when carbohydrates are broken down and converted into energy, they are turned into the sugar substance, glucose. Glucose is carried through the body, by the bloodstream that in turn signals the release of insulin. Those who have consumed a large amount of carbohydrates may trigger a large insulin spike. By avoiding carbohydrates, insulin levels remain balanced, as there are no sudden sugar spikes in the blood as a result of excessive glucose. It is important to remember that it is not only foods comprised of sugar that causes insulin spikes, but rather any carbohydrate product. This means that foods such as pasta, bread, and potatoes may be as risky to blood sugar levels as eating ice cream, cake, or cookies. By staying on the Atkins diet, you will significantly reduce the amount of carbohydrates consumed, therefore helping to prevent diabetes, or managing a current case.
Carbohydrates and insulin spikes may have additional negative side effects. Those who eat a diet high in carbohydrates may find that after insulin spikes they are faced with extreme hunger pangs. This can cause a person to overeat as well as contribute to eating more unhealthy foods in an attempt to create sudden bursts of energy. Atkins recommends consuming high fiber sources of carbohydrate, when eating carbs, because these food sources are bulkier, slower to digest, will not cause insulin spikes, and will keep the body fuller longer. When you reduce the amount of carbohydrates consumed, your body will be forced to use its stored supply of fat for energy sources. This results in rapid weight loss that occurs quickly without hunger or sudden spikes in blood sugar. In turn, as weight is lost, the risk of diabetes decreases as does heart disease, hypertension or high blood pressure, certain cancers and even forms of arthritis. There is no doubt that losing weight is one of the most important steps anyone who is overweight can take for his or her health and the Atkins diet is a safe, efficient, and effective way to make that happen.