The Atkins Diet (misspelled Adkins Diet) blames carbohydrates for weight gain. According to the Atkins diet, if you cut the carbs, you’ll drop the pounds and improve your health. The Atkins system professes to switch your body to a primarily fat-burning metabolism from a carbohydrate-burning metabolism.

The Atkins diet was created by Dr. Robert Atkins in 1972 after reading a research paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The theory behind Atkins diet is to trigger ketosis. Ketosis occurs when the body has depleted its stores of glycogen or blood sugar and begins to break down fat for the energy needed to maintain bodily functions. The human body uses carbohydrates for its primary source of fuel. In the absence of carbs the body needs fat, hence the fat rich Atkins diet menus. Some scientists consider ketosis to be a dangerous condition, while others point to humans (the Inuit for example) who subsist on a diet almost devoid of carbohydrates.

atkins diet skinny jeansCarbohydrates are organic compounds that include sugars, starches, celluloses, and gums and serve as a major energy source in our diet. Grains, fruits, pastas, and starchy vegetables like potatoes are the most common carbohydrate foods.

Weight loss diets that limit carbohydrate intake have been called low-carbohydrate, very-low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat, and ketogenic. The term very-low-carbohydrate diet, is often defined as less than 50g of carbohydrate per day.

Not all very-low-carbohydrate diets are high-protein diets, and vice versa. For example, a “mixed diet” would not be a very-low-carbohydrate diet if it contained more than 50g of carbohydrates per day. In general, very-low-carbohydrate diets contain less than 10% carbohydrate, 25% to 35% protein, and 55% to 65% fat.

Atkins is highly critical of sugar and recommends eliminating it from your diet. Instead of carbs and sugar, Atkins (and diabetic diets) allow plenty of fat and protein. The system expressly recommends animal proteins and notes that vegans and vegetarians will have a difficult time following the Atkins diet.

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