You’ve probably heard plenty regarding the Atkins Diet through the years. You know, that incredibly well-liked and controversial diet which involves cutting right down on your carbohydrate intake. You may have also been aware of “ketogenic diets” – it’s a more scientific term so you may not recognise it. Did you realise that the Atkins Diet is a type of ketogenic diet? In the following paragraphs we will have a brief examine what the term means and my experience of this type of diet.
The Atkins Diet
The first Atkins Diet book, Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution, was launched in 1972. Dr Robert Atkins was interested, amongst other things, in obtaining his own weight under control. Primarily using self-experimentation techniques he found that eating a diet plan really low in carbohydrates tended to make him lose weight fast. His experimentation was dependant on other research papers and, as a result of his very own studies, he became certain that the science behind the diet plan was sound. The resulting book was actually a resounding success and, within the next 3 decades up to his death in 2003, Robert Atkins continued to produce popular diet books based on the reduced-carbohydrate principle.
Some would argue that just the first “phase” in the Atkins Eating habits are “ketogenic” but it’s very clear that the element is central for the whole diet. There are lots of other diets of the type with different names and claims but, when they talk about severely restricting the consumption of carbohydrates, then they’re probably forms of ketogenic diet. The entire process of “ketosis” is fairly complicated and would take the time to describe but, in essence, it really works because cutting down on carbs restricts the volume of blood glucose accessible to trigger the “insulin response”. Without having a triggering in the glucose-insulin response some hormonal changes occur which result in the body to begin burning its stores of fat as energy. This too provides the interesting effect of causing your brain to be fuelled with what are classified as “ketone bodies” (hence “ketogenic”) instead of the usual glucose. The complete process is actually quite fascinating and that i suggest that you read high on it.
All kinds of ketogenic diet are controversial. A lot of the debate surrounds the issue of cholesterol and whether ketogenic diets increase or reduce the levels HDL “good” cholesterol and/or increase or decrease LDL “bad” cholesterol. The amount of scientific studies is increasing year on year and it is certainly easy to point to strong cases on both sides from the argument. My conclusion (which is just my opinion) is that one could equally create the case that the carbohydrate-laden diet has adverse reactions on cholesterol and I think that, on balance, a ketogenic-type diet is more healthy than a carbohydrate-heavy one. Interestingly, there isn’t so much controversy about whether ketogenic diets work or otherwise not (it’s widely accepted that they do); it’s mostly about how they work and whether that is good/bad/indifferent coming from a health perspective.
I too am a bit of the self-experimenter. I know this approach isn’t for anyone and it does carry an element of risk. I’ve experimented having a ketogenic diet for around eight years. I sometimes lapse, mostly during holidays, however i always return to the diet included in my day-to-day routine. I realize that I can easily lose the several unwanted pounds which i put on through the holidays within around fourteen days of establishing the keto diet again. I suppose it helps i love the kind of food I become to enjoy by using this regimen. Lots of the foods I like are quite rich in protein and fat. I really do miss carbohydrate-rich foods such as pizza and pasta but I think eyzknn loss is outweighed (sic) by the benefit of being able to each rich food and still keep my weight under control. It is without stating that I actually have to avoid sugary foods having said that i don’t have a great deal of sweet tooth and I can still enjoy things like good dark chocolate, moderately.
It’s difficult, in case you are just beginning searching for a diet that works for you, to know in which the truth lies within this debate; when the scientists can’t sort it then how are you going to? The plain facts are that you’ll have to educate yourself, weigh in the arguments, then follow your own best judgement. My experience has been largely positive but you will, no doubt, have often heard of friends having problems on low carbohydrate diets for one reason or any other. There is absolutely no such thing as a miracle diet and the majority of them are just variations over a theme but all ketogenic-type diets are based upon an extremely specific principle which principle has become demonstrated to induce weight-loss in many people. Perhaps you should try to base your opinion on the available evidence rather than on anecdotes. It’s your system as well as your health, after all.