Back in the 70’s, Atkins defined his diet as a low-carb, high fat, and high protein diet. In 1972 he published a book called Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution, which sold tens of millions of copies and became the best selling diet book of all times.
Back then, not too different than today, there was a lot of controversy around his high fat diet. Atkins almost had his medical license revoked because of the scandal. He got exposed to due to his belief that a high fat diet can be healthy. The main critique against him was that he did not have extended studies to prove his theory, but instead he had a huge number of testimonies from people with positive examples of how this diet worked.
So, even though the people trying the Atkins diet could swear by it and it helped millions to lose weight and improve their health, the professional medical community was completely against the diet. To the point where, a Harvard nutritionist, Dr. Frederick Stare, known as one of the most influential professors in the country at the time, testified before the Senate in 1973 saying that any diet who recommends unlimited amounts of meat, butter and eggs it’s dangerous and the author of the book who suggests we should eat this is guilty of malpractice.
Therefore, despite the Atkins popularity and the little momentum that the high fat diet caught back then, things went back to normal, with the Atkins diet falling off the pedestal pretty fast and with the American consumers going back to their habits of buying and eating low fat foods, and a high carb diet.
That went on until 2005-2006 when the health and nutrition world got shaken again by a couple of researchers this time from the medical and fitness industry by the names of Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney. The two ran a few studies about dieting in general, scientifically analyzing in detail different popular diets along the years and they included the Atkins diet in their research. Their results were that a low-carb diet really works, and in fact it lowers the risk for heart disease and diabetes.
More than that, the results also showed that when we eat good quality high-fat foods the good cholesterol HDL goes up, while inflammation, blood pressure and triglycerides go down.
A high-fat diet and how it is seen today?
So finally, the medical scientific research that Atkins needed back in the 70s was done and it came with results favoring Atkins, but this was tens of years later. How can we go back now and adjust 60 years of history? And also, how can we re-program the mindset of someone, in fact millions of someones, who were told since they were born that fat is bad and they should eat half of their daily calories from carbs every day?
Because let’s be real, even today, in 2018, if we ask doctors who were in medical school and practiced their profession before 2005, more than likely we will be told that eating too many eggs, too much animal protein, and definitely eating fat is a negative thing on the health and we should avoid it.
Many physicians still recommend that we should eat 45-60% of our daily nutrients coming from carbohydrates, as grains, breads, pasta, etc. So that is the challenge, but one thing is for sure:according to the new results there is very little to no direct correlation between the intake of saturated fat and heart disease.
And that is great news for you if you are looking to start a ketogenic diet. As I look around, at my clients, my friends and on social media, more and more people either from a big desire to lose weight, to reduce inflammation in their bodies, to improve their clarity, their energy levels or out of need to beat a sickness or illness, more and more the ketogenic diet comes to my attention as something that people are willing to try to achieve their desired weight and health goals.
As a Beachbody coach since 2013, I felt is my duty to do my research and I started reading many books by medical doctors and nutritionists on the subject and here are the conclusions that I came to:
Even though Dr. Adkins was right on with many points of his Atkin diet, new studies show that eating too much protein causes the body to convert excess protein to sugar, which ultimately defeats the purpose of the ketogenic diet. Instead, if we choose grass fed meats and wild fish and non-processed meats, or grass-fed meats, farm raised fish- we have better chances to lose weigh tand improve our overall health.
By being interested in a healthy lifestyle for more than a decade, I do know that the food we eat, in my opinion, it’s more important than any medicine and supplements, and together with an exercise routine can help us prevent weight gain, sicknesses, and it can help us create a healthy and balanced lifestyle for ourselves.
Please understand that I am not a medical doctor, nor a nutritionist, or registered dietitian, I am a health coach and I am sharing this information based on my own research thru reading books, studies, and medical journals as well as fitness journals and through seeing what works for my clients and my friends.
Therefore, my research is unbiased, but I am not in the place of making any recommendations, I am not able to tell you that you should choose a certain diet over another, or that you should eat certain foods, all I’m doing is to share with you my findings ketogenic diet and hopefully that will guide you to make your own decisions together with your nutritionist or medical doctor.
To be completely honest, I’ve lost weight on Weight Watchers, and on Beachbody and had success but in my late 40s I started having weight gain and inflammation and didn’t want to exercise as much as I had in the past 10 years. I continued to seek holistic approaches that might work for me that were more focused on the food I ate versus the calories I burned. Only in 2020 when I saw a picture of myself on vacation in Napa I decided to do something different.
I came to understand how important the diet is for us and I realized that low fat foods, skim milk, enriched products, are just as processed as the long lasting bread I would buy. It is important to start by saying that a healthy lifestyle, staying fit, losing weight and in fact any change that we want to do in our lives comes down to our belief system and our attitude.
As you see, us humans,we are continuously in the process of change, and our beliefs and attitudes can change as well, just like the mindsets based on different results from different studies can change what we eat or how we exercise. My advice is to keep being open minded and accept progress as a natural state of being for all things.