Human Exceptionalism

Atkins Was Right

Oh, how the animal rights ideologues hated him. By him, I mean Dr. Robert Atkins, whose famous “Atkins Diet” has helped so many people lose weight through a low carbohydrate diet–meaning high on meat and other animal products. And that is all that mattered to them, to the point that animal rights front groups like Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine–whose membership is actually less than 5% doctors–even went so far as to leak private medical records and scurrilously and mendaciously try to convince the public that he was obese after Atkins died from the effects of a fall on an icy sidewalk. His elevated weight was actually caused by water buildup during a coma.

Oh, they like to pretend in opposing Atkins that their focus is human health, but it is and was always about the animals. Truth, as is too often the case with animal rights activists, simply takes a back seat to the agenda.

Well, it’s going to be harder for them to pretend that the Atkins diet is dangerous now, with a new study–and it’s not the first one–showing that low carb diets are not only effective for losing weight, but can reduce cholesterol too. From the story:

The Atkins diet may have proved itself after all: A low-carb diet and a Mediterranean-style regimen helped people lose more weight than a traditional low-fat diet in one of the longest and largest studies to compare the dueling weight-loss techniques.

A bigger surprise: The low-carb diet improved cholesterol more than the other two. Some critics had predicted the opposite…Average weight loss for those in the low-carb group was 10.3 pounds after two years. Those in the Mediterranean diet lost 10 pounds, and those on the low-fat regimen dropped 6.5.

More surprising were the measures of cholesterol. Critics have long acknowledged that an Atkins-style diet could help people lose weight but feared that over the long term, it may drive up cholesterol because it allows more fat. But the low-carb approach seemed to trigger the most improvement in several cholesterol measures, including the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL, the “good” cholesterol.

That is precisely what Atkins said would happen, claiming that cholesterol was primarily a matter of processed food’s reaction on the pancreas. That was certainly my experience when I went on Atkins after turning fifty. In 7 months I went from 242 pounds to 202, and my cholesterol numbers dropped significantly. I gained some of that back, but only because I went back to the eating habits that caused me to gain the weight in the first place.
(As an aside: Weight gain is almost always caused by gluttony. Most commercial diet plans push that particular vice–including Atkins–assuring the overweight that they can still eat all the goodies they want, or in Atkins case, as much as they want. That approach only reinforces the behavior that caused the dieter to be fat in the first place. Then, when the diet is over, people gain the weight back.)
My point here is not to tout Atkins, but to illustrate how his animal rights detractors misled the public about the safety of the diet and the late doctor’s own health–solely because they hated Atkins passionately because he boosted the eating of meat, cheese, butter, and other animal products.