Human Exceptionalism

Vegetarian Activists Wrong: Atkins Diet Safe

For years, PETA and vegan front groups like Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), have assailed the Atkins diet on the basis of health–when the true cause for their loathing is that it is very high in protein–e.g. meat. No lie has been too low for these vegan fanatics to go. For example, when Robert Atkins, the diet’s creator, died from a head injury sustained in a fall, somehow the PRCM obtained copies of his medical records and published excerpts indicating that he was obese at the time of his death. Not true. When admitted to the hospital, Atkins was not obese, weighing 196 pounds and being six feet tall. During his coma, water retention caused weight gain, which was then used as a smear on the Atkins diet. Vegan activists had also falsely attributed Atkins’ previous heart problems to his diet, when, in fact, it was caused by an infection.

Now, a study conducted at Stanford hs been published that rebuts the claim that the Atkins diet is unsafe. From the story in the San Francisco Chronicle: A yearlong, head-to-head study of four widely used diets found that overweight women who followed the very low-carbohydrate Atkins diet had no adverse health effects and lost slightly more weight than women on the other three…The latest findings add to a growing body of evidence that the very low-carbohydrate, high-protein Atkins diet does not cause the harmful heart and artery effects long feared by many researchers.

Women who followed the Atkins plan had a significant drop in triglycerides, one of the unhealthful blood fats linked to a higher risk of heart disease. Their blood pressure also dropped the most of the four groups, a finding that the researchers think may relate to their slightly greater weight loss. Those in the Atkins group also experienced the largest increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), a protective type of cholesterol.

I went on Atkins when I turned 50 and lost 40 pounds in 7 months. My cholesterol levels plummeted. I regained some of the weight, but only after I went off the diet. (Frankly, I began to feel like ground beef was coming out of my ears.) I have a friend who came close to needing insulin from adult onset diabetes, but was spared having to take it after he went on Atkins and the problem abated.

This is not a brief for Atkins. The point is that the PCRM, PETA, and others who assailed the diet based on health were being typically disingenuous in their advocacy against Atkins. Their sole gripe against the diet and its creator is that it promotes the eating of meat. Concerns about dieters’ health is nothing but a smoke screen.

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