Jacqueline A. Eberstein, RN defends the Atkins Nutritional Approach
This Diabetes Health Magazine story written by my friend Jacqueline A. Eberstein helps you sort through all the seemingly conflicting diet advice regarding low-fat, low-calorie and low-carb.
I have previously blogged about Eberstein and her defense of the Atkins diet which she was so intimately involved with working alongside Dr. Robert C. Atkins for nearly three decades. She is co-author of the book Atkins Diabetes Revolution and was kind enough to review my book and submit a very kind quote for the back cover.
Eberstein is arguably one of the most qualified people you will ever meet regarding diet and nutrition working in this field of study for nearly as long as I have been alive (sorry, Jackie! I'm not TRYING to make you feel old! LOL!).
With that said, she makes some great points in this article that I want to bring to your attention.
On the subject of calories, Eberstein said studies have been done looking at the Atkins Nutritional Approach compared with other dietary approaches, namely the low-fat and low-calorie diets. The conclusion of the researchers involved found that low-carbers following the Atkins diet could actually eat MORE calories than the other groups and even LOSE MORE WEIGHT than those on low-fat or low-calorie diets.
"Dr. Atkins called this the metabolic advantage," Eberstein wrote.
She is 100% absoutely correct. I have made this point numerous times to people who ask me how many calories I eat in a day. When I tell them I have no idea because I don't pay attention to calories, they give me the most bewildered looks.
But I have since surmised my caloric intake to be around 2100-2300 calories per day. That's certainly higher than the recommended 1200-1500 calorie diets out there that suggested for the best weight loss method. While that may be fine for some people, I'll take my 2000+ calories daily on my low-carb lifestyle and love every minute of it!
Moving to the subject of protein, Eberstein said additional studies have found that consuming more protein as you would on the Atkins diet can control your hunger and lead to greater weight loss.
"This supports a basic recommendation given by Dr. Atkins ever since his first book, 'Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution,' appeared in 1972," Eberstein said.
This is a lost concept in the mumbo jumbo information we get about livin' la vida low-carb in the media these days. Atkins strongly supported consuming protein for greater satiety and effective weight loss long before it became popular in recent years. This is proof YET AGAIN that Dr. Atkins was a man before his time. He should be heralded for the dietary genius that he was instead of being blindly attacked by those who have vilified his life's work.
Eberstein added that it is a very good idea to replace your "poor-quality carbohydrates with protein foods" since the protein calorie has more value to your body than a refined carbohydrate calorie.
"For people struggling to lose weight, who wouldn’t want to be less hungry?" she inquired.
Precisely! People often ask me what I did when I got hungry during my weight loss. My response, "I didn't get hungry!" Say what? That's right! Not ONCE did I ever allow myself to feel hungry because I was eating deliciously satisfying foods that kept me fuller longer and if I wanted to eat I did. It was as simple as that.
Of course, I was no longer pigging out on empty carbs found in sugary sodas, snack vending machines, fast food fare, and other undesireable carbohydrate choices. Instead, I was eating healthy carb foods packed with essential ingredients such as protein, fiber and fat. These foods helped me shed the pounds and STILL help me keep the weight off for good.
Who would have thought a "diet" could ever taste so good and still work?! Oh yeah! That's what I'm talking about!
Turning her attention to a constant criticism of the Atkins diet, Eberstein said contrary to popular belief Dr. Atkins did not recommend eliminating ALL carbs from your diet because there are certainly some good carbs to be consumed.
But she warned that many so-called "healthy" foods have been made unhealthy and lacking nutritionally through being processed and refined.
"Once a whole food such as a whole grain has been refined into white bread, fiber and essential nutrients like B vitamins and chromium have been lost," Eberstein revealed. "You are left eating a food that is devoid of nutrition and is too quickly metabolized. Foods that are highly refined can have a more immediate and negative impact on your blood glucose and insulin levels."
This is one of those issues that can be difficult to explain to someone who swears up and down they are eating healthy by having wheat toast instead of white toast. But what they don't realize is that wheat toast reacts almost the same way as the white toast in their body when it is metabolized and turned into sugar. Any supposed benefit to eating one over the other is completely lost and then the person wonders why they're not losing any weight. It's very frustrating.
"Over time, high insulin levels [from eating refined foods] promote fat storage, which leads to weight gain, abnormal lipids, high blood pressure and other signs of the metabolic syndrome," Eberstein explained.
I'm so thankful that I no longer have to worry about the rollercoaster ride my blood sugar took me on prior to livin' la vida low-carb. My weight is under control, my cholesterol numbers are outstanding, my blood pressure is controlled and I no longer take any prescription medications at all. ZERO! Before my low-carb experience, I was taking medicine for hypertension, cholesterol and breathing! Life is DEFINITELY better now than it was then.
Eberstein recommended people stick with quality carbohydrate foods recommended in the Atkins books which have a higher nutritional value and ranks low on the glycemic index.
Finally, on the subject of diabetes, Eberstein said the Atkins diet has been found to help many overweight diabetic people get off their medications or substantially cut back on them. She encourages people to read the complete list of research that has been conducted on the Atkins diet showing it as a viable option for weight loss and improved health by going to Atkins.com/research-library.
Recognizing that "no one diet fits all" (and I agree with that statement), Eberstein said diabesity (the combination of diabetes and obesity) must be dealt with by people making a sincere lifestyle change that they can live with and "follow for a lifetime."
"The Atkins Nutritional Approach allows you to normalize your weight, maintain your weight loss with the Lifetime Maintenance phase and decrease cardiovascular risk factors," she concluded. "The Atkins Nutritional Approach’s safety and efficacy has been supported by emerging research."
As a man who used to weigh 410 pounds and lost over 180 pounds using the Atkins Nutritional Approach, I can PERSONALLY vouch for these things that Jackie Eberstein talked about in her article. While there will always be those who oppose this way of eating for one reason or another, all I know is my weight is controlled, my health is unbelieveable and I am happier now to be skinny than I ever was as a morbidly obese man eating himself into an early grave.
That wasn't my lot in life and neither should it be yours! Start livin' la vida low-carb and taste what this exciting permanent lifestyle change can do for you. Allow it to change your life just like it has mine. You'll NEVER regret doing it, I promise you!