The original 1972 book that made Dr. Atkins famous!
Sometimes I don't even think we realize just how brilliant the late great Dr. Robert C. Atkins really was for espousing what he did during his amazing career. Sure, low-carb diets had been out there in the public eye for over a century (most notably from William Banting in 1864 with his Letter On Corpulence) before he came along. But it was the charisma and enthusiasm for the low-carb lifestyle that Dr. Atkins brought to the public arena that captured the attention of millions of people worldwide who were interested in learning more about how low-carb could help them shed the pounds and restore their good health.
When the original Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution was published in 1972, it ignited a firestorm of controversy that still lingers on to this day. Despite all the best efforts by those who have appointed themselves the "experts" in diet and health in the United States over the years, none of them have been able to slow down the momentum that the healthy Atkins low-carb nutritional approach has had in the United States and around the world. And if I have anything to say about it, we'll keep that ball rolling for many more years to come.
While his original book has since been updated several times since with Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, there were some incredible nuggets of truth shared in that original book that make it worth having a copy of for your low-carb library. ORDER A COPY and read it from cover to cover because you will learn more about livin' la vida low-carb in just that one book alone that was written nearly forty years ago. Like I said, we're only just beginning to realize what a genius Dr. Atkins really was.
One of my blog readers from Green Bay, Wisconsin named Dave Hatch wrote to me recently stating he had read Gary Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories and that inspired him to go back to the original Atkins' Diet Revolution book from the 1970's and read it again. When he did, a light bulb moment happened for Dave when he saw the following quote from Dr. Atkins.
"A TREE WITH DEADLY BRANCHES. There is a tree...it's branches are called, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Overweight, Low Blood Sugar, Peptic Ulcer, Migraine, Allergy and half a dozen other diseases that are so common nowadays. The name of the tree might be, A Disturbed Way Of Handling Carbohydrates."
That quote appears on page 48 of Atkins' Diet Revolution and it got the wheels turning inside of Dave's head to recreate that image into the shape of a real tree illustration to vividly demonstrate these signs of failing health and their connection to carbohydrate intake. He did a masterful job of showing that carbs are the roots that feed all of these diseases that Dr. Atkins talked about in his book.
Click on the image below to see a larger version of Dave's tree:
Isn't this GREAT?! Dave did a yeoman's job of taking that quote from the 1972 book and illustrating it perfectly so that anyone and everyone will be able to see the carbohydrate connection to all of these conditions. And every single one of those health ailments have been documented in the research literature to be tied to the consumption of carbohydrates.
My favorite part of the tree analogy is the trunk itself. As I stated, the roots are the "intake of carbohydrates" and the branches are the negative health manifestations from eating all those carbs. But look right there in the middle of those two things at what is the real reason that most people should be livin' la vida low-carb--INSULIN!
Yes, this "flooding" of insulin into our bodies is a direct result of consuming carbohydrates, especially in the amounts that are being recommended by people supposedly in authority over matters concerning health. And don't even get me started on the diet diabetics are told is best for them by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). UGH! If a doctor or dietitian tries to convince a diabetic to include eating lots of "healthy" carbs, then they ought to have their medical and nutritional credentials revoked!
If you control the insulin, then you can prevent these diseases from happening in the first place. And the best way to control this insulin release is by following a significantly reduced-carbohydrate diet. There's just no bones about it, this way of eating that we talk about here is not just a healthy diet (which it is), but it is the ONLY way you can eat to prevent this insulin rush from happening. Try eating a low-fat diet and you'll find yourself trying to make up that lost fat intake with (surprise, surprise!) MORE carbohydrates. This in turn produces MORE insulin which leads to the vicious cycle of disease all over again. Why do that to yourself?
While low-carb is often dismissed by its critics for supposedly being too "high-protein" (it's not high in protein, but rather moderate in protein) and/or "high-fat" (which is not a negative factor for your health when you are reducing your carbohydrates and only the total caloric percentage of your fat actually goes up), the fact of the matter is neither of these other macronutrients have the instantaneous insulin response that carbohydrates do. Carbs equals insulin equals disease. Nobody can even dispute this fact.
It's impossible to ignore the indelible link between carbs which heavily increases insulin in the body which then manifests itself in all of these terrible health conditions. Dr. Atkins saw this coming decades ago and yet we still ignore all the warning signs and try to come up with a pharmaceutical answer to these health problems in 2008. Haven't we learned ANYTHING in the years since 1972 when Dr. Atkins wrote his book?
You very likely don't need a prescription drug to treat that medical condition you have. Just take a closer look at your diet and realize you are feeding your disease by the foods you are eating. Fix that and you'll very likely fix your health problem. Low-carb is not some "magic pill" for every health problem you will encounter. But it will certainly address MANY of the ones that are tied metabolically to carbs. And there's a bunch of 'em!
Dr. Atkins, you were indeed a bona fide genius and your legacy will continue to live on strong for many years to come! Special thanks to my reader Dave Hatch for sharing his tree illustration with us and I think he'd appreciate hearing what you have to say about it in the comments section. Do you think he encapsulated what Dr. Atkins was talking about in the quote? Or does that illustration lack essential part of the equation? Share your thoughts about it below.