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Atkins Diet - The Health Benefits and Risks

written by: Summer Banks • edited by: Rhonda Callow • updated: 2/27/2009

The Atkins diet is based on the consumption of low carb diets and a high intake of protein. This diet is a popular approach for many dieters who want to lose weight. Although studies have been carried out to support the diet and its numerous benefits, other studies have confirmed that there are seve

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    Health Benefits of the Diet

    It has been proved that this low carb diet provides great benefits to dieters who have heart related problems. They do not boost their cholesterol level even as they continue to lose weight. Another health benefit related to Atkins diet is that dieters who have high BP (blood pressure) are discontinued from taking hypertension medications in some cases. With significant weight loss often comes a reduction in overall blood pressure levels. The Atkins Diet is a major treatment component for hypertension. Blood pressure normalization is among the most consistent and rapid observations related to this diet.

    Most obese people lack enough nutrients or energy to carry out their daily activities. Therefore, most are prone to diabetes and heart disease. They have found the diet to be one of the most definite ways of losing weight and shedding pounds rapidly. This happens because the stored fat is used as fuel when the dieter is following a low carb diet. Combining this diet and an active lifestyle is one of the easiest ways of lowering blood cholesterol levels without use of medication. This low carb diet permits good fat and protein intake in unrestricted amounts but limits carbohydrate intake. Lower blood cholesterol levels reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.

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    Risks Associated to Atkins Health Diet

    The Atkins diet is meat-based and therefore restricts dieters from consuming fruits and starchy vegetables. This increases the chances of dieter being at risk of developing certain cancers, which are meat-sensitive such as colon cancer. Esophageal and stomach cancers are linked to several populations that have insufficient fruit consumption as well. The calorie levels in this diet range from 60% to 75% fat but do not contain any fruits. This diet, which is rich in animal product but low on fibrous produce, has destructive effects and risks to the dieters following it. Beans, fruits, orange & yellow vegetables and other similar foods that prevent cancer have been excluded from it. This consequently means that dieters are at risk of developing other ailments while in the process of trying to lose weight.

    These health risk will weigh vary based upon the amount of weight the dieter needs to lose, how closely the dieter follows the plan and the length of time spent in the Induction phase of the diet. Induction needs to be followed for a minimum of 2 weeks, however, severely obese people can follow the most restrictive phase of the plan for 6 months or more. The longer the dieter spends on the Induction phase, the higher the chance of illness.