Sunday, July 31, 2005

Atkins craze is crazed-out

Still in Alberta, but this is interesting....

Atkins Nutritionals, the company founded by Dr. Robert Atkins (of low-carb fame), has filed for bankruptcy. It seems the low-carb craze is fading, and this is just another nail in the coffin.

Rampant speculation about the cause of Atkins' death did little to improve the image of his diet. It is a documented fact that he weighed 258 lbs (at 6' tall) at the time of his death - obese by most standards. A leaked coroner's report suggested that his fall on ice was a result of heart disease. Of course, his wife claims that he somehow - while in a coma - gained 63 lbs during his final, vegetative week spent in a hospital bed.

I don't know how Atkins died, but I doubt he could miraculously gain 60 lbs while comatose. If he didn't, then he was a fatty - and fat was just what his diet was supposed to eliminate.

Lots of complex carbohydrates and little (no) animal fat is the diet for which we were designed. This doctor is one who lives by the diet he preaches, and is thin and in good health as a result.

Keep an eye out here for more fun updates.


Blogger Andrew J. said...

I would argue that little (no) animal fat is not the diet for which we were designed. We have been carnivorous since before we walked on two legs. I will agree that it is not a necessity now. It's a diet made for long term storage to get the body through lean and cold periods. Most don't need this right now. It's a good idea not to evolutionize animal fat our of our diet. We may need it in the future as an energy source that can easily be stored in the body. Check this out:Realities of Going Primitive by Brent Ladd. I found it on Dead Trees EF! online publishing. It's long but very interesting and pay attention to what he says about animal fat. I myself enjoy a very healthy diet that involves oatmeal, salad (lots of variety with every veggie I can get my hands on added), whole grains (I do try to avoid the gluten in excessive quantities), and meat 2-3 times a week. Absolutely no fast food (it's like volunteering for slow torture). I also avoid processed food. 90% of what I eat is organic and not processed. If your community does not have a farmers market, a co-op, or some method for finding organic food then I have one piece of advice: MOVE!

Parting Suggestions:
eat well,
exercise hard,
and leave the fad diets for the already brain dead.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...


Humans were never carnivores, and in my opinion were likely almost-vegetarian omnivores or even herbivores. For my previously-recorded thoughts on this topic, go to my May 2005 archives, scroll down half-way, and read the entry titled "A Response to Jason" and all of its comments.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Andrew J. said...

I used the word carnivore when I was thinking omnivore. This became obvious after reading your post. You make some really good points. I don't know enough to argue the point and I have no reason not to trust you. Just to play devil's advicate I'll try to find some info for the counter argument. The bottom line is that people should not depend so much on meat. It should be a side dish like a fruit cup.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Andrew J. said...

I got nuthin!
I can't find anything that disputes your points. The only thing that seems to be in question is the absolutist point of view. The fact that we digest meat so well (assuming we are not eating it in excess) leads me to believe that meat is not inherently bad for us.

It seems possible that evolution can figure into this also. What if humans were put into a position that forced them to develop a meat eating diet (as an example I might use people that live in cold wintry climates). This may have happened after a point in time when it was not necessary to develop the claws (hunting tools), digestive tract (fire for cooking), and teeth (tools for cutting) of a carnivore. We were not forced to adapt any other feature other then the ability to digest and make useful meat.

I do not want to loose sight of the fact that we are in a situation that our meat consumption rates are killing us. To figure out how it all started is fascinating but it does not mean nearly as much as opening our eyes and looking at our current situation.

My absolute favorite food is a giant medium well hamburger with bacon, cheddar cheese, blue cheese, and buffalo wing sauce. Absolutely sinful and heavenly all at once. I only allow myself this treat on rare occasions but since I maintain this discipline, and I focus on eating extremely healthy the rest of the time, I experience no ill effects from my occasional gluttony.

12:00 PM  
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11:39 AM  

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