Atkins decrease carbs, increases health concerns

Atkins decrease carbs, increases health concerns

by Becka Neary

“Low in carbohydrates” seems to be the catch phrase of thecentury.

The name Atkins is becoming more popular in the under-30s crowdthan the newest rhythm and blues band.

The Atkins Diet works by drastically reducing the amount ofcarbohydrates in meals. Food items rich in carbohydrates such asbread, pasta and potatoes are some of the more dangerous enemies ofAtkins dieters.

The body’s preferred source of energy is carbohydrates, so whenthese are cut out of the daily diet, then the body uses fats andproteins instead.

According to the Atkins official Web site, “by permanentlyadopting the Atkins Nutritional Approach, you will achieve fourthings that will change your life; weight loss, weight maintenance,good health, and disease prevention.”

Yet, not everyone agrees this is a healthy plan to loseweight.

“As a biology major, I know that a healthy and ideal diet is 40percent protein and 60 percent carbohydrates,” senior Nick Lahrsaid.

On the other hand, junior Erin Disney said that “adopting anextreme diet is never a good idea, but adopting parts can beOK.”

In the 1970’s, Dr. Robert Atkins re-introduced his low-carb dietprogram. Since then, millions of people have tried his diet, andhis books have been on the best-seller lists for more than adecade.

“I tried [the Atkins Diet] for a day,” freshman Angela Heenansaid. “It is an easy way out for people who are lazy.”

Other Simpson students expressed their concerns about using theAtkins Diet.

“[To lose weight] we are told to eat healthy and exercise,”freshman Jess Leete said. “If you are on the Atkins Diet you’re noteating carbohydrates, which give you energy to exercise,”

National statistics indicate that nearly 25 million Americanshave at least tried a diet that is low in carbohydrates.

This statistic is supported by the dozens of low-carb productsand meal options that continue to flood the market.

Restaurants and fast-food chains are also getting into this new”healthy” trend.

However, not everyone agrees that providing low-carbohydratemeals will make America healthier.

“Food chains and restaurants adding low carbohydrate options tothe menu are promoting an unhealthy way of life,” Lahr said.

Burger King now offers bun-less burgers, while Subway is doingits part by offering low-carb sandwich wraps. Some upscalerestaurants are even perfecting flourless butter to support theeffort of those on the Atkins diet.

In the medical community there is still much debate about thepotential benefits or dangers of low-carb diets. No matter what thedoctors say, the trend continues to gain public support.

According to the market research company National Purchase DiaryGroup, as of September about 10 million people – 3.6 percent of thetotal U.S. population – were on a strict diet low incarbohydrates.