The Atkins Diet Essay

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The Atkins Diet:Too Good to be True?

The American population is fat. What’s worse, we are getting fatter. For many years, a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or more (weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) was the standard criteria for being overweight, and a BMI of 30 or more was the criteria for obesity. This meant that more than one third of U.S. adults were overweight. In recent years the criteria has been reduced to a BMI of 25 or more to be considered overweight, with the obesity criteria remaining the same. Now, more than 50% of U.S. adults are classified as being overweight. Interestingly, as the number of overweight individuals skyrockets, so too does the number of various diets that Americans are willing to try
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When insulin is at high levels in the body, the food you eat can readily get converted into body fat, in the form of triglycerides. Thus, if lower amounts of carbohydrates are consumed, the body naturally produces less insulin and looks to other sources for fuel, namely FAT! For this reason, the Atkins diet restricts processed and refined carbohydrates and limits intake to 15-60 grams per day, encouraging protein and fat consumption (http://www.ivillage.com/diet/features/dietsaz). When the body lacks its primary energy source (carbohydrates) it will naturally turn to its next source (fat) to burn for energy. When the body breaks down fat, ketones are formed and the appetite is naturally suppressed. One reaches ketosis when his or her carbohydrate intake is less than 40 grams per day. The average person not on this diet consumes 300+ grams of carbohydrates per day.

In addition to changing one’s metabolism through the process of ketosis, the Atkins diet also claims to work because of the diet’s success in reducing food cravings by allowing the dieter to eat more nutritious, flavorsome foods than low-fat diets, so the body will be satisfied sooner. The diet leaves you less hungry than high carbohydrate diets, so you eat less and you stay satisfied longer. This aspect of the diet address what Dr. Atkins refers to as the "biggest battle that most people have with weight loss" – the constant obsession with food. Cutting carbohydrates levels blood sugar levels throughout the

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