Negative Effects of Atkins Diet
by Amy Finley
What’s up? Dieting Dilemma Are the negative effects of Atkins diet worth it?
Well, I bet you’re expecting an answer to this one – but the real story is that there is just not enough proven evidence to say whether or not the negative effects of Atkins diet and other low-carb diets are really worth it. Studies are very conflicting – while some studies suggest that weight loss is faster and cholesterol levels actually improve while on the Atkins diet, it is important to note that these studies are only evident of short-term effects. Other studies indicate that those on the Atkins diet not only lost less weight, but also regained a lot of weight when on this diet for a longer period of time.
Just exactly what are these negative effects?
The Atkins diet is based on consumption of high protein, high-fat foods (like meat and eggs) while diminishing the amount of foods like grains and starchy vegetables. A typical devotee to the Atkins diet may consume as much as one fourth of their daily caloric intake from saturated fats (which, by the way is over double what heart association recommends. Yep. That’s what I said. More than double), so it’s no wonder health professionals often cringe at this diet. Negative effects of Atkins diet include:
- Lack of energy and weakness – naturally, a body that is deprived of carbohydrates (read: energy) will have less energy. In people suffering from diabetes, this can even cause ketosis, a severe physical reaction resulting from inadequate caloric intake.
- Digestive problems – constipation, nausea, and dehydration are considered negative effects of Atkins diet. Along these lines, another potential effect is the increased likelihood of colorectal cancer – which is best prevented through exercise and a healthy eating regimen of – you guessed it – foods higher in carbohydrates like whole grains. Keep in mind 1 in 17 people in the U.S. will develop colorectal cancer. (Pass the bran muffins, please).
- Headaches and inability to concentrate – remember when your mom made you breakfast and made sure you always ate before you went to school so you had ‘brain’ food? And it was never just bacon.
These are just some of the negative effects of Atkins diet – there may be more as research continues to develop in this area.
Why focus on the negative effects of Atkins diet? I want to lose weight and know people who look great after going on Atkins diet!
So do I – probably everyone does at this point, but it’s important to consider what the negative effects of Atkins diet are because there really hasn’t been substantial research done to prove just how safe and effective it is over the long term. If you’re comfortable with the possible side effects, and your doctor or health care professional feels it’s right for you, by all means go for it. And I’m not saying I won’t be blindingly jealous of you if it works and I pass you on the beach next summer. It just seems that by acknowledging some of the negative effects, we will find ourselves better able to make an informed decision whether or not the Atkins diet is the right choice.
In addition to being a freelance writer for Pulsemed International, Amy Finley is a graduate student working on her M. A. in English Literature at Cleveland State University, a creative writer, and an editor with Editfast. Ms. Finley is also the mother of three young children.