Health Risks Associated with the Atkins Diet

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Health Risks Associated with the Atkins Diet Low carbohydrate and high fat and protein diets such as the Atkins Diet are very bad for one's health in the long run. The Atkins Diet stresses to steer clear of foods that contain many carbohydrates such as pastas, fruits, vegetables, and breads while instead eating foods such as meats, cheeses, peanuts, and dairy that are high in fat and protein. This eating habit eventually takes a toll on one's health because a certain amount of carbohydrates are a necessity for the body because they are a source of fuel. Also, meats and dairy contain cholesterol and when one eats this food in excess the cholesterol begins to build up in the arteries and blood vessels. This build up can eventually lead to heart disease and various other health risks. Carbohydrates provide energy for the body to function. When these carbohydrates are not eaten the body then burns its stored fat for fuel. As the body's supply of fat diminishes one begins to lose weight. Therefore, the Atkins Diet is successful at making one lose weight in the short term because carbohydrate intake is severely restricted to less than 20 grams per day and will eventually climb to about 40 grams after a few weeks. This "translates to no more than three cups of loosely packed salad or two cups of salad with two-thirds cup of certain cooked vegetables each day" (www.webmd.com). However, the body needs a certain amount of these carbohydrates and after a while of recieving them the body does not function properly. According to Gail Frank, a PhD professor of nutrition at California State University in Long Beach, "The body needs a minimum of carbohydrates for efficient and healthy functioning -- about 150 grams daily" (www.webmd.com). She states that less than 150 grams of carbohydrates disrupts the body's normal metabolic activity. Also, "the brain needs glucose to function efficiently, and it takes a long time to break down fat and protein to get to the brain," (www.webmd.com). Glucose results from carbohydrates or sugar broken down into the bloodstream; but also occurs naturally in fruits and honey. Therefore, the body needs a certain amount of good carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables to stay healthy. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can lead to heart disease.
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