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  #1   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 13:37
RoseTattoo's Avatar
RoseTattoo RoseTattoo is offline
Kid R
Posts: 1,168
 
Plan: Maintenance
Stats: // Female 5"1'
BF:Too darn much!
Progress: 90%
Location: PA
Default Atkins Now Revises Fat Advice--NYTimes

January 18, 2004--The New York Times
Make That Steak a Bit Smaller, Atkins Advises Today's Dieters
By MARIAN BURROS

fter advising dieters for years to satisfy their hunger with liberal amounts of steak, eggs and other saturated fats, the promoters of the Atkins diet now say that people on their plan should limit the amount of red meat and saturated fat they eat.

Responding to years of criticism from scientists that the Atkins version of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat regimen might lead to heart disease and other health problems, the director of research and education for Atkins Nutritionals, Colette Heimowitz, is telling health professionals in seminars around the country that only 20 percent of a dieter's calories should come from saturated fat. Atkins Nutritionals was set up by Dr. Robert C. Atkins to sell Atkins products and promote the diet.

An Atkins spokesman said Ms. Heimowitz has been giving these seminars for five years, but that they do not represent a departure from the original premise of the diet.

Atkins representatives say that Dr. Atkins, who died last year, always maintained that people should eat other food besides red meat, but had difficulty getting that message out. There has been a revision in expressing how the diet should be followed, not in the diet itself, they say.

But officials have not made the revision clear to consumers, and Atkins is widely known as the diet that lets you eat all the meat you want.

Dr. Atkins did more than anyone else to popularize the idea that dieters could eat fat and lose weight. As millions followed his advice, sales of red meat soared and steakhouses grew in popularity. His book "Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution" has sold 15 million copies. Atkins Nutritionals reported $100 million in revenues for 2002.

The change comes as Atkins faces competition from other popular low-carbohydrate diets that call for less saturated fat. A book on one such plan, the South Beach Diet, came out in April 2003 and has sold more than five million copies. Atkins representatives made the revision, Ms. Heimowitz said, because "we want physicians to feel comfortable with this diet, and we want people who are going to their physicians with this diet to feel comfortable."

The Atkins regimen remains a high-fat diet. But Atkins officials are specifying the amount that should be saturated — the kind that comes from meat, cheese and butter — and the amount that should be unsaturated — the kind that comes from most vegetable oils and fish. The revision places more emphasis on fish and chicken.

Paul D. Wolff, the chief executive of Atkins Nutritionals, said the company is trying to get its message out clearly. "The way the book was promoted was, here's the program that is counterintuitive," Mr. Wolff said. " `You can eat a lot of bacon and steak.' It was the marketing of the book. The media saw it as a sexy story."

"Perhaps what was communicated in the past was unclear," he said. "We would agree with that."

So why not tell people straight out that you can't eat all the steak and eggs you want, Mr. Wolff was asked.

"Interesting question," he said as he hung up to catch a plane.

The clarification came as a surprise to Atkins dieters who were interviewed. "A lot of people will be totally shocked," said Ellen Bain, a graphic designer in Brooklyn. The message she said she had taken away from reading Atkins books and Web sites was: "The fat in the diet is very good for you; it doesn't make any difference what kind of fat it is. There are no limits of any kind in the meat department, like steak and eggs for breakfast, a burger for lunch and beef stir-fry for dinner."

Ms. Bain, who said she has lost 48 pounds on the Atkins diet since July 1, said, "Is it possible that now they are revising their thinking?"

Beef, pork, lamb and butter were on the list of "foods you may eat liberally" in "The New Diet Revolution," first published in 1992; its update is No. 1 on the New York Times advice, how-to and miscellaneous paperback best-seller list.

"Atkins for Life," the newest book written by Dr. Atkins and published a few months before his death last year, says: "You should always eat a balance of different types of natural fat." The precise proportion of saturated and unsaturated fat was unspecified, Ms. Heimowitz said, because "trying to tell consumers to do math is futile."

Russ Klein, a marketing executive, who has been on Atkins since Dec. 21, interpreted the phrase "foods you may eat liberally" to mean "eat until you are full." And, he added, "I think it's probably true you can eat all the red meat you want."

Ms. Heimowitz said people read the phrase "eat liberally" as a license to gorge on red meat. "Not making a distinction between one kind of protein and another, that was a mistake," Ms. Heimowitz, "and that is why we had to write another book, to get the story straight."

But, she added, "Even in the old book it says `eat until you are satisfied but not stuffed.' "

Total fat in the revised Atkins diet remains much higher than other diets recommend: 60 percent of the calories are still derived from fat, which is twice the level recommended by the Agriculture Department. Of that, one-third can be saturated fat — also twice the level recommended by the department. The rest should be poly- and mono-unsaturated fats.

That means that a person who eats 1,500 calories a day could eat a 17-ounce strip steak every day, according to Mindy Hermann, a registered dietitian. After the first phase of the diet, the amount of fat allowed drops to 55 percent, but the percentage of saturated fat stays the same.

Dr. Atkins said that carbohydrates caused obesity and eating fat helped regulate levels of insulin, which helps produce body fat. Ms. Heimowitz said, "Saturated fat isn't as much of an issue when carbohydrates are controlled; it's only dangerous in excess when carbs are high."

But Dr. Frank M. Sacks, a professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at the Harvard School of Public Health, scoffed at those scientific claims. "What they are saying is ridiculous," he said. The revision, he added, " has nothing to do with science; it has to do with public relations and politics."

The medical establishment largely disputes Dr. Atkins's reasoning and says that high levels of saturated fats are dangerous.

Dr. George L. Blackburn, associate director in the division of nutrition at Harvard Medical School, said the diet's new version is "definitely healthier," but that "all of the studies we have on Atkins are based on the Atkins of the 1970's: eat all you can as long as you keep carbs out."



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  #2   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 13:39
RoseTattoo's Avatar
RoseTattoo RoseTattoo is offline
Kid R
Posts: 1,168
 
Plan: Maintenance
Stats: // Female 5"1'
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Progress: 90%
Location: PA
Default Please check this out and comment

This is surprising--what do you all think?

http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=160227
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  #3   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 13:49
Zuleikaa Zuleikaa is offline
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Plan: Mishmash
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Default

I think it's just marketing. I think it's also setting the stage for all the new lc products.
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  #4   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 14:15
cmcole's Avatar
cmcole cmcole is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 461
 
Plan: Atkins Maintenance
Stats: 178/147/140 Female 5'2"
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Progress: 82%
Location: Canada
Default

It's always good to maintain a variety in your diet, and choose foods from many sources.

I think, perhaps, people only thought "beef" when they thought protein (or meat), and forget that there are many choices to be made. If you look at any of the list of "acceptable" foods from Atkins, you'll see lots, besides beef.

However, it seems like people always need a "new" angle on things. As someone else said, it's possibly marketing - make Atkins seem "new" again.
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  #5   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 14:24
tofi's Avatar
tofi tofi is offline
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Plan: Atkins
Stats: 244/220/170 Female 65.4inches
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Location: Ontario
Default

I think that Dr. Atkins is gone and the company is thinking more of its market share than almost anything else.

I think it is trying to combat the worst of the "nutritionists" objections to the 'eat all you want' concept - which was NEVER true. How may people can or even tried to eat a pound of bacon at a sitting or a huge steak? And don't you eat more veggies and salad now than ever?

It may be positioning itself to introduce even more new products. I wish that there would be more emphasis on eating REAL FOOD and less on finding substitutes for the high carb foods. That might help more in changing our eating patterns than using substitutes that are "lower Carb" but not as good as real food.

Grumble, grumble, grumble. Why doesn't Dr. A. come back and haunt them?
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  #6   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 14:34
Bonzlee Bonzlee is offline
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Posts: 197
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 206.2/196.0/140 Female 5'6"
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Default

I agree with Tofi. It sounds like PR crap to me. It even says in the article that they're changing their tune because:
"we want physicians to feel comfortable with this diet, and we want people who are going to their physicians with this diet to feel comfortable."

I have a strong suspicion this would not have happened if Dr. Atkins was still alive. This is really sad because it adds fuel to the fire of criticism that has haunted Atkins in recent years.

I'm not changing the way I'm eating because of this. This is working for me! Anybody else?
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  #7   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 14:34
Kristine's Avatar
Kristine Kristine is offline
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Plan: Primal
Stats: 171/155/155 Female 5'7"
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Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
Default

I'm confused. The Atkins folks sound about as clear as mud.

If they were referring mainly to the people who start out on Atkins with four bacon double cheeseburgers a day, and no other sources of fat, I'd agree with them. Let's face it - people have to kind of be pushed into grinding flaxseeds and gulping fish oil.

But they seem to be emphasizing limiting the saturated fat, rather than increasing the other fats. Are they caving to the pressure? Are they trying to push the sale to mainstream doctors?

Last edited by Kristine : Sat, Jan-17-04 at 14:35.
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  #8   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 14:43
nursey15's Avatar
nursey15 nursey15 is offline
Happy Spring!!!
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Plan: Will be starting SBD soon
Stats: 226.5/223.5/175 Female 5'7
BF:34%/33%/lo as poss
Progress: 6%
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Default

I agree too. But I should be fine. I eat beef maybe once a week if that, I love chicken and always have, I have chicken probably 4-5 times a week, and pork 1-2 times a week. Beef, hardly ever. I'm getting old- beef is hard to chew
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  #9   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 14:49
tholian8's Avatar
tholian8 tholian8 is offline
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Plan: CAD-ish
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Location: London, UK
Default

I think both, in addition to good old fashioned CYA...just in case the anti-sat-fat folks push a lawsuit some day.

Emily
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  #10   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 15:04
doreen T's Avatar
doreen T doreen T is offline
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Plan: DANDR '92
Stats: 241/175/140 Female 165 cm
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Default

The fat that comes packaged by Mother Nature in red meats and poultry is not pure saturated fat. In fact it's less than 50% saturates, and nearly 45% monounsaturates. Unfortunately, most people don't realise that .. they think animal fat is pure saturates.


Doreen
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  #11   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 16:42
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VALEWIS VALEWIS is offline
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Plan: low cal, low carb
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BF:23%
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Default

I think it is truly sad that Atkins Co are bowing to the anti-sat fats pressure. I have still not read any good science showing that sat fats are bad for you except when consumed with bad carbs. I think there are enough folks around the world who eat largely sat fats to show that the human body can adapt well to that, but that eating too many processed carbs leads to bad health.

Val
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  #12   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 16:48
potatofree's Avatar
potatofree potatofree is offline
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Plan: Back to Atkins
Stats: 298/228/160 Female 5ft9in
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Progress: 51%
Default

Why do you assume they're bowing to outside pressure? Just being the devil's advocate here, but maybe they're revising the guidelines because they've learned more? I don't think it's THAT far-fetched to say it's better to eat a variety of natural fats....
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  #13   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 16:58
tofi's Avatar
tofi tofi is offline
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Plan: Atkins
Stats: 244/220/170 Female 65.4inches
BF:
Progress: 32%
Location: Ontario
Default

It's so silly. To quote Doreen T's post in another thread:

The fat that comes packaged by Mother Nature in red meats and poultry is not pure saturated fat. In fact it's less than 50% saturates, and nearly 45% monounsaturates. Unfortunately, most people don't realise that .. they think animal fat is pure saturates.

Last edited by tofi : Sat, Jan-17-04 at 17:22.
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  #14   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 17:16
Lisa N's Avatar
Lisa N Lisa N is offline
Posts: 12,028
 
Plan: Bernstein Diabetes Soluti
Stats: 260/-/145 Female 5' 3"
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Progress: 63%
Location: Michigan
Default

Quote:
maybe they're revising the guidelines because they've learned more?


Perhaps, but then why not come out and say that further research has indicated that it's better to eat less saturated fat instead of what Ms. Heimowitz said:

Quote:
Atkins representatives made the revision, Ms. Heimowitz said, because "we want physicians to feel comfortable with this diet, and we want people who are going to their physicians with this diet to feel comfortable."


This indicates to me that it has nothing to do with any new knowledge that they may have come across, but making the Atkins approach "more palatable" to mainstream medicine.
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  #15   ^
Old Sat, Jan-17-04, 17:19
potatofree's Avatar
potatofree potatofree is offline
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Posts: 17,245
 
Plan: Back to Atkins
Stats: 298/228/160 Female 5ft9in
BF:?/35/?
Progress: 51%
Default

..and if this gets more doctors to put their patients on Atkins, how could it be a bad thing?
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