The Atkins diet
, officially called the Atkins Nutritional Approach,
is a well-known low-carbohydrate diet
created by Dr Robert Atkins from a diet he read in the Journal of the American Medical Association
and used to resolve his own overweight condition. He later popularized the Atkins diet in a series of books, starting with Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution
in 1972. In his revised book, Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution
, he modified or changed some of his ideas, but remained faithful to the original concepts.
The Atkins Diet is a departure from the previously prevailing metabolic theories. Atkins claimed there are important unrecognized factors in Western eating habits which lead to obesity. Primarily, he believed that the main cause of obesity is eating refined carbohydrates
, particularly sugar, flour, and high-fructose corn syrups.
The Atkins Diet involves restriction of carbohydrates to more frequently switch the body's metabolism from burning glucose as fuel to burning stored body fat. This process (called ketosis) begins when insulin levels are low; in normal humans, insulin is lowest when blood glucose levels are low (mostly before eating), and blood glucose levels are most fundamentally increased by ingestion of some kinds of carbohydrate (eg, glucose, starch (ie, long glucose chains)). Other kinds of carbohydrates don't participate in the insulin mechanism controlling metabolism. Ketosis involves lipolysis in which some of the lipid stores in fat cells are transferred to the blood.