There have been many polemics about Atkins diet from the day it appeared for the first time as a solution for diabetics.
Let’s see in what this debatable diet for diabetes consist of, and to know the real facts.
The right balance of good carbohydrates with adequate protein.
This is the basis of Atkins diet offered to you. Maybe you might find it very difficult to follow according to your daily eating habits. In fact, this diet is in a deeply contrast to what most of people eat on a daily basis.
And if you are an American, for sure you don’t miss processed foods with hidden sugars and highly processed carbohydrates. And depending on what you eat, your path to diabetes or pre-diabetes onset is easily to pass.
Food and cooking and exercise attention
This diet mostly recommends you to use raw, unprocessed foods. So, if you see the Atkins diet pyramid, the center of it contains fresh vegetables and fresh meats together with natural cheeses, selected fruits and unprocessed grains. No packaged meats, canned vegetables or instant goods.
Not only what you east is utmost important. But also a good physical activity through regular simple exercises is also not to ignore.
That’s why Atkins food pyramid shows the exercise importance too, not only for diabetics but for overall health. An increased activity is always accompanied with an increase in food options.
An approach to sugar cravings
The basis of Atkins diet is a good maintance of protein, fat and fiber balance in your daily diet. This balance will help you to prevent blood sugar drops that can easily lead to sugar cravings.
It emphasizes the importance of snacks between meals to keep stable blood sugar levels. Some handy snacks like nuts, seeds, cheese can quickly stabilize your blood sugar with no necessity of sweet treat.
The state of ketosis
The state of ketosis is the basic principle of Atkins diet. This can help you burn your fat stores as energy. It’s true that many people, including those who follow low carbohydrate diets, don’t understand what the role of the state of ketosis is.
The theory of why we get fat
In fact, Atkins diet explains that the over consumption of carbohydrates and simple sugars can lead to weight gain. The way that your body processes the carbohydrates you eat is related mostly to your waistline than the amount of fat that you consume.
And this can be related to “insulin resistance” , where overweight people have cells that do not work properly.
Complains and criticisms
The major complaint is due to intestinal problems, such as constipation or diarrhea. These occur because of reduced amounts of carbohydrates intake, especially in those who follow a low carb diet.
One of the first criticisms about Atkins diet is that it is too high in fat. In fact, if you follow this diet, the recommended fats are low-fat butter, extra virgin olive oil, low-fat meats (the leak ones).
The proper use of all these kinds of oil is very important to brain function and mood management too.
The food pyramid
Eat freely all the foods recommended. Atkins diet is not a calorie-restricted diet. You can eat fats and proteins as much as you like.
But, the only thing you need to worry about is the carbohydrates grams level. When you count carbohydrates intake, remember that at least 12-15 grams are allowed to be added in your food list. You can choose fish, beef, chicken, tofu and eggs on a daily basis as protein sources.
Then you can choose fresh vegetables: salad greens, broccoli, asparagus, spinach and cauliflower. They are also part of the best diabetes diet too.
Atkins diet diabetes recommendations
If you decide to follow this diet, remember to use ketone-testing strips. These are important to determine your state of ketosis. These are small plastic strips that you hold in the urine stream.
chemically treated absorptive pad on it can change color in the presence
of ketones in the urine, from pink to purple. You can refer to the
color scale on the label of the bottle to determine your ketone levels.
Written by Dr.Albana Greca Sejdini, Md, MMedSc
Medically reviewed by Dr.Ruden Cakoni, MD, Endocrinologist