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“Eco-Atkins”? The REAL Atkins Responds

Recently, a “vegan low carb diet” has been promoted through a study that showed it provided many of the benefits of the Atkins low carb diet. Media coverage, always fawning and unquestioning of medical news, seemed to accept the study’s conclusions.

Now, Atkins Nutritionals has responded, first with a concise recap:

The study authors started by admitting that low-carbohydrate dieting was indeed effective, not only for weight loss, but for reducing insulin resistance, lowering triglyceride concentrations and for raising HDL (so-called “good” cholesterol). The researchers wanted to see if they could design a low-carbohydrate diet that retained the proven weight-loss benefits of low-carb plans like Atkins and also help people improve their cholesterol while following a vegetarian, vegan approach.

The article goes on to explain the test methodology that compared a low-fat vegan diet to a low-carb vegan diet. In looking at the diet, the Atkins folks say:

The “Eco-Atkins” diet was essentially a maintenance phase diet for vegans. Presumably even more weight loss might have occurred if carbs had been lowered to OWL or pre-maintenance levels.

The Atkins article goes on to state that numerous variations of the low carb approach have been formulated, but claim that only Atkins has both a time tested and scientifically validated plan. I’m not sure that’s true, as other plans such as my favorite, the Protein Power Life Plan, also use a scientific approach. They may be saying that the Atkins plan has been specifically tested by more independent studies than any others, and that could very well be true.