The world has been taken over by Atkins. Everywhere you turn
someone is cutting carbohydrates and upping their protein
intake. Does a pound of bacon for breakfast sound appetizing?
While I cannot say exactly why everyone seems to be falling
over themselves to grab Atkins literature, or the convenient
new pamphlets that compact the information into a quick five-minute
read, the fact of the matter is they are doing so. The results
seem to be resoundingly positive – at least with regards
to dropping pounds. Many people I know who have tried it have
lost the weight. Now we just have to wait and see if they
gain it back once they get some cravings for white bread.
The real interest I have towards Atkins and its sister diets,
the South Beach Diet and The Zone, are not the specifics of
these diets but rather the frenzy that is surrounding them.
Many people no longer think it is healthy to eat carbohydrates
– whether they are on these diets or not. The pros and
cons of eating white bread as opposed to eating multigrain
bread have been revealed for years with many people who want
to “fuel the machine” with more healthy alternatives
turning to whole wheat. This however has been taken over by
a general protest on carbohydrates.
Now not only are people sitting in their living rooms and
in coffee houses talking about Atkins, so are morning talk
shows, evening newsmagazines, editorials and front page spreads;
basically every form of media is writing about it. It is not
just the diet they’re putting the pen to paper about
though. It is the host of products that are arriving on grocers
and even liquor storeowners’ shelves daily to fit this
In the past few months, radical products such as Keto Cocoa
Crisp Soy Cereal and Michelob Ultra Low-Carb Beer have hit
the shelves. Meanwhile more known brands are reconfiguring
their products to appeal to this new growing demographic.
For example Labatt introduced a Sterling beer, for carbohydrate
counters. Local bakeries are also considering the ways in
which they make bread and many are producing low carb varieties.
If you have a favourite food it is only a matter of time before
some low carb version is going to appear – or at least
that is the way it seems right now.
This trend has not just extended to domestic food products;
fast food venues are also reconsidering their menus. This
trend began a few years when salads and wraps became commonplace
next to the burgers and chicken nuggets at major fast food
retailers. Today the new menus are promoting low carb lifestyles.
Jared has been replaced by the new Atkins wraps at Subway.
Quiznos is making a smaller sandwich to appeal to those who
want as few carbs as possible but who cannot give up their
noonday sandwich. However the most shocking is the move by
McDonald’s to remove the “super sizing”
option from their menus this year. While this is not necessarily
Atkins driven it is a definite reaction to the newfound heath
food craze that seems to be dominating Western life. People
want to eat healthier, and if a flashy New York Times bestseller
book can lay it out for them, they’ll follow it. It
is funny how even eating healthier has become commercialized.
But what exactly does low carb mean? Apparently there is no
set answer to this. Many products slap low carb on the label
to entice customers. Therefore it is important to still read
labels even if the shiny red sticker says its low carb. The
more important question I have been asking myself is if low
carb actually means that it is healthier. If one takes a closer
look you will find that low carb often does not mean low calorie.
This is confusing considering that everyone has been told
that the way to lose weight is to cut calories. Obviously
you need to find low carb low calorie foods – yum to
Atkins is super flashy and something fun you can tell your
friends that you are trying at the next social. The old motto
of eat less and exercise more isn’t as fun and catchy
as Atkins. Perhaps the media and general attention towards
this way of eating are only helping to increase the numbers
of people who give it a try. While Atkins certainly isn’t
a new idea it is a very popular idea right now.
Dr. Robert C. Atkins began honing his diet in the 1970s. The
founder of “controlled carbohydrate intake” seems
to defy the logic of the common person. “Fat is bad.
It makes you fat. Don’t eat fat.” This could practically
be a modern proverb except now it is refuted, or at least
somewhat. Medical professionals’ reactions to the Atkins
diet are resoundingly different. People’s concerns,
for the implications of a diet that is said to have possible
heart problem consequences, are realistically grounded considering
Newfoundland’s high levels of heart disease. The best
advice is to talk to your own doctor before trying any diet.
After reading a few dozen articles I am no less confused about
what this diet offers. In fact I am more confused. I commend
anyone who can actually read these conflicting statements
and make this or any diet work.
Will Atkins go the way of the Thighmaster? Only time will