Read an excerpt from “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution” by Robert C. Atkins, M.D.
This is an updated version of the book I wrote ten years ago to help as many people as I could to lose weight. I felt certain then — and continue to do so — that the widespread dissemination of misinformation about what constitutes a healthy diet had caused that epidemic of weight gain in this country.
The book made a greater impact than anyone might have predicted. Its sales exceeded ten million copies, and it was the number one-selling diet and health book in the U.S. for nearly five years. In fact, it has been the all-time top seller in its field. Certainly of the millions of people who’ve read it, a large percentage followed its precepts, lost weight, kept it off and decisively improved their health.
But now something even more significant is taking place. The view of the medical world has been changing, and New Diet Revolution celebrates its tenth anniversary in a climate that is infinitely more receptive to controlled carbohydrate weight loss. Medical opinion, slowly evolving, is finally catching up with — and beginning to absorb — the vast weight of scientific evidence that supports a controlled carbohydrate nutritional approach.
And what a godsend that is, because when I first wrote this book, well-meaning but poorly informed organizations were so fat-phobic that people became convinced that so long as food was low in fat it was healthy.
People were taught to regard sugary cereals, which bore the American Heart Association’s seal of approval, as health food, along with bread, pasta, bagels and the like. We were taught to shrink in terror from a steak or lamb chops. The low-fat craze — in vogue for two decades — significantly lowered the percentage of fat in the American diet but simultaneously resulted in a massive increase in carbohydrate consumption. Nor did the reduction in fat intake mean people were eating more vegetables; instead, it was refined carbohydrates, sugar and flour. Such quintessential junk foods had become the staple of American cuisine.
I hope you agree with me that if you wanted to create a nation of fat, tired, unhealthy people, this would be the perfect dietary plan. Every year the statistics poured in confirming that the obesity rates were escalating. And even more frightening, the number of diabetics worldwide has escalated. As I will show you, all too often the flipside of the coin of being overweight is having diabetes.
These twin epidemics, obesity and diabetes, were clearly the result of the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet that was being preached to the public as gospel. The same groups that championed low fat denigrated the controlled carbohydrate nutritional approach — which was the very answer to these epidemics — as exceedingly harmful.
Now that millions of people have switched from the lowfat fiasco to the controlled carbohydrate lifestyle, a growing number of them are learning with certainty the degree to which they have been blatantly misinformed. I’ll wager that there has never been another example in modem medicine of propaganda of such magnitude than the statements made by those worshipping the low-fat dogma.
Let me give you a few examples taken from the dozens of untruths designed to keep you from making the healthpromoting change to a controlled carbohydrate nutritional approach. First, thousands of these low-fat fanatics have claimed that a high-protein diet would impair kidney function. Yet, I have never seen or heard a single accuser provide a single example of a single case in which that happened. This is one of the many examples of untruths fashioned out of the whole cloth.
Another example is an idea so fixed that not even overwhelming evidence can change some people’s minds. I’m speaking of the belief that eating the controlled carbohydrate way will create cholesterol problems. The truth, as you will learn from reading this book, is that every one of a score of studies on eating regimens low enough in carbohydrates to produce the desired shift to stored fat as the primary energy source showed a significant improvement in cholesterol and triglycerides. Yes, there was a single exception, one in which cholesterol levels rose insignificantly after the subjects were told not to take their vitamins. This is one of the many examples of untruths being perpetrated because the accusers don’t bother to read the scientific literature.
As you read this book, you will be informed, and, I expect, taken aback by the magnitude of the misinformation that stands behind our society’s staggering increase in rates of diabetes and obesity. This propaganda campaign and the severity of the twin epidemics changed my focus on what I wanted this edition of the book to accomplish. I want so many millions of people to succeed in overcoming obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and all the other medical conditions aggravated by excessive carbohydrates that all the leaders of the medical profession recognize controlled carbohydrate eating as the treatment of choice for optimum health.
I probably will never again have to write a book that was as defiant and controversial as the first edition of this one was. What you hold in your hands is a thoroughly rewritten version of that work. Having listened with care to the people who followed my weight control program, I’ve clarified and improved the “do-ability” of the practical chapters of this book. I’ve added many new case histories and a horde of new and improved recipes. Finally, I’ve incorporated information on the recent upsurge of scientific evidence. We had it right ten years ago, but now we have twice as much research to confirm the nutritional approach championed by New Diet Revolution.
Weight loss? Now you can’t avoid it. You’ve bought this book, haven’t you? Health? Don’t forget, the carbohydrate controlled nutritional approach is a major part of the teaching of complementary medicine, and this medicine is focused on restoring ideal health, no matter what the cause.
The foregoing is excerpted from Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution by Robert C. Atkins, M.D.. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022 .