Vegan Health ArticlesThe Atkins Scientific Research – Deceit and Disappointment
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Real Damage from Atkins Would Be Seen with Honest Comparisons

To determine the true impact of the Atkins Diet on blood cholesterol, a comparison must be made with a truly low-fat (10% or less), no-cholesterol diet. Two studies of people following very low-cholesterol diets suggest what will be found: When subjects following a low-cholesterol diet (97 mg/day) were fed one egg a day (an additional 321 mg of cholesterol) their “bad” LDL-cholesterol increased by 12%.64 By comparison, the egg industry has funded numerous studies to “prove” eating eggs does not raise cholesterol – they accomplish this by feeding eggs to subjects whose intestines are already fully saturated with cholesterol from their regular diet – so they are able to absorb little more.[65]

A group of Tarahumara Indians from Northern Mexico was switched from their traditional diet of corn, beans, squash and other vegetables (2700 calories, 16% fat and trace cholesterol) to an American diet (4100 calories, 44% fat, and 1020 mg cholesterol) for five weeks.[66] These changes were seen in their blood:

Total cholesterol increased 31% (121 to 159 mg/dl)

LDL-cholesterol increased by 39% (72 to 100 mg/dl)

HDL-cholesterol increased by 31% (32 to 42 mg/dl)

Triglycerides increased by 18% (91 to 108 mg/dl)

(Note that eating an unhealthy diet with more fat and cholesterol increases all fractions of cholesterol, including “good” HDL-cholesterol.)

Long-term benefits of a low-fat diet have been seen with the Ornish and Pritikin groups.40,41,67 Six month results from the very low-fat diet used by Dr. Ornish found significantly greater reductions in anginal (chest pain) frequency, body weight, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and glucose, than in a cardiac rehabilitation group using the standard Heart Association (30% fat) diet.[40]

Results of a study of 4587 adults who attended a 3-week residential Pritikin Program using a very low-fat diet, showed total cholesterol was reduced by 23% (234 to 180 mg/dl) and LDL-cholesterol was reduced by 23% (151 to 116 mg/dl).41 Follow-up studies for 18 months on a small group of these people showed that, in most cases, continued compliance with the program maintained total cholesterol values well below 200 mg/dl.

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.