Vegan Health ArticlesTHE SKINNY ON ATKINS - Atkins is Based on a Half-Truth
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From Michael Greger, M.D.

Despite U.S. attempts to stall458 and sabotage459 the World Health Organization’s report on diet (as they tried to do with tobacco),460 in May 2004 the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health was unanimously endorsed by all 192 Member States of the United Nations. The report blames the growing pandemic of global chronic disease in part on "greater saturated fat intake (mostly from animal sources), reduced intakes of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber, and reduced fruit and vegetable intakes," in other words, they blame the global epidemic of obesity, cancer, heart disease and diabetes on exactly the kind of diet Atkins’ books recommend. As the Harvard Health Letter put simply, the Atkins Diet "is not a healthy way to eat."[461] The World Health Organization is calling for limiting the consumption of saturated animal fats[462] and "increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes [beans, peas and lentils], whole grains and nuts."[463]

The evidence to support their position is "overwhelming."464 After 11 years following 11,000 people, for example, researchers found that eating whole grains may help people live longer. That did not seem to be the case for refined grains, though.465 And the Atkins Diet is based on that half-truth.

Atkins was right in going "against the grain" in the case of refined carbohydrates like white flour and sugar. But he was wrong to restrict good carbs—the carbs found in whole unrefined foods—like the WHO’s "fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts." A bunless burger is not the answer to a fat-free doughnut.

Just because jellybeans and Wonder Bread are not health-promoting foods does not mean one has to switch to pork rinds and bacon. Let’s not throw the wheat germ out with the wheat.

Go on to You Can Have Your Carbs and Eat Them Too

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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.