Sweden Shifts National Dietary Guidance on Eating–Steers Toward Low-Card, Low-Glycemic Food Recomendations

DENVER, CO – October 23, 2013 – Sweden has become the first western nation to recommend a lower-carbohydrate higher-fat, diet – in alignment with the Atkins™ approach to eating – as part of an effort to reduce the national prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and to improve markers of heart health. This bold move stems from a literature review of 16,000 studies on diet and obesity, published by Swedish government advisors at the Council on Health Technology Assessment. This published report was released by the Council in September and the Swedish government announcement followed shortly thereafter.

Swedish advisors recognize that the oft-recommended low-fat diet is failing in the fight to stop or reverse obesity trends that have reached epidemic proportions across the globe. The Swedes will now pursue this lower-carbohydrate, higher-fat approach citing the many potential benefits it may offer: reducing body weight, lowering blood sugar and improving good cholesterol. Essentially, the Council suggests that a diet moderately-low in carbohydrate (40% of total calories) would see some of these improvements a greater increase in good (HDL) cholesterol without having any adverse effects on bad (LDL) cholesterol, while an even lower carbohydrate intake (20% of total calories) would result in more benefits including improved blood sugar levels for individuals with obesity and diabetes, and marginally decreased levels of triglycerides.

Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc., vice president of nutrition and education at Atkins explains, “In the maintenance phase of the Atkins Diet™, our followers should be in what we call ‘carbohydrate balance.’ This generally has them eating between 20 and 40 percent of their calories from carbs, exactly the percentage recommended by the Council, and precisely the range that will help people maintain their goal weight. By eating proteins, low-glycemic vegetables and fruits, nuts and healthful fats, the Atkins Diet is very much in alignment with the new Swedish dietary recommendations.”

In addition, advisors to the Swedish government speak to other benefits of an Atkins-like diet that permits higher-fat foods. Those benefits highlighted include both satisfaction and satiety, which are in large part, responsible for greater long-term sustainability. This news also follows suit with research released in the June issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, which showed that a carbohydrate-managed approach, such as the Atkins Diet, is more effective for long-term weight loss and maintenance than a conventional low-fat diet. Investigators on that study also showed that low-carbohydrate diets were both beneficial and safe for the highly-insulin resistant, carbohydrate-intolerant population, who need to keep carbohydrate consumption low long-term.

Jeff Volek, PhD, RD, professor and nutrition researcher at the University of Connecticut adds that, “It will be interesting to see how quickly other countries follow suit, recognizing that managing carbohydrates is the key to handling certain health conditions. Lower-fat varieties of foods are often higher in sugars and carbohydrates, which is simply counter-intuitive for people who need to control metabolism-related conditions like diabetes, metabolic syndrome and insulin sensitivity, all of which are related to obesity.”

The Atkins Diet is backed by more than 80 independent, published studies. The diet is a long-term, well-balanced plan that encourages the consumption of lean protein, good carbs and a balance of healthy fats. Learn more about this rich and satisfying dietary approach by visitingatkins.com.

About Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.
Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. is a leader in the $2.4 billion weight control nutrition category, and offers a powerful lifetime approach to weight loss and management. The Atkins Diet focuses on a healthy diet with reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars and encourages the consumption of protein, fiber, fruits, vegetables and good fats. Backed by research and consumer success stories, this approach allows the body to burn more fat and work more efficiently while helping individuals feel less hungry, more satisfied and more energetic.

Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., manufactures and sells a variety of frozen meals, nutrition bars and shakes designed around the nutritional principles of the Atkins Diet™. Atkins' four product lines: Advantage®, Day Break™, Endulge™ and Cuisine™ appeal to a broad audience of both men and women who want to achieve their weight management goals and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Atkins products are available online at atkins.com and in more than 30,000 locations throughout the U.S. and internationally. For more information, visit atkins.com.

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1. Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment. Report: Food in obesity. A systematic literature Review. (218/2013). ISBN: 978-91-85413-59-1. ISSN: 1400-1403.

2. Bueno NB, Vieira de Melo IS, Lima de Oliveira S, Rocha Ataide T. Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. British Journal of Nutrition 2013; FirstView Article pp1-10. Published online: 07 May 2013. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114513000548.