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Hometown: NYC, NY
Motivation: Helping people find a way of eating with low carb that promotes robust health outcomes and sustainable weight loss and maintenance.
Favorite Atkins Friendly Food: Cashew Trail Mix Bar
Tips for Success: Read your labels. Watch out for hidden carbs; to calculate the grams of carbs that impact your blood sugar, subtract the number of grams of dietary fiber from the total number of carb grams. Also double-check serving sizes on labels; some foods and drinks are actually two or more servings, so you need to add in those extra carbs and calories.

Shun the Sugar; Lose the Weight (and Avoid Diabetes)

March 5, 2013

No one ever said that the typical American diet was perfect—the fact that obesity rates continue to climb and obesity-related diseases are becoming more prevalent is a true testament to the pitfalls of many of the foods we eat every day. In fact, sugar may be the true killer. A study published in the February 27th issue of the journal PLoS One links increased sugar consumption with increased rates of diabetes. Researchers examined the data on sugar availability and the rate of diabetes in 175 countries over the past decade and found that increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher diabetes rates independent of rates of obesity. The simple conclusion we can draw from this is that it’s not just obesity that causes diabetes; sugar does.

In fact, this study found that for every 12 ounces of sugar-sweetened beverage introduced per person per day in a country’s food system, the rate of diabetes goes up 1 percent. For decades, the Atkins Diet has advised followers to eliminate added sugar from their meals and snacks. As you probably know, unlike natural sugar, which is integral to a food such as fruit, added sugar—the name says it all—is used to boost flavor and sweetness. Added sugars include table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey and numerous other caloric sweeteners, both manufactured and natural. Obviously, added sugars significantly raise both the carb count and the calories in food as diverse as barbecue sauce and breakfast cereal.

Other clinical results also demonstrated that the Atkins Diet can help reverse Type 2 diabetes by controlling symptoms of the metabolic syndrome. This cluster of conditions includes abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, low HDL, high blood pressure and glucose intolerance. The data showed that patients who follow a controlled-carbohydrate lifestyle may be able to reduce their dependence on medications relating to blood sugar abnormalities (i.e., metabolic syndrome and diabetes). Subjects studied were able to reduce their blood sugar levels and improve their lipid profiles; half of them were able to normalize their blood sugar levels completely and stop their medication by following an Atkins-type regimen. Patients also demonstrated lipid profiles consistent with other studies on low-carb diets, which include a significant decrease in triglycerides and increase in HDL, the “good” cholesterol.

It’s about time that folks start to catch on…there are those who would love to believe that Atkins is a fad or a crash diet; but in fact it has demonstrated time and time again that it’s a proven very low sugar plan for reducing your risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. The fact you lose weight, gain more energy and generally improve your overall lifestyle is simply icing (sugar-free) on the cake (low-carb). 

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