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Atkins vs. PB

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  • Atkins vs. PB

    Bare with me here, I am a newbie and just started reading the book-very interesting BTW. I have also read Dr. Aktin's book and agree with a lot of what he writes. I notice similarities between the two...has anyone here also read/followed Atkins? If so, what are the main differences?

  • #2
    I consider PB to be more holistic and comprehensive, with a much higher emphasis on food quality and overall health. Here's an example of Mark's take on it:

    Dr. Robert Atkins is the pioneer of low-carb diets, having first published his material in 1972 with great popularity, and controversy. Flying in the face of the government-promoted Conventional Wisdom of low fat, high carb diets, Atkins weathered the criticism and developed a brand that thrived for decades. The Atkins diet has serious flaws but his central premise of low carb eating deserves credit as being revolutionary. It has only been since his death in 2003 that the Atkins diet has enjoyed increasing medical acceptance and as an effective weight-loss technique.

    While Atkins laudably restricts processed carbs like sugar, breads, pasta, cereal and starchy vegetables, the plan stumbles with its sometimes draconian restriction on total carbohydrate intake. The Atkins recommendation to consume only twenty net grams (i.e. digestible grams, so you exclude fiber and sugar alcohol) of carbohydrates per day (this is for the first two weeks of the diet, with allowances to gradually increase daily intake for long-term maintenance – but still advocating well under one hundred grams per day) greatly compromises the participant’s intake of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet: fruits and vegetables.

    Weight loss success on the Atkins diet is well chronicled, but experts believe that the diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies, likely from inadequate fruit and vegetable intake and perhaps also from the indiscriminate intake and lack of quality distinction among protein and fat foods (including the license to enjoy fried foods and other offensive dietary choices). For example, consider the anecdote in Chapter 4 that the potential carcinogens in cooked meat can be effectively countered by sufficient consumption of antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables (that are unwisely limited in the Atkins plan). This site is a gold mine and has a nice search function, by the way
    Last edited by theholla; 09-30-2010, 02:42 PM. Reason: clarity
    The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

    You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout


    • #3
      Thanks Holla, that is exactly what I was looking for!


      • #4
        Glad I was helpful! I actually got into PB because I enjoyed the benefits of low-ish carb, but also was into natural foods and "clean eating." I think PB is a nice combination of them both, and has had the added benefit of seriously reducing my IBS symptoms and giving me a ton of energy.
        The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

        You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout


        • #5
          I followed a whole food approach to Atkins DANDR, 2002 and switched to PB this past summer as a way to further clean up my foods. I was also intrigued with PB's take on oils, grains, legumes and dairy. I already knew first hand how much better I felt without grains and I chose to try the PB approach on my journey to better health.

          I very much like Dr. Atkins writings on various health issues and how to correct them through proper eating. His Vita-Nutrient Solution book on supplements has been a terrific resource that I refer to often.

          I will always be grateful to Dr. Atkins for opening my eyes to what kinds of foods I eat and opening the door to my search for better health. Reading and following Atkins led me to Ron Rosedale and Byron Richards works on leptin, Taubes' GCBC, Watson's Cereal Killer along with a host of other works on nutrition with my current explorations with paleo and PB. After years of getting nowhere with the SAD, I feel like I'm finally on the right track.


          • #6
            I'd like to agree with Mizski and add my own experience. I, too, first began eating healthily via Atkins, and it was the first time that I understood and experienced the fact that my obesity was driven by extreme sensitivity to carbs.

            That's why I take a little issue with Mark's criticism of Atkins (quoted above). Unlike, PB, Atkins was presenting a weight-loss program, and his advice was to add carbs in 5g intervals until the person was no longer losing. He called that the "critical carbohydrate level." I discovered that my CCL is only about 30g a day; beyond that I will not lose weight at all and will easily gain. However, I can also eat at least 5 servings of vegetables (greens mainly) in those 30g, so I am not lacking nutrients as Mark claims. In addition, most people are not as sensitive as I am and can 'do' Atkins and move up to 60-100g of carbs eventually.

            Not everyone can tolerate the same level of carbs, and using Dr. A's formula for discovering what works best for you is, I think, the best way for anyone to find out how his/her body deals with carbs.

            Unfortunately, in later years, Dr. A became associated with frankenfoods, and many people doing Atkins today are eating unhealthily. But I will always revere Dr. A because he helped me understand my body and focus my attention of healthy eating rather than simply losing weight.