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  • Saturated fats

    About 8 years ago I tried the Atkins Diet. My Cholesterol went to over 400 and I had a heart attack which resulted in having a stint put in my heart. Since the Atkins Diet allowed no trans fats, hydrogenated fats or carbs (thus the insulin was under control), I do not understand how the fat intake of the Primal Diet will be any different as it allows for saturated fats. Thus I fear the same results if I follow the Primal Diet. Can anyone educate me on this?
    Thanks,
    Ken

  • #2
    How long were you on the Atkins diet before you had the heart attack? Were you eating grains? What other types of foods were you eating?

    While a lot of people eat high sat fat on this diet with no problems, it is such a clean diet too, that makes a difference. Some people eat clean on Atkins, but many do not, which leads to inflammation. If you were eating inflammatory foods, your c- reactive protein would have been high. That could be why you had the heart attack.
    Meghan

    My MDA journal

    Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

    And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!

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    • #3
      What were you eating on Atkins? There's a lot of crap out there that qualifies as low-carb but is still unhealty.
      Kriskris.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for responding. I had been on the Atkins diet for over 6 months and followed the rules of diet strictly. I ate lots of meats including sausage, bacon, steak, eggs and cheeses with a few greens. Lunch meats were the sugar free kind. Sometimes I would go through McDonald's and get quarter pounders and just eat the meat. I ate no grains and no sugars.
        Ken

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        • #5
          From my uneducated POV, it was the McDonalds/sausages/lunchmeats that did you in. Most of us here eat none of that crap.

          Especially McDonalds dude...no offense but how would you think that'd be still healthy??

          Do you know what a McDonalds Cheeseburgur looks like after 4+ years?

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IGtDPG4UfI

          Im not trying to sound like an elitist but i only eat stuff "grok" woulda ate, which isn't very hard at all just real meat, veggies, fruits.

          If your afraid of fat, get lean cuts and get your fats from avacados and nuts. thats what I do most of the time since I buy supermarket meat and most of the toxins in meat are stored in the fat.

          Also your not eating THAT much meat. I Measure out my protien for the day, the rest of my calories are filled in by fats like avacados or a piece of fruit or whatever. Every plate I eat has a protien seving on top of a MOUNTAIN of veggies. Thats how u gata do it, learn to love veggies man.
          Last edited by milkycereal; 02-28-2011, 08:38 AM.

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          • #6
            Milkycereal,
            Thanks for your reply. Your point was to keep the food clean and stop all the stuff that kept the McDonald's burger preserved for 4 years out of my system. Makes sense as does your statement "eat only what Gork would eat". So it seems like it was not the saturated fat but the other stuff with the protein source like curing the bacon which Gork did not do either.

            I am coming off a medifast diet and planning what to eat following this up. With my previous experience I am a bit nervous and looking for a eating plan that is sustainable and healthy.

            Are you concerned about the connection between prostate cancer and red meat?

            Thanks for your help and please don't apologize if you sound elite. I would like to be elite in my health, heart health, and functioning ability.
            Ken

            Comment


            • #7
              I eat low carb--first a generic version of my own and now Primal--but as an 'older woman' (post-menopausal), I don't eat 'high fat'--more moderate, and I do fine. I don't think it's essential to eat a lot of saturated fat, and I've read that older women don't tolerate high fat well--I know that I don't.

              I'm definitely not 'low fat,' but I get my fats from things like salmon, tuna, avocados, olive oil (use liberally on veggies), and some bison--and my favorite treat, almond butter--that I try to ration because I could eat a jar a day if I let myself.

              I don't eat any dairy and, of course, no grains. I'm hypothyroid, so I have my blood values checked every 4 months, and the reports are always excellent. I feel great.

              Comment


              • #8
                You were not following Atkins as outlined in the book for sure. Even the Atkins diet says to eat veggies, even during the first two weeks of induction you are supposed to eat up to 20 NET carbs a day. That would be carbs minus fiber. You can eat a TON of broccoli or spinach or other veggies with those rules. My guess is you didn't read the book. Which leads me to ask, have you read Mark's book? I am guessing no because you think that all you should be eating is saturated fats.

                Also, I highly doubt that 6 months of an eating style lead to your heart disease. An otherwise healthy person that started eating the way you did would take MUCH longer than 6 months to have a heart attack from their diet. What did you eat before you went on Atkins? Were you obese? Can you honestly say it was Atkins that caused it, or was it more likely the years of abuse you did to your body before Atkins?
                Meghan

                My MDA journal

                Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

                And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kenh View Post
                  Milkycereal,
                  Thanks for your reply. Your point was to keep the food clean and stop all the stuff that kept the McDonald's burger preserved for 4 years out of my system. Makes sense as does your statement "eat only what Gork would eat". So it seems like it was not the saturated fat but the other stuff with the protein source like curing the bacon which Gork did not do either.

                  I am coming off a medifast diet and planning what to eat following this up. With my previous experience I am a bit nervous and looking for a eating plan that is sustainable and healthy.

                  Are you concerned about the connection between prostate cancer and red meat?

                  Thanks for your help and please don't apologize if you sound elite. I would like to be elite in my health, heart health, and functioning ability.
                  Ken
                  Exactly, I mean that doesn't mean go crazy on the Saturated fats. I don't, and honestly until CW changes I can't say I will. But thats why you choose lean cuts and get your fat from avacados/nuts n stuff.

                  Also, by choosing lean-cuts of meat you're eating less of that cow's/pig's/whatever's fat, which is where most of the toxins and cancer causing things are stored. If you have the money you could go organic and grass-fed or local and then you can eat all the fatty delicous beef you can!

                  But don't forget the veggies! If you figure out your protien requirements (.5-1g for every lb of lean body mass, you without the fat) and lets say you eat three meals a day, split up your protein and have a serving with a mountain of veggies every meal. By mountain of veggies I mean brocolli or lettuce or spinnach....

                  And i know your food selection sounds limited, but you have to get creative! The other day I made turkey meatballs with a little parmisian cheese, garlic powder, chopped onions and italian seasonings. Then I sliced up 2 zuchinni really thin and spaggetti-like and sauteed em in butter, took some of Mom's delicous sauce and put it all over it, a little mo cheese and BAM - delicous, filling, healthy. Zuchiinnii is no spagetti, but its a nice substitute and fills you up.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NutMeg View Post
                    You were not following Atkins as outlined in the book for sure. Even the Atkins diet says to eat veggies, even during the first two weeks of induction you are supposed to eat up to 20 NET carbs a day. That would be carbs minus fiber. You can eat a TON of broccoli or spinach or other veggies with those rules. My guess is you didn't read the book. Which leads me to ask, have you read Mark's book? I am guessing no because you think that all you should be eating is saturated fats.

                    Also, I highly doubt that 6 months of an eating style lead to your heart disease. An otherwise healthy person that started eating the way you did would take MUCH longer than 6 months to have a heart attack from their diet. What did you eat before you went on Atkins? Were you obese? Can you honestly say it was Atkins that caused it, or was it more likely the years of abuse you did to your body before Atkins?
                    Meghan,
                    Thanks for your time. I read, outlined and followed the Atkins diet to a T. I may have stayed in the induction phase longer than usual but he did not say that would be harmful. It was 8 years ago and I cannot remember all the details but I remembered I followed it closely. I have most of the Primal Blueprint read. The saturated fat thing was the only thing that made me nervous. It was not that I thought that I could only eat saturated fat but that I did not have to worry about it. For example I remember also eating lots of nuts.
                    I am sure my body was not great before I started the Atkins and I may have been on it for more than 6 months but I remember my cholesterol going up dramatically although if I remember correctly my triglycerides got much better but my LDl got worse. Sorry my memory is not better but at the time I had a heart attack there was another member of our community that went on the Atkins and died of a heart attack. I do not know the particulars of his diet.
                    Ken
                    Last edited by Kenh; 02-28-2011, 09:48 AM.

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                    • #11
                      The Atkins diet was never no carbohydrate. Originally when it came out in '72 it was for the first week it was very low in certain veg which are carbohydrate foods. As the years progressed (1990's) one would start at 20g of carbohydrates from veg that were on an approved list of about 54 types in total. It has since been updated to include (around 2002) 20g of net carbohydrates. The fiber is deducted from the total carbs and you move up from there. Today they are called foundation vegetables.

                      Colette Hemowitz of Atkins Nutritionals had said:

                      Everyone should try to reach optimal levels of high HDL and low LDL, but Dr. Atkins does not believe that cholesterol elevations are as important a risk factor as high triglycerides, homocysteine and C-reactive protein. It is also important to determine the particle size of LDL to measure risk factor. A blood test can determine if your LDL is the large fluffy ( lower risk kind) or small dense( higher risk LDL).

                      High cholesterol that has a genetic component usually responds to changes in diet, but may be difficult to address with diet alone. There are a variety of supplements to consider that can help. These include: Pantethine, Essential Oils garlic, red rice yeast and fiber. For a detailed discussion of cholesterol-lowering nutrients, see Dr Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solution. Exercise is also an important component to the management of high blood lipid values. Elevated blood values will require follow-up with the doctor until acceptable levels are attained.

                      The kinds of fat you should avoid are chemically altered, processed hydrogenated oils, such as margarine and shortening and hydrogenated oil as you wisely stated you avoid. Look for cold-pressed or expeller-pressed oils, and store them in a dark, cool place to keep them from going rancid or oxidizing. High heat changes the molecular structure of the cell and will transform even a good fat into a trans fat so be sure not to burn oil or allow it to smoke while cooking.

                      Some clinical studies (Westman et al., American Journal of Medicine 2002; O’Brien et al., AHA Scientific Session 2002; Hickey et al., Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, 2004; Greene et al., Obesity Research, 2003) indicate that LDL levels decrease in people following a low-carbohydrate diet. Yet despite the evidence provided by science, the majority of health professionals remain skeptical of this effect. The source of this skepticism is most likely the mistaken belief that all saturated fats cause an equivalent increase in LDL levels. Such a sweeping judgment, however, ignores a significant difference between distinct subtypes of saturated fatty acids (SFA). They include the following:

                      1. Lauric acid (C12:0) – this is the most atherogenic SFA, i.e. it increases LDL more than any other SFA
                      2. Myristic acid (C14:0) – this SFA is the second most atherogenic
                      3. Palmitic acid (C16:0) – this SFA is the third most atherogenic
                      4. Stearic acid (C18:0) – this SFA has no effect on blood LDL, i.e. it is considered “neutral

                      Foods like red meat, butter, cheese, poultry, eggs, pork and fish are primarily composed of palmitic and stearic SFAs (typically in a 3-4:1 ratio) and contain minor amounts of lauric or myristic acids. Such a composition of SFAs would typically cause either a minor net increase or net lack of effect on total LDL levels. Yet one may ask, if a minor net increase in LDL levels is possible, then how does consuming such foods, cooked in heart healthy vegetable oils as part of a low-carbohydrate diet, lead to a reduction in LDL levels for some people or a minor net increase in others?

                      Firstly, it is important to note that the primary oils utilized in the ANA should include olive, safflower, flaxseed, and canola oils which are rich in unsaturated fats and exert a potent reduction in LDL levels. Secondly, and more importantly, individuals who switch to a low-carb diet from a typical Western diet minimize consumption of hydrogenated oils, i.e. trans fats, found in high-carb processed food items. Since trans fats are the most atherogenic dietary fats, by increasing LDL and simultaneously decreasing HDL, it is easy to see how a low-carbohydrate diet may decrease LDL levels by this fact alone. In effect, people switching from a high-carbohydrate to a low-carbohydrate diet must, by default, consume the majority of calories from whole foods, thereby avoiding consumption of trans fats typically found in carbohydrate-rich, processed foods.

                      Lastly, a reduction in LDL levels from a low-carbohydrate diet usually occur as a result of the reduction in triglyceride levels observed in the overwhelming majority of studies on low-carb diets. As triglyceride levels serve as a proxy measurement for VLDL levels, when triglycerides decrease, the VLDL size and/or particle number may decrease as well. As VLDL can be converted to LDL (following triglyceride delivery to body tissues by VLDL), it is easy to see that a reduction in triglyceride levels, and thereby VLDL, can lead to reduction in net synthesis of LDL in the blood which leads to a net reduction in total LDL levels. One further fact needs mention here. High carbohydrate consumption is known to cause an increase in triglyceride levels. Given the biochemical conversion mechanism mentioned above, this may explain why LDL levels increase on such high carb diets. In short, high-carb diets may be dangerous to ones cardiovascular health.

                      In closing, given the enormous complexities of human metabolism, it is difficult to determine a priori who will experience a reduction in LDL levels or who will see a minor increase, as this effect is dependent on numerous factors that are not easily measured (previous dietary habits, genetic factors, overall lifestyle, etc). Nonetheless, known and demonstrated scientific facts reveal that it is not counterintuitive nor misleading to expect that in some individuals LDL levels may decrease in a low-carbohydrate dietary regimen.

                      If you are one of those rare individuals who have seen a net increase in LDL ( assumimg your original LDL was in fact lower before starting);
                      You can follow a lower fat version of Atkins. Use fish, poultry, lean meats, and low fat cheese (in moderation) and lots of vegetables. Avoid creamy salad dressing; instead use olive oil and vinegar or a mustard based dressing. Eat nuts only in moderation. Don't fry foods, and use lean cuts of meat. Stay away from processed meats such as bacon and sausage. Supplement with fiber to boost your total fiber intake using unsweetened, smooth textured, orange-flavored Metamucil daily.

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                      • #12
                        Emmie, Milkycereal, and Meghan,
                        Thanks for helping my education. As you can see I am new at this and what to have it worked out in my mind (as well I can) before I start. I can see this website will be great for me.
                        Can any of you give me thoughts on roasting veggies? I love to put them in the oven at 425 degrees with olive oil on top and canola oil under them on the aluminum foil. I have just read that Mark says not to use the canola oil so I will modify that. but my main question is about the health quality of roasted veggies and oil. I love to roast green beans, cabbage, brussel sprouts, asparagus, mushrooms, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, and green peppers.
                        Thanks again,
                        Ken

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This is the most up to date info on Atkins from Colette (ANA Nutritionist):

                          The response to last week’s blog was fabulous, but it also made me realize that there is still a lot of confusion out there about Atkins, and particularly Phase 1. So I’ve decided to focus some basics this week. After all, if you get off on the wrong foot, you may fall by the wayside before experiencing all the wonderful things Atkins can do for you.

                          Small but Significant Changes

                          Atkins has evolved over the years in response to the latest nutritional research. For example, we now encourage consuming considerably more low glycemic vegetables—we call them foundation vegetables—from the get-go. In fact, no less than 12 to 15 grams of the 20 grams of Net Carbs you’ll be eating should be in the form of these veggies. Eating vegetables not only provides you with all important vitamins and minerals, their fiber content also helps avoid constipation. (See What Are Foundation Vegetables? to get the whole story.)

                          Your best source of up-to-date information about Atkins is this site—be sure to check out the free online courses, including one dedicated to Induction—and the most recent book, The New Atkins for a New You. This is the first book on the diet published in six years. Earlier books such as Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution (2002) and The Atkins Essentials (2004) give a good grounding in the program, but for the latest advice based upon the latest science, the new book is the go-to source. A great deal of research on low-carb diets and Atkins in particular has been published in recent years and I’ll continue to keep you posted on new studies as they are published.

                          Also understand that we all respond to things differently. Some people lose weight steadily; others lose in fits and starts. Some lose easily; others, particularly women in middle age and beyond and or are inactive, tend to lose more slowly. If you have been a yo-yo dieter in the past, your body may be resistant to weight loss. You will eventually lose, but you may have to develop patience with the process.

                          Know Right from Wrong

                          In addition to consuming enough vegetables, here’s how to do Atkins right and avoid making some of the all-too-common errors:

                          • Count grams of Net Carbs (the grams of total carbs minus grams of fiber, which has no virtually no impact on your blood sugar). The difference between total carbs and Net Carbs is why you can now eat considerably more vegetables than the two cups of salad and one cup of cooked veggies advised in New Diet Revolution. With the current recommendations (and depending upon the foundation vegetables you choose), you could have a big salad at lunch, a side salad at dinner and still have several servings of your favorite cooked veggies. (See the Induction Carb Counter for specifics.) Don’t forget to count lemon juice and other acceptable condiments and include 1 gram of Net Carbs for sugar substitutes. And most important, don’t use your carb allowance for foods that are high in sugar and starches and low in fiber. Finally, don’t make the mistake of thinking no carbs are better than 20 grams of Net Carbs and eat only protein and fat.
                          • Drink plenty of water, of which two cups can come from coffee or tea (caffeinated is fine), herb tea, sugar-free sodas or broth. Eight daily cups is the standard recommendation, but the larger and more active you are, the more you need. As long as your urine is clear or very pale, you’re drinking enough. Don’t ever skimp on fluids in a misguided effort to see a lower number when you hop on the scale. Not drinking enough water actually makes your body retain fluid as a protective mechanism.
                          • Consume a little salt (or broth or tamari/soy sauce) to avoid experiencing weakness, headaches, muscle cramps or lightheadedness as your body transitions to primarily burning fat for energy. Since Atkins is a naturally diuretic diet, you don’t need to avoid salt to minimize water retention. The symptoms can be the result of an electrolyte imbalance caused by losing minerals along with fluid. Caution: continue to limit salt if you’re being treated for hypertension or your doctor has advised you to limit sodium intake.
                          • Eat 4–6 ounces of protein at each meal, depending on your height and gender. A petite woman may be satiated by 4 ounces; a guy may need 6 ounces. A very tall guy may even need a bit more. But eating too much protein—or eating only protein and not vegetables—or conversely, skimping on protein, will interfere with weight loss and/or leave you hungry and subject to carb cravings.
                          • Eat enough fat to feel satisfied, but no more. Trying to combine a low-fat diet with Atkins won’t work. You need dietary fat to help stimulate the burning of body fat. And if you skimp on fat and are eating the right amount of protein and carbohydrate, you’ll be hungry and give into urges for carbohydrates. Remember, natural fats are fine when you control carb intake. On the other hand, don’t assume you can eat as much fat as you want. Calories from fat do add up, even on a low-carb diet.
                          • Know what you’re eating. By carefully reading package labels, you can avoid those added sugars and other sneaky carbs. Just because a package says it’s low in calories doesn’t mean it’s low in carbs. Avoid low-calorie products unless they’re labeled as low carb. Likewise, use full fat versions of mayonnaise, salad dressing and the like. Low-fat versions of packaged foods almost invariably add sugar to replace the flavor carried by oil. If the label is unclear, check out the food in a carb counter.
                          • Use low-carb products properly. Most Atkins Advantage™ bars and all the shakes are fine in Induction. However, neither are meal replacements at current formulations. Have them as a snack or as part of a meal. You can have one or two a day , but don’t have more than that or use them in lieu of vegetables. Wait to use other low-products until you’re past Induction.
                          • Stay away from alcohol in Induction. Even if spirits have no carbs, you’re body will burn alcohol for energy before carbs and fat, so you’re slowing down the process by having a cocktail. Hold off until Phase 2 and even then moderation is the word. Alcohol lets down our inhibitions so you’re more apt to eat foods you’re better off avoiding after a drink or two.
                          • Each day write down what you eat in a diet journal or use the Atkins Community online journal, , which is completely confidential. Putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) allow you to see patterns you might miss otherwise. You’ll also quickly see if you’re consuming more carbs than you think you are.
                          • Weigh and measure yourself weekly or use weight averaging. Your weight naturally varies across a three or four-pound range from day to day so weighing yourself daily is setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration. Moreover, if you are working out, you may actually be building muscle even as you shed fat, which may keep your weight constant, even as you trim inches and your clothes fit better. (Muscle is denser than fat and therefore takes up less space.) I suspect if you could lose four pounds or fit into a smaller size, you’d opt for the latter.
                          • Don’t make too many changes at once. Wait a week or more until you’ve become accustomed to your new way of eating before starting or increasing exercise. Making too many changes at one time sets you up for failure. Physical activity is a natural partner to the Atkins Diet, but do go easy. On the other hand, if you already work out regularly, feel free to continue doing so.
                          • Move from Phase 1, Induction, to Phase 2, Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) after two weeks if you wish. Or stay put a bit longer if you have a lot of weight to lose. Depending on the number of pounds you need to lose and your tolerance for a relatively limited number of choices in carbohydrate foods. As we discussed last week, it’s important to spend a good deal of time in OWL and to transition through all the phases—and slowly move up the Carb Ladder—to learn your limits as you move gradually to a new and permanent way of eating. Don’t stay in Induction until you have lost all or almost all of your excess weight or you will not have learned how to maintain your new weight.
                          • Move to Phase 3 at 10 pounds from your goal (or sooner, if you’re willing to trade slower weight loss for more food variety).
                          • Move to Phase 4 after maintained your new weight for a month. And continue to eat this way going forward. If you disregard this advice and return to your old way of eating, you’ll almost certainly regain those lost pounds.
                          http://community.atkins.com/blogs/blogsOverview.jsp
                          Last edited by O_O; 02-28-2011, 10:08 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Roasted veggies are a staple of my diet in the winter. I generally use butter, but olive oil works nicely too. As long as you aren't burning them to a crisp, roasted vegetables are quite healthy. In my opinion it is best to include both raw and cooked vegetables in your diet, since they each have their own advantages.

                            As for the red meat cancer link...most of those studies have dreadful experimental designs, where they don't separate red meat and processed meat, or even worse, lumping red meat in with a dietary pattern that also includes lots of wheat, freaky chemicals, sugar, and industrial oils. If you want to get down and nerdy with it, I'd recommend reading something like In the face of contradictory evidence: Report of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee.
                            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

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                            • #15
                              Nom, nom, nom, I love roasted veggies, eat up!

                              I do agree though that adding raw veggies is a good thing too. And sinc eyou do have some cholesterol problems, you may not want to eat a ton of fruit, but berries are great because they are high in fiber, which helps lower LDL cholesterol
                              Meghan

                              My MDA journal

                              Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

                              And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!

                              Comment

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