Atkins has a bad reputation because:
- Most people are idiots
- Most people think the initial "induction" phase (near-zero carb) is the entire diet
- The original diet has been modified heavily since Atkins' death to push/sell frankenfoods (energy bars, etc) with his name on them. If you can find the original 1972 book, it's very instructive to compare it with the later editions.
Also from what I read, Atkins' attitude apparently rubbed a lot of his peers the wrong way, which made them even more loud and outspoken in calling him a dangerous kooky quack and getting mainstream media to likewise denounce him.
Even focusing on diet alone, rather than the rest of a person's lifestyle, Mark's Primal Blueprint focuses on a lot more than just carbohydrate restriction. There are many ways to eat low-carb, and Atkins is just one of them. You can go into as much or as little detail on this point as you like if anyone rolls their eyes and goes "Oh, Atkins again?" But any time you might get sucked into an argument, debate or whatever you want to call it, just remember:
IF YOU'RE NOT HAVING FUN, YOU'RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT!
Oh, and this post may also be of some use when people inevitably nay-say your choices:
"Want a laugh? Next time someone mentions that they're dieting, ask what method. When they tell you low-fat — so you can congratulate them on their 'wisdom' and they can feel like one of the crowd, which other than being oxymoronic, curiously seems important to a lot of people — you can inquisitively inquire that you thought they meant they were trying to lose weight. When they say they are, you can say, oh, then you meant a high-fat diet. Get it? How long do you think you can keep that up?
"When finally you've explained, and they've understood, you can then ask them how come they're not afraid of clogging their own arteries with all the fat they intend to be releasing into their own bloodstream."
Give me a friendly Christian any day over an asshole atheist.