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The Atkins diet and other high-protein diets

The Atkins diet is the most well-known of the high-protein diets. The popularity of the Atkins diet arises partly from the fact that high-protein diets tend to be more satiating for some people, i.e. they help you feel full for a longer period of time.

The Atkins diet is based on choosing foods which are high in protein and fat and very low in carbohydrate. It is also low in fruit and quite low in vegetables.

Past research has linked kidney disease with high-protein diets. The lack of fibre (found in complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables) is also worrying because fibre is known to protect against coronary heart disease, bowel cancer and other intestinal problems. You may also suffer vitamin deficiencies if you follow the Atkins diet.

Whilst there has been limited research into the effectiveness of Atkins-type diets, showing positive results in the short term, research has also shown a likelihood of faster weight regain than with more traditional 'healthy' diets. In the US the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has posted a website which states:

"Given the seriousness of these health risks, and the strength of the scientific evidence currently available, PCRM hopes this Web site will encourage people to be wary of high-protein diets and to choose healthier options".

In light of the known health problems with high protein diets and the known health problems with low fibre diets, Weight Concern advises against these kinds of diet.


Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine



Rosemary Conley


Slimming World

Weight Watchers

Own brand 'healthier choice' type ready-meals

Miracle foods and fad diets

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