T Nation

Found this on AOL news


DOCTORS are being warned of the potential legal risks of prescribing high protein and low carbohydrate diets.

A campaign has been started by a group of physicians and dieticians concerned that the promotion of meat-heavy diets is damaging people’s long-term health.

Diets encouraging people to eat less carbohydrates, such as the Atkins diet, have been getting increased publicity and are reportedly behind the weight loss of several celebrities.

The campaign against them is backed by the US-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which is warning doctors promoting low-carb diets could face future damages claims from patients.

An advert targeting doctors with the headline ‘Could prescribing a high-protein diet put you at legal risk’ is to appear this week on The Journal of Family Practice’s website.

PCRM’s president Neal Banard told The Observer: "Given the health problems associated with high-protein diets, doctors who prescribe them may be assuming serious legal liability. There’s no need to put yourself at risk when there are safer and healthier alternatives, especially low-fat, plant-based diets.

Dr Robert Atkin’s diet claims low-fat diets encourage us to rely too much on carbohydrates which cause our metabolism to hang on to fat. He says insulin makes the body store fat and restricting intake of bread, potatoes, pasta and sugar stops over-production of insulin.

There is an ongoing debate on the value and science behind low-carb diets, but many health experts point to studies suggesting meat-heavy, high-protein diets increase chances of heart disease, kidney disease and osteoporosis.

Doctors know very little about nutrition. A doc is a bad person to go to when you want to lose weight!

My Dr. is overweight. A very nice guy, knowledgable guy ect. Still wouldn’t be my first choice for advice on how to lose weight.

There would seem to be some truth to this. It is well known that vegetarians end up living longer lives (usually attributable to lower body weight and carbs aren’t as neurotoxic as proteins or fats, plus plant proteins tend be better for their bodies if that’s the lifestyle they choose), if you workout and wanna get big, you gotta eat carbs…no question. Fat is essential to maintaing a good estrogen/test balance and for bone support just as protein is for muscles. It should be noted however that a lot of protein can cause osteoporosis unless you work out and get enough dietary calcium in your diet or supplementation. The reason these doctors are right is probably because these “celebrities” aren’t working out. They are looking for an easier way out (this isn’t true for all celebrities mind you but it seems to be quite common ammong hollywood’s elite to look for a more luxuries lifestyle). They either do this with drugs or those atkins diets. They aren’t too healthy because usually such lifestyle choices and diets inhibit growth hormone because they tend to cause restlessness. Sleep is essential. Exercising properly helps you sleep great! Fat and protein will keep you awake. Carbs will make you sleep but carbs will make you usually eat more in the longrun. Atkins diets are also extremely toxic. Carbs are the best source of fuel for your body and perhaps the most important component of your diet (hell why do you suppose we are “supposed to” consume around 65% of them in our daily intake, 12% protein from variety sources and the rest fat?) Simply put: carbs are the least stressful on your body as a source of fuel. So I do see some truth to that article. I would rather see someone on a treadmill eating normally than eating steak and eggs all day anyday.


‘toxic’ is a word often thrown around when people don’t know what they’re talking about. Just look at all the lame ads for high colonic enemas, promoted because they supposedly remove unspecified ‘toxins’ from the body.

I think that meat-eaters are associated with poor health because for the average American (for example), a meat-heavy lifestyle often goes hand in hand with poor dietary choices – high-fat meats, processed meats with nitrates, excessive starch, and very low consumption of fruits and vegetables.

I have yet to see ANY reliable, replicated studies that indicate that people who eat meat daily but also consume a large quantity of fruits and vegetables are less healthy than vegetarians, nor have I seen ANY replicated, reliable study that indicates that vegetarians have especially longer life-spans. Of course I would like to be disproven, I’d go for anything that would give me an extra healthy few years on this planet.

Humans are omnivores, and as a message above states, balance is most likely the path to health. There are plenty of vegitarians who are as grotesquely out of shape as any other American (just continuing from my example above, not picking on my fellow countrymen).

I couldn’t let this slide. Joe, unless you have some interesting studies I haven’t read, the protein/osteoporosis link isn’t real convincing and the atkins diet is not highly toxic (think of all the terminally ill Inuit there would be, how could such a people survive?) It is debatable whether or not carbs are the best fuel for the body. I feel better in ketosis, many do, and some will argue that ketosis is our natural metabolic state as humans. The reason we are ‘supposed’ to have 65% carbs in our diet has nothing to do with how ‘stressfull’ they are on the body, and everything to do a lousy decision made long ago by poorly advised politicians.

they could easily prescribe low carb with certain fruits and veggies. This article doesnt suprise me as big change always runs into resistance. Interestingly engough, recently Duke found lowcarb dieting to be effective.

Atkins diet is absolutely NOTHING like the inuit diet, its as bad as comparing ornishs nutso diet to the national recommendations.

Nobody in their right mind recommends 65% energy from carbs. Most population based recommendations are 50% carbs.

While a customer of Atkins would have little chance of blaming their illness on the diet alone (too many other factors that may increase risk of disease) they have a point about the style of diet atkins presents.
A predominantly saturated fat, unrestricted energy diet, with minimal nutrients (Calcium etc) and reduced intakes of fruits and vegetables and little to no physical activity.

Compared with a more normal diet of increased mono and polyunsaturates, moderate fat (~30-35%) good quality proteins and good high fibre carbs. Lots of physical activity.

elegua makes a good point that meat eaters are most often sedintary people who practice very poor nutrition on a daily basis. Vegetarians on the other hand are usually health consious people (if a little misguided) who are more likely to be active. I would love to see solid research that compares the health and longevity of active omnivores vs. vegetarians. I would venture to guess that the active ominvores would be much healthir, live longer and obviously be bigger and stronger. I’m not a fan of the atkin’s diet, but I think a diet high in protien, moderate in fat, and low in starches and sugars is probably how human beings were meant to eat. (something like Carlon Colker’s “greenwich diet”) To Joe: If carbs are " the most important component of your diet", than why are they non essential for life. You can survive without carbs as long as you have protein, fat and water, but you would not survive too long without protein or fat. The Inuit lived this way for centuries with good health. They did’nt experienc obesity and diabetes until a western diet high in starches and sugars was introduced.

These doctors that are now comeing out and warning us are from the old school of closed minded thinking. Through out their educations and practices they have been taught to believe that HPLC were foolish and silly. Even useless. Its just something that has been passed down to them. You cant blame them for it. Joe, as for vegatarians living longer. Thats a myth started by animal activists in combination with the thought of high fat diets causeing heart problems. The high carbohydrate recomendations by the RDA have only been in affect since the 80s. Since then obeisity and type II diabetes has risen.

i’m sold on the diet,i just can’t get myself to let go of my preprogrammed thought.
i got a guy in his 50’s thats been a type 2 diabetic for a decade.
his doctor put him on atkins.the guy was about to be put on injections.now he is medicine free.he was following a low fat diet.now a high fat diet,no problems.lost 24 lbs.,no meds,and says no problems playing 18 holes of golf,where before his bs would bottom out.when he does eat carbs now,his bs is 123 2 hrs after eating them.
how can this be a bad thing?
i worry about energy for kickboxing,and sex drive.some ppl say neither will be a problem once the switch is made.i’ve witnessed what the diet can do and i’m still worried from stories and my low fat programming.so i can see why this is met with resistence.