Who can forget the Atkins diet craze? Carbohydrates became the enemy as dieters threw away their potato chips, ate their sandwiches wrapped in lettuce leaves, and devoured green garden salads without croutons. Although carb-rich indulgences such as cookies and candy bars were evils to be avoided, there was still consolation in knowing meat and fatty foods could be enjoyed ad lib. Although the traditional Atkins diet has lost its fanatical following, a new type of low carb diet is on the rise – the Eco-Atkins diet. What is this new variation on low carb dieting?
The Eco-Atkins diet bills itself as being good not only for health, but healthy for the environment as well. While it’s still billed as a low carb diet, the emphasis is on plant-based proteins rather than the traditional animal protein sources characteristic of the Atkins diet. Beef, chicken, pork, and seafood is replaced with plant proteins such as soy based vegetarian meats, gluten based mock meats, nuts, lentils, and beans. It’s the perfect weight loss diets for vegetarians and vegetarian wannabes alike.
There are certain advantages to adopting an Eco-Atkins diet from a health standpoint. This low carb, high plant protein diet not only reduces LDL cholesterol, but lowers diastolic blood pressure as well. The fact that it emphasizes plant based foods to the exclusion of animal products translates into an overall reduction in cardiovascular risk factors. It’s a unique combination of environmentally friendly and heart healthy. What could be better than that?
Does the Eco-Atkins diet work for weight loss? A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that it is. Researchers compared the Eco-Atkins diet with a high complex carbohydrate, low fat diet and found both them to be similar in terms of weight loss, although there were greater decreases in cholesterol and blood pressure in the Eco-Atkins dieters. The Eco-Atkins diet seems to offer significant health advantages over traditional Atkins diet in terms of its effect on heart health. Plant proteins also appear to increase insulin sensitivity which could lower the risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Is an Eco-Atkins diet a safe and effective alternative for weight loss? Of the many diet plans out there, the Eco-Atkins is one of the best in terms of overall health benefits. For those who have difficulty giving up meat completely, replacing half the day’s meat with plant based protein would also offer benefits and may be easier to stick with. This is one plan to consider for anyone who wants to slim down while improving overall health.