Navigation Links
'Eco-Atkins' Diet Sheds More Than Pounds

Study found subbing plant-based proteins for animal ones also lowered cholesterol

MONDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- A modified Atkins diet, one that substitutes plant-based proteins for animal-based ones, helps people lose weight and lowers their cholesterol, new research shows.

"In just two weeks on the so-called 'Eco-Atkins' diet, everything starts to look much better metabolically ... I think this becomes an alternative for the heart disease reduction diet, which is obviously appropriate for diabetes," said Dr. David J.A. Jenkins, lead author of a study on the new diet appearing in the June 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Dr. Atkins challenged nutritional wisdom by suggesting high-fat, high-protein diets would be better than more frugal low-saturated-fat and low-cholesterol diets on which we've normally based therapeutic models for the treatment of cardiovascular disease," explained Jenkins, who is Canada research chair in nutrition and metabolism at the University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. "This seemed like a terrible thing to do, but he did it and showed that, providing they got the weight loss, all seemed to be well. But one thing we didn't notice or didn't pay much attention to was the fact that cholesterol levels didn't actually go down, even though there was spectacular weight loss on the diet."

Jenkins and his team sought to maintain the basic high-protein, low-carb ratio of the Atkins diet, but in a way that might promote lowering of cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease.

Forty-four men and women who were overweight and had high cholesterol were assigned to a four-week regimen of either a low-fat, low-carb, high-vegetable, plant-based protein diet including vegetable oil, gluten, soy, nuts, fruits, vegetables and cereals, or a high-carb, lacto-ovo (dairy and eggs only) vegetarian diet.

Couriers delivered all meals to the participants. "They basically had room service, or its equivalent, in their homes," Jenkins said.

Participants in both groups lost the same amount of weight -- 8.8 pounds.

The real triumph, however, was seen in the 0.6 percent greater reduction in LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels in the group eating more plant-based proteins. Improvements in total cholesterol, ratios of proteins that adhere to fats, and blood pressure were also seen.

Several questions remain, including whether reductions in risk factors will translate into less disease, whether cholesterol-lowering will also help with additional risk factors like insulin resistance, and, the big question, how well people not participating in a strictly controlled trial will actually be able to follow the diet.

"It seems like a limited study in the number of people, the time frame... and what's advertised as low carb is still the minimum recommendation of 130 grams per day," said Marianne Grant, a registered dietitian and health educator with the Texas A&M Health Science Center Coastal Bend Health Education Center in Corpus Christi. "This diet is not as low carb as some other diets are."

Also, she added, "both diets were 60 percent reduced in calories, so the weight loss may be coming from the deficient calories and probably the cholesterol benefits are coming from high fiber. It's not a bad diet, but it requires more research. It's much better than other low-carb diet because it encourages eating nuts, fruits and vegetables and portion control. I think that's the most important thing with weight loss."

Another expert had a similar reaction to the findings.

"The study is very short-term and, in my opinion, pretty much anyone can lose weight in four weeks with this approach or other approaches," said Renee Simon, nutritional consultant to Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, N.Y. "However, I don't really see any downside to the approach, although I might prefer a few other sources of protein because, long-term, I don't think you could sustain this with the major sources of protein being gluten and soy."

On the other hand, Molly Kimball, a sports dietitian at Ochsner Health Foundation in New Orleans, pointed out that many mainstream products can fit the bill. "It wouldn't be hard to put in things like veggie burgers or Special K protein that every store carries. A lot of low-carb breads have higher protein," she said. "Those are easy changes you can build into your day."

Kimball added that the regimen "has no real drawbacks" and has the advantage of not having higher carbs. "With plant diets, people can still turn to high carbs. You can have a vegan diet full of white stuff," she explained.

This study was supported by the Canadian government, Canadian food distributor Loblaw Cos. Ltd. and the Solae Company of St. Louis, Mo., which manufactures soy foods.

More information

Visit the American Dietetic Association for more on healthy eating.

SOURCES: David J.A. Jenkins, M.D., Canada research chair, nutrition and metabolism, University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto; Marianne Grant, R.D., health educator, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Coastal Bend Health Education Center, Corpus Christi; Molly Kimball, R.D., sports dietitian, Ochsner Health Foundation; Renee Simon, nutritional consultant, Northern Westchester Hospital, Mount Kisco, N.Y.; June 8, 2009, Archives of Internal Medicine

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Analysis Sheds Light on Proteins Role in Cancer
2. Discovery Sheds Light on Huntingtons Disease
3. New Research Sheds Light on Breast Cancer Prognosis
4. McMaster study sheds light on how stem cells develop into blood cells
5. New research sheds light on how stem cells turn into blood cells
6. Study sheds new light on link between obesity and infertility
7. Study sheds light on angiogenesis inhibitors, points to limitations, solutions
8. Easter Seals Study Sheds New Light on Parents Life-Long Fears, Anxieties and Critical Supports Needed to Raise a Child With Autism
9. Study sheds light on causes of HIV dementia
10. Gene Mutation in Dalmatians Sheds Light on Kidney Stones in Humans
11. New UGA research on gene sheds light on T-cell production
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
'Eco-Atkins' Diet Sheds More Than Pounds
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... With Thanksgiving right around the corner, holiday travel season is ... your family and vehicle. , According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 301 ... sharing the following safety tips from the NHTSA: , ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Abington Hospital – Jefferson Health ... Quality® Bariatric Surgery Facility for treating individuals living with morbid or extreme obesity. ... available to its members to help them make informed decisions about their healthcare ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Sir Grout of Baltimore ... TrustDale certification. The award recognizes good companies for excellence in service and a ... grout, and hard surface restoration company earned this recognition after a thorough review ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy ... and the generosity of people around the world. On December 1, supporters can make ... – and share the personal stories behind those gifts. , Just as Black ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... All her life, Don Peck’s mother wondered if she was a descendant of Samuel ... After a 25-year search for information, Don and his aunt discovered that she was ... Turns out, it was Don’s father who was descended from not one, but four ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... NEW DELHI , November 25, 2015 ... fear invoked due to repeated failure of IVF cycles. ... Rani Bhatia was totally dejected and had lost all hopes that ... the first Indian miracle child conceived after failure of ... to abroad (UK) before they decided to take one last ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. ("WuXi" or the ... capability and technology platform company serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, ... China and the United States ... meeting of shareholders held today, the Company,s shareholders voted ... the previously announced agreement and plan of merger (the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)...  Thanks to a donor with a personal connection ... Sister Diane Grassilli Center for Women,s Health now offers ... San Francisco . Fred Ruhland ... a gift of $617,320 that allowed the Center to ... and Whole Breast Ultrasound. Tomosynthesis, three-dimensional (3-D) mammography for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: