Vegetarian Atkins?

April 28, 2010

The release of the new Atkins diet book, The New Atkins For a New You:

The release of the new Atkins diet book, The New Atkins For a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great, has most people talking about cutting carbs and starches yet again- and if you haven't heard the chatter yet, you are sure to soon, as the new Atkins made best-seller list just minutes after its release. The Atkins diet, commonly known as a 'protein heavy' diet supposedly allowed dieters to eat eggs, bacon, and sausage in one sitting- as long as there was no bread, or hash browns- has been a sensation for almost 40 years. The release of the new book has meat eaters and vegetarians equally excited; the New Atkins is full of improvements based on the most up-to-date science, written and researched by three independent scientists. was lucky to catch up with one of the authors, Dr. Eric C. Westman of Duke University.

Dr. Westman immediately cleared up the common misconception that Atkins is a high protein diet full of bacon, steak and eggs, and actually explained the premise of the diet is more similar to a low glycemic diet, commonly associated with controlling diabetes; allowing dieters to choose from a variety of foods that do not spike blood sugar. Many of these foods in fact turn out to be low-carb. was particularly interested in the vegetarian chapter, a new section in the Atkins book, which seems almost impossible to fathom based on the 'meat heavy' mindset of many Atkins fans. So how is a vegetarian Atkins even possible? "Well if you take into consideration the basic premise of Atkins," explains Westman, "the diet consists of a variety of foods that have little to no effect on blood sugar, these are things like eggs, spinach, and other leafy greens, celery, tofu, cheese, apples, peanut butter, hummus and the list goes on. Its really simple and it's healthy eating!" Eggs provide the protein, as well as tofu, and things like peanut butter and hummus. "It's more of teaching your body to enjoy whole fresh foods and whole grains as opposed to starchy, sugary foods like white bread, potatoes, and sweets (which spike blood sugar)."

Westman reminds us as well that we need to rid our fear of eating fats. Natural sources of fats such as nuts, seeds, cheeses like feta and goats cheese, as well as olive oils and avocados, are extremely healthy and beneficial to our health. Westman also comments that most processed foods are off limits, as many are high in sugar and therefore spike blood sugar levels. Diets that keep blood sugar in check also help to regulate and stabilize our mood and keep cravings at bay.

"The vegetarian program is suitable for all age groups and is an overall healthy diet," says Westman and feels that we, "need to continue to encourage and support Americans in a more overall healthful lifestyle which undoubtedly includes eating a variety of different foods."
The book The New Atkins For a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great can be found at major retailers and for more info visit the Atkins website. As always, consult your physician before making any dietary changes.