Is the Atkins Diet Healthier Than Previously Thought?
The Atkins diet, a low-carb, high-fat plan named after the doctor who created it, received high marks in one of the largest comparative studies of popular weight-loss plans.
It did better than the low-carb Zone diet, the low-fat, high-carb Ornish diet. and U.S. federal guidelines.
The study involved over 300 women; they attended weekly diet classes for eight weeks, and then were left to their own devices for the following 10 months.
Overweight women on Atkins lost more weight (10 pounds on average) over the course of the year than those on the other diet plans (between 3.5 and 6 pounds). Women on Atkins also had somewhat better blood pressure and cholesterol readings than those on other plans. This could mean that Atkins is healthier than its critics allege.However, it should be noted that by the end of the study, few participants were following any of the diets very strictly. Zone diet creator Barry Sears said that the study "had a good concept and incredibly pathetic execution."
Journal of the American Medical Association March 7, 2007