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Regular readers know I’m not a big fan of diets. In a recent Journal of the American Medical Association article, researchers from Stanford University Medical School worked with about 300 overweight women, ages 27-50, who hadn’t gone through menopause to see what diet worked best. They divided the women into four groups, according to diet.
Group 1: Atkins (very low carb, high fat and protein)
Group 2: Zone (low carb)
Group 3: Ornish (very low fat, very high carb)
Group 4: LEARN (low-fat, high-carb, based on governmental guidelines)
Everyone received two months of instruction, followed by ten months of follow-up. The winner was Atkins, with a bit more weight loss and better metabolic changes (including cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure). Everything Atkins predicted occurred. Despite an increased fat intake, cholesterol dropped.
I’m sorry that Dr. Atkins, who was endlessly harassed by fellow physicians, didn’t live to see this. Nevertheless, I’m not a big fan of his diet, especially for the women enrolled in the study. This is because, over time, a low-carbohydrate intake manifests itself as irritability and moodiness, what nutritionists sometimes call Atkins Attitude.
Readers of my book, The Triple Whammy Cure, know that you need carbohydrates (the complex ones, not white-flour/sugar carbs) throughout your day so your brain can manufacture the feel-good, stress-buffering neurotransmitter serotonin.
The carb-free Atkins diet will lead to a drop in your serotonin and, soon, to a snappish, irritable, depressed you.
If you’re going on the Atkins diet, I strongly suggest you take some steps to ramp up your serotonin. These include: daily exercise, sunlight exposure, and daily supplements of fish oil and B Complex. If symptoms worsen, consider adding St. John’s Wort and 5-HTP.
Better yet, follow the carbo-timing eating plan in The Triple Whammy Cure.