Dangers of High-Protein, Low-Carb Diets

From the January 2004 edition of Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Times:

Proponents of high-protein diets such as the Atkins diet have brought dangerous fad-dieting to new heights, in spite of mounting reports of deaths attributed to them. High protein diets—those in which calories come predominantly from animal foods—increase the risk of cancer and heart attack and have been linked to cardiomyopathies, electrolyte imbalances, and kidney damage. Dr. Robert Atkins himself had a heart attack from a cardiomyopathy a year before his death, and his autopsy results still remain hidden from the public.

In addition to increased risk of disease from Atkins and other animal-food-heavy diets, research has shown that these faddish eating plans are not very effective—most adherents do not achieve long-term, permanent weight loss. Unfortunately, this has not lessened the popularity of these diets. Well-funded publicity campaigns have succeeded in getting the media to “report”glossed-over, one-sided information. Until news outlets begin to report more accurately, more and more tragedies are going to occur.

Girl dies while dieting

Most recently, a sixteen-year-old girl who had no history of medical problems died after two weeks on the Atkins diet. When the paramedics arrived, she was pulse-less, and the electrocardiogram revealed ventricular fibrillation (a usually fatal loss of normal heart rhythm). Her emergency room evaluation showed electrolyte imbalances that occurred as a result of eating a diet of meat, cheese, and salads for two weeks. She was doing the diet together with her mother.

An ongoing tragedy
Sadly, even as additional dangers are revealed and reported, more and more people misled by one-sided advertising and publicity—are being put at needless risk. At the same time, proven healthful weight loss recommendations are being ignored. Unless Americans quickly learn the facts about these harmful diets, many pointless deaths will continue to occur.

For more on the Atkins Diet check out DiseaseProof's week-long investigation:
Also, be sure to visit AtkinsExposed.org for studies discounting the merits of the Atkins Diet.
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Comments (4) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Todd Bradley - October 24, 2006 1:32 PM

You wrote, "Dr. Robert Atkins himself had a heart attack from a cardiomyopathy a year before his death, and his autopsy results still remain hidden from the public."

Isn't that a little sensationalist? You make it sounds like there's a conspiracy to conceal these records. Unless the coroner suspects foul play, the autopsy results should be kept private to the family of the deceased! I certainly don't want my autopsy results released into the public domain after I die.

april - August 30, 2007 10:13 AM

my children eat a lot of protein but it is in combination with fruits, veggies, carbs, etc. their diet is well rounded but has high protein. what is too much protein that can be linked to organ damage?

mike starks - December 4, 2007 11:30 PM

What a joke! I lost 65lbs eating 500g of fat and 3500 calories by avoiding carbs. I lived the low fat/calorie lifestyle for many years and it did not work. I promise you my health is better than yours. Please show us CONCLUSIVE evidence about deaths linked to Atkins. Also, you may want to read the Harvard Nurse study. 8 years and 49,000 nurses prove that low fat diets do not work. Now that's conclusive evidence.

Gerry Pugliese - December 5, 2007 1:02 PM

Hey Mike-

Well, if "words mean nothing." As you said in another comment. Then your's are really worthless.

Dr. Fuhrman's approach to diet is not the typical low-fat junk diet. Sure, its low-fat by default, but its far superior and it blows dangerous, misleading, lie-based diets like Atkins away!

This post will give you a better idea:



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