The Atkins Diet allows you to eat foods that many dieters have only dreamed about. The diet is said to work even if other diets have left you feeling depressed and deprived. The Atkins diet at a glance:

  • Sets few limits on the amount of food you eat but instead severely restricts the kinds of food allowed on your plate: no refined sugar, milk, white rice, or white flour.
  • Allows you to eat foods traditionally regarded as “rich”: meat, eggs, cheese, and more.
  • Claims to reduce your appetite in the process.
  • On the Atkins diet, you’re eating almost pure protein and fat. You can consume red meat, fish (including shellfish), fowl, and regular cheese (not “diet” cheese, cheese spreads, or whey cheeses). You can cook with butter, have mayo with your tuna, and put olive oil on your salads.

On the other hand, carbs are restricted (about 20 grams of net carbs per day, meaning total carbs minus fiber) in the first two weeks, which translates to three cups of loosely packed salad or two cups of salad with two-thirds cup of certain cooked vegetables each day.

The Foods You Can Eat

The USDA Food Pyramid recommends a diet rich in carbohydrate consumption. As you can see in the image below, the foundation of the pyramid is a recommended six to eleven servings of carbohydrates daily.

The Atkins food pyramid looks very different from this one. In fact, one of the reasons the Atkins diet was popular in the 1970s and has become popular again today is because it allows dieters to eat more of the foods most diets restrict or would never even allow — such as red meat and high-fat dairy products like cheese and butter. According to the Atkins Web site, the Atkins plan helps people feel less hungry and less deprived than many other diets.

Unlike the traditional food pyramid, the Atkins pyramid places dietary emphasis on protein sources as opposed to whole grain foods. Additionaly, the Atkins plan doesn’t set limits on the amount of food you eat. It only sets limits on the type of food you eat. For example, you cannot eat white rice or foods made with white flour like cake or pasta, but you can eat a large amount of fish, poultry, red meat, eggs and cheese. These foods are made up mostly of protein and fat, as opposed to carbohydrates. Furthermore, Atkins is different from most diets in that you don’t need to count calories. In fact, many people on Atkins consume more calories than they were before the diet (one gram of fat contains 9 calories, while one gram of any carbohydrate contains 4 calories).
Since the Atkins diet occurs in four phases, what you can eat will differ slightly in each phase. As you go through the phases, you are allowed more and more carbohydrates, but they should consist mostly of fiber-rich carbohydrates like leafy greens and certain vegetables.

List of food you can eat

  • Meat: beef, pork, etc
  • Fish: salmon, plaice, etc
  • Shellfish: lobster, crab, etc
  • Cheese: cheddar, cottage, etc
  • Eggs: all
  • Fowl: chicken, turkey, etc

What not to eat

  • Cereals (all its types)
  • Rice
  • Maize
  • Wheat
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Bread
  • Flour
  • Things high in sugar
  • Candy
  • Juice
  • Fruit
  • Potatoes
  • Chips
  • Fries
  • Alcohol
  • Beer
  • Whisky

Now is a list of vegetables split into two sections the first is those with higher carbohydrate levels where you can have 1 cup per day

High levels 1 cup

  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Beet Greens
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard
  • Eggplant (aubergine)
  • Kale
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Rhubarb
  • Leeks
  • Spinach
  • Summer Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Okra
  • Pumpkin
  • Turnips
  • Avocado
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Pea Pods
  • Collard Greens
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Artichoke Hearts

Lower levels 3 cups

  • Cucumber
  • Parsley
  • Radishes
  • Fennel
  • Peppers
  • Celery
  • Alfalfa Sprouts
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Endive
  • Radicchio
  • Chicory
  • Mache
  • Chives

If you want to learn more about the Atkins Diet, read the article: “The Atkins Diet – Review, Controversy, Pros and Cons”

Sources: Howstuffworks,

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