Sunday, November 2, 2014


Atkins is all about proactive nutrition - providing you the information and inspiration you need to take charge of your health and enjoy your active life to the fullest. The Atkins Nutritional Approach is made up of seven nutrition principles that are designed to help you make the right food choices, so you can reach your goals.

Protein provides a powerhouse of energy for the body, building and repairing your muscles and bones while boosting your metabolism. 

What is protein?

Protein is one of three classes of food called macronutrients (the other two are fats and carbohydrates) and is made up of amino acids (called “the building blocks of protein”). Your body breaks down the protein from your food into amino acids, and then reassembles these amino acids into structures like bones and muscles and circulating proteins like enzymes and hormones.

Why do I need protein?

Protein furnishes the raw materials that become muscles, organs, hair, neurotransmitters, enzymes and just about anything else your body needs to keep it running right.

An optimal protein diet can also play a role in weight loss or weight management. Compared to carbohydrates, protein:
  • Has less of an effect on insulin (which drives fat storage)
  • Has a greater effect on glucagon (which drives fat release)
  • Creates a greater increase in metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories)
  • And, creates a greater increase in satiety (feeling full)       

How much protein do I need?

The conventional wisdom is that we need at least 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, which translates to about .7 grams of protein per pound. But the need for protein varies with many factors such as age, stress, gender and body composition (how much fat you have versus how much muscle). Athletes clearly need more protein than non-athletes, and people trying to lose weight also do better with higher protein intakes. The best answer is that protein needs are variable, but a good rule of thumb is between 25 and 30 percent of your daily calories. 

How do I get protein into my diet?

You can get protein from various sources: poultry, fish, meats, whey, eggs, and milk protein score close to the top of the list of best choices. In some (but not all) scoring systems, soy does well also.

Atkins products use a blend of proteins: whey, soy and caseinate (milk protein).

High Fiber Diet

What is fiber?

Fiber is an “indigestible” carbohydrate and is considered one of the good carbs. It is considered “good” because it does not significantly raise your blood sugar level. Fiber is also satiating, as it makes you feel fuller longer and helps cut cravings. Fiber is found exclusively in plant foods, and is the part of the plant that can’t be digested by humans because we don’t have the necessary enzymes. It comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. The soluble kind dissolves in water, the insoluble kind doesn’t. You need both. Following a high fiber diet is consistently associated with lower rates of cancer, diabetes and obesity. Still, most people do not get even half the amount of fiber they need on a daily basis.

Why do I need fiber?

Even though we can’t digest it, fiber contributes significantly to your health. Insoluble Fiber: Provides bulk that helps with digestion -- accelerating the process of detoxification, working to rid the body of potentially dangerous and cancer causing carcinogens.

Soluble Fiber: By binding with cholesterol in the small intestine, soluble fiber works to eliminate this potentially dangerous substance from the body. Hence, soluble fiber has a well-deserved reputation for lowering cholesterol.

Both kinds of fiber help control blood sugar and slow down the emptying of the stomach so you feel full longer.

How much fiber do I need?

Virtually all major health organizations recommend between 25-35 grams a day. Our ancestors got a whopping 50 grams daily out of their unprocessed diet of lean protein and vegetables for an extremely high fiber diet. The average American gets a paltry 11 grams.

How do I adopt a high fiber diet?

Best sources of soluble fiber: Oats, especially oat bran, barley, dried beans, soybeans, apples, nuts, flax seeds and other fruits and vegetables. Best sources of insoluble fiber: Wheat bran and whole grain products.
Most plant foods contain both types of fiber. Insoluble fiber is more common, found in most fruits and vegetables as well as beans, grains and nuts
To Be Continued...
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