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Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet Food Guide Pyramid, Part 3: All Foods Shown On the Atkins Pyramid Are Unrefined, Unprocessed Foods

Sunday, July 18, 2004
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: Atkins Diet, Food Guide Pyramid, low-carb diet


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If you look closely at the Atkins pyramid, you'll notice that it contains pictures of raw, unprocessed food ingredients. You don't see any packaged meat products in the meat category, and there are no canned vegetable soups in the vegetables category. The fruit category doesn't have commercially-prepared guacamole, canned fruits, or fruit drinks, and the whole grains category doesn't have flavored instant oatmeal.

This is a critical distinction because the health benefits of these minimally-processed foods and ingredients are all but lost when a person turns to processed, manufactured foods. Worse yet, most processed foods are tainted with highly toxic chemical additives that are well known to promote brain tumors, colon cancer, endocrine system disorders, stubborn obesity, and other problems that are avoided outright when eating raw, fresh food ingredients.

Let me give you an example of this. The meat category shows beef, pork and fish, but nowhere in the meat category do you find bacon. Virtually all bacon at the grocery store contains a cancer-causing chemical ingredient known as sodium nitrite. It's listed right on the label. Sodium nitrite, when consumed, results in the formation of highly carcinogenic nitrosamines, which are so toxic that lab researchers actually use nitrosamines to give lab rats cancer as part of their experiments! (To learn the shocking facts about sodium nitrite, read the sodium nitrite section of Low-Carb Diet Warning.)

You don't find bacon on the Atkins pyramid, but the vast majority of low-carb dieters consume large quantities of bacon, exposing themselves to alarming levels of cancer-causing sodium nitrite. Technically, they believe they're following the Atkins diet, but in reality, they're exposing themselves to chemical toxins that lead to serious, chronic disease. They'd be much healthier if they actually ate what was pictured on the Atkins pyramid: fresh meats, not packaged meats.

In case after case, many people on the Atkins diet try to bend the definition of whatever they're eating to make it match a recommended category on the Atkins pyramid. A person eating commercially-prepared guacamole, for example, may not read the label and discover that it's not really made from avocados. The primary ingredient? Hydrogenated oils, which are on the "no" list and are well known to cause severe cardiovascular damage. Food manufacturers use hydrogenated oils because they're cheaper than avocados. Add a little artificial green coloring, a hint of avocado, and viola! You've got guacamole! Most consumers never bother to read the labels, leading them to believe they're consuming yet another food item that's on the Atkins pyramid when, in fact, they're eating junk food.

The fruit category is especially ripe for abuse, no pun intended. Canned fruits are almost always packed in liquid sugar, transforming them into fruit-shaped chunks of sugar candy. Fruit drinks are very high on the glycemic index, counting more like sugar than whole fruits. I've even seen Atkins dieters buy apple pie and claim it counts as a fruit!

The point is, the Atkins pyramid clearly recommends unprocessed, unrefined, non-manufactured foods and ingredients. But in reality, that's not what people eat. They generally eat whatever they want and then try to squeeze it into an acceptable category on the Atkins pyramid.

If people would actually follow the Atkins pyramid and eat what's shown on the pictures, they would experience an amazing health transformation. Raw broccoli contains powerful cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Fresh avocados are loaded with healthy oils. Berries are abundant sources of antioxidants and disease-fighting vitamins and minerals. Fresh egg yolks contain a fascinating array of nutrients and sulfur compounds simply not found in the plant kingdom. The list goes on and on. By eating the foods actually pictured, a person can follow the Atkins pyramid and literally transform their health in a matter of weeks or months.

In reality, however, most people don't eat those foods. And that's why their Atkins diets are stalled out, or their chronic disease conditions may even worsen on the Atkins diet.

Technically, the diet shown on the Atkins pyramid is the Unrefined Foods Diet, which is one that I have promoted for years. The Unrefined Foods Diet allows you to eat practically anything you want, as long as it isn't processed, altered or manufactured. On the Unrefined Foods Diet, you can eat raw, cooked, or prepared foods of any kind as long as you buy them in their fresh, non-refined, non-processed state.

The only difference is that milk doesn't belong on the Unrefined Foods Diet, since milk is actually a highly refined food that has been artificially altered by homogenizing the naturally occurring milk fats, transforming them into health-damaging substances that the human body cannot properly metabolize. Not only that, but milk is nutritionally imbalanced for human consumption. It's the perfect food for baby cows, but it's a terrible choice for adults of an entirely different species. To learn the shocking truth about milk and why even Atkins dieters should avoid cow's milk, read the cow's milk section in Low-Carb Diet Warning.

Overall, then, the Atkins pyramid recommends unrefined, unprocessed foods with an emphasis on meats and vegetables. From a nutritional standpoint, that's an outstanding diet. While some might argue that vegetables should be consumed in higher quantities than proteins, there's little question that if both categories of foods are consumed in their unprocessed, unrefined state, the results will be a dramatically improved health outcome.

Just remember this: if you're following the Atkins diet and you're not eating the foods pictured on the Atkins pyramid, you're not really following the Atkins diet. You're actually following a low-carb junk food diet, and that's very different from the Atkins diet.

The bottom line is that probably 90% of the people who say they're on the Atkins diet really aren't. They're on some evil twin version of the Atkins diet that's loaded with processed foods and disease-causing ingredients like hydrogenated oils, sodium nitrite, monosodium glutamate, and many others. And that's not the pathway to losing weight.

This article is reprinted from Analysis: The Atkins Lifestyle Food Guide Pyramid, a public education ebook provided free of charge by the non-profit Consumer Wellness Research Center.

Next: Part 4: The Importance of Exercise


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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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