Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:19 am Post subject:
Talking to your doctor about low carb
Talking About Atkins to Your Doctor
By Sheila Buff
After learning about Atkins, you've decided to follow it to lose weight and deal with your health problems. You've explained your decision carefully to your friends and family and gotten their support. Now you have just one more person to convince: your doctor.
Is this an impossible task? Not really, although you may have to educate your health-care provider a bit about exactly what's involved in doing Atkins. And although many doctors still have a knee-jerk anti-Atkins reaction, many others have come to see just how effective the Atkins Nutritional Approach™ is and will support your decision.
Educating Your Doctor
Chances are your physician has heard only half-truths and myths about Atkins, and has never really looked at the scientific basis for the program. It's up to you as the patient to be proactive and provide the evidence to overcome your doctor's objections. Here's what you're likely to hear and how you can respond:
Myth #1: Lipolysis/ketosis is dangerous.
How you can respond: Many doctors believe this, but it's not true. What is dangerous is a life-threatening condition known as ketoacidosis, which affects insulin-dependent diabetics. The two terms sound similar, but that's the only connection. Ketosis is simply a shorthand way to say your body is burning stored fat instead of glucose as its primary fuel. That's desirable and perfectly natural—burning fat instead of glucose to fuel your body is why you lose weight when you do Atkins. For more on lipolysis/ketosis, see Escaping the Fat Trap, Part 2.
Myth #2: Eating so much protein leaches calcium from your bones.
How you can respond: This is another myth that has been disproved. It is true that your body will excrete a bit more calcium than usual when you are in the Induction phase of Atkins, but after that your calcium balance returns to normal with no long-term effects. And recent research with older adults has shown that eating a high-protein diet not only does not weaken your bones, it actually strengthens them if you also take a calcium supplement—as the Atkins program recommends.1
Myth #3: Doing Atkins will raise your cholesterol.
How you can respond: Just the opposite. Almost every Atkins follower sees a drop in LDL ("bad") cholesterol and a rise in HDL ("good") cholesterol, along with a sharp drop in triglycerides, a type of blood fat that is an important indicator of heart health. For more on triglycerides and LDL and HDL ratios, see Atkins and Markers for Heart Health.
Myth #4: The amount of protein in the Atkins approach is bad for your kidneys. _________________
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