The Atkins Diet: What are the long term Effects?

By Tina Rideout, Nutritionist and Meal Planning Professional

Is Dr. Atkin's Diet  Dangerous For YOUR Health?My daughter, who is a college student pursuing a medical degree, asked me one day what the long term effects of being on the Atkins Diet are.

I have worked as a Nutritionist for the past 15 years, therefore I was expected to know the answer to this question. I then decided to delve into this issue further.

In reality, the question of the Atkins Diet and its long term affects is debated on a daily basis.

The fact that the program was developed by a re-known cardiologist takes this issue to new heights.

Fact: The Atkins Diet has swept the nation like a wildfire. Restaurants and Food Chains are changing their menus to meet the needs of the people who "believe". Many people have been successful (so far) without adverse effects.

I personally am not a "believer". I am sure this is due to the fact that "a little education is a dangerous thing". I have spent the better part of my career advising people on the virtues of maintaining a balanced diet.

Throughout my career and my lifetime, I have seen fad diets come and go. But I have not seen one that has had businesses reassessing their products.

Nutritional Facts as I know them:

1. Our body is complex. Our cells are highly sensitive and require many nutrients to survive, and work properly.

2. Food is our lifeline. We require a balanced mixture of carbohydrates, fat, protein, victims, minerals, and water.

If we do not consume a balanced diet our bodies will act adversely, we can become either over nourished or undernourished. Too much or too little of one or more nutrients.

We are individuals, therefore we all have different needs.

The RDA has guidelines that were developed many years ago. Although they have made amendments to the guidelines over the years, the concept remains intact.


Four Food Groups: A balanced consumption of meats, fruits/vegetables, milk, and grains.

Limit: Excessive intake of fats, sugars, and salt. This does not mean eliminate them completely from our diets.

I want to make it perfectly clear, that this article is based entirely on the opinion of a person who has worked in the Nutritional Field for many years

In my opinion, the way to a healthier life style is by following a good exercise and nutrition program. Start slowly and build your endurance level gradually.

Remember to maintain a healthy weight, set achievable goals, be flexible, stay well educated and stay away from fad diets.

Fad diets work for the short term, however an overall behavior modification program is the only solution to maintain goals.

"A little education is a helpful thing"!


Tina Rideout, Nutritionist and Meal Planning Professional.