Serious Eats: Talk
Atkins diet - for @umama
@umama, in response to a post in the chipotle bbq angus mcdonalds thread, to avoid hijacking it -
You must be reading a revisionist version of the diet, as the original version does not have any fruit (except tomato and avocado) as permitted foods, and an extremely restricted list of vegetables. And it only allows the introduction of these vegetables later in the diet. It does not "encourage" fruit and vegetables in any way. It grudgingly "permits" a handful. It explicitly encourages the consumption of salt if you experience "weakness due to weight loss." It encourages the consumption of processed foods - explicitly mentioning ham, hamburger and corned beef as examples. How are those not processed foods?
I have the 1992 version of the book; I don't know if there was an earlier one (ie maybe it's "revisionist", I don't know), but the fact of it is, you're flat out wrong.
During the initial, strictest (2 week) phase of the diet, you're REQUIRED to eat vegetables - pretty much anything with a low glycemic index (but not tomato; I'm not sure why you mention it except as further example that you're mistaken about the diet). As you progress, you start adding more items to your diet. More, higher glycemic index vegetables (like tomato), low glycemic index fruit like berries and melons, legumes, and eventually other fruits, starchy veggies and whole grains.
Certainly, for my part, when I started following the Atkins diet nearly ten years ago, even during the initial strict phase I was eating FAR more vegetables than I ever had, even when I was trying to eat "healthy".
In no place in Dr. Atkins' book is salt advocated for feelings of weakness; the book acknowledges that dizziness and weakness are common during the first two weeks and suggests drinking lots of water, slowing down weight loss by eating more vegetables and nuts/seeds, and making certain of adequate calcium, magnesium and potassium intake via a multivitamin as your body adjusts.