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Atkins Diet

Carbohydrate control is at the core of the Atkins Diet. Individuals who are able to stick to the program experience significant weight loss and a boost in "good" cholesterol levels.

Foods Encouraged In Atkins Diet

Emphasis is placed on protein and fat. Meat, poultry, fish, pork, soy and eggs are all Atkins-approved. Lettuce, asparagus, cauliflower, and broccoli are among the permissible greens, as are small amounts of nuts, cheese and healthy oils.

Ideally, the few carbs eaten will be from non-starchy vegetables and low-carb fruits, like berries, cherries, apples, pears, grapefruit and figs. Atkins makes it simple by providing followers with "The Power of Five"—a list of foods that, when consumed in the recommended portions, contain about five grams of net carbs. This becomes useful during the second stage of the diet, known as Ongoing Weight Loss.

Dairy: mozzarella cheese (five ounces), one percent cottage cheese (three quarters of a cup), ricotta cheese (three quarters of a cup).

Nuts and Seeds: almonds (30 nuts), Brazil nuts (10 nuts), cashews (nine nuts), macadamias (12 nuts), pecans (10 halves), pistachios (50 nuts), walnuts (14 nuts), hulled sunflower seeds (six tablespoons).

Fruit: a quarter cup of blueberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, raspberries or strawberries.

Juice: a quarter cup of lemon, lime or tomato juice.

Foods To Avoid

Carbohydrates are a dirty word for Atkins dieters. The Atkins Diet restricts bread, pasta, cereals, starchy vegetables, many high-carb fruits (mango, pineapple and melon), and foods containing refined sugars. Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn, legumes like beans, peas and garbanzos, pre-made deli salads (which contain added sugar), and dairy products save for a few notable cheeses and creams.

Nuts and alcohol are not permitted during the initial Induction phase, but may be added back into a daily diet afterward.

All proteins are not created equal either. Originally, dieters could eat as many strips of bacon and fried mozzarella sticks as they could stomach—as long as no wicked carbohydrates resided therein. The newest Atkins Diet restricts fatty protein choices, replacing them with grilled lean meats.

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