Scott: You're very familiar with the Atkins Diet and I believe worked with Dr. Atkins as well. Why is that diet, at least why was it and why is it still to this day, under such scrutiny?
Dr. John Salerno: Well, you know it had been for many, many years, because the dogma is you know you're eating these horrible fats and you're going to not only get fat, you're going to clog your arteries. And this started with a misnomer back in the 50's by someone by the name of Ancel Keys, who then directed the US government into the food pyramid and a lot of it is outlined in my book. But it started this dogma that eating fat, as you said, would get us fat and clog our arteries. When they did the initial studies they were looking at people eating a lot of hamburgers, for example. What they didn't realize in the equation, and they took out of the equation is that what do you generally eat with hamburgers? You eat french fries, partially hydrogenated fat and the starch and you eat the bun. So they took those out of the equation. Well, they're not fat. They're carbohydrates, they're fine for you. As we looked back at these studies, we realized how flawed they are. No one looked at someone eating just pure hamburger without the bun and no french fries and a salad on the side. But we're starting to see that.
In 2007, for example, there was a landmark study by JAMA, which is the Journal of the American Medical Association, it's the bible of the conservative medical, traditional medical physicians. And they compared Atkins with Ornish and LEARN and the low fat diets. And Atkins, in almost every category of that study over a year in women, post-menopausal women, 41 years old, average age, HDL, the good cholesterols went up universally, sometimes three times more than the low fats. The parameters for blood pressure went down. The cholesterols went down. The bad cholesterols went down. Really, very dramatic landmark study. And since that study, the clear shift in the thought process away from the Atkins being demonized to Atkins finally being realized as the correct way to go.
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