Why the Paleo Diet May be Better than the Atkins Eating Plan
Dr. Oz refers to the Paleo diet as the “alterna-Atkins.” Many people wonder how these two popular eating plans differ; after all, they are both considered low-carb. However, when you look a bit closer, you will find a number of differences present. These differences also clearly outline why the Paleo diet may be better than the Atkins option.
Atkins Doesn’t Specify Where Your Meat Needs to Come From
Atkins doesn’t care if you eat the most factor-farmed, pesticide-laden, GMO-infested, antibiotic-laced, corn-fed beef. The same is true for eggs. They just want you to eat tons of fat and protein and stay as far away from carbs as you possibly can.
However, those who choose the Paleo diet, will find that there are certain requirements for the meat that is eaten. Grass-fed and pasture-raised is the best for the fatty acid composition and nutrient levels. Not to mention, this is better for the environment and the animal. These types of animals are also more sustainable to raise.
Atkins Makes Most of its Money Selling Various Products
They sell some pretty delicious sounding products, such as the Atkins Advantage Caramel Chocolate Peanut Nougat bar. However, if you look closely, there isn’t much in regard to quality ingredients present. In fact, the nutritional value of this specific snack is oddly similar to the Larabar, which only has about three or four ingredients and they are ones that are all easy to say and recognize when following the Paleo diet. There is no reason to eat the Atkins versions of these bars that are full of poisonous colorings, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavorings, sugar, soy, peanuts, wheat, and processed corn. However, the company makes quite a bit of money off of them.
There is no equivalent product or option on the Paleo diet. Most Paleo vendors sell homemade baked goods, meat, and trail mixes that include four ingredients – nothing that is even close to the Atkins Advantage bars.
Atkins Encourages You to Eat Vegetable Oils
The actual list of acceptable fats include canola, walnut, olive oil, mayonnaise (no sugar added), butter, vegetable oils, sesame, grape seed, soybean, safflower, and sunflower. They also state that you should not allow the oils to reach high temperatures when you are cooking with them. Olive oil should only be used for sautéing and sesame oil and walnut oil can be used on salad or veggies.
The fact is, vegetable, soybean, grapeseed, safflower, and sunflower oils are all full of chemicals that you should not consume. They are also usually hydrogenated, but there is no mention of this in the Atkins diet guidelines. The biggest issue with these oils is that they are full of omega-6 fatty acids, which cause inflammation.
The guidelines from the Paleo diet are pretty clear – minimize your intake of omega-6 fatty acids. Also, it goes as far to say that you should not eat any of the following oils – corn, soybean, grapeseed, safflower, sunflower, and any other type of vegetable oil. When you consume fewer omega 6’s it leads to less chronic inflammation. This means a reduced chance of developing diabetes, skin issues, joint pain, and heart disease.
No one but you can decide what diet plan is right for you. However, as you can see, there are a few misleading facts about Atkins that you should know about prior to jumping into this eating plan. In most cases, the Paleo diet promotes healthier and cleaner food options, which are better for you all the way around.