The Atkins Diet radically destabilised medical and dietary establishments in the US in the 1960s. The brainchild of the late US physician and cardiologist Dr Robert Atkins in the early 1960s, it led Time magazine to name him one of the 10 most influential people in the world in 2002. Atkins paid the price for challenging the status quo. He was demonised. His weight loss advice became one of many casualties of the ‘diet-heart hypothesis’.
That’s the one which holds that saturated fat causes heart disease. The one enshrined in official dietary guidelines imposed on an unsuspecting public in the US in the late 1970s and the rest of the English-speaking world thereafter. It continues to demonise dietary saturated fat, glorifies carbohydrates. It holds sway today despite an avalanche of evidence showing that it’s unproven dogma. The Atkins Diet has undergone its own revival with publication of The New Atkins For A New You. The book is a nutrition phenomenon not just for weight loss but to improve health and boost sports performance. In South Africa, Atkins products are growing in popularity. In a Q&A here, Healthy Brands MD Justin Strout, a qualified fitness trainer, explains why Atkins offers ‘the exercise strategy of the future’: