Eco-Atkins Diet

What is Eco-Atkins Diet?

Eco-Atkins calls for 31% of daily calories to come from plant proteins, 43% from plant fats and 26% from carbs. Beyond that there are no strict rules, and you can adapt it to fit your needs; most followers eliminate all animal sources but others incorporate fish, lean white meat and occasional dairy products.

You’ll also swap unhealthy for healthy fats. Saturated and trans fats – think butter, whole milk, fatty cuts of beef and hydrogenated vegetable oils – can be harmful. Omega-3 fatty acids, nut butters, seeds, avocados and olives are heart-healthier options. Vegetable oils such as canola oil, flaxseed oil and walnut oil are also beneficial. They can be used for cooking, as salad dressings, or toppings. Canola oil, for instance, is mild and bland, so it won’t interfere with the flavors of your main ingredients.

The final step is choosing carbs wisely. You have more leeway than you would on the traditional Atkins diet – 26% of calories come from carbs versus as low as 10% on Atkins. Starchy options like white bread, rice, potatoes and baked goods top the Eco-Atkins “don’t-eat” list, while fruit, vegetables, whole-grain cereal, whole-wheat bread and oats are recommended.

Pros & Cons

  • Less restrictive than Atkins
  • Filling – it’s rich in high-fiber foods
  • Little guidance
  • Meat lovers are out of luck

How does Eco-Atkins Diet work?

To get started on Eco-Atkins diet, look to plant-based foods that are good sources of protein, says David J.A. Jenkins, a professor in the departments of medicine and nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto. Jenkins has conducted research on the Eco-Atkins diet. To get started on the regimen, he recommends these tips:

  • Look for plant-based foods that are good sources of protein, like veggie burgers, veggie sausage and tofu turkey.
  • Eat Asian cuisine, such as tofu, tempeh and seitan.
  • Consume plenty of lentils and soybeans, which are high in protein and low in saturated fat.

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