Updated January 31, 2014
The Atkins Diet lives on in the current bestselling books Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD and Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD.
Robert Atkins, MD, creator of the Atkins Diet, was upfront with his recommendations to eat a diet almost exclusively made up of meat, poultry, cheese, butter, fish, and eggs, with very little plant-foods. The first Atkins Diet book was published in 1972; since then well-informed people have come to understand (through their own readings and personal experiences) that eating an animal-based, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet is wrong. They have learned that following this eating pattern causes epidemic diseases, including type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and common cancers; and that the livestock industry is at the root of climate change. Many people are also wrestling with their conscience as they deal with the moral issues of animals being killed unnecessarily for food, supporting the horrors of factory farming, and depleting our oceans. Therefore, a diet book titled Eat More Animals to Lose Weight would meet a mostly unfriendly audience.
Wheat Belly and Grain Brain take a backdoor approach to the Atkins low-carbohydrate method. As the titles of these books suggest, wheat causes a big belly and grains damage the brain. Within their pages you learn that all starchy foods, including rice, corn, and potatoes—the traditional foods consumed by billions of people throughout human history—are now unhealthy and must be minimized or, better yet, avoided altogether. If you believe these authors, then what is left to eat in order to meet your energy requirements? Meat, dairy, fish, and eggs (the original Atkins Diet).*
In order for the authors of these two books to pull off the monumental task of luring otherwise intelligent people into inherently dangerous diet plans, they have had to (1) ignore the bulk of the science, (2) exaggerate the truth, and (3) make false associations.