The Advantages of the Atkins Diet Food Pyramid
The Atkins diet food pyramid basically comprises of foods that are recommended on the Atkins diet as well as the advisable quantities. This food pyramid basically indicates that the majority of our diet should include high protein foods such as meat, fish, poultry and eggs. The next stage of the Atkins diet food pyramid consists of vegetables and dark green vegetables in particular, as they are a source of fiber and contain many vitamins and minerals that are essential to a healthy diet. On a smaller scale is the importance of fruits on an Atkins diet. Lower glycemic index fruits are preferable, but by adding daily exercise, other fruits can be added. Next are oils, nuts and dairy products. These are all high-calorie foods, although they do contain nutritional value. At the top of the Atkins diet food pyramid are whole grain foods such as brown rice. Again, the amounts consumed can depend on the amount of exercise taken.
Refined sugars and hydrogenated oils are not allowed at all, and although the pyramid itself indicates the approximate amounts of the food groups mentioned that should be eaten, larger quantities can be consumed as long as exercise routines are used and increased accordingly. The value of exercise is a unique addition to the Atkins diet food pyramid, and lessens the chances of dieters feeling hungry. Vegetables and fruit are prominent on the pyramid, and even larger portions of these are allowed with the use of exercise.
Atkins Diet Food Pyramid vs. USDA Food Pyramid
The official USDA food pyramid guidelines are dissimilar from the Atkins diet food pyramid in a number of ways. First, it places grains as the most important food group by allowing the most servings in this area. Vegetables and fruits are next, followed by meats and dairy. There is no mention of quantities in relation to the amount of exercise one partakes. The Atkins diet food pyramid places vegetables and fruits ahead of grains and both pyramids place a good deal of importance in the meat groups. One has to wonder how valuable the USDA food pyramid really is as it advocates the minimum recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables and does not support the benefits of exercise or warn against foods such as refined sugars and hydrogenated oils.
At first glance, the Atkins diet food pyramid appears to be more beneficial, despite its heavy reliance on fatty foods such as red meat. Both pyramids could be updated to provide more health benefits, and neither is perfect, but by encouraging exercise and realizing that exercise is what should define the quantities of a diet, the Atkins diet food pyramid does compare favorably.