The Story of the Low-Carb Movement
Published on: Thursday, 20 September 2012 16:39:00.
Lots of people think that low-carb diets are a new fad from America, but this is incorrect. An Englishman named William Banting was told by his doctor that he should eat meat in order to lose weight. He was so impressed by the success of this diet (22 kg in one year) that, in the mid-19th century, he wrote the book "Letter on Corpulence". The book was then translated into several other languages. The Banting Diet, named after him, became popular throughout Europe - but only with the portion of the population who could afford to follow it. In the late 1950s, the Austrian doctor Wolfgang Lutz recommended lowering daily carbohydrate consumption. However, his motivation was not weight loss so much as the improvement of overall health.
Low-carb diets became really well-known because of an American doctor, Robert Atkins. His Atkins Diet consists of four phases. The first phase is a radical reduction of carbohydrates in the diet, while the following phases identify the amount of carbs necessary to stay at one's target weight. One of the reasons for the Atkins Diet's success was its business model. Atkins recommended that his patients take dietary supplements of vitamins and minerals, which he himself sold. The amazing thing is that sugar and carbs are not essential - in other words, if you're not consuming them, the body can easily produce them itself. Atkins spawned many imitators who were inspired by his business success.
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