The Atkins diet principles lay the foundation for a healthy, more balanced way of eating than the standard American diet. Its emphasis is on using good carbohydrates in balance with adequate protein. This is in stark contrast to what most Americans eat on a daily basis.
The average American eats a tremendous amount of processed foods that have hidden sugars and highly processed carbohydrates. This has put most Americans on the road to diabetes and pre-diabetic conditions. What is sad is that diabetes has a predictable set of stages and that they can be easily recognized.
The road to diabetes has to do with something called the glycemic index. All carbohydrates are rated on this index with regards to the level of insulin reaction they produce.
Generally speaking, foods that have a high glycemic index rating will cause your pancreas to release a lot of insulin to break down the amount of sugars and carbohydrates (which produce high amounts of glucose). The refined carbohydrates and sugars that make up the vast majority of the American diet rank very high on the glycemic index.
We are able to more readily digest these foods as children, because our bodies function more efficiently in our youth. There may have been side effects, like weight gain and mood swings, but they didn’t stand out.
Usually, as we age, however, these symptoms begin to grow and become more prevalent. The nationwide obesity epidemic is a result of high-carbohydrate diets and unstable blood sugar levels.
A variety of people who are overweight are also insulin resistant. Insulin resistance means that the insulin is not doing its job in removing glucose from the blood stream. The pancreas gets over worked and it releases massive amounts of insulin, sometimes 20 times more than the body actually needs. This results in the blood sugar dropping to extremely low levels.
This sets off a chain reaction in the body that leads to a release of adrenaline to correct the blood sugar problem.