Navigating Atkins

Mom and I both lost a substantial amount of weight during the Atkins Induction phase, but plateaued when we move into Phase 2, which goes from 22 g of carbs per day to 27 g. We’ve been pretty damn strict, and kept track of all of our eating every day with their impressive website interface. However, I think the biggest culprit is actually some of the Atkins Endulge products. Atkins has a general formula that Net Carbs = Total Carbs – Fiber – Sugar Alcohols. However, not only do they not differentiate between different sugar alcohols, which have wildly different effects on insulin, but they use maltitol, which effectively has the same glycemic load as sugar for a given amount of sweetness, in two of the three dessert product we’ve been eating. It’s glycemic index is lower than sucrose, but it’s less sweet, so it requires more of it to get a given level of sweetness.

For instance, Atkins claims that their Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut Crunch Bar has only 3 g net carbs. However, the fourth ingredient after almonds, coconut, and polydextrose is maltitol, which seems to be the only sugar alcohol in the list. Atkins is arriving at their 3g net carbs by way of:

17g Total Carbs – 8 g Dietary Fiber – 6 g Sugar Alcohols = 3 g net carbs

However, if, as it appears, all 6 of those g of sugar alcohols is maltitol, they the total carbs and insulin impact are going to be *way* higher than 3g. There is some debate about how maltitol should be counted, but the general consensus is that the best case scenario is that it should be counted as half the g on the net carb count, which would make one of these bars a 6 g snack instead of a 3 g snack!

I also got some pee strips for measuring our level of ketosis, and so far I’m mostly averaging on Trace amounts, which is pretty surprising considering how low our carb intake has been. I also found maltodextrin in her psyllium husk and my magnesium citrate supplements. I just bought her a huge amount of psyllium husk at Costco, but I think they’ll take it back if I explain the low-carb dieting thing.

I’m trying to come up with a simple list of YES and NO sweeteners for her going forward.

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2 Responses to Navigating Atkins

  1. Wow 22 grams of carbs isn’t much at all! This diet sounds difficult. Does this net carb number include fruits and veggies?

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