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Report: Atkins advises cutback on meat

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Mayo Clinic
Robert C. Atkins
Diet and Fitness

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Promoters of the popular low-carbohydrate, high-fat Atkins diet are saying that people should limit their intake of saturated fat by cutting back on Atkins staples such as meat, cheese and butter, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

Responding to criticism from scientists that Atkins could lead to heart disease and other health problems, the director of research and education for Atkins Nutritionals, Colette Heimowitz, is telling health professionals that only 20 percent of a dieter's calories should come from saturated fat, the paper said.

Beef, pork, lamb and butter were on the list of "foods you may eat liberally" in diet founder Dr. Robert C. Atkins' plan. Atkins' original 1972 book, "Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution," was contrary to the recommendations of most nutritional experts at the time. It has become increasingly popular since the 1992 publication of his book, "Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution."

Atkins, who died last year, always maintained that people should eat other food besides red meat, but had trouble getting that message out, the paper said.

The change comes as new low-carb diets are gaining in popularity, with many calling for less saturated fats. The South Beach Diet is one such plan and has sold millions of copies of its book since its launch last year. The book is currently No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list.

Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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