Accusation #14: Objectionably Asserts Diet is Bad for Heart
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Atkins Argues that Size Matters
Furthermore, some studies reveal that in subjects who experienced an increase in serum LDL levels, the increase is due to a greater number of large LDL particles (pattern A) and not an increase of atherogenic small LDL particles (pattern B) (Sharman 2004, Hays 2003, Sharman 2002). In addition, in some instances, the opposite trend may occur in low fat diets: "Paradoxically, a low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet exacerbates atherogenic dyslipidemia if the patient does not lose a significant amount of weight or increase his or her level of physical activity." (Volek 2002)

You admit that bad cholesterol may rise on your diet, but argue that the rise may be mostly in large bad cholesterol (pattern "A") not the "atherogenic small" bad cholesterol (pattern "B"). While earlier research done on rabbits indeed showed that small LDL particles seemed more likely to infiltrate rabbit arteries,[996] studies since then on the arteries of actual human beings found that size doesn't matter.[997]

Frank M. Sacks, M.D., Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Harvard, with over a hundred publications to his name,[998] reviewed all of the evidence surrounding LDL size in 2003.[999] He found that some studies showed that larger LDL (the type that the Atkins Diet elevates) seemed more dangerous. "Thus," he wrote, "large and small LDL are atherogenic, and it is not possible to judge which if any is more harmful, overall."[1000] Cleveland Clinic Medical Director (and Vice President of the American College of Cardiology) Steven Nissen, M.D., agrees that LDL particle size simply isn't clinically useful.[1001]

"In summary," Dr. Sacks wrote, "the picture is emerging... that small LDL does not have a special relationship to coronary heart disease beyond its contribution to LDL concentration." He concludes "all LDL types should be viewed as harmful."[1002] In other words, large or small, bad cholesterol is bad cholesterol.

True, if one switches to a low fat diet centered around refined sugars and starches one can suffer a relative increase in small LDL particle and triglycerides,[1003] but low fat diets based on whole foods not only can also reduce the number of small LDL cholesterol particles (and triglyceride levels),[1004] but routinely drastically improve LDL cholesterol levels overall.[1005] Your diet does not allow for this,[1006] which may be why the arterial blockages in the hearts of your followers have been shown to so dramatically worsen.[1007]
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Atkins Facts:
> What the Experts Think of Atkins
> Faulty Science
> Short-Term Side Effects
> All Long-Term Studies on Atkins a Wash
> Long-Term Side Effects
> The Safer Alternative
> References 1-1160

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