Dear Kim Kardashian: The Atkins Diet Could Be Doing You More Harm Than Good


Kim Kardashian West doesn't pretend she woke up like this. The reality TV star-turned serial entrepreneur regularly broadcasts her eating and exercise regimes on social media. 

Kardashian is down to around 124 pounds, according to a Snapchat she posted on Friday. She's been following the Atkins diet to shed weight after the birth of her son Saint West on December 5.

Atkins works for Kim K — she's lost 66 pounds since she was pregnant with Saint, and she used the program back in 2013 to lose weight after giving birth to North, People noted. But could she be doing long-term damage to her health by noshing on high-fat, low carb diet for an extended period of time? 

The Atkins diet isn't the cure-all Kim K makes it out to be. Experts from U.S. News and World Report evaluated the Atkins diet and noted that severe restrictions of fruits, veggies, and grains might not bode well for long-term health. There's no data showing the effects the diet can have in the long run. 

And here's an ironic twist: Dr. Robert Atkins, the founder of the Atkins diet, may have died an obese man. Dr. Atkins died in 2003 at age 72, after he slipped on ice, the Wall Street Journal reported. He hit his head on the ice, lost consciousness and spent two weeks in the hospital before suffering organ failure and dying. The medical examiner's report revealed that Atkins suffered from hypertension. 

Atkins' medical records reveal that he was 258 pounds at death, though his family contended that his brain injury caused him to retain 60 pounds of fluid in his last living days, The New York Times stated. He stood six feet tall, which means he was obese. (Atkins' BMI would have been 35.)

Can someone retain 60 pounds of fluid in two weeks? Whether Atkins died from a heart attack that was due to old age or due to his diet remains unclear. 

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Kim K probably doesn't care about Dr. Atkins so long as the diet can help her get the body she wants. But she might consider her long-term health — low-carb diets can wreak havoc on lean muscle tissue, Reader's Digest noted. 

Forgoing carbs means that Kim K's body needs to rely on her muscle tissue to fuel her body. Translation: She'll get skinnier, but she'll lose muscle mass, rather, some of her toned curves. 

No shade on women and men who tweak their diet to get healthy and lose weight, but depriving oneself of entire food groups has risks. Reader's Digest noted that whole grains, which are prohibited during some phases of Atkins, provide important health benefits like protecting against diabetes, metabolic syndrome and stroke. And scarfing down tons of saturated fat from meats could increase a dieter's LDL cholesterol, the bad kind of cholesterol that affects risk for heart disease

What does Kim K eat on Atkins? She consumes roughly 1,500 calories a day, People reported. Her daily diet includes lots of veggies, proteins like turkey burgers, eggs, Greek yogurt and grilled chicken. Not a single grain in her three-day food diary posted on People. 

Feeling healthy isn't about what number reads on the scale — it's about eating foods to fuel you. Kardashian knew that back in 2015 and tweeted out that her size was "all part of the process." Maybe some carbs could help her brain work again.