The New “Eco-Atkins” Study Raises Some Major Red Flags

Eating the right foods is essential for keeping your heart healthy. But following the “Eco-Atkins” diet may actually be putting your heart—and life—at risk.

If you’re a Health Watch reader, you know how important it is to limit your carbohydrates. A low-carb diet helps reduce inflammation that can lead to heart disease and cancer.1 It also keeps your blood sugar from spiking, which may reduce your risk for diabetes. And the mainstream is finally starting to catch on…

But they don’t see the big picture yet.

A new study in the British Medical Journal found that eating an “Eco-Atkins” (EA) vegan diet may lower heart disease risk by 10% over 10 years. At least that’s what the headlines say. But the truth is that’s not what the study actually found.

First of all, you need to know what an EA diet is. Don’t let the trendy name fool you—it’s just the Atkins diet without any meat or fish. The idea is that eating a low-carb diet free of animal proteins—but rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains—helps lower cholesterol. It should also prevent heart disease. You may even see a decrease in body fat. But this study doesn’t show the benefits of an EA diet over a typical low-carb or Atkins style diet…

Researchers put the subjects into two groups. The first ate the EA diet. The second group ate a high-carb vegetarian diet that included dairy products and eggs. After six months, the EA group had 10% lower average LDL cholesterol. They also lost about four more pounds than the high-carb group.2

The researchers used this data to hypothesize that eating an EA diet over the course of a decade may help prevent heart disease. But the study only took place over the course of six months. Saying that an EA diet lowers heart disease risk over a 10-year period is nothing more than an educated guess.

Another problem? Only 23 participants completed the study. That’s a small population to begin with. And subjects were either men with too much fat in their blood or postmenopausal women. Not exactly a diverse representation of the population.

Yet another red flag we see is that the people on the EA diet were eating grains, wheat, soy, and gluten.3 We’ve told you before that all of these cause inflammation—or worse—in your body. We just can’t get behind any diet that emphasizes these dangerous foods. And speaking of what they ate…

Neither group in this study ate meat. When most people see a headline claiming an EA diet lowers heart disease risk, they’ll think it’s in comparison to a diet that includes animal proteins. But this study didn’t include them at all. That’s a shame. Grass-fed beef and wild-caught salmon are both rich in the healthy fats your body needs to help prevent heart disease and inflammation.

One thing the EA diet does get right is its emphasis on leafy green vegetables. Eating those and colorful fruits rich in anthocyanin help reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. And don’t worry about ditching the grains. You’ll find more beneficial fiber—without the inflammation—in raspberries, peas, blackberries, and artichokes.4  But these aren’t the only ways to help prevent heart disease.

Some brave doctors are finally telling the truth about what really causes—and treats—heart disease. Like the natural supplement a Mayo Clinic professor prescribes to all his heart patients…and the nutrient from fruit shown to lower cholesterol safer than a popular prescription drug.

Discover all the details on these and more, HERE.

Like this Article? Forward this article here or Share on Facebook.


Related Articles:

Health Topic: Diet and Nutrition | Heart and Cardiovascular


  1. Bob Greene says:

    Your article criticizes, “Neither group in this study ate meat. When most people see a headline claiming an EA diet lowers heart disease risk, they’ll think it’s in comparison to a diet that includes animal proteins. But this study didn’t include them at all…”

    That statement is incorrect. The EA diet did include animal protein, but “daily and eggs”, and not fish or feedlot, non-poultry meats. Eggs, in particular, are a complete source of animal-based protein.

    The INH position on phytates is oversimplification in the extreme. Please review this ample article about phytates from–

    Criticism of small study cohorts opens INH to withering criticism about other studies whose conclusions INH supports, which studies also began with initial work on small groups.

    Small studies can serve as pathfinders for larger studies replicating and developing their findings. When industry does not fund a particular research direction, the academic and/or medical research community often does, to the general benefit of a balanced, rational and informed discussion.

    Rather than criticize your own parody of the actual study, your time might be better devoted to developing your thesis about whole grains and inflammation. For example, what about whole grains that are low in phytic acid, lower than

    You have reported a study, but stumbled over your own review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *