You Can Have Your Carbs and Eat Them Too

What evidence do we have that “good” carbs are good? Every single long-term prospective study ever performed on the foods that the Atkins Diet restricts–fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains–show that they protect people from the nations’ biggest killer: heart disease.[464] Harvard studied 75,000 women for a decade and the results suggest that the more whole grains people eat–like brown rice and whole wheat bread–the lower their risk of having a heart attack.[465] Harvard studied 40,000 men for a decade and suggested that eating whole grains may cut one’s risk of developing diabetes by more than half.[466] The only thing wrong with whole grains, perhaps, is that they may not sell as many books.

Atkins seemed to think that fruit was the worst thing since sliced bread. Fruit consumption alone, however, has been linked to lower rates of numerous cancers[467] and may reduce heart disease mortality, cancer and total mortality.[468] The World Health Organization blames low fruit and vegetable consumption on literally millions of deaths worldwide.[469] Everyone should eat more fruits and vegetables as if their lives depended on it.

The National Cancer Institute’s recommendation is now up to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. While Atkins preached to restrict fruit and vegetable intake, what Americans really need is more fruits and veggies, not less.[470]