Atkins’ Nutritional’s Colette Heimowitz has updated their diet regime to put more of an emphasis on hidden sugar avoidance to combine with the ‘low card’ regime that made Dr. Atkins famous. The book is beautifully laid out – from full color photographs to a very professional presentation of the discussions and recipes. To modernize the program, readers are presented with three plans: Atkins 20, Atkins 40, and Atkins 100 (referring to the amount of carbs in the day).
The book breaks down into two parts – Eat Right, Not Less and Let’s Get Cooking. The first part’s chapters include: The hidden sugar effect, How Atkins works, Let’s get started, Atkins your way (20, 40, 100), Living a low-Ccarb and low-sugar Lifestyle (small changes equal big results). The second part of the recipes breaks down as follows: Breakfast, Snacks and sides, Soups and stews, Salads, Appetizers, 15-minute meals, One-pot meals, Just desserts. There are several nicely laid out appendices at the end: Atkins 20, Level 1 acceptable foods, Atkins 20, Level 2 acceptable foods, Atkins 20, Level 2 acceptable foods, Atkins 40, acceptable foods, Products for your low-carb lifestyle, and Scientific studies supporting Atkins 20, 40, and 100.
The discussions are what you will find in most diet/nutrition books: watching out/removing hidden and non-hidden sugar foods. Avoiding processed foods. The nutritional, health, attitude benefits of eating better. How to read nutritional labels, dispelling myths of fat, and the importance of vegetables in every meal are covered. Better family eating and tips for eating out.
The plans themselves are broken down by how strict a regimen you want or need to create your new lifestyle. The Atkins 20 has the most constraints because you are sticking to only 20 grams of carbs but it will also produce the greatest results. But others may wish to start a less restrictive diet and ease into or out of the other plans. The author recommends that those with over 40 pounds to lose, start with the Atkins 20. Those with less than 40 pounds start with Atkins 40. And for those who want to make smaller changes and start slower, there is Atkins 100.
There are suggested plans for eating for the day and then the rest of the book includes the recipes. Each recipes is three color and with numbered small steps. They include net carbs amount, serving size, time (active and total), and calories. A small pull out also lists fiber, protein, fat. A short introduction to each recipe item is included and why that recipe is useful/tasty/its history is discussed. Many recipes have a full page photograph of the final result. The type is huge, each recipe full page and very easy to follow. The ingredients list is in italic and bold font and clearly separated to make them easy to read. In all, the large format of the recipes, large font, clean layout with plenty of white space, use of different colors and italics, make following and creating menu items easy.
The author’s tone is very no-nonsense and up front. It is written by a clinician who has spent her career working directly with people and their nutritional issues. One important deviation from most modern nutritional programs is that this plan doesn’t discourage the use of artificial sweeteners or eating sweet items (many authors today feel that artificial sweeteners, even Stevia, create problematic cravings and prevent people from lowering sweetness values to where they don’t need to sweeten everything any more). There is also no discussion of fitness or exercise.
The recipes are what you would expect – everything from cinnamon waffles to an apple crumble dessert that doesn’t have apples in it. Along with the recipes are guidelines for eating out and how to make the best of various ethnic dinners such as Japanese, Mexican, and Italian.
In all, a beautifully presented nutrition book that is easy to follow. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.