Atkins diet is, supposedly, a revolutionary way of becoming healthy and fit without giving up on any of the so-called ‘dreaded by weight watchers’ food items. Though the Atkins diet, also known as the Atkins Nutritional Approach, has been in controversy for long, people who are bent on losing weight can make use of this article and the Atkins diet food list described below.
“I’m not overweight, I’m just nine inches too short.” ~ Shelley Winters
An average overweight person eats, sleeps and drinks weight loss; meaning, he cannot think of anything beyond losing weight. Though he can find innumerable excuses to avoid it, yet cannot find one good reason to follow a proper planned balanced diet. So, get ready to follow this amazing diet called the Atkins diet and see yourself relishing all the delicious fares in the name of dieting. Atkins diet food list can surely help you through the process, in case you wish to follow Dr. Robert Atkins.
Dr. Atkins has suggested his followers to eat the following items to their heart’s content.
- All fish, which includes salmon, tuna, trout, snapper, sole, sardines, catfish, herring and flounder and other fish.
- Fish must be completely unprocessed.
- Cold water fish are preferred over other kinds of sea and warm water fish.
- Be careful in case pregnant (FDA guidelines about fish consumption must be followed).
- Cornish hen, chicken, duck, goose, pheasant, quail, ostrich, emu and turkey can be consumed in any quantity.
- The meat must be unprocessed.
- Dark meat of the poultry must be avoided.
- Clams, crabmeat, mussels, oysters, shrimp and squids can be consumed, according to the diet.
- Imitation shellfish products are off-limits.
- Mussels and oysters have a high carbohydrate content so must be counted and limited to 3-4 ounce a day.
- Bacon, beef, ham, pork, lamb, veal, venison and mutton are all allowed.
- Since meat has little carbohydrates, it can be consumed without much concern.
- The meat must be strictly unprocessed.
- Bacon, ham or other processed meat cured with sugar must be avoided.
- Nitrate free meat is preferred over other kinds of treated meat.
- Avoid breaded meats and meats served with high carbohydrate sauces.
- Limit consumption of organ meats to 4 ounce a day.
- All real eggs, including chicken, duck, quail or goose are allowed.
- Cooked in any style – deviled, fried, poached, hard-boiled, omelets, scrambled or soft-boiled – are all allowed.
- Eggs are supposed to be the staple breakfast in Atkins diet due to their high nutritional properties.
- Some plans restrict the yolks, however, you can consume yours while following Atkins.
Dairy and Fat Products
Care must be taken while consuming cheese as different varieties have different calorie count and must be taken accordingly.
- Blue cheese (0.7 grams net carb) – 1 oz. must be consumed daily. Cheddar (0.0 grams net carb) – 1/2 cup must be consumed daily. Cow, sheep and goat cheese (0.3 grams net carb) – 1 oz. must be consumed daily.
- Cream cheese (0.8 grams net carb) – 1 oz. must be consumed daily. Feta (1.2 grams net carb) – 1 oz. must be consumed daily. Gouda (0.6 grams net carb) – 1 oz. must be consumed daily. Mozzarella (0.6 grams net carb) – 1 oz. must be consumed daily. Parmesan cheese (0.2 grams net carb) – 1 tbsp. must be consumed daily. Swiss cheese (1.0 grams net carb) – 1 oz. must be consumed daily.
- No diet cheeses, cheese spreads, processed cheese food or whey cheese are permitted. Hard or soft cheese, both are allowed.
- Tofu (soy cheese) is allowed as well.
- Heavy cream, sour cream, light cream and butter are allowed.
- Mayonnaise, without added sugar, is allowed.
- Serving size must be limited to 1 tbsp.
- All dairy products should be full-fat and carbohydrate content must be very low.
- Yogurt is prohibited.
Fats and Oils
- Olive oil, nut oils, vegetable oils and seed oils are allowed.
- Canola, walnut, soybean, grape seed, sesame, sunflower and safflower oils are allowed.
- None of the oils must reach overly high temperatures while cooking.
- Do not use olive oil for cooking, use only for sauteing.
- Walnut or sesame oil must be used to dress cooked veggies or salads; cooking with them must be avoided.
The list of vegetables is divided into two broad categories namely salad and other vegetables. The exhaustive table given below can be referred to for details.
Salad vegetables are low on carbohydrates. All the vegetables for salads must be measured raw and preferably, consumed raw as well. Your body requires approximately 12 to 15 grams of net carbs per day in the form of vegetables.
|Salad Vegetable||Serving Size/Preparation||Salad Vegetable||Serving Size/Preparation|
|Alfalfa sprouts||1 cup/raw||Arugula||1/2 cup/raw|
|Bok choy||1 cup/raw||Celery||1 stalk|
|Chicory greens||1/2 cup/raw||Chives||1 tablespoon|
|Cucumber||1/2 cup||Daikon||1/2 cup|
|Endive||1/2 cup||Escarole||1/2 cup|
|Fennel||1 cup||Jicama||1/2 cup|
|Iceberg lettuce||1/2 cup||Mushrooms||1/2 cup|
|Parsley||1 tablespoon||Peppers||1/2 cup/raw|
|Romaine lettuce||1/2 cup||–||–|
The vegetables listed below must be measured after cooking, unless mentioned otherwise. A thing to be kept in mind is, that these vegetables are higher in carbohydrates when compared to the above list of vegetables. Therefore, they must be consumed according to specifications.
|Salad Vegetable||Serving Size/Preparation||Salad Vegetable||Serving Size/Preparation|
|Artichoke||1/4 of medium||Asparagus||6 spears|
|Artichoke hearts||1 canned||Avocados||1 whole (raw)|
|Bamboo shoots||1 cup canned||Broccoli||1/2 cup|
|Broccoli raw||1/2 cup||Broccoflower||1/2 cup|
|Brussels Sprouts||1/4 cup||Cabbage||1/2 cup (raw)|
|Cauliflower||1/2 cup (raw)||Swiss chard||1/2 cup|
|Collard greens||1/2 cup||Eggplant||1/2 cup|
|Hearts of palm||1 heart||Kale||1/2 cup|
|Kohlrabi||1/2 cup||Leeks||1/4 cup|
|Okra||1/2 cup||Olives green||5 pieces|
|Olives black||5 pieces||Onion||1/4 cup (raw)|
|Pumpkin||1/4 cup||Peas||1/2 cup with pods|
|Spinach||1/2 cup (raw)||Summer squash||1/2 cup|
|Tomato||1 (raw)||Turnips||1/2 cup|
|Water chestnuts||1/2 cup (canned)||1/2 cup (canned)||1/2 cup|
Vegetables provide important nutrients and add variety to your daily foods. However, do not forget to stay within the 12-15 grams of net carbohydrates.
Herbs, Spices, Sweeteners and Alcohol
- Vinegar, ranch, Italian dressing, Caesar or blue cheese dressing, olive oil and lemon juice/sour cream are allowed.
- The dressing must be homemade.
- In case bottled, it must not contain any form of sugar.
- Other garnishes like crumbled bacon, hard-boiled egg, grated cheese and sautéed mushrooms are also allowed.
Herbs and Spices
- Basil, cayenne pepper, cilantro, dill, garlic, ginger, oregano, pepper, rosemary, sage, tarragon and other condiments like ketchup and soy sauce are allowed.
- In case spice blends are used, make sure none contains any form of sugar or maltodextrin.
- Use of spices and other condiments must be limited to 1 tbsp.
- Sucralose or Splenda, aspartame or Equal, saccharine or Sweet ‘n’ Low and acesulfame potassium or ace-K which is usually found in conjunction with another artificial sweetener, are allowed.
- Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is a herb and therefore, a natural sweetener can easily be used.
- Stevia can be used both in the processed as well as the unprocessed form.
- All sweeteners must be strictly non-sugar based.
- Mannitol and sorbitol (both sugar alcohols), fructose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, glucose and other natural sugars are not permissible.
- Honey and corn syrups are forbidden.
- Water – mineral, filtered, spring or tap – must be consumed minimum of eight to ten glasses per day.
- Herbal tea, decaffeinated or regular coffee/tea (not to mention without added sugar) is allowed.
- 1-2 cups of caffeinated coffee/tea is allowed in case one is not addicted to it.
- Diet soda, club soda and flavored seltzer (without calorie flavors) are allowed in limited quantity.
- Clear broth is allowed (sans added sugar).
- Cream is allowed but milk is completely forbidden.
- Lime/lemon juice is allowed, however, other fruit juices are banned.
- Alcohol is strictly prohibited during the first two weeks.
- One can have a glass of wine or a low-carb beer after this period.
- A small amount of any spirit, mixed with water or club soda, is allowed in the later phases of the diet.
- All fruit juices and tonic water must be avoided as they contain carbohydrates in good quantity.
- However, alcohol would definitely slow down the process of weight loss.
Atkins diet menu plan is divided into fourteen days. It has a list of preferred breakfast, lunch and dinner for each of the fourteen days. It is interesting to note that, like the initial days of any serious diet plan, this diet does not follow a strict ‘only fruits and boiled vegetables’ principle. It has everything ranging from grilled steak, smoked salmon to gelatin desserts and Belgian waffles.
Guys, remember one thing, ‘what to’ and ‘what not to’ must be followed strictly in case you do not want to upset the doc. Jokes apart, I would only suggest that if you wish to follow this diet, or in that case any diet, first of all be sure if you really want to do it and secondly, if you have decided to follow the Atkins diet food list, then devote yourself to its rules. Do not look for shortcuts as nothing can be achieved through them. Adios!