What Not to Eat on the Atkins Diet


The Atkins Diet is made up of four phases: Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss, Pre-Maintenance and Lifetime Maintenance. The diet focuses on consuming low levels of carbohydrates, sugars and trans fats, while eating high levels of protein and fat. Regardless of which phase you are in, there are certain foods that are never allowed.

Refined Carbohydrates

White rice, white flour and pasta are prime examples of refined carbs. These foods contain almost no nutritional value, and they can turn into body fat. In addition, they have a negative effect on your blood sugar levels.

Meats That Have Been Premarinated

A dextrose (which is sugar) solution is often used to plump these up. Your best bet is to make your own marinade.

Cool Whip

Regardless of whether it's regular or sugar free, this is a no-no on Atkins. Both contain corn syrup (sugar), as well as coconut and palm oils, which are trans fats. Instead, try whipping heavy cream and adding a sugar substitute, such as Splenda.

Coffee Creamer

These usually contain sugar and trans fats (in the form of partially hydrogenated soy bean and/or cottonseed oil). Even the sugar-free varieties have dextrose in them. If you don't like your coffee black, try using the Atkins vanilla shake. It both sweetens and creams your coffee.

Sugar-Free Candy

Just because the candy is sugar free, it's not OK to have these on the Atkins Diet; it contains carbs. In addition, the sugar alcohols in them can cause bloating and gas.

Shredded Cheese

Sugar is often added to shredded cheese to keep it from clumping. Instead, buy a block of cheese and shred it as needed.

Commercial Salad Dressings

Most contain high amounts of sugar, including balsamic vinegar.

Many Sauces

Barbecue sauce, ketchup and commercial sauces such as teriyaki are all loaded with sugar. There are some sugar-free and low-carb varieties, or you can make your own (see Resources).

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