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Atkins and Potassium supplements

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by diadeb, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. diadeb

    diadeb Active Member

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    Hi Everyone, I have started Atkins Induction stage and it advises Potassium supplements and I wondered if anyone atkins took any supplements and if so what and how much, many thanks, Debra x
  2. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub Well-Known Member

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    Not an Atkins dieter.

    Before you take any supplements please check with your Dr. as there might be a contra-indication.

    Have a read through this, you will find it useful. Even age is a consideration as are some other meds you might be taking.

    http://www.medicinenet.com/potassium_su ... rticle.htm
  3. marymeg7

    marymeg7 Active Member

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    Hello Catherinecherub' thanks for that link re: potassium, not something to be taken lightly and without a doctor's sayso. I have just bought an Atkins diet and recipe book from the charity shop and wondering about having a go. I know Sparkles is in the Induction stage does anyone know if you can short circuit the process and start further into it and still be successful?

    Mary
  4. viviennem

    viviennem Well-Known Member

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    Hi Marymeg7

    You can easily start Atkins on the second stage (Ongoing Weight Loss) and eat as many or as few carbs as you're happy with. I personally would not go over 50g carb, but we're all different. Then again, I'm quite happy on 20g - 30g the whole time. However, with extra carbs you won't get the initial large rapid weight loss that you do with the Induction Phase.

    The other thing to note is, as you increase your carb intake you should decrease the fat a little bit. Just be a little more careful in what fat you eat. In my case it would probably be less mayonnaise, use butter more sparingly, and butter the flat side of the Ryvita rather than filling the holes up! :oops: :lol:

    As for supplements - if you are eating fresh, unprocessed food and eating lots of green leafy vegetables, salads etc, you should have no need of supplements. Eating a few more carbs means you can have the lower-carb fruits as well, which adds to your nutrient intake. You'll get calcium from dairy and broccoli, I think. Iron from red meat, offal and green veg.

    Personally, I take magnesium, which I find helps my blood pressure; any excess is excreted. Also Vitamin D3, 'cos I'm getting older, and no problems with that so far; and a multi-vitamin and mineral, 30-day course about twice a year. Apart from diabetes Type 2, osteoarthritis, slightly raised BP and obesity, I'm in very good health :wink:

    Hope that helps.

    Viv 8)
  5. diadeb

    diadeb Active Member

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    Hi Catherinecherub and Viviennem, thanks for the replies, I will forego the potassium (it was as I thought) but I may have a look at the magnesium, thanks, Debra xx
  6. viviennem

    viviennem Well-Known Member

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    It might be worth Googling to find out natural sources of the vitamins & minerals you're worried about, and make sure you're eating them, if they are low carb.

    For example - Bananas are good for potassium but also full of carbs! Maybe buy the little, kids' ones, and eat one every other day, if your carb allowance allows? They are produced by small, Commonwealth countries usually, and are often Fair Trade-ish.

    As for magnesium, I take 3 x 150mg daily. If you overdose, you'll get the runs, though I never have on that dose.

    Viv 8)
  7. marvinabalos

    marvinabalos Member

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    My Doctor advice my father to take omega 3 fish oil supplements. We've try the potassium supplements, not totally effective on my father. My father is now Taking Maxalife's Omega 3 Fish Oil and so far it was effective.
  8. ally5555

    ally5555 Active Member

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    Hi

    You do need to take care with potassium - as Catherine said it is particularly important for people with any cardiac problems - esp if the serum potassium levels increase. I never advice the use of Lo salt for that reason.

    The RNI ( Reference Nutrient Intake) for potassium is 3500mg.

    If you are eating a wide variety of veg(tomatoes in particular) and fruit ( citrus, banana) , plus tea and coffee you should cover this. The major sources are also wholemeal bread/ cereals and potatoes.

    I don't have a copy of atkins any more - what is his rationale for taking it ?
    Ally
  9. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub Well-Known Member

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    Good list of foods high in magnesium here, http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tnam ... nt&dbid=75
    There are several meds that can affect magnesium levels and also some conditions, Alcohol abuse, Crohns, Fat Malabsorption..............
    If you don't know what your levels are it is difficult to decide if you need a supplement. http://healing.about.com/od/dietandfitn ... acts_2.htm
    GP is the best one to ask advice from. You wouldn't take pain medication if you didn't have a pain so why take supplements if you don't know if you need them? For some it just means expensive urine being excreted.
  10. marymeg7

    marymeg7 Active Member

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    Hello Viv, Thanks for your reply regarding starting the second stage of Atkins, I have printed it out and will keep it to the front of my file for easy reference. I had 2 scrambled eggs for breakfast instead of my usual 1 shredded wheat, greek yogurt , cinnamon and blueberries and felt wobbly and hungry a good hour before lunchtime today so will probably stay with my usual breakfast. I don't take any supplements and will have a good read of the Atkins book now that the busy week-end is over and the family have gone home. Lovely to see them but I am half the next week getting back to what I consider as full strength again!

    That was a great article on Magnesium you recommended, Catherincherub, I will start eating my pumpkin, and sunflower seeds again which had been pushed to the back of the cupboard.

    Thanks to you both,

    Mary
  11. viviennem

    viviennem Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ally

    If I remember rightly, Atkins was talking about food grown in poor, exhausted soils having less nutritional value so some people might like to take supplements. I think he also suggests having a full blood test for vitamin/mineral levels to see how your levels are before starting the diet, and suggests supplements if you need them. You can get these tests in the US but of course you have to pay for them!

    I don't ever remember getting the impression that he suggested you HAD to take supplements on the diet. I will check that, though, when I next get the book out. I never have taken anything on his recommendation, 'cos I know where most of my food comes from, and have also read round a little on the subject.

    There is also the fact that the Atkins Corporation manufactures supplements to his recommendation. I'm not blind to the money-making side of this :lol:

    Viv 8)
  12. sparkles

    sparkles Active Member

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    Hi,
    I seem to remember that Atkins says that some people get jittery legs when starting the diet and he put this down to loss of minerals as the body eliminates in the first stage. If I've got it right and as an antidote for this he reccommended three of which pottassium was one. I did get the jittery leg thing for a couple of nights in the beginning and contemplated taking his advice and getting the suppliments but it wore off after about two nights and so I decided I didnt need them.
    Sparkles.
  13. diadeb

    diadeb Active Member

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    Hi Catherinecherub, many thanks for the links which I have looked at. I already eat the foods listed which contain magnesium and so really there should be no problems. I just wanted to know what other people did after reading Atkins Induction stage, so thanks to everyone, Debra x
  14. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub Well-Known Member

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    My pleasure Debra. 8)
  15. jopar

    jopar Well-Known Member

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    When you have your HbA1c done they test all your potassium levels as part of your bloods, but normally you don't get to see this, but you can ask your doctor for a print out of it.. You can also ask your doctor about checking for vit d levels etc..

    If you are uncomfortable about going the full hog on Atkins, use the information to help you just reduce the amount of carbs you are eating daily to a comfortable level for you, it may mean that you won't lose weight as quickly but this is no bad thing,,
  16. viviennem

    viviennem Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you, Jopar. Atkins Induction suits me but it doesn't suit everyone. However, If you use it as a basis and add low-GI carbs in to the level you want to eat, I think it's a fairly easy way to start.

    The way I look at it, last time I was on Atkins for weight loss. This time I'm on it for blood glucose control - and with any luck, I'll get the weight loss too! Which I am, though slowly.

    Viv 8)
  17. canuck1950

    canuck1950 Member

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    When you cut the carbs your kidneys will release sodium. This is why people lose some water initially and why blood pressure also tends to get better on low-carb. If you are not careful to replace the lost sodium sufficiently by adding salt to your food, you will experience the effects of mild hypo-natremia. These are: headache, constipation, weakness, fatigue, low-blood pressure, othostatic hypotension and possibly leg cramps. If you get a blood test you may find that your potassium is low, too. Unfortunately, there is no reliable blood test for magnesium but it may also be low. Supplementing with salt should correct these problems. You don't need to take a potassium supplement, it will correct if you eat enough salt. Some people will have a persistent magnesium deficiency that will require supplements. This would be manifested by leg cramps and hyper-reflexia (something your doctor can check). To correct this you should take a slow-release Mg++ supplement daily.

    Many people make the mistake of restricting salt and drinking lots of water when on a low carb diet. This is virtually guaranteed to cause problems. When you look carefully at the studies that report equivocal results with a low-carb diet, this is invariably one of the reasons.
  18. viviennem

    viviennem Well-Known Member

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    Hi Canuck

    We are all terrified of salt in the UK, after years of publicity about it being bad for blood pressure! and of course, if you're eating a highly-processed, junk food, ready meal sort of diet, you get plenty of salt without adding any extra.

    I still don't use much, but I noted the comment in the 'Atkins DIabetes' book about half a teaspoon daily being good for constipation, and I do now use a little in my cooking.

    Viv 8)
  19. jopar

    jopar Well-Known Member

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    I know that the reccommendation is no more than 6g of salt a day it's reckoned that the adverage intake in the uk is 9g's

    But this I think is assuming that a lot of people use processed foods which tends to have a added salt!

    I know that I do most of my cooking from scratch, and that I tend only ever add salt to cooking vegetables and don't add salt anywhere else!
  20. canuck1950

    canuck1950 Member

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    If we eat more salt than we need, our kidneys are designed to excrete it. Excess consumption is a problem only when this homeostatic mechanism stops functioning properly. This can be the result of too much insulin and too much fructose (through different mechanisms), both of which are corrected when you eat a very low carb diet. The first line treatment for hypertension is a diuretic. You get the same effect when you cut the carbs. If you continue to eat a very low-carb diet you can add salt to your food without fear of retention and the consequent problems. A good way to check to make sure this is the case is to follow your blood pressure. Most people should be able to achieve normal BP without meds and without restricting salt when they eat a very low carb diet. These national campaigns to cut salt are focussing on the wrong problem, treating the symptom rather than the cause.

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