Atkins Diet and DUI

The Atkins Diet

In the early 1970’s a man by the name of Robert Atkins developed a diet method that would allow men and women to lose extra fat, this diet became known as the Atkins diet. This diet consists of little to no carbohydrates and usually a higher consumption of proteins. The main goal of the Atkins diet is to consume foods that will allow the human body to burn fat for energy rather than the usual carbohydrates for energy. Because carbohydrates are limited fats and proteins replace them. There are usually two approaches to this diet. (1) high in protein, low in fat or (2) low in protein, high in fat. One of the most appealing advantages to this diet is that men and women are able to consume as many or more calories than they had before they started the diet, and still lose weight.


The Atkins diet can also be known as a ketogenic diet. Ketones are produced when fat is broken down in the liver. The building of ketones eventually flows to the blood stream and causes a condition known as ketosis. Our brains use blood sugar as fuel and blood sugar is mostly affected by the simple and complex carbohydrates that we consume each day.  When carbohydrates are limited the brain uses ketones for energy. The adjustment from sugars to ketones can cause someone on the diet to feel fuzzy or tired for the first couple of weeks.

The Role of Ketones in a DUI

High levels of ketones can harm the body. If ketone levels get too high in someone on a low-carb diet he can develop what is known as diabetic ketoacidosis. High levels of ketones cause the body to create isopropyl alcohol as well. These symptoms mimic the symptoms of someone under the influence of alcohol or some other kind of substance. Someone who is undergoing a low-carb diet produces higher levels of ketones, which can demonstrate the same results of someone under the influence of alcohol in a DUI.  When isopropyl alcohol is blown into a DUI breath tester it is often mistaken for ethyl alcohol.

Utah Drunk Driving Defense Law Firm

If you have been accused of a DUI while undergoing a low-carb diet such as the Atkins diet call Salcido Law Firm’s DUI Defense team of attorneys and lawyers at 801.413.1753 or email us to discuss your options.

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