The Atkins diet is protected by the First Amendment against the claims of a Florida man who said the low-carbohydrate meal plan was dangerous and to blame for his heart troubles, a New York federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Denny Chin made the finding as he tossed a lawsuit in which Jody Gorran, of Delray Beach, Fla., claimed his cholesterol level shot up from 146 six months before he began the diet to 230 afterward, leading to severe chest pain and an angioplasty treatment.