We recently wrote a post about the hCG diet, and how it may not be effective or healthy to follow. There’s a new diet out – the Dukan diet – that’s about to hit the US, so we’d like to also address it. The Dukan diet, referred to by some “the French Atkins diet,” was created by a Pierre Dukan, a French doctor who says that it is based on both the Atkins diet and Weight Watchers.
The diet consists of four stages:
Attack - Dieters eat as much high-protein, non-fat foods as they wish. Oat bran, which fits the bill, is required, as well as lots of water.
Cruise - Add in low-calories vegetables. Still no fruit.
Consolidation - Add two slices of bread, a serving each of fruit and cheese, and two servings of carbohydrates. Dieters are also allowed dessert and wine two days a week.
Stabilization - Dieters can now eat whatever they want, except for one day a week, in which they must follow the attack phase.
Celebrities, like Gisele Bundchen, and even soon-to-be royalty, Kate Middleton, are reported to be following the Dukan diet.
Although those on the diet are seeing results, nutrition and health professionals are warning dieters to stay away. David Levitsky, professor of Nutritional Sciences and Psychology at Cornell University explains that:
We have had plenty experience with high protein diets for weight. Eating large amounts of protein will cause rapid weight loss, but its water and not tissue. One loses weight because high protein diets inhibit appetite, at least initially.
In the long run, 6 months or more, the rapid weight loss disappears, and weight loss is no different from a calorically restricted diet. The evidence is also clear that rapid weight loss will not produce sustained weight loss.
In addition, French researchers have found that the Dukan diet leads to too much salt intake, and a lack of vitamin C and fiber. Cheif researcher on this report, Dr. Jean-Michel Lecerf says that this type of diet is extremely unbalanced, and increases risk of cancer and heart disease.
Photo by gabriel_marchi