Dukan Diet

Author: BeatriceGiuggia MariaChiaraDomini
Date: 03/12/2012


The Dukan Diet is a high-protein diet.
Although it is the last hit and every day the number of people that follow this diet increases, many doctors affirm that this is an imbalanced diet therefore very dangerous, especially for cardiopaths, hypertensive, and people that drink much. They also think that there is a correlation between an excessive intake of meat and the increasing risk of column rectum cancer and weighs down both liver and kidney. High-protein diets bring people loose weight in a rapid way but a French research certifies that the 80% of the people regains the lost weight within one year. It is based nutritional approach designed by Pierre Dukan, a French nutritionist and dietician and for this wrong diet was radiated from the Medical Register.

The Dukan Diet consists in 4 phases:

1) Attack phase

The aim here is to lose weight rapidly - two to three kg within two to ten days. It is said to be a way of kick-starting the metabolism.
The dieters can eat nothing but lean protein, and unlimited amounts, there is no calorie counting. It is important that the protein is low in fat. Protein could be all kinds of beef, fish, chicken, eggs, soy, and cottage cheese.
The dieter also consumes at least 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran, the one carbohydrate source allowed in this phase. Pierre Dukan explains that oat bran is very high in fiber, meaning that a large proportion of the carbs cannot be broken down and digested, making oat bran less carbohydrate-rich than they thought. Oat bran also helps suppress hunger because it grows to up to twenty times its size in the stomach.
At least 1.5 liters of water has to be consumed each day.

2) Cruise phase

28 specific vegetables are added to the diet. Fruit is not allowed. The aim is to help the dieters achieve their target bodyweight more gradually. In this phase generally the dieter looses 1kg per week.

3) Consolidation phase

The aim here is to prevent the person from putting lots of weigh back on. The individual can consume unlimited quantities of protein and vegetables daily, as well as one piece of low-sugar fruit, one portion of cheese, and 2 slices of whole-grain bread.
During the Consolidation phase, the dieter starts eating the core diet of pure protein one day each week, preferably on the same day of each week.

4) Stabilization phase

This is, in effect, the long-term maintenance part of the plan. People can eat whatever they want, as long as they follow some simple rules:
1. One day each week they must have an all-protein day, as in the Attack phase.
2. Eat three tablespoons of oat bran each day.
3. Go for a 20 minute walk each day.
In order to succeed long-term the dieters need to follow this Dukan stabilization phase for the rest of their lives.

How do High Protein /Low Carb diet work?
By restricting carbohydrates drastically to a mere fraction of that found in the typical American diet, the body goes into a different metabolic state called ketosis, whereby it burns its own fat for fuel. Normally the body burns carbohydrates for fuel -- this is the main source of fuel for the brain, heart, and many other organs. A person in ketosis is getting energy from ketones, little carbon fragments that are the fuel created by the breakdown of fat stores. When the body is in ketosis, you tend to feel less hungry, tired, sometimes headache and fall into a faint. However, ketosis can also cause health problems, such as kidney failure.
As a result, your body changes from a carbohydrate-burning engine into a fat-burning engine. So instead of relying on the carbohydrate-rich items you might typically consume for energy your fat stores which become a primary energy source. The purported result is weight loss.

Dukan Diet, yes or no?

The Side effects. Dukan diet stresses on the process of ketosis in which the body attacks its own fats. Since it is a high protein low carb diet, it directly aims at the kidney functions and creating potential risks of various kidney diseases. Infact, the Acetil-Coa is used in the Ketogenesis instead of the Krebs Cicle with the production of Acetone and D-β- Hydroxybutyrate. This long lasting production of Chetones Bodies brings a phisiological pH decompensation which in extreme cases causes coma, as an article on the Telegraph reports. Moreover, a high-protein diet increases the Nitrogen levels in the blood which contributes to kidney diseases.

This diet is also found unsafe for the people who are at the risk of electrolyte imbalance. Since the initial phases of the Dukan diet contain low carb and no fibers, the body falls short of the daily required amount of fiber, which results in several health conditions like constipation and diarrhea. Even high uric acid levels and tartar buildups in the mouth are often side effects.
The absence of carbs subtracts the body of its main source of Energy therefore it takes it attacking the muscle tissue proteins.

To allege the theory of the inadequacy of the diet, even PubMed refers to an article of "The Daily Telegraph" supporting the theory of the diet as an “ineffective and without scientific basis” .

5 Main Negative High Protein Diet Risks

  1. increasis the risk of osteoporosis
  2. puts strain on your kidney
  3. may contribute to cancer (as colum rectum cancer)
  4. can cause damage to internal organs
  5. causes nutritional deficiencies
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