Dukan’s diet is one of the most popular diets and methods of weight reduction. The name comes from the name of Pierre Dukan, a French internist who has been specializing in dietetics for over 30 years. It is a high protein diet because the proportion of protein is 36% of all day energy and is twice as high as the safety standards. In the first or first phase, the diet assumes a complete elimination and then a significant reduction of carbohydrates and fats, with a significant increase in protein in the diet.
What is Dukan’s diet about?
The diet developed by Pierre Dukana consists of four different lengths of phases. In each of them, certain products must be used in designated or unlimited quantities. The most important recommendations for the individual phases are as follows
The first phase of the so-called shock, attack or protein, lasts from two to ten days, depending on the number of kilograms to „drop”. It is allowed to consume 72 animal products without restriction in this phase, and to avoid constipation it is recommended to eat two tablespoons of bran each day or after main meals of refined oil.
The second phase of Dukan’s diet, so-called alternating, it takes 7 days for each kilogram to „drop”. In this phase, there are days when you can only consume high-protein animal products on the list, and the days when you eat vegetables – both at will.
The third phase is called phase of weight saving after reaching its target level. In addition to protein products and vegetables from the previous two phases, you can also consume limited amounts of other selected products, such as fruit, yellow cheese or some fiber-rich foods. The third stage should last 10 days for each lost kilogram, i.e. a month for each lost 3 kilograms.
In the fourth phase, the so-called During the stabilization phase, lasting until the end of life, a normal diet is recommended without any qualitative restrictions in the choice, provided you follow the three key principles of one always the same day, only protein products should be eaten from the list given for the shock phase during the week. even minimal physical activity – overcoming short distances instead of a car and not using an elevator, you should consume 3 spoons of oat bran every day.
What are the side effects of using Dukan’s diet?
Dukan’s diet carries many risks, especially with long-term use. The most important disadvantages of the diet include
As a result of limiting the amount of carbohydrates, the body is forced to draw energy from other sources, and above all from fat. The by-product of burning fats are ketone bodies, and their accumulation leads to increased blood acidity, referred to as ketoacidosis.
Fatigue and concentration disorders
Ketones as a substitute for glucose become a source of energy among others for the central nervous system, which leads not only to reducing the feeling of hunger, but also causes fatigue and disturbs concentration.
Faster progression of renal failure
Dukan’s diet is definitely contraindicated for people with any poor kidneys. At the stage of latent renal failure, such a huge supply of protein can significantly reduce the amount of active nephrons (mainly damaging sulfur amino acids) and accelerate the development of renal failure. Not everyone using a high-protein diet is immediately exposed to renal failure. However, you can not be sure if your body, though with difficulty, can cope with excess protein, or whether you will need to lose weight for a high price – permanent damage to health.
Kidney stones and gallstones of the gallbladder
Due to the presence of an increased amount of protein metabolites, increased cholesterol and acidification of the body it is easier to form stones, both in the urinary system and in the gallbladder.
Excess protein causes increased production of uric acid and urate, which crystallize in the joints (as well as in other organs in the form of sodium urate crystals). These crystals cause inflammation and very painful attacks of gout. The basis for gout treatment is to avoid excess protein in the diet.
Faster progression of atherosclerosis
The diet assumes eating large amounts of both animal and lean protein. Nevertheless, keep in mind that every, even the slimmest meat without a visible piece of fat, contains quite a lot of it. Animal meat is rich in saturated fatty acids, which is a substrate for the production of cholesterol – outstanding atherosclerosis of the creative factor. In addition, the deficiency of vitamins and micronutrients and unsaturated fatty acids with antioxidant effect makes the LDL cholesterol particles more aggressive and easier to penetrate the walls of the arteries, building atherosclerotic plaques.
Increase in blood pressure
The increase in blood pressure is indirect in many mechanisms. Excessive supply of protein often accompanies an excess of salt, which to excrete unnecessary sodium ions and metabolites metabolism of proteins increases the filling of vessels with water and thus an increase in blood pressure. Increasing blood pressure may also be a signal of the onset of kidney failure.
More intensive development of osteoporosis
It may seem strange that a dairy-rich diet is at risk for osteoporosis. The studies described in the literature have confirmed that the increased intake of protein, at the same time increases the excretion of calcium. An excess of ketone bodies, which involves excessive excretion of water, causes acidification of the body, mobilization of calcium from the bone and its escape in the urine.
Deficiency of numerous vitamins and microelements, unsaturated fatty acids, fiber and other ingredients necessary for the proper functioning of all systems and organs
Vitamins and microelements have a strong antioxidant potential, which means that they support the elimination of free radicals – often with inflammatory, atherosclerotic, carcinogenic, accelerating the aging of the body. Lack of fiber in the diet causes constipation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has been calling for a reduction in the consumption of red meat for several years. Statistics clearly show that people who consume red meat in larger quantities are more likely to suffer from atherosclerosis, metabolic diseases and cancer. Those who are particularly vulnerable to these diseases are those who are accompanied by a small amount of vegetables and fruits.
Despite these many drawbacks in the Dukan diet, you can also find several positive aspects, including
- no need to count calories and no quantitative restrictions on allowed products
- recommendation to increase the consumption of fatty fish, which is a source of unsaturated fatty acids from the Omega3 family (however, the Polish version of Dukan’s diet, for economic reasons, is usually based on meat and dairy)
- the need to drink water, which is an essential element of any slimming diet
- limiting the consumption of table salt.
The possibility of consuming unlimited amounts of allowed products is certainly an incentive for people who are afraid of constant feelings of hunger and the need to count calories. Although it is a low calorie diet, in which only lean products with limited fat content are allowed, the average person is not able to eat large amounts of mainly protein products.
Dukan’s diet is a monotonous diet that requires many sacrifices. Food for a change of meat, eggs, curd or yogurt, can get boring very quickly, even when someone likes these products very much. Such monotony may cause difficulties in the implementation of dietary recommendations and, as a last resort, discontinue its use – in this case the yo-yo effect is guaranteed.
Dukan’s diet allows you to quickly lose weight, so it is an effective diet. However, you must remember that slimming is not an end in itself, but a way to improve the appearance and, more importantly, improve your health. We want immediate and quick results, forgetting that for unnecessary kilograms we have worked often for many years. Expectations that we will get rid of them in a few days or weeks without any problems may prove fatal to us. The only effective and healthy cure for obesity is a well-balanced diet with reduced caloric value. The principles of healthy eating, consumption of products that provide the necessary nutrients, as well as physical effort is the most effective and healthiest way to lose unnecessary kilograms.