The Dukan Diet: Easy, but Is It Safe?

turkeyThe Dukan diet, long popular in France, is making it’s way to the States, and people are buzzing.  Seemingly a dieter’s dream, this diet relies on a lean protein, low-fat approach. Invented by Dr. Pierre Dukan somewhat accidentally, the diet has been compared to Atkins. But the real question is–can a diet that promises no hunger or calorie counting and a lifetime of fitness really work?

The answer is yes, and no. European celebrities, from Kate Middleton’s mother to French politicians, have embraced the diet which works in 4 distinct stages. The first stage requires the dieter to eat non-fat high-protein foods, included oatbran (mush anyone?)with lots and lots of water. The second stage allows vegetables, and the third allows a bit of carbs and fruit, along with two meals a week that include wine and dessert. The final stage is allows you to eat anything 6 days a week with one day of stage one eating. Of course, there is little outside of anecdotal evidence to support claims that the diet is effective.

It all sounds easy enough, but is it safe? Governmental organizations in France and the UK have deemed it to be a risky diet. It has not been scientifically researched and turns out to be very hard on the kidneys. So, what’s the takeaway? Basically, it’s another risky fad diet that makes a lot of promises. The best way to lose weight is, unfortunately, still the hard way.

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