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Dukan diet gains popularity and criticism in US

dukandiet031811_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Whether it is true or not, use of the Dukan diet has reportedly been linked to Kate Middleton, Jennifer Lopez and Gisele Bündchen.

The Dukan Diet was created by French physician Pierre Dukan over 10 years ago. It is done in four phases, and it incorporates a lot of protein, and few calories.

The Dukan Diet has sold 10 million copies worldwide, but thestar.com reports it didn’t really hit big in the US until Carole Middleton said that her daughter Kate, scheduled to marry Prince William on April 29, was using it to lose weight.

Thedukandietinfo.com explains that its key is to eliminatee carbohydrate-rich foods and bring in as many proteins as possible. The idea is to prevent yo-yo dieting.

Dukan admits the Dukan diet is somewhat like the Atkins diet. But his dieters don’t need to count carbohydrates.

Webmd.com explains that the first phase is called the "Attack" phase. You are allowed to eat as much lean protein as you want, and you can have 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran and 1.5 liters of water each day.

After that is the "Cruise" phase, where every other day you can have all you want of 28 non-starchy vegetables along with two tablespoons of oat bran and unlimited lean and low-fat protein.

In Phase 3, called "Consolidation," you can have unlimited amounts of protein and vegetables every day, along with one piece of low-sugar fruit, 2 slices of whole-grain bread, and 1 portion of hard cheese.

You get somewhat of a break during this phase, as you are allowed 1-2 servings of starchy foods and 1-2 meals where you can eat whatever you want each week. But you also begin the lifetime commitment of eating the core diet of pure protein one day each week, preferably on the same day.

Phase 4 is called "Stabilization," and involves maintenance. Dukan says you can eat whatever you like and not regain the weight if you follow his rules - one day a week, follow the same all-protein diet as in Phase 1; eat 3 tablespoons of oat bran a day; and walk for 20 minutes daily and never use elevators or escalators.

Dukan is not without his critics. An article by Judith J. Wurtman in the Huffington Post expresses fears about mood swings that may occur from the lack of carbohydrates to produce serotonin in the brain.

She says women have about 25 percent less serotonin in their brains than men, which may account for the higher cases of depression among women. Low serotonin activity has been linked to fibromyalgia, difficulty in falling asleep, lack of focus, and PMS.

The natural way to create serotonin is through eating carbohydrates except fruit.

The National Agency for Food, Environmental and Work Health Safety in France calls the Dukan diet one of 15 imbalanced and potentially risky diets. And it has been labeled as one of the five worst diets of 2011 by the British Dietetic Association.

Dukan dismisses the doubters, saying all diets are unbalanced; that’s how you lose weight. He says any nutritional deficiencies which may be caused by the diet are temporary.

 

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