Dukan Diet: What You Need to Know

The Ideal Candidate

Who can expect to benefit the most from the Dukan Diet? The evidence suggests that it's rare to find a dieter disciplined enough to manage the balance that the diet requires to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, it's not unheard of.

Marshall Brain, the founder of HowStuffWorks.com, is a loyal and satisfied participant of the diet. Dukan's formula, Brain told MSNBC, allowed him to drop more than 50 pounds over a six-month period. "For the first time, I feel like I have the tools I need to control my weight," said Brain [source: Raymond].

Brain's comments echo that of the program's founder. "We doctors have weighed up the risks and the benefits. I consider that the real risk is an excess of weight and obesity," Dukan told the French newspaper, Le Parisien. "Every day there are people who die from this and I am trying to fight against it" [source: Willsher].

However, the very fact that the European and American medical communities are so divided about the Dukan Diet should serve a significant red flag. "High-protein diets lack critical nutrients," Dr. Karol Watson of UCLA's Program in Preventive Cardiology told WebMD. "Restricting carbohydrates means you restrict plant-based foods, which are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants" [source: Hatfield].

The bottom line? Make sure you go into the program with your eyes wide open, and opt for a diet plan that offers not only weight loss, but also sound long-term solutions to your nutritional needs and eating habits.

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