(NaturalNews) By now, there is little doubt that following a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet will lead to weight loss. When readers think of this kind of diet, they likely think of Atkins, South Beach, Sugar Busters!, or even The Zone, and there have been hundreds of dieters to prove that weight loss can happen with these diets. Perhaps that's why another low-carb diet is already becoming popular in the United States after existing for ten years in Europe. However, long-term health should not be ignored when a person chooses to follow a diet.
The Dukan Diet, named after its creator French nutritionist Dr. Pierre Dukan, advocates a high-protein diet approach to weight loss. Not unlike Atkins, the diet is broken up into four phases. Early phases severely restrict carb intake, while later phases allow more and more carbs to be added back into the diet. The fourth phase (again, like Atkins) is a lifetime phase, which allows dieters to maintain their weight long term. In addition, Dukan dieters must also ingest daily doses of oat bran, drink lots of water, and also take short walks every day.
There are several problems with the Dukan Diet (which has been linked to future Princess of Wales Kate Middleton and her family). One is that, because few vegetables and no fruits are eaten in the first two phases of the diet, the diet is not as diverse as a body needs, and dieters will not be getting key vitamins and minerals that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can provide (even when they do take the diet's recommended daily multivitamin). In addition, many followers of the diet suffer from constipation (due to lack of fiber), potential kidney problems (due to the intake of too much protein), and bad breath, just like the Atkins' diet.
Yes, there's no doubt that this diet can lead to weight loss, just like other carb-restrictive diets of the past. Long-term health, though, should also be considered when a person chooses to follow a diet. While weight loss may be achieved, what is the cost? High-protein, low-carb diets aren't the answer. For health, diets should revolve around healthy, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables that are naturally low calorie and full of necessary vitamins and minerals.
Cindy Jones-Shoeman is the author of Last Sunset and a Feature Writer for Academic Writing at Suite101. Some of Cindy's interests include environmental issues, vegetarian and sustainable lifestyles, music, and reading.