This is despite the fact that the developer of this particular diet, Frenchman Pierre Dukan, has actually been taken to court as a result of damages caused by it. Still, Turkey is in the grip of “Dukan madness,” says expert Yeşim Çelik, who notes that this diet can have a negative effect on the kidneys, cardiovascular system and muscles.
Swedish, Montignac, Atkins, German, Princess, Date, Cabbage, Karatay… When read together, these words might not mean much, but they are words etched into the minds of many of those pursuing weight loss. They all refer to diets that many believe will help you lose weight quickly. And unfortunately, every year, this list gets another name added to it! We say “unfortunately,” because the true experts assert that actually these sorts of diets are the perfect recipe for serious health problems. As mentioned above, the Dukan diet is one which has become particularly popular in Turkey, especially over the past seven or eight months.
Actually, the Dukan diet, developed by Dr. Pierre Dukan, has become popular worldwide. However, Pierre Dukan has been taken to court in his native France because of this diet. Some say that if he is found guilty in the case, he will be struck off. Dukan already lost a case he took out against another dietician who claimed his diet was unhealthy for people to follow.
Dietician Çelik, who says that despite some of the negative press surrounding the Dukan diet, its popularity continues in Turkey, notes that this diet is based on the consumption of low quantities of carbohydrate. In other words, the essence of this diet is to lose weight by consuming large amounts of protein. In the first stages of the diet, one is supposed to consume only meat and milk products. After the first 10 days, during which time meals are based on red meat, white meat, eggs, milk, yoghurt and fish, the person doing the diet is meant to start losing weight very quickly.
May trigger kidney malfunction
Doctor Kaan Güngör from the Memorial Şişli Hospital’s department of endocrinology, says diets based on eating large amounts of high protein foods wind up causing the loss of “water and muscle, but not fat.” One of the results of all this is that, throughout the course of such diets, patients will feel abnormally thirsty and will need to drink six-eight times more water than usual to meet their needs. This, in turn, has a negative effect on the kidneys. “With no carbohydrates being consumed, the proteins being taken in are used by the body as an energy source. This allows all sorts of harmful elements to come about in the kidneys, which is why we are encountering abnormalities in kidneys when we do tests on people doing such diets. Eating too much protein is one of the most important reasons for problems with the kidneys,” Güngör says.
When you stop the diet, you gain weight quickly
Another harmful aspect of protein-based diets is that the body takes on large amounts of fat suddenly, alongside all the protein. Güngör asserts that diets such as the Atkins, Dukan and Karatay actually increase the amount of fat in the stomach, the organs and the blood. This being the case, insulin resistance also increases, which is why the sense of feeling full or feeling hungry gets out of kilter. This, in turn, means that as soon as you stop this diet, you gain back lots of weight quickly. Güngör also notes that eating excessive amounts of protein can reduce the amount of muscles in the body and that people might feel extremely tired and weak after such a diet.
Also affects cardiovascular system
The Dukan diet also has a negative effect on the cardiovascular system, says Güngör, who notes: “The result of weight loss very quickly in the short term, and then gained back rapidly over the long term, is that it leads to cardiovascular problems. And the excessive amounts of protein in the body cause metabolic stress, which in turn causes early aging.”
Another negative effect
There is also attention being focused on the role that protein-rich diets play in certain cancers, most notably colon, stomach and pancreatic cancer. There are many scientific studies already in place that focus on connections between meat consumption and these cancers. Güngör says he believes that there is a connection between the digestion of protein and cancer.
Opposition to Dukan diet
Çelik says the diet developed by Dr. Pierre Dukan has a history that stretches back 11 years. Its basis is the consumption of very low amounts of carbohydrates, which is something that has been known for the past 30 years. The Dukan diet is one about which all dieticians already know, and which many oppose. Diets need to be personalized anyway, according to the person doing them. Furthermore, diets are not enough when it comes to treating obesity. One also needs to exercise and change habits.
Unhealthy diets also ruin psychological states
Dr. Güngör says the aim in losing weight must always be to increase health. When weight is lost through imbalanced and unhealthy diets, the person in question does not achieve long-lasting weight loss. In fact, when the diet is over, the person gains back even more weight. This, in turn, leads to a sense of learned hopelessness about the whole thing and makes weigh-loss seem impossible. This also causes all sorts of negative psychological effects in patients trying to, but not succeeding at, losing weight.