Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Diet Wars - Dukan vs. Establishment

Today's news includes a report of a libel suit by the popular French low carb "weightloss guru" Dr. Dukan.  He lost his case against another popular weightloss proponent, Dr. Cohen, who argued that his method could cause serious health problems in some patients.

I haven't been able to dig up much more information about the allegations.  If you ask me what is going on, I suspect it's more about libel than the underlying science.  In my opinion, any diet can cause serious health problems in some patients, especially if they have underlying medical issues to begin with.

I am somewhat familiar with Dr. Dukan's approach, which is more structured than what works for me.  He also allows limited quantities of grains, depending on where you are in the programme.  Now that I know how inflammatory wheat is, I doubt that I will ever go back to eating it again.  But he is very popular in Europe, and there is no denying that many people have lost significant amounts of weight with his diet. 

One Dukan success story is documented with incredible detail on How Stuff Works.  The author's before and after pictures are striking.  While he lost more weight than I did, and what he used to eat was much more unhealthy than what I ever ate, I did identify with many of his comments.  For example:
If you had told me in April 2010 that I would weigh 175 in October, I would have laughed heartily. There was absolutely no way that could happen. Yet here I am....

I will never be able to go back to “the way I used to eat” before this diet, because before this diet I inhaled carbs — 3,000 or 4,000 calories worth per day. Breakfast cereal, pizza, pasta, lasagna, potato chips, fruit juices, sweetened yogurt, rice, potatoes, french fries, burgers, etc. I won’t be able to do that or I would be obese again in no time. However, the Dukan diet has educated me in a big way on the problems with high-carb diets and all the blood sugar swings that they induce.
What also grabbed my attention in his writing was the image I posted at the top of this page.  Remember what I wrote yesterday about liposuction causing fat to accumulate around the belly?  Doesn't it become more tangible when you can see that visceral abdominal fat inside the abdomen of the 250lb person above?

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