Poll: Atkins Diet vs. Dukan Diet

By Ted

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The Dukan Diet has been gaining popularity since it’s recent release in the USA and the folks at Atkins aren’t happy.

They recently sent out a press release including the following statement.

“The Atkins Diet remains the only low-carbohydrate weight loss approach scientifically validated as safe and effective.”

They go on to justify why Atkins is far superior to The Dukan Diet.Atkins has been heavily marketing their New Atkins Diet this year which focuses more on nutrition and is less restrictive than their previous version.

The Dukan Diet was originally developed in France 10 years ago, but has recently been released in English for the UK market and just this month became available in the USA.

So why does The Dukan Diet have the folks at Atkins shaking in their boots? Will it really challenge the low carb king? Participate in the poll or comments below.

14 Comments

  1. John 'Jan' C.

    Dukan Diet is a good choice if nothing else works or we need one with simple rules and easy to follow.

    The most important thing is to keep it off (what a surprise ;-)) so after a third fase you have to switch to a healthy lifestyle. If you do not then you are on the way to go back when you start.

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  2. lc4life

    I think it’s all about getting people to the stage where they can shop the perimeter of the grocery store (eg. produce, dairy, meat) and avoid the center aisles as much as possible–this it the ultimate goal of any diet. Some people just need more restrictive and strict methods to push them into that direction and others can simply get there by cutting back a bit. I, for one, had a major sugar/carb craving to overcome and needed the restrictive qualities of Atkins to wean me off. As an avid eater of 5-10 fruits and veggies per day (but most of it coming from fruit rather than veggies), I initially found it absurd that Atkins restricted fruit for so long (many fruits have great anti-oxidants and cancer-fighting properties). I soon realized that fruits did contribute to my need for sugar. Since being on Atkins, I can now say that I get my 5-10 servings of fruit and veggies per day and that almost all of it comes from vegetables and I think this is ultimately better. The few fruits I eat are varieties of berries (which are the best ones anyway). I also think I’d prefer Atkins to Dukan simply because of the higher fat content of Atkins. Atkins does not say, “eat tons and tons of fat (and it does ban all trans fats)” but it does allow higher amounts of natural fat foods. I don’t think I could have survived induction without some good cheese and the occasional dollop of whip cream with Splenda! As I said earlier–whatever it takes to get you to a better place where you make sensible choices and maintain a healthy weight. Good luck to all of you trying to get there!

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  3. atkiner

    its only the first phase that says 20g carbs a day, after the second phase its totally upto individual how active the lifestyle is and how much muscle mass one has, how fast is the metabolism, decides the tolerated number of carbs(ACE atkins carb equilibrium sth like that) to not gain weight anymore, just to sustain within healthy range

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  4. Dan

    Weight Watchers Points Plus program goes directly counter to Atkins in allowing unlimited fruit. This article in the New York Times contrasts Weight Watchers with Gary Taubes (a main spokesperson for Atkins) on the question of fruit. Eating even one or two fruits a day can easily put the person over the 20 gram carbohydrate limit for the day. Look it up in the New York Times on December 28 in the health section.

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  5. Susan

    I honestly believe that Atkins was right about everything. A low-carb diet breaks addictions, lowers cholesterol, results in more weight loss, etc.

    Even the new Weight Watchers Points Plus diet has incorporated his findings…more protein, fewer carbs.

    People have always bashed Atkins because the media portrayed it as this crazy diet where you ate a pound of bacon in the morning and a dozen eggs. In reality, the diet, sustained over a long period of time, incorporates lots of veggies, some lowcarb fruit, and reasonable amounts of protein.

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  6. Dan

    I think the common problem with low fat was that people were eating a lot of processed low fat foods, such as low fat ice cream, low fat candy and the like. A Vegan diet can be naturally low fat, since beans have a lot less fat than does meat- very few people were actually following a genuine non processed low fat diet. My non trained but inquiring mind about nutrition is that LOWER Carb or LOWER fat diets can be beneficial. I have read reports of benefits of LOWER carb diets where Carbs are lowered to perhaps 40% of calories which would be about 200 grams on a 2000 calorie diet. This kind of diet would help Monique. However, I don’t think a ketogenic diet where Carbs are lowered to about 20 grams a day is that healthy, since carbs are the main fuel for the brain and for muscles. Of course refined carbs should be limited. Likewise, I might lower fat intake, but not severely limit good fats. I personally am not nearly as low fat as Dean Ornish is. For instance, I eat about 3 or 4 ounces of nuts each day. Ornish is opposed to eating nuts. From what I’ve read, I have gathered they can be good for the heart. Ornish does see the benefit in Omega 3 fats, however. I do think Ornish is right and Atkins was wrong about saturated fat. Experimental studies do show that saturated fat does impair arterial function. Even Loren Cordain of the Paleo diet said there was harm in Palmitic acid. He also refuted the idea that primitive cultures eat saturated fat and show no signs of heart disease- he clearly stated the Inuit do have hardening of the arteries. Refined carbs, and saturated fats need to be limited. Trans fats should be eliminated. However, exercise does aid the body in countering the ill effects of these things. However Spectra was correct that an active persons needs carbs to fuel their exercise. One should always consume fiber with sugar, but sugar can be consumed right before a person is going to do heavy exercise. One can consume between 10 and 35 percent of calories from fat. I wouldn’t go any lower than 10%. The healthy fats just need to be worked into one’s calorie budget.

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  7. DietGuru

    The problem with low-fat diets are that they’re usually high-carb also… you can lose weight on them through calorie restriction, but your overall health might not get any better. And in the long run you reach a point where you can’t restrict your calories anymore.

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  8. ArrowSmith

    The key word is ACTIVE.

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  9. Dan

    I think it is absurd to blame genuine low fat diets for obesity and diabetes. All research states that a plant based low fat diet reverses diabetes, cancer and heart disease, and obesity. On the other hand, even the Inuit, who follow a natural Atkins like
    diet, have been found to have hardening of the arteries, even prior to western influences. And actually it was Loren Cordain of the Paleo diet who stated this of the Inuit, not Dean Ornish. The problem was that many people ate more refined carbs in place of fat in their diet- Dean Ornish advocates complex carbs instead.

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  10. Monique

    The previous comments do not reflect everyone’s opinion – certainly not mine.

    As someone who needs to keep blood sugar down (because it has started to become too high), I eat low carb and I’m healthier because of it. There is no “one size fits all”, in diet or anything else.

    If you do low carb properly and get your carbs from a variety of healthy veggies, you can follow Atkins (which I follow) and benefit! It’s also true that the human diet has always included fat – but we have recently demonized it. By all factors, human health in places like North America – which has promoted low fat and eating more carbs – has worsened, from higher rates of illnesses like diabetes to rampaging rates of obesity.

    As for it being a known fact that both of these diets are unhealthy, this deduction can’t be based on the same research I’ve been reading. Even Oprah and Dr Oz will tell you that if you want to lose weight, you need to lower your carbs and increase your protein. The fact that these same people don’t advocate a really low carb option makes sense – they are pitching to the masses (who may or may not need a really low carb approach.)

    However, the basic science remains – low calorie diets (that don’t decrease carbs and increase protein and/or include fat) don’t work for the long term because deprivation doesn’t work long term. Also, without enough fat there is no “satiation” which results in problems with maintaining a diet. Low carb can and does work long term – there is satisfaction in the food and I stay full from one meal to the next. It’s even healthy, as long as you don’t think Atkins means eating bacon all day. (If you read Atkins’ book – even from the earlier editions – you’ll see that he never meant that.)

    No matter the diet, you still have to get actual nutrition. Any “diet” based on processed foods and junk will never work in the long term – even if it’s low calorie.

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  11. Dennis Blair Fort Collins Personal Trainer

    I agree with both Pater and Spectra. They are extreme diets. No one is going to continue these diets for their entire life. That is why these fad diets fail time and time again. I wish people would stop being so gullible.

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  12. Spectra

    To me, they are both a little on the extreme side–I don’t think restricting your carb intake that much is a great idea, especially if you are active. Just focus on eating real foods, lots of fruits and veggies, and avoid processed foods. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

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  13. Pater Rolf Hermann Lingen

    Better?
    Both “diets” are unhealthy. This fact is known and proven, and therefore these “diets” should better be called “ideologies”.
    Just eat healthy (you know: whole grain carbs, polyunsaturated fat, essential proteins), and simply control / cut your calorie intake.

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    • Jon

      Actually controlled research shows that low carb diets produce improved markers for cholesterol and insulin response which lessens the chance of serious illness.
      However, I simply don’t like the term “low carb” as it demonises all carbs. Vegetables are carbohydrates and yet are probably the most healthful of foods. As for carb eating cultures, our Asian friends eat mainly vegetables (tons of them in fact) Vegetables are known to counteract disease. As for rice, yes they eat it but not as much as you might think, only a small bowl of rice and they don’t eat bread or cereal or sweet treats so their grain and sugar consumption is minimal. Same with the French paradox, yes the French eat bread but they don’t traditionally eat cereals and only very small desserts (if any). Same applies to the true Mediterranean diets. I certainly wouldn’t call any type of grain healthy. They have been proven to cause huge insulin spikes (even whole-grains just not as quickly), inflammation (a major cause of disease) and even tooth decay. Grains are basically a sugar food and as we all know, sugar is detrimental to health….ask any diabetic.

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