Dukan diet side effects should not scare you off from adopting this highly effective diet plan. With any kind of diet that encourages and limits certain kinds of consumption, there will be some health problems faced, which can be dealt with easily. However, this depends on your consumption pattern, body type, and medical history.
Dukan Diet Side Effects – What Causes Them?
The strong emphasis on proteins and the lack of carbohydrates in this diet plan results in rapid weight loss, but also some of the Dukan diet side effects. This diet has four stages, each of which is vital for burning fat. Vegetables like carrots, peas, and spinach, which are low in carbohydrates are not allowed in the initial (Attack) phase.
The Dukan diet side effects can be severe for those with heart conditions and weak liver functions. Due to the restrictive nature of this diet, there can be health issues like kidney failure and gout, but these can be combated with certain precautionary measures.
Despite these slightly negative results you cannot discount the fact that the Dukan diet promotes healthy living and a successful weight loss regime. A high metabolic rate and regulated cholesterol levels are the positives that can counter the minor Dukan diet side effects.
Top 4 Dukan Diet Side Effects To Watch Out For
One of the major Dukan diet side effects is caused due to ketosis, a process in which the body burns fat for energy, since the diet restricts consumption of carbohydrates. As a result, your body’s glycogen levels are reduced and this dip in the body’s sugar content often leads to mood swings especially while experiencing hunger. This risks liver and kidney function, and causes muscle damage in the body. However, the Dukan diet does not completely restrict carbohydrates. This is only during the first stage, which is called the Attack Stage. The ketosis process itself can be highly useful, as concluded by the following study.
In 1995, John Hopkins Hospital conducted a study amongst seizure patients who were on a ketogenic diet. By the end of the study, a 60% reduction in seizure frequency and the risks of seizure was observed, and these results were attributed to the process of ketosis.
The third stage (Consolidation Stage) of the Dukan diet includes a more wholesome and balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, and grains. This allows the body to restore its balance. It is important that the first phase lasts only a week, so as to avoid any permanent risk to your organs.
Ketosis also causes bad breath. Acetone is produced due to high protein consumption and it has a distinct scent, which leads to prolonged bad breath. This is one of the Dukan diet side effects that can be easily countered by chewing cilantro or mint regularly.
Electrolyte imbalance is one of the Dukan diet side effects that may be experienced during the first phase of the diet. Due to the lack of fiber and low carbohydrate consumption in this phase, the body is not able to release toxins on a regular basis. This leads to conditions like diarrhea and constipation.
Electrolyte imbalance can be easily avoided by eating 1 to 2 tablespoons of oat bran daily during the Attack stage. In the next three stages, you can increase the dosage by 3 tablespoons. There should also be a regular intake of water, as this helps in preventing tartar and uric acid build-ups in the mouth.
Carbohydrate Withdrawal Symptoms
Dukan diet side effects are mainly caused due to sudden carbohydrate withdrawal. The most common symptom is induction flu, which occurs when the body does not receive its regular dose of fat and carbohydrates. You can suffer from fever, nausea, headache, irritability, loss of concentration, and mood swings. These side effects are restricted to the first phase of the diet.
As per the American Dietetic Association Journal, 1980, people who were on a prolonged low-carbohydrate diet experienced an increase in the levels of uric acid, LDL-cholesterol, and free fatty acid in their body.
A low-carb diet like the Dukan diet accounts for negative metabolic effects. These can be avoided by consuming 5 gm of carbohydrates in the Consolidation phase daily. With the right amount of green leafy vegetables and watery fruits like watermelon, the body is able to store glycogen and restore its normal balanced functions.
- Severe Health Conditions
The high protein intake, especially lean meats, can result in irregular bowel movement. This can be countered with a daily intake of oat bran. But there may be some long term health conditions as part of the Dukan diet side effects. The lack of nutrition caused by avoiding certain fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can lead to a lack of antioxidants, which are required for crucial body functions like metabolism and digestion. An insufficient supply of antioxidants leads to diseases like cancer, premature ageing, heart conditions, and cataracts.
The Dukan diet side effects are all limited to the first phase of this diet plan. They are particularly severe if you stretch the Attack phase of the Dukan diet for too long. This is why it becomes necessary not to prolong the Attack phase that restricts the consumption of necessary nutrients. Instead it is important for you to move on to the Consolidation phase by the 6th day of the diet, so that you can consume all kinds of food in balanced quantities.
The Dukan diet side effects can be avoided with the right precautionary measures. Don’t be deterred by them, as you will then be missing out on a good and healthy diet for weight loss.