Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

""What is the Dukan diet, and is it recommended?""

ZocdocAnswers"What is the Dukan diet, and is it recommended?"


I'm a 44 year old female and my doctor recently told me I need to lose weight for health reasons. My friend told me about the Dukan diet, and I wanted to know whether it was safe. Is it recommended by doctors?


The Dukan diet originated in France but has subsequently spread around the world. Essentially, it is a high protein low carbohydrate diet not unlike the Atkins diet which is also quite popular here in the United States. High protein diets should not be started without clearing it first with your primary care doctor. This is because they may be dangerous in some individuals, such as those with kidney disease or diabetes. Also, a major disadvantage of these high protein diets is that they do not necessarily teach you how to eat moderately from a wide range of diverse foods, since artificially restricting the types of foods you eat is a necessary part of their weight loss strategy. This can be a problem for people who successfully lose weight with one of these diets but then have trouble keeping the weight off when they are done dieting. In addition to dieting, it will also be important to engage in exercise on a daily basis, since diet alone (without exercise) is much less likely to lead to successful weight loss. Your doctor can help you figure out what kinds of exercise are safe and healthy for you. Good luck, and congratulations for making the decision to work on this problem!

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.