The Complete Dukan Diet Cookbook by then doctor, Pierre Dukan, was published in France in 2011 by Flammarion and in Britain in 2012, by Hodder and Stoughton.
During this time, a French court ruled that nutritionist Jean-Michel Cohen, hadn’t libelled him, when he criticised Dukan’s weight loss regime. Dukan was then subjected to a disciplinary hearing for making remarks about the weight of Baccalaureat students. The Ordre de Medecins said that he had broken their code of practice, for practising medicine as a business. He was removed from the organisation at his request.
The final blow came in 2014, when he was struck off the medical register, for commercial promotion of his diet.
There was no question that Pierre Dukan had acted with impropriety or negligence, or that his diet hadn’t had some successes. It does seem that the French medical organisations hounded him for something which wouldn’t be a problem in the USA eg The Atkins Diet (Dr Robert Atkins), The Wheat Belly Diet (Dr William Davis). Even in the UK, doctors working largely outside the NHS can formulate and promote diets eg Waist Disposal (Dr John Briffa), The Pioppi Diet (Dr Aseem Malhotra).
Controversy aside, how does the diet work ? Dukan decided that too many carbs lead to obesity and that too much fat leads to heart disease (untrue). He decided that he would go for a high protein diet, which was the first in France. He didn’t recommend it to renal patients, however.
Dukan compiled a list of 100 foods. 72 high-protein foods and 28 vegetables. After the strict Attack phase, dieters move through Consolidation, which alternates between proteins and proteins + vegetables. The Stabilization phase includes a protein day, every Thursday.
Dukan’s magic ingredient, which he introduces at 1.5 tablespoons per day, then 2, 2.5 and finally, in Stabilization, 3 tablespoons of oat bran per day. This could be gluten-free, depending on brand, but it’s not low carb.
Dukan has compiled around 1200 recipes and 300 of those feature in this book. People on a gluten-free diet will find plenty of recipes for them, including bread.
Many of the sauces are gluten-free, being flourless and some are low carb eg Dukan mayonnaise, tomato sauce, American-sty;e oil-free mayonnaise, Hollandaise, gribiche, shallot sauce, caper sauce, spinach sauce, lemon and chive sauce and fromage frais and fennel sauce. These can be useful to jazz up plain veg, as an alternative to yet more butter.
Low carb starters include a flourless chicken quiche, three salmon timbale, Thai chicken broth, salmon carpaccio with fromage frais sauce, chilled Feta and cucumber soup, paprika tomato crisps, ham roulades, salmon and fennel terrine, iced cucumber soup with prawns, Dukan coleslaw, Provencale vegetable tart, cream of chicory soup with herbs, oeufs mollets des sous-bois, artichoke hearts with soft-boiled eggs, asparagus clafoutis and more.
Quite a few of the recipes will need whole not skimmed milk, full fat not reduced fat cream cheese and other minor tweaks.
Low carb mains include rabbit and turkey herb parcels, meatballs with rosemary and mint, veal chops with herbs, tandoori chicken, herb-stuffed baked salmon, thyme chicken with a herb sauce, Milan-style veal escalopes, lamb tagine with artichokes, salt-crusted sea bream, Normandy whiting fillets, lime and salt-crusted poussin, spinach oven-baked cod and chicory parcels, anchovy omelette strips, scallops with sorrel, fish parcels with vegetables and ginger, paupiettes de veau jonquille, roast lemon poussin with cherry tomatoes, quails stuffed with cottage cheese and celeriac, tarragon chicken with chanterelle mushrooms, boeuf a la ficelle, venison stew with celeriac puree, Cretan moussaka, stuffed courgettes, courgette and turkey souffle, free-range saffron chicken and garlicky leg of lamb.
Vegetables and vegetarian dishes include Provencal tian, tofu and spinach pie, courgette tagine and vegetarian lasagne. Many of the starters are vegetarian also.
Puddings – coffee and cinnamon granita, vanilla-nutmeg custards, lime sorbet, oeufs a la neige, iced lemon mousse, chocolate mousse and chocolate ramekins,
Big choice and those tried eg Cretan moussaka (above) Provencale tian and garlic-stuffed chicken with herbs, for example have all been excellent. There are enough recipes which can be adapted, to make it worthwhile buying the book.
No low carb diet will have a huge range of desserts and cakes, unless cooks are happy to shove in large quantities of artificial sweeteners and weirdo flours. The body doesn’t see them as anything but sugar. Also, it seems pretty pointless, going on a low carb diet to lose weight, but still stuff yourself with carbs and sugar substitutes. That doesn’t address the sugar addiction at all.