The Dukan diet instructs followers to base their meals on high-protein, low-carbohydrate foods. While dieters are allowed some high-carbohydrate foods by the plan's final phase, the first phase, known as the Attack phase, is highly restrictive. Dr. Pierre Dukan, the Dukan diet creator, claims that following the Attack phase guidelines can help you lose up to 7 pounds in five days. However, the health experts who reviewed the diet for "U.S. News & World Report" say the program is unsustainable and unhealthy. Don't begin the Dukan diet before talking to your doctor.
During the Dukan diet's Attack phase, you may consume unlimited amounts of poultry, fish, shellfish and lean cuts of beef. This includes extra-lean types of processed or cured meats such as ham, bacon and sausage; low-fat deli meats; buffalo; rabbit; venison; veal; ostrich and organ meats such as chicken liver or beef kidneys. The diet rules say to avoid eating poultry skin, and to choose cooking methods with no added fat, such as roasting or grilling.
For variety, Dukan diet Attack phase followers can include some plant-based protein sources in their daily meals, such as tempeh, seitan, tofu or commercial soy products such as veggie burgers. The Harvard School of Public Health advises limiting your consumption of soy to no more than four servings a week. Certain products, which are prepared from a soy-free protein derived from fungi, are also allowed on the plan.
Fat-Free Dairy and Eggs
You're allowed to eat plenty of dairy products during the Attack phase as long as they are nonfat. Fat-free brands of cream cheese, milk, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and ricotta cheese can all be included in your meals, though hard cheeses such as cheddar are not permitted. Quail, duck and chicken eggs are also considered Attack phase foods. There is no limit to the number of egg whites you can have daily, though the National Institutes of Health says you should have no more than four whole eggs per week, fewer if you have high cholesterol.
You're allowed to use salt, pepper, herbs, spices, lemon zest, garlic and diced onions to add flavor to your food during the Attack phase. You can also use condiments such as mustard, vinegar and soy sauce as long as they do not contain any added fat or carbohydrates. You can use sugar-free gelatin. Dieters are instructed to avoid cooking fats, including all types of oils, butter and margarine.
Bran and Fluids
To keep your digestive system healthy during the Attack phase, Dukan says dieters should consume 1 1/2 tablespoons of oat bran each day and drink plenty of calorie-free liquids. Water, coffee, diet soda and all types of tea are allowed. Artificial sweeteners can be added to your coffee or tea, but any form of sugar is forbidden.