April 20, 2018

The Atkins, Mayo, Dukan diets… Ever heard of them?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, dieting is not recommended during the treatment of prostate cancer. If you are overweight and you received the ok from your doctor, aim for a gradual weight loss of 0.5 to 1 kilo (1 to 2 pounds) maximum per week to promote fat loss, rather than muscle loss1. But watch out for popular diets.

Whether they advocate a diet reduced in fat, sugar, focused on fruits and vegetables or proteins, these diets induce, according to researchers, "dangerous" food imbalances due to excess or lack of nutrients, in addition to making us gain even more weight than before once we stop2. Here are a few of these diets:

The Atkins Diet
The Atkins approach is to remove all carbohydrates - i.e. pasta, rice, potatoes, bread, fruits, even vegetables such as beans or soybeans - and more generally anything that contains sugar. Conversely, the Atkins diet allows you to consume meat, fish, butter, cheese and eggs without restraint. This diet should be banned for obvious reasons.

The Dukan Diet
The Dukan diet consists only of protein (meat, fish, egg ...) with or without vegetables depending on the diet phase. No sugar - sweets, pastries, pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, pulses or fruit - is allowed in spite of gala meals to avoid losing your mind. Deficient in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, it causes overwork of the kidneys (too much protein), is dangerous for the heart and may increase the risk of colorectal cancer (too little fibers). Dr. Dukan was expelled from the College of Physicians in France in 2014.

The Mayo Diet
The Mayo diet is a very strict 15-day diet with daily consumption of only 6 eggs, tomatoes and unlimited salad, 2 grapefruit and a slice of wholegrain bread. The diet causes great fatigue (too low in calories), increases the rate of bad cholesterol and is deficient in calcium and vitamins. Yo-yo effect of weight-loss and weight-gain guaranteed.

The Scarsdale Diet
The Scardale diet is based on the complete elimination of fats (oil, butter and cream), sugars (sweets, cakes, sweets, alcohol ...), starchy foods (rice, bread, pasta, pulses, semolina, quinoa ...), fatty meat (lamb, chicken skin, pork loin ...) and fatty dairy products (cheese, whole milk yogurt ...). In addition to being totally unbalanced and deficient in nutrients, this 14-day diet does not encourage the establishment of healthy lifestyle habits.

Last but not the least
Detox diets are only really drastic diets, very low in calories that will make you lose water. The substances called toxins are eliminated regularly but especially naturally by our body and more particularly our liver.

What about diets to fight cancer?
Regarding fasting and restrictive diets (calorie, protein, carbohydrate restriction or ketogenic diet), the systematic review and analysis of scientific data show that there is no evidence of a protective effect in humans in primary prevention (with regard to the development of cancers) or a beneficial effect during the disease (whether it is a curative effect or an optimization of the effect of cancer treatments)5. Published in November 2017, this report is available here in French only.

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