Adapting The Dukan Diet For Vegetarians
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Before we get into how to make the Dukan diet vegetarian friendly we need to first establish what is behind the term "vegetarian". Although people often bundle many different eating choices under this common term they are in fact vastly different, and some might be easier to accommodate while following the Dukan diet than others.

Flexiterians - people who mainly follow a vegetarian diet, but are not 100% strict. Often used as a transitioning phase - such people will reduce the meat consumption but not remove it completely.

Pollotarians - people who still eat poultry. Pescetarians - people who still eat fish.

There is also a type called "pollo-pescatarian" that eats both fish and poultry. The above are sometimes not considered "real" vegetarians, by stricter vegetarians.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians - this is the most common group, that includes people who eat eggs and dairy products.

Lacto vegetarians - people in this group will eat dairy, but not eggs.

Vegans - people who avoid all animal products; no eggs, dairy or even honey is allowed.

Raw vegans - like vegans, but only eat raw produce.

Fruitarians - people who eat only fruits (including things like tomatoes and courgettes), nut and seeds, but not roots (like carrots or potatoes).

The first three groups shouldn't have a huge problem following the diet. Unfortunately the other ones get progressively harder, to practically impossible near the end of the list. The diet was "discovered" thanks to a patient who was "in love" with meat. As dairy and meat are easily accessible sources for high quantities of protein people who enjoy eating those products are a natural audience for the diet.

It's important to note here, that there isn't one perfect diet for every single person on the planet, and depending on your personal food preference you need to find what will work for you. The best "diets" are the ones that change your behaviour and eating habits for the rest of your life. If you can't wait for the diet to finish and absolutely hate whatever the meals are that it suggests, then it's most likely not a solution for you. However if you are willing to give the Dukan diet a spin as a vegetarian, below are some handy tips.

Identify allowed protein sources

A list of allowed protein sources on the diet includes the following:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Eggs (increase the egg whites for added protein)
  • Dairy
  • Tofu
  • Quorn

Notice the lack of nuts (too fat) and beans (too starchy). Unfortunately these are not allowed on the diet, so you have to be creative with the other items on the list.

Because protein is the basis of this diet, so whatever you can eat from the list above will be visiting your plate often during all the phases of the Dukan diet. Make sure you can find something you like in there.

Fish and Seafood

If you eat fish, you will find it easy to meet the demands of the high protein content of the Dukan diet. Fish and shellfish have enough protein in them to replace the meat portions easily. Some suitable meal replacement options could be fillet of fish, smoked salmon, mussels, prawn, crab meat, and the like which are all full of the necessary protein while giving a vegetarian a wide range of variety on the diet.

Many pescetarians will also eat a few other animal products such as dairy or eggs, which are known to be an excellent source of protein. A good example is a smoked salmon and cottage cheese meal which makes a delicious substitute meal for any phase of the Dukan diet.

Tofu & Quorn

Still, most vegetarians do not permit themselves fish so they will have to find other alternatives to fit the high protein, low carbohydrate requirements of the plan. One alternative allowed on the diet is tofu which is very familiar to most vegetarians. Perhaps, through this diet even those who are meat eaters will find that adding tofu to their diet will be an unexpectedly pleasant addition to their eating habits.

Another option is textured vegetable protein (TVP) which although not mentioned in the book, has been confirmed as an allowed option in the form of plain Quorn in the official chats. It comes in many variations; however you need to be careful when choosing the non-plain options as they might be high in carbs or fat.

Surviving the attack phase

The first phase of the diet is the strictest. As such you are allowed very little outside of the pure protein foods above. As a vegetarian, especially one of the more restrictive types, you might consider shortening this phase slightly. Also watch your body's reaction, move on once the weight loss stops or if you feel a lack of energy.

The Cruise phase

As vegetables are allowed on PV days you will see your choices expand here. You do still need to keep including the types of protein you can have on both PP and PV days though. No fruit or starchy vegetables are allowed (think potatoes, corn, etc.), but to list some of the things you can have:

  • Tomatoes
  • Courgettes
  • Salad leaves
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • Leek
  • Pumpkin
  • and more...
  • This means you can create dishes like soups, salads, etc.

    Last two phases

    As the last two phases are about getting you back to a less "diety" way of eating, you can start introducing vegetarian friendly foods that were not allowed before like beans or potatoes for your starchy meals, and enjoy the celebration meal with whatever you like.


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