The Dukan diet is a high protein, low carbohydrate diet in four phases. The first phase of the Dukan diet, the attack phase, consists of protein only. Nuts and beans, typical sources of protein for vegetarians, are not allowed on the Dukan diet. How then can a vegetarian create a diet menu consisting solely of protein only meals?
A pescetarian, commonly understood as a vegetarian who eats fish, will not have too much trouble meeting the demands of the Dukan diet. They can find enough protein in fish and shellfish. Meals made out of various fillets of fish, smoked salmon, mussels, prawn, crab meat, etc. will provide a plentiful supply of protein and variety. Many fish eating vegetarians (pescetarians) also eat animal products such as eggs and dairy. Smoked salmon and cottage cheese, a meal enjoyed by many meat eaters too, makes a perfect and delicious meal suitable for any phase of the Dukan diet.
However, there are vegetarians (perhaps the majority) that do not permit themselves fish. Vegetarians, after all, do not eat animal flesh and fish are animals! Is is possible for these people to follow the diet as well as their consciences?
Tofu, familiar to most vegetarians, is permitted on the diet. Dr. Dukan, whose book is not aimed at vegetarians, includes tofu in his list of permitted foods. Perhaps, through this diet, many meat eaters who previously saw no reason to add tofu to their diet will consider this food, popular worldwide, as a novel addition to their menus.
Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is not mentioned in the book however, it is a high protein food with some but low carbohydrate. Quorn, a mycoprotein, like TVP is not mentioned in the book. However it is also a high protein food that is low in carbohydrate. This vegetarian food is now available in many different forms and varieties. Some have higher carbohydrate contents than others, so vegetarians will need to shop carefully.
Skimmed milk, low fat cottage cheese, fromage frais, and quark are all mentioned and permitted on the diet. Unlike vegans, vegetarians allow themselves these products as well as eggs (also permitted on the diet). These foods can be used liberally although with some restriction on egg yolks and milk.
The challenge for the vegetarian who wishes to follow the Dukan diet will be to put together a viable meat free menu. While it may not be possible to reduce carbohydrate to the, minimal, levels advised by Dr. Dukan, it should be possible to get close to that ideal.