- Why oat bran?
- How much is enough?
- What is Dietary Fiber?
- Where to buy oat bran?
- Alternatives to oat bran in Dukan Diet
Dr Dukan recommends eating oat bran throughout all of the four phases of his diet. There’s more than one good reason for that.
Protein rich diets lack the dietary fiber which is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in the entire digestion process.
That said, oat bran is not just another item on the Dukan Diet Safe Food List. In fact, this fiber-rich supplement is the kind of food that will make your weight loss easy, quick and healthy.
Why oat bran?
In his books, Dukan recommends specifically oat bran as a supplementary source of fiber. He mentions two unique properties that make this fiber-rich product so diet-friendly.
After being swallowed, oat bran’s soluble fibers increase their volume by absorbing water. 1 tbsp (tablespoon = 14 g = 0.5 oz) can absorb up to 300 grams (10.5 oz) of water forming a mass that’s quite enough to invoke a quick and long-lasting feeling of fullness.
2. Viscosity / Stickiness
After leaving your stomach, fiber finds its way to your small intestine. Now, a sticky mass of swollen fiber stick to and binds with other particles, including toxins, heavy metals and, what’s even more important on a weigh-loss diet, carbohydrates. Thanks to the latter, the overall calorific score of your meal is be decreased.
According to Dukan, there are many kinds of different brans but not all of them are as equally beneficial as those made of oats. Moreover, it seems that the manufacturing process can infuence bran’s dietary potential. Dukan mentions two particular manufacturing parameters that play a crucial role here:
- Milling that determines the size of the particles and
- Sifting that involves separating the (oat) bran from the (oat) flour
In short, milling can’t be too fine as this would deprive bran of its effectiveness. On the other hand, if the product is too coarse it may lose its viscosity. Sifting must be thorough so that the bran is pure and contains no flour. Too much sifting on the other hand raises the price of the final product.
I am not really convinced that it is so important to use only one kind of oat bran. In fact, you can buy ‘certificated’ oat bran on the official Dukan site. I believe, that the main reason why dr Pierre Dukan elaborated upon the oat bran production process in his book was to market his own brand of oat bran. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. On the contrary, if you want to have 100% diet-compliant food try the original oat bran (where to buy).
How much is enough?
Dukan encourages everyday oat bran supplementation as follows:
Phase I and Phase II is the time when a dieter faces the most severe fiber deficiency. Nonetheless, oat bran is quite a concentrated source of fiber and thus one should introduce it gradually into the menu . On the other hand, as soon as you add more vegetables (and ultimately fruit; Phase III & IV) to your diet, the fiber supplementation will not be that much important. Below, I present a table that shows Daily Reference Values (DRV) of dietary fiber for men and women at different ages. For reference: 1 tbsp of oat bran contains approx. 1.8 g of pure fiber.
Adequate Intake (AI) for Fiber
What is Dietary Fiber?
Dietary fiber is a name that describes a number of indigestible substances of vegetable origin. They are a part of most of vegetables, fruits, grains and leguminous plants (like beans, peas). That being so, you won’t find any fiber in meat, fish, egg, milk, butter, alcohol or oil.
Dietary fiber beneficial properties
Despite not being digestible, fiber plays an essential part in human nutrition. Dietary fiber benefits:
- Reduces appetite by increasing food volume
- Slows down and suppresses digestion of carbohydrates, lowers the level of glucose in blood and reduces body’s demand for insulin
- Decreases risk of colorectal cancers
- Suppresses absorption of cholesterol and triglycerides
- Lowers blood pressure
- Regulates bowels movement by improving peristalsis; prevents constipations
- Acts like a prebiotic – stimulates the growth of digestive system’s friendly bacteria
- Makes you feel full quickly (it swells in the stomach)
- Helps getting rid of toxins and heavy metals
- Binds sodium ions
Where to buy oat bran?
The original Dukan brand should be available here: http://www.mydukandietshop.co.uk/oat-wheat/72-dukan-diet-oat-bran.html (the official UK shop) or here http://www.shopdukandiet.com/ (the official US shop).
Personally I have no fear of buying oat bran in my local store or on the internet. Amazon, for instance, offers a number of different fiber-rich products. Find out more here:
Alternatives to oat bran in Dukan Diet
Bran is a outer husk of a grain. It is particularly rich in dietary fiber. Dukan specifically recommends oat bran but there are other kinds that, in case you can’t use oats’ products, will do as well. As far as the Dukan Diet is concerned, the contents of dietary fiber is the most important factor. Let’s see how much fiber is in different types of bran.
First the Dukan’s original with M2bisB6 milling and sifting index:
Now, let’s have a look at some wheat product (Health Best Wheat Bran – Millers):
And finally, a rice-based product (Bob’s Red Mill All Natural Stabilized Rice Bran):
As you can see, when it comes to the dietary fiber contents, the winner here is wheat bran. It has 2 times more fiber than the renowned oat bran. But some sources indicate that there is a subtle difference between oat bran and wheat bran. In short:
1. Wheat bran contains more of insoluble fibers; oat bran consists mostly of soluble fibers.
2. The insoluble wheat bran fibers are softened as they pass through and they bulk up the stool, causing speedy elimination of waste. Oat bran fibers are dissolved, and form a gel. As the soluble fiber mixes with the bile acids in the intestine, it helps to remove cholesterol.
It seems that dr Dukan chose oat bran because of its ability to turn into that satiating gel. Oat bran looks more versatile than wheat bran as it is composed of some more universal fibers (both soluble and insoluble). The other reason is probably a common gluten intolerance problem.
Bran from oat, wheat, rye, barley and rice vs. gluten intolerance
People who have gluten intolerance usually develop antibodies to the 33-MER peptide. Eating wheat, rye or barley (or their bran) will very likely develop the symptoms of celiac disease. That said, the protein in oat bran doesn’t cause any complaints when consumed in moderation (sources say: less than 1 cup per day).
The other side of the story is that during the manufacturing process oat bran are usually cross-contaminated with wheat, rye or barley. Unfortunately, a gluten sensitive individual who eats contaminated oat will very likely have a reaction to it.
If you have celiac disease, it’s better to avoid oat / wheat / rye / barley bran. It’s a pity, but you won’t be able to use it during any of your Dukan Diet Phases. On the other hand, the solution is the rice bran. Admittedly, rice bran contains less fiber than wheat or oat bran, but at least there is a number of gluten-free products available.