Review of South Beach Diet
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South Beach Diet
Author: Dr. Arthur Agatston, Cardiologist

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The South Beach Diet Phases

Like most other low-carb diets, the South Beach Diet is divided into three phases: Phase One (14 days), an initial phase during which carbs are particularly restricted; Phase Two during which you may slowly add back carbs that are higher on the glycemic index; Phase Three, beginning when you have reached your ideal weight, which is a long term weight maintenance plan.

Good Carbs Versus Bad Carbs

In simple terms, the South Beach Diet differs from other low-carb diet programs in that it emphasises the different types of carbs to be consumed, rather than quantities. However, like many other low-carb plans, greater importance seems to be given to carbs than calories.

South Beach Diet Phase One

The idea of this induction phase is to normalize insulin levels and eliminate cravings for sugary carbs. During this phase you eat ample protein, good fats, along with carbohydrates that are low on the glycemic index - so, bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, sweets, alcohol, fruits and starchy vegetables are not allowed.

Foods to enjoy, include: lean beef, skinless white chicken, fish and shellfish, fat-free or low-fat cheese, nuts, egg whites, tofu, olive oil.

Foods to avoid, include: fatty cuts of beef, chicken legs, full-fat cheese, carrots, corn, potatoes, fruit and fruit juices, bread, rice, pasta, yogurt, milk and alcohol.

South Beach Diet Phase Two

During this phase of the diet, which lasts until you have achieved your ideal weight, you may slowly re-introduce carbs into your daily diet with priority given to carb-foods that are medium or low on the glycemic index.

Carbs to re-introduce, include: whole wheat pasta, brown rice, high fiber cereals, oatmeal, multi-grain bread, popcorn, barley, low-fat yogurt, skimmed milk, red wine and most fruits.

Carbs to avoid (or eat only occasionally) include: white rice, white bread, baked potato, carrots, corn, cookies, honey, jelly, bananas, pineapple, watermelon and fruit juices.

Exercise and Weighing Scales

The South Beach Diet recommends at least 20 minutes of exercise a day. It also recommends fish oil supplements. You need not weigh yourself every day - instead keep an eye on how your clothes are fitting - and, if you start to gain weight, cut back on the carbs.

South Beach Diet Issues: Calories, Portion Size

Considered the most liberal of popular low carb weight loss plans, and the most up-to-date in terms of its emphasis on the glycemic index as a way of identifying better carbs, the South Beach Diet suffers from a lack of emphasis on calorie-counting or firm portion sizes. In view of the link between calorie-intake with calorie-expenditure, where weight loss or weight maintenance is concerned, more specific advice on calorie intake would have been helpful.

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Insulin Resistance Syndrome provides general information about different types of carbohydrate, like monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, polysaccharides, as well as nutritional value of carbohydrates, carb-content of foods, plus details of GI values of all food groups, plus advice about diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. But no information is intended as a substitute for medical advice. Copyright 2003-2021.