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The 8 Invisible Stains
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The Best Years in Life

Popular Diets Reviewed

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The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet was developed by renowned cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston, MD. He developed an eating plan that would supposedly improve the cholesterol and insulin levels of his patients with heart disease.

The South Beach Diet book is founded on the premise that switching to good carbs stops insulin resistance and curbs appetite which leads to weight loss. Also, good fats protect the heart and prevent hunger.

But this is hardly true.

The South Beach Diet book offers a simplistic solution to weight loss. All you need to do is eat good carbs like whole grains, vegetables and beans instead of eating bad carbs like sugar white breads and potatoes.

The South Beach Diet says fast sugars are worst for dieters and slow sugars are good.

And how are these foods classified as fast or slow?  The Glycemic Index.

According to the South Beach Diet, the food having a high Glycemic Index causes the blood sugar to spike (go up) immedietly after having the meal, whereas the food with a lower GI does not drastically shoot up the blood sugar levels.

But this theory is only partially true. Yes, the foods with high GI are good for diabetics in helping them to keep their blood sugar levels in check, but contrary to popular belief, the glycemic index of a certain food is not the same, that is, it depends on how the food is processed, stored, ripened and cooked.

Further, the South Beach Diet is formulated on the premise that good carbs like whole grains have a low glycemic index and bad carbs like sugars, white flour and refined grains have a higher GI.

BUT THE TRUTH IS....

Bread is high GI whether whole wheat or white because it is made from finely ground flour.

Pasta is low GI, whether whole or white (thin linguini has a high GI as compared to the thick one)

"Instant white" rice is low GI whereas "Uncle bens converted white" rice is high GI.

Take the case of sugars...Glucose is high GI, Sucrose is medium GI and fructose is low GI

This illustrates that recommending foods based on GI is confusing as well as misleading. On top of it all, there is no research to support the claim that the rise in blood sugar by eating high GI foods leads to high blood insulin levels, and that this leads people to overeat.

To summarize...there is no evidence to suggest that eating low GI foods leads to weight loss.

Now lets have a look at The South Beach Diet menu.

South Beach Diet book claims that you won't feel hungry while on this diet. This is impossible considering the fact that some of the menus average only 1200 calories, which is too low not to feel hungry.

The diet encourages you to eat seafood, chicken breast, lean meat, vegetables, whole grains, some fruits, beans, low fat cheese, nuts, oils and whole grains. fatty meats, high fat cheese, refined grains, sweets, juice and potatoes.

The choice of foods in this diet plan are somewhat healthy compared to other leading diet plans like ATKINS but restricting the consumption of carrots, bananas, pineapple and watermelon is the worst part of the South Beach Diet.

The meal plan consists of three phases :

Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet :

You are allowed to eat normal size helpings of chicken, meat, turkey, fish and shellfish, vegetables, eggs, cheese and nuts. You can have three meals per day. Desserts, coffee and tea are also allowed.

But for the first 14 days you are not allowed to eat bread, rice, potatoes, pasta or baked goods and even fruits!

Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet :

You can slowly begin to reintroduce carbs into your diet again. The diet advices you to take all the forbidden foods in phase 1 like bread, pasta, fruits etc. in moderate quantities but at the same time not as much as you were having before.

Phase 3 of the South Beach Diet:

This part is the most relaxed. Dr. Agatston says that you can now forget that you are on a diet. He says that now onwards it is just a healthy lifestyle you are used to, and going to adhere for the rest of your life.

All in all, South Beach Diet is one more money spinning fad diet for the creator of this weight loss program and a psychological prop (support) for people who are always hopping from one diet to the other in search of a Hollywood like sexy body.

The initial weight loss caused by this diet is on account of calorie restriction and not because of low Glycemic Index or an invisible switch as Dr. Agatston's marketing language wants you to believe.

Your health could be many times better without South Beach Diet weight loss program, if you choose healthy foods like green vegetables, whole grains, fiber rich foods and vegetables.

Source: Rajesh Shetty, Ayurveda weight loss expert

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