The South Beach Diet
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.
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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.
Rajesh Shetty, Ayurveda weight loss expert
Silver Bulletin -
articles by Tony M. Isaacs
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