What is South Beach Diet? What does South Beach Diet contain? Who can use and follow it? What are Pros and Cons of South Beach Diet? Why it should not be followed lifelong?Find out more about South Beach Diet from Nutrition Expert Preeti Jain
What is South Beach Diet
The South Beach diet was written by a US-based cardiologist, Dr Agatson. He is critical of the high saturated fat content of Dr Atkins diet (although phase 1 of his diet is likely to cause ketosis) and reports that ketosis can cause some dehydration .
The South Beach Diet is based on the GI and entails an induction phase in which very little carbohydrate is consumed. This phase is followed by the gradual addition of “the right” carbohydrates in the second phase and a maintenance phase (Agatston A.2003). In this diet 3 daily meals and 2 snacks in between are “mandatory.” The theory is that eating these snacks, even when not hungry, will keep the dieter from overeating at the next meal.
The only nutritional supplement recommended in this diet is a fish oil supplement.
Three phases of South Beach diet
First PhaseIn the first phase carbohydrates are restricted. Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish are recommended as well as low-GI vegetables, low-fat cheese, nuts and eggs.
Second phaseIn phase two addition of low glycaemic index fruits & vegetables is recommended as long as weight loss is maintained.
Third phasePhase three is for maintenance and should be followed to maintain a desired weight.
Supplemental fiber in the form of psyllium husks added to water is recommended before lunch and dinner to help the dieter reach a point of satiety more quickly.
What are Pros and Cons of South Beach Diet:
Pros: Focus on including low-GI carbohydrates high in fiber & nutrients & having healthy fats such as monounsaturated oils in place of artery-clogging saturated fats.
Cons: Promotes rapid and unsustainable weight loss. The fat content of this diet throughout the 3 phases is high, ranging from 40% to 60%, which can lead to an increased risk of Chronary Heart Disease.
One study compared the effects of the South Beach Diet, with those of the NCEP Step II diet in 60 overweight adults (Aude YW et al., 2004).
Individuals in the South Beach group lost more weight, had a greater decrease in waist-to-hip ratio, and experienced decreases in triacylglycerol, whereas those following the NCEP diet experienced decreases in LDL and HDL.
In both groups, there were no changes in glucose, insulin, or inflammatory markers after 12 wk.
However, exercise and total calorie intake were not monitored in this trial; therefore, it is impossible to discern whether the observed effects were due to differences in the effectiveness of the diets, exercise, or weight loss in and of itself.
By Preeti Jain