South Beach Diet


The South Beach diet, developed by Miami, Florida-area cardiologist Arthur Agatston, emphasizes the consumption of “good carbs” and “good fats.” Dr. Agatston developed this diet for his cardiac patients based upon his study of scientific dieting research. The diet first appeared in a book of the same name published by Rodale Press.
The South Beach diet is often incorrectly compared to the Atkins diet (see Atkins Nutritional Approach), which is predominantly a low-carbohydrate diet.
Dr. Agatston believes that excess consumption of so-called “bad carbohydrates” creates an “insulin resistance” syndromean impairment of the hormone insulin’s ability to properly process body fat or sugar. In addition, he believes, along with most doctors, that excess consumption of “bad fats” contributes to an increase in cardiovascular disease.
To prevent these two conditions, Agatston’s diet minimizes consumption of bad fats and bad carbs and encourages increased consumption of good fats and good carbs.
The diet has three phases. In all phases of the diet, Dr. Agatston recommends minimizing consumption of bad fats. In Phase I, lasting two weeks, dieters attempt to eliminate insulin resistance by avoiding moderately high- or high-glycemic carbs, such as sugar, candy, bread, potatoes, fruit, cereals, and grains. During Phase I, Dr. Agatston says the body will lose its insulin resistance, and begin to use excess body fat, causing the dieter to lose between 8 and 13 pounds.
After two weeks, Phase II begins. Whole grain foods and fruits are gradually returned to the diet, although in smaller amounts than were likely eaten before beginning the diet, and with a continued emphasis on foods with a low glycemic index. When the dieter reaches the desired weight Phase III begins. In Phase III the diet expands require counting calories or limiting servings- Agatston suggests you eat until you are satisfied. Dieters are told to eat 6 meals a day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – and small snacks between each meal.
In 2004, Kraft Foods licensed the South Beach Diet trademark for use on a line of packaged foods that would be designed to meet the requirements of the diet. There is some concern that this will lead to the situation that the Atkins Diet found itself in, with some licensed products allegedly falling outside the scope of the diet.