Originally developed as a way to prevent heart disease, The South Beach diet also gained popularity as a weight loss plan. Creators of the diet, cardiologist Dr Agatston and dietician Marie Almon, don’t refer to their diet as low-carb, although it is likely that many people who follow it would end up consuming less carbs than before. The diet does adhere to low glycemic principles.
In a nutshell
The basic principle behind South Beach diet is ensuring you get your fat and carbs from the right type of foods. “Bad carbs” such as sugar and heavily refined grains are replaced with “good carbs”, such as salad vegetables, pulses and unprocessed grains. Glycemic index can be used as a guide to separate good carbs from bad carbs. Secondly, the diet excludes trans fats and saturated fats, replacing them with unsaturated fats instead.
The diet is split into four phases, starting out with proteins and salad vegetables and gradually reintroducing foods back. For ongoing maintenance, dieters are advised to keep following basic principles -avoiding trans fats, saturated fats and high glycemic carbs.
- Developed specifically to prevent heart disease (mainly through limiting the intake of trans-fats and saturated fats), this diet eliminates one common (possibly overhyped) concern associated with low-carb dieting – high fat intake and its possible negative effect on heart health.
- There is no counting of carbs or calories involved, although you will need to get familiar with Glycemic Index value for foods
- This diet is more suitable for vegetarians than other low carb diets, and there is a specific version of it designed for vegetarians.
- This diet is less restrictive than some other plans, and so would be easier to follow.
- As this diet is less strict in limiting carbohydrates (in fact, it is possible to follow it and consume high quantities of carbs, depending on your exact food choices), weight loss could possibly be slower than you would expect on some other plans.