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South Beach Diet – sources, health benefits at

Thursday, December 21, 2017 by

The South Beach Diet is a weight loss plan described by leading American cardiologist Arthur Agatston, M.D. in his best-selling book, The South Beach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss. He wanted to create a diet that allowed overweight and diabetic individuals to reduce their risk of heart disease. He discovered that a side effect of the diet is a significant loss of weight. He claims this isn’t a low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet – but rather focuses on eating the right carbs and the right fats.

This diet has been credited with producing rapid weight loss without hunger, while promoting heart health. However, it’s also been criticized for being a “fad” diet. shares an example of the different phases that make up this diet.

Benefits of the South Beach Diet

Some of the advantages of adhering to this kind of diet include:

  • Maintaining an ideal body weight for the long term
  • Avoiding diabetes
  • Achieving normal cholesterol and blood fat levels
  • Preventing hypertension

The South Beach Diet is seen as more of a lifestyle rather than a simple diet, for people to be able to fully enjoy its benefits and effects.

Food items typically found in the South Beach Diet

The diet recommends slowly consuming a small portion and returning for seconds if you are still hungry. Some foods that are typically included in the South Beach Diet are the following:

Lean proteins

  • Lean beef, pork, lamb, veal
  • Skinless chicken and turkey breast
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Eggs and egg whites
  • Soy-based meat substitutes
  • Low-fat hard cheese, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese
  • Buttermilk, low-fat milk, plain or Greek yogurt, kefir and soy milk, limited to 2 cups daily

All vegetables are allowed except beets, carrots, corn, turnips, yams, peas, white potatoes and most types of winter squash.

You may also add nuts and seeds in the diet, such as almonds, cashews, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, walnuts; and flaxseeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds. It is advisable to limit your consumption to 28 grams (1 oz) per day.

Healthy oils

  • Avocado, limited to 2/3 of one fruit
  • Trans-fat-free margarine, limited to 2 tbsp.
  • Low-fat mayonnaise, limited to 2 tbsp.
  • Regular mayonnaise, limited to 1 tbsp.
  • Salad dressing with less than 3 grams sugar, limited to 2 tbsp.
  • Olives, limited to 20–30, depending on size

You may drink unlimited quantities of these beverages, but it is advised to drink caffeine in moderation.

  • Coffee, regular or decaffeinated
  • Tea, regular, decaffeinated or herbal
  • Sugar-free sodas
  • Sugar-free drink mixes
  • Tomato juice or vegetable juice

Body systems supported by the South Beach Diet

Besides weight loss, the South Beach Diet has other advantages. For one, it is a fairly balanced diet after the initial strict phase. Furthermore, you don’t need to monitor your calorie and fat intake, and the diet encourages regular meals and snacks.

This diet also has some disadvantages, such as:

  • It can be very demanding, and quite expensive and time-consuming.
  • This diet is patterned to be a lifestyle. Lapsing into old eating habits may result in speedy weight gain.

Where to learn more


The South Beach Diet is a weight loss plan designed by American cardiologist Arthur Agatston, M.D. aiming to create a diet that improved his patients’ heart health. This diet focuses on eating the right carbs and the right fats. A side effect of this diet is weight loss.

Sources include:


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