What's Your Diet Deficit?
Many fad diets leave out more than the carbs, fat, or extra calories.
The South Beach Diet continued...
However, many experts in diet and nutrition say the South Beach diet is more
balanced and less risky than high-protein diets. The South Beach diet also
distinguishes between beneficial carbs and those with little nutritional value.
But the experts are more skeptical of this fad diet's emphasis on only eating
foods that are low on the glycemic index. A food that has a low glycemic index
by definition results in a slower and lower rise in blood sugar.
"My problem is that South Beach and some other diets teach people that
bananas and carrots are bad because they have a high glycemic index," Geise
tells WebMD. "But they're not bad because they're really high in good
Again, the premise of the Zone rests on eating more protein and fewer
carbohydrates than a traditional diet. So the same risks apply: a deficiency of
vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients. But like the South Beach diet, the Zone
is a little less severe in its attitude toward carbs than Atkins.
"In theory, the Zone is a more balanced diet, although I still don't
think people on it are getting enough carbohydrates," says Zied.
The Zone may pose a different sort of nutritional risk. "The Zone relies
so much on the numbers that it's hard to follow," Geise says. "People
just throw up their hands because they don't know how to get into the
Zone." That kind of confusion can make it easy for people to lose track of
their nutritional needs.