SOUTH BEACH DIET Overview Information
The South Beach Diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-protein weight loss diet. It is based on a book by Arthur Agatston, MD, which was first published in 2003.
Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets such as the South Beach Diet are extremely popular in North America. As many as one out of every eight North Americans has used this type of diet to lose weight.
How does it work?
The South Beach Diet’s main strategy is to eliminate or reduce “bad carbs,” carbohydrates that have a “high glycemic index.” High glycemic index foods raise blood sugar levels quickly after the food is eaten. Some people think that high glycemic index foods cause excessive insulin secretion resulting in fat accumulation, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other harmful outcomes. However, there continues to be significant debate and research to determine if a low glycemic index diet can actually prevent these outcomes.
The South Beach Diet consists of three phases. In phase 1, intake of carbohydrates and high glycemic foods is severely limited. During phase 2, a select few foods containing carbohydrates such as fruits, breads, wine, etc can be added back into the diet, but only in moderation. In the final phase, foods of all types are allowed back into the diet, but again with moderation.
- Weight loss. Although low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets have been evaluated in well-designed studies on people, the specific South Beach Diet plan has not been evaluated in this manner. More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of the South Beach Diet for weight loss.
SOUTH BEACH DIET Side Effects & Safety
There isn’t enough reliable information to know if the South Beach Diet is safe or what side effects, if any, it might cause.