South Beach Diet: Positives and Negatives

The South Beach Diet is created by Dr. Arthur Agatson, a cardiac physician. Dr. Agatson designed the South Beach diet to help his parents who showed signs of insulin resistence syndrome – a condition which increases the risk for heart disease.

South Beach Diet incorporates some of the basic components of Atkins, Protein, and the Zone diet in easy-to-follow steps.

The South Beach diet limits saturated fat and carb consumption. But carbs are gradually added over the course of the diet plan. Even a little more saturated fats are added towards the end. At the start of the program, dieters are encouraged to eat three meals and three snacks per day. After the first two weeks though, there is very little consumption structure.

Pros

One of the best things about the South Beach diet is that it’s very easy to follow. Mostly, dieters just have to select foods from a list and eat.  There is very little counting and measuring required.

What’s also good about South Beach Diet is that it is limits saturated fat. However, diet authors have diverging opinions when it comes to the importance of limiting saturated fats on reduced carb diets. But no author recommends relying on them. Probably there are some people who are better off with minimal saturated fat consumption.

Lastly, South Beach diet makes people more aware of the food they eat and its effects on the body. Dieters may find the carb cravings marker useful because it makes carb sensitive people become more aware of what foods and what amounts trigger their cravings. 

Cons

According to Laura Dolson, a health and education Website developer who has an MA and several years of doctoral work in clinical psychology, South Beach diet creator Dr. Agattson relies very heavily on the glycemic index when assessing foods. Dolson says that the concept of the glycemic load is much more reliable indicator of how foods affect blood glucose. It is actually quite similar to the glycemic index, except that it takes serving sixes into consideration.

Dolson also finds the first phase of the diet to be little to restrictive, at least for some people. Good thing, the initial stages of the diet is short term, and the author does not recommend staying with it longer than 3-4 weeks at most. 

South beach diet aalso has no guidelines oon how much carbohydrate to eat, which increases the risk for carb crash. 

Dolon also thinks that the diet lack structure specifically with regards to adding carb back in your diet. It leaves too much up to the dieter, considering that some people may not be in tune with their bodies’ signals.

Lastly some aspects of the diet are a bit inconsistent, such as leaving portion size of low carb foods up to the individual, but then recommending counting individual nuts; including several high glycemic foods in the recipes; allowing more saturated fats in the third phase of the diet. 

Source: MSN Health