South Beach Diet: The Healthy Low Carb Alternative

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South Beach Diet: The Healthy Low Carb Alternative The South Beach Diet is a healthy alternative for promoting a healthy heart and lifestyle and for losing weight. Though often referred to as a low carbohydrate diet, South Beach does not endorse eating the unlimited fats and proteins that have become a signature criticism of the low carb diets. Instead, the diet was created with the intention of improving people’s cardiovascular health while also helping them to lose weight. The general concerns voiced about low carbohydrate diets do not apply to the South Beach Diet. The main criticism of the low-carbohydrate diets is that they allow unlimited consumption of fats and proteins, therefore putting people at a greater risk for heart disease. Although the South Beach Diet is often grouped in with other low-carbohydrate diets, Dr. Agatston, the diet’s creator, wants people to think of it as a healthy lifestyle, not a diet. To dispel any myths that this diet is unhealthy because it is viewed as a low-carb diet, let’s begin with a brief overview of what is and is not allowed on this diet. The South Beach Diet does begin with a strict two week phase of very few carbohydrates, excluding all bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes. As soon as the two week phase is over, people can begin reintroducing “good”carbs such as whole wheat bread and fruit that have nutritional value, like fiber, while still excluding the “bad” carbohydrates such as processed flour that has lost most of the natural nutrients. With the reduction in carbs, there is a higher consumption of proteins (they are included in just about every meal), but some protein rich foods such as fatty meats (for example, duck and chicken wings) are prohibited. This is because fatty meats contain higher levels of saturated fats, the “bad” fat that is linked to heart disease, which are avoided as much as possible. On the other hand, good sources of unsaturated fats such as nuts, fish, and olive oil are encouraged. The South Beach Diet is really about making better choices when eating, which includes choosing the right carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for a healthier heart. More important than the structure of the diet is why the diet originated.

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