South Beach diet, a diet plan with good carbohydrates and good fats
Written By Betty van der Mark on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | 2:21 AM
Dr. Agatston believes that excess consumption of so-called 'bad carbohydrates', such as the rapidly-absorbed carbohydrates found in foods with a high glycemic index, creates an insulin resistance syndrome—an impairment of the hormone insulin's ability to properly process fat or sugar.
In addition, he believes along with many physicians that excess consumption of 'bad fats', such as saturated fat and trans fat, contributes to an increase in cardiovascular disease. To prevent these two conditions, Agatston's diet minimizes consumption of bad fats and bad carbohydrates and encourages increased consumption of good fats and good carbohydrates.
The diet has three phases. In all phases of the diet, Dr. Agatston recommends minimizing consumption of bad fats.
The diet begins with Phase 1, which lasts two weeks. Dieters attempt to eliminate insulin resistance by avoiding high or moderately high-glycemic carbohydrates, such as dairy, sugar, candy, bread, potatoes, fruit, cereals, and grains. During this phase, Dr. Agatston claims the body will lose its insulin resistance, and begin to use excess body fat, causing many dieters to lose between 8 and 13 pounds. For the first two weeks, dieters eat normal-size helpings of meat, fish, vegetables, eggs, cheese, and nuts. This phase includes three meals a day, plus snacks, encouraging the dieter to eat until their hunger is satisfied. No alcohol is allowed (though red wine will be introduced later in small amounts). The dieter loses weight, changes body chemistry, and ends cravings for sugars and starches.
After two weeks, Phase II begins. Whole grain foods, fruits and dairy products are gradually returned to the diet, although in smaller amounts than were likely eaten before beginning the diet, and with a continued emphasis on foods with a low glycemic index. Sweet potatoes are also now permissible, as is red wine, both in moderate amounts.
After the desired weight is obtained, the diet calls to move into Phase III, a maintenance phase. In Phase III the diet expands to include three servings of whole grains and three servings of fruit a day.