The South Beach Diet was originally created by a leading American cardiologist – Dr. Agatson. He had suggested this diet with the main aim of improving the health of his heart patients. He claims that the South Beach Diet is not a low-fat or low-carb diet; it simply focuses on eating the right fats and the right carbs.
This diet is mainly based on the GI (Glycaemic Index) Diet. It primarily involves taking in foods low in carbohydrates and having a low glycaemic index, such as pulses, porridge, and pasta. These foods gradually release sugar in the blood, thereby providing you with a constant energy supply so you feel satisfied for a longer period. Since you get lesser carb cravings, you are less likely to feel hungry constantly and overeat. Moreover, there are fewer chances for your body to become resistant to the impact of insulin that continues to burn the fat in your body effectively. That is why, most of the times, foods with a low GI are recommended for losing weight.
Today, when the entire world seems to be on a diet, the South Beach Diet becomes a perfect diet pattern that simply recommends lesser intake of saturate-packed foods and replacing them with heart healthy monounsaturates. It is quite different and more nutritious than all those high-fat, low-carb diets that basically aim at losing weight and have nothing to do with providing the right nutrition. On the other hand, the South Beach Diet is becoming increasingly popular, since it promotes ‘de-junking’ your diet and cutting down on high-carb foods packed with fewer nutrients such as sugary cereals, sweets, and white bread.
However, just like other diets, this diet also has its own shortcomings. The strict carbohydrate restriction in the opening two weeks of the diet may leave you feeling wobbly and weak and requires extreme willpower. During Phase 1, you miss onto some vitamins and minerals due to the lack of the ‘five fruit and vegetable’ intake each day. Since all the carbohydrate-rich foods are eliminated in this phase, you would also cut down the intake of some good sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, such as milk (rich in zinc and calcium), and wholegrain breads and cereals (rich in vitamin B, iron, and fiber).