South Beach Diet
One of the latest diet crazes is the South Beach Diet. Dr. Agatston, a leading cardiologist, created the South Beach Diet. His aim was to improve his patients` heart health, but he discovered that as a "side affect" his patients were losing a lot of weight. He claims that it isn`t a low-carb or a low-fat diet, but a diet that focuses on eating the "right" carbs and the "right" fats. The South Beach Diet is based on the glycemic index. The diet restricts carbs in the first two weeks and then gradually re-introduces those carbs with a low glycemic index. He also recommends trading saturated fats with unsaturated fats.
The South Beach Diet generally follows the same idea as other glycemic index diets. First a little background; when we have eaten, the carbs are then broken down into sugar, thus raising the sugar in our blood. In response to the higher glucose level, the hormone insulin is released from the pancreas to remove the sugar from the blood.
If we eat foods that are rich in carbs, we get a rapid increase in blood sugar, then our pancreas releases a large amount of insulin to counter it. This in turn causes the blood sugar to drop rapidly and you feel a lack of energy, and then you crave more carbs and the viscous cycle continues. If it keeps up then you are likely to gain weight as a result. In addition, your body becomes resistant to the action of insulin. When your body reaches this point then your body becomes more effective in storing the fat.
So in phase one of this diet, most of the carbs are restricted, this gives you body a rest from the cycle. This is supposed to resolve the insulin resistance. The banned foods would be bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, fruit, milk, sweets, sugar and alcohol. The focus on the phase one part is to eat lean meat, chicken, fish and eggs. In this phase it is said that you can lose up to 14 pounds.
In the phase two part of the diet low GI carbs are gradually reintroduced. This would be most fruits, whole grain bread, cereals, pasta and skim milk. You are supposed to stay in this phase until you reach your target weight. In phase three, you can reintroduce a wide variety of foods. In this phase you are supposed to keep your weight steady. This phase is designed to be life long. In all of the phases there is no limit for portions, just eat enough to satisfy your needs. Actually snacking is advised, as long as you snack on the appropriate food in your phase.
The extreme carb restriction in the first phase requires some serious will power. You may feel weak. Also you won`t be getting your daily requirement of fruits and veggies so you may be missing out on vitamins and minerals. Also when you restrict all the carbs in this phase you are getting rid of a lot of good sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals. However nutrition experts are generally in favor of diets based on the glycemic index. Overall this diet generally follows the basic principle of healthy eating. The result should provide plenty of the nutrients one would need to stay healthy.