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A Guide to the South Beach Diet

Written by
Sumithra. S
and medically reviewed by Durga Kumari

Published on Jun 08, 2022   -  5 min read


The south beach diet is a modern low-carbohydrate diet to help cardiac patients to lead healthy lives. Read the article to know more about the south beach diet.



Most of the people of today’s world are behind diet and exercise. Especially the young generation has become very conscious of the body and is hitting the gym and following strict diets. There are numerous diet patterns available on the internet. Some will work, and some do not.

There is a famous diet pattern curated in the 1990s by the cardiologist Dr.Arthur Agatston called the south beach diet. It is named after the world-famous neighborhood of Miami. It is also called a modified low-carbohydrate diet. It was developed keeping cardiac patients’ health in mind. Gradually, it gained popularity because of the book published, namely ‘The south beach diet’ by Dr.ArthurAgatston, and went on to become a weight loss diet among the general population.

This is a three-step diet process and includes a lot of fibers and nutrients, which help to curb the craving and lose weight in a healthy way. This diet was curated with the obese, diabetic, and prediabetic patients in mind to control the condition and prevent heart-related conditions.

What Are the Three Phases of the South Beach Diet Plan?

The south beach diet comprises three phases. Two phases are for weight loss, and one is for maintaining weight.

This phase limits the intake of fruits, grains, and a few high carbohydrate content foods. Phase 1 is curated in such a way that the person is slated to consume three meals a day and two snacks a day. Snacks are considered essential even if the particular person does not want to in order to avoid overeating.

Foods to Eat During the First Phase -

  1. Lean Proteins - Eggs, egg whites, turkey breast, skinless chicken, lean pork and lamb, fish, shellfish, buttermilk, low-fat milk, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk (maximum 473 ml per day), and plain yogurt are the preferred lean proteins to be consumed.

  2. Non-starchy Vegetables - All the vegetables except beets, white potatoes, carrots, corn, yams, peas, and a few varieties of water squash are allowed to be eaten. A minimum of four and a half cups of vegetables are expected to be included in the diet daily.

  3. Oils - Only two tablespoons of the following oils are encouraged to be used in a day.

    • Monounsaturated oils like canola, olive, and avocado are suggested to be used. Vegetable and seed oils like flaxseed, safflower, sesame, peanut, corn, and soybean oil can be used.
  4. Nuts and Seeds - Nuts and seeds intake has to be limited to 28 grams per day. Nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, and other nuts can be included. Seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds can be taken. Nut butter is limited to only two tablespoons.

  5. Legumes - Legumes are a group of vegetables that include beans, peas, and lentils. Cooked black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, split peas, black-eyed peas, soybeans, and lentils are recommended to be limited to less than half a cup a day. Hummus should be limited to a quarter portion.

  6. Beverages and Sugar Treats - Coffee and tea (both caffeinated and regular), herbal teas, sugar-free sodas, and tomato and vegetable juices can be included in the diet. Caffeinated tea and coffee are advised to be taken in small amounts. Sugar treats like unsweetened cocoa, chocolate syrup, sugar-free candies, jellies, gums, sweet substitutes, and artificial sweeteners are recommended to be limited to less than 100 calories per day.

Foods to Avoid During the First Phase -

High carbohydrate content and fatty foods, certain fruits are to be avoided during the first phase, and they are,

The second phase requires good monitoring. People can start by introducing one carb and monitoring the body’s response to it for some time. If the body is responding well, it can increase it to two carbohydrate servings per day. If the body does not respond well, it is advised to go back to phase 1 to gain control.

Once the desired weight is reached, people can move on to the third phase, which is a weight-maintaining phase.

If a person thinks he or she is gaining weight or the cravings are seen, it is recommended to go back to phase 1 or phase 2.

What Are the Pros and Cons of the South Beach Diet?

Pros -

By following this diet, people suggest they are able to,

Cons -


Pros tend to outweigh the cons when it comes to the south beach diet. This diet gives everyone an opportunity to not starve but at the same time shed those extra pounds in a healthy way. To be able to maintain the ideal weight for a longer time is definitely a plus to be considered.


Last reviewed at:
08 Jun 2022  -  5 min read




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