Originally Posted by doreen T
South Beach is not a low-carb diet. The author states this clearly on page 3, the first sentence of Chapter One.Doreen
Doreen, while Dr. Agatston (the author) may insist in his book that his diet plan isn't low carb--yeah, he insists that in interviews on TV, too--the numbers for SBD menus and the little magazines put out by Agatston's publisher, Rodale, tell a different story. I worked out the nutrient ranges on a sample two week set of menus for a friend doing SBD, and he was shocked to see that the phase one menus he gave me averaged 35-45 ECC or net carbs per day.
This month's "Prevention Guide to Weight Loss" spotlights SBD (again), and this is how Rodale explains it's latest rising star in the diet world:
"*Phase I: You'll eat three meals and three snacks ... made up of a lean protein and vegetable, and snacks ... typically a part-skim mozzarella cheese stick, cottage cheese or pistachio nuts. No fruit or starches ... are allowed in Phase I.
(foods to avoid include all starches, all dairy (keeps out all the hidden carbs!), all fruits, all fatty meats, all veggies except the cruciferous and the greens families.)
"*Phase II: After the first 14 days, you'll gradually reintroduce healthy carbs...You'll stay on this phase until you lose all the weight you want.
(foods to avoid in this phase include refined starches and breads, rice, beets, carrots, corn, potatoes, bananas, fruit juices and canned fruit, pineapple, raisins, watermelon, honey, ice cream and jam).
"*Phase III: Once you've reached your goal weight, this is how you'll be eating for the rest of your life. ... Anytime you start to overindulge or regain some weight, you can switch back to Phase I for a week or two."
Phase I--ah, yes, that would be the part where you're not allowed to eat *any* carbs.
Seriously, Agatston (or Rodale, it's hard to tell which) has positioned SBD from a marketing spot where it can be attractive to people who want to try low carb without feeling like they're also forsaking the low fat eating habits they've learned over the years. But bottom line, if you look past the marketing ploy and actually count the days up in some tracking software, SBD is a low carb diet in Phase I, and a low carb diet in Phase II.
Unfortunately, Agatston also tries to restrict fats, and advocates using processed (low fat) foods over less processed (and lower carb) foods. There are also some disturbing inaccuracies about fats in SBD (the misinformation about coconut oil being bad for heart health is especially glaring.) And the recommendation that "if you gain weight, just go back to Phase I for a week or two"--well, I do wonder if the good doctor is familiar with the concepts of yo-yo dieting, insulin resistance and "The Golden Shot Syndrome." It may not be the low carb plan I'd choose, but if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck...well, you know the rest.