HEALTH - The South Beach Diet Plan
The South Beach Diet is a diet plan which designed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston MD (Associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, USA) and dietician Marie Almon in the early 2000s. Though the original purpose of the diet was to prevent heart disease in Dr. Agatston's own patients, this diet plan spread and quickly gained popularity as a means to lose weight.
South Beach Diet plan does not specify any list of permitted and prohibited foods. Instead, every body is expected to understand the basic principles of the diet and live by your preference and choice of food to achieve the result.

You should spend a little time to find out your own diet according to the principle of South Beach Diet and that is the charm and success of this diet plan.
The The principle of South Beach Diet
The principle of South Beach Diet is relatively simple. It replaces "bad carbohydrates" and "bad fats" with "good carbohydrates " and "good fats" and allows you to live contently without eating the bad carbohydrates and fats.

Carbohydrate is an essential nutrient like fat and protein, but the difference is that carbohydrates are easily converted to energy.

Good carbohydrates are the ones usually do not cause a high rise in blood sugar levels. The lower the glycemic index value (GI) (an index based on carbohydrate’s immediate effect on our blood sugar levels) is the better the carb. Choose unrefined whole grain carbs that have a low or intermediate GI rating. Apples, plums and oranges have a low Glycemic Index, while French fries, watermelon and dried dates, pineapple, mango, plantain have a high Glycemic Index. Foods high in fiber have a relatively low Glycemic Index.


(Some sources disagree with this diet plan including Dr. Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, a professor of nutrition in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health & the UNC School of Medicine and a diabetes researcher, questions the validity of the glycemic index, on which the diet plan is based.)

The whole grains like unpolished rise have a thick fiber coating that releases starches and sugars very slowly so blood sugar levels do not rise too high. The foods that are in their natural state such as Vegetables, Beans, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, Whole grain cereals products etc. are considered Good carbs.

Bad carbohydrates are ones that cause an immediate high rise in blood sugar levels. These foods are not in their natural state and include foods candy, baked goods with refined white flour, white pastas flour, white rice, cornmeal, table sugar and all other extracted sugars etc.

Good fat is non-saturated fat - both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated generally comes from vegetable sources. Good fat or oil has numerous health benefits like transporting fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K throughout the body and the Essential fatty acids (EFAs) benefit your heart, metabolism and immune system.

Bad fat is Saturated fats and Trans fats which are bad for health, as it clog arteries causing heart disease and stroke. It is found in animal meats, chicken skin, lard, butter, hard margarine, cheese, whole milk, creams etc.

All carbohydrates are broken down into sugar or glucose and when sugar enters the bloodstream, the pancreas excretes insulin to absorb it. This repeat activity would eventually result in cells becoming resistant to insulin (insulin resistance) and leave sugar in the blood stream longer and this will result the pancreas to release even more insulin. This excess insulin drives blood sugar below the normal levels .Also this effect potentially causing diabetes, which also produces hunger cycles and the excess sugar consumption led to excess insulin which led to low blood sugar and led to hunger pangs which led to the consumption of more sugar.

South Beach Diet divides into three phases, each progressively becoming more and more liberal.

The first Phase lasts two weeks .This is the strictest phase and is designed to kick-start weight loss by severely reducing bad carbohydrates by restricting all sugars, processed carbohydrates, fruits, and some higher-glycemic vegetables as well. This relieves the cravings for sugar and starches and eliminates the hunger cycle.

In this phase you can choose nutrient-dense, fiber-rich- three balanced meals along with two snacks. These two snacks are mandatory as that can help to keep you more satisfied, so you're less likely to overeat at your next meal. Your meals may include lean protein, such as fish and other seafood; skinless white-meat poultry, and lean cuts of beef high-fiber veggies; reduced-fat cheeses; egg whites; low-fat dairy; and healthy unsaturated fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts and seeds, and extra-virgin olive and canola oils. Do not eat bread, white rice, potatoes, pasta, candy, cake, cookies, ice cream, sugar or baked goods or not even fruit for two weeks. Also restrict the consumption of beer or alcohol of any kind.

We can expect a weight lose somewhere about 10 pounds in the first phase.

The second phase continues until you reach the desired healthy weight. In addition to first phase’s items you can add some whole grains bread, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, fruits, and more veggies, like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and peas etc. Cake, cookies, ice cream, or sugar will also be added back slowly into your diet in Phase 2 while weight loss continues to around 1-2 pounds per week. There is no time limit for Phase 2
The third phase is the maintenance and lives 365 days a year and continues for lifetime.
Allowed food lists, food and recipes of South Beach Diet plan are readily available Online.
If your weight begins to climb up, return to phase one and repeat the diet plan!

Note: Consult your family doctor before starting your diet plan.

Read more >>> Good and Bad fats
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