Comparing The Atkins And South Beach Diets

1323 words - 5 pages

Comparing the Operations of the Atkins and South Beach Diets

In today’s society, an ongoing trend of diets have played a major impact in the nutritional and dieting markets such as the Atkins and South Beach. Both diets may be considered similar since they were both designed and intended for dieters to produce similar results of dramatic rapid weight loss within stages. Though the end result may be similar, the method of achieving the weight loss differs in many aspects. Both the Atkins and South Beach diets, varies in the choice of foods consumed by the dieter and the step by step process on how the diet operates.

In the Atkins diet, it involves eating foods which are high in protein and fat, while limiting the amount of foods which are high in carbohydrates or foods which normally tends to raise blood sugar. The Atkins diet aims to eliminate the simple carbohydrate consumption such as rice, alcohol, white flour, and sugar since they are found to contain low amounts of fiber, therefore causing the dieter to consume large sums of calories and a desire to eat more carbohydrates. As a result, the Atkins encourages dieters to consume high-fat, high-animal protein foods such as bacon, sausage, butter, steaks, eggs, and cheese. With the replacement of carbohydrates for high-fat and high-protein foods, weight loss can be achieved since the Atkins diet works on the principle of ketosis: a process by which excess body fat is burned as fuel, resulting in a rapid weight reduction. Like the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet works by lowering carbohydrates. Both diets try to restrict carbohydrates that are rich in sugar since it will cause a rise in insulin levels and will lead to more hunger and inevitably to weight gain. The South Beach diet however emphasizes on the right carbohydrates and the right fats consumption. The South Beach differs with the Atkins in that it allows carbohydrates, especially those high in fiber like multigrain bread and wild rice. The South Beach diet relies on the glycemic index or GI to determine good carbohydrates from bad carbohydrates. The glycemic index is a system that ranks foods by how they affect your levels of blood sugar and insulin. Low-GI foods that are less than 55 produce a gradual rise in blood sugar that's easy on the body. Foods between 55 and 70 are intermediate-GI foods. Foods with high-GI that is more than 70 would make blood sugar as well as insulin levels spike fast, which is a major health risk. The glycemic index is important since keeping insulin levels low is the central principle behind all low carbohydrate diets. So under South Beach, bad carbohydrates with a high glycemic index like refined flour products, potatoes, pasta, and white rice are forbidden, while good carbohydrates with a low glycemic index like whole wheat products and wild rice are permitted.

The limitations and choices of carbohydrates, in both the Atkins and the South Beach, may be one...

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