Health Benefits of the South Beach Diet

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Health Benefits of the South Beach Diet

By promoting only healthy foods and in limited amounts, the South Beach diet proves to be an effective and safe path to weight loss. South Beach permits foods which are high in fiber and low in saturated fat such as whole grain rice, salmon and nuts. The diet does not exclude any particular class of food, fats or carbohydrates for example, but insists that foods high in cholesterol, such as bacon, be avoided. Yet, this is not the only restriction of the diet. South Beach also limits the amount of food consumed each day to 1,500 calories. Based on an average daily intake of 2,000 calories, South Beach ensures weight loss by simply decreasing the overall amount of food (“2,000 Calories a Day”). In restricting both unhealthy foods and calorie intake, the South Beach diet proves beneficial to one’s health.

The foods which South Beach allows promote health, not necessarily weight loss. The diet emphasizes the intake of all healthy foods, some of which can actually lead to weight gain. Carbohydrates, for example, are stored in the body for long periods of time as their complex sugars are difficult to break down. Since they are not quickly processed, they turn to fat. Some carbohydrates; however, such as wheat pasta and multigrain bread, are still encouraged as they contain nutrients which help prevent illness such as heart disease. Phytochemicals, also found in carbs, have been proven to help prevent cancer (“Atkins vs. South Beach”). In addition to allowing these essential carbs, South Beach restricts foods high in saturated fat. Saturated fats are those which are soaked in fried oils, like bacon. These foods that contain this unhealthy type of fat can clog arteries which lead to heart attacks. Other restrictions, due to such health risks, include most red meats such as brisket, rib steak and prime rib. These limitations support health, not specifically the shedding of pounds. Dr. Agatston, the diet’s founder, states the purpose of the diet is to “lower his patients’ risk of heart attack and stroke – not to help them look better in their bikinis” (“South Beach Diet”). The foundation of this diet is clearly health. South Beach recommended foods can therefore keep a body healthy, but not necessarily thin.

Nonetheless, a body low in fat is an essential part of health, especially that of the heart. People who are overweight often find themselves facing problems of heart attacks and heart disease. ...

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