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While considered a "low-carb" diet, South Beach discriminates among carbohydrates rather than banning them outright. It favors "low glycemic" carbs and severely reduces starchy "high glycemic" carbs as well as sugars. Saturated fats and trans fats are severely limited in favor of mono and polyunsaturated fats.
One reason for the popularity of this diet is it allows three meals and two snacks a day with a "eat until satisfied" policy for meals. Calories are not counted.
Like Atkins the South Beach Diet has phases, but three rather than four. Phase-I severely cuts high glycemic carbohydrates, animal fats, dairy products, sugars (including fruit) and alcohol. The aim is to change the body chemistry into a fat burning mode.
Phase-II gradually returns whole grains, fruits and some dairy products. "Low glycemic" carbohydrates are emphasized over sugars and starches. Fats remain restricted but some red wine is allowed.
Phase-III is the permanent maintenance phase and is slightly more liberal than Phase-II but retains the basic structure of the diet. Refined foods, sugars, starchy carbs and fatty meats are greatly discouraged. Consuming fats and fiber along with low glycemic carbohydrates is recommended to slow digestion.
Kraft Foods has licensed the name South Beach Living for a line of products which are supposed to meet the requirements of this diet.
Disclaimer: I neither recommend this diet nor warn against it. I have provided general information found in public circulation and recommend starting with the Links list if you wish to investigate further.
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