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 How my personal diet plan

differs from the South Beach Diet plan


There are very little differences in the basics of my personal plan and all the other low GI, good carb diet plans, including the SBD. Low GI/good carb plans are also low carb plans, although some permit more carbs than others. They all advocate eating basically the same way. The differences are in the details, but the details can make a difference in your health.


Fruit. Contrary to the SBD and some others, I think it’s good to eat some fruit right from the start, but limited to berries, cherries, and some of the citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, lime). These fruits are very high in nutrients and antioxidants and low in sugar as compared to most of the other fruits. I don’t think that our bodies should be deprived of these nutrients, not even for two weeks. On plans that forbid fruit, a lot of people complain of being tired and having other symptoms, such as constipation. Fruit helps to keep your energy levels up and you’ll feel better. It also helps to satisfy your sweet tooth without causing cravings for "sugar sweets." You can only eat so many ricotta desserts before tiring of them. And if you compare the calories and fat in the ricotta desserts, and also the lack of fiber and some other nutrients, you’ll see that fruit is a much better dessert choice. Eating fruit (and less cheese) also helps to avoid the constipation problems that many have in Phase 1. It’s also the dessert answer for those who avoid any kind of sugars and sugar substitutes.


Longer Phase 1. Because you’re eating some fruit, the first phase of the SEL plan can last 3 to 4 weeks. Including some fruit in the first phase makes it easier (and healthier) to stick with before adding grains. When the SBD first came on the dieting scene, their two-week Phase 1 was very restrictive, not even allowing any dairy (cheese is counted as protein, not dairy). That mistake was later changed and two servings per day of dairy was allowed.


Salad dressings and mayonnaise. The SBD says it’s okay to have dressings with 3 grams of sugars or less. However, those with low sugars (1, 2, or 3 grams) will usually have one or more forms of added sugars (sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, etc.) sometimes as the second or third ingredient listed, along with other nonessential and questionable ingredients.


Page 33 of the SBD Guides book states, “ . . . white sugar, corn syrup, and high-fructose corn syrup . . . contribute to weight gain and should be avoided.” And again, on pages 35–36, it says, “Watch out for . . . sugar additives like high-fructose corn syrup.” Yet the SBD approves dressings with up to 3 grams of sugars, and virtually all of these dressings will have either corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, and/or other sugars in them. How inconsistent and contradictory is that.


If you want to follow a healthy, no-sugar diet, then you must avoid these dressings that have added sugars (beware that some of those labels that read 0 grams sugars per serving still contain sugars). It’s best to make your own dressings (without sugars and all those other nonessential ingredients that are in prepared dressings). However, as more companies are recognizing the demand for healthier foods, it’s getting easier to find prepared dressings without sugars (but they still can have some other undesirable ingredients).


Whipped toppings in a tub, such as Cool Whip. The SBD says they are okay but should be limited to 2 tablespoons per day. However, in addition to saying that you should avoid corn syrups (see above), Dr. Agatston also says don’t eat trans fats and sugars (not even in spices!). But these whipped toppings are nothing but hydrogenated oil (trans fat) and high fructose corn syrup, which he says on one hand to avoid but on the other hand says it's okay in whipped toppings and salad dressings.


You should avoid these frozen "tub toppings" in any amount. If you must have a commercially prepared topping, it would be better to use one in a squirt can like Reddiwip. The cream and sugar in those are less harmful than the hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup in the whipped toppings. Many experts now say that some saturated fat is actually good for you and even necessary. Listen and learn, Dr. Agatston.


A better topping would be plain yogurt with some vanilla extract added, or whip some cream yourself. They are good even without being sweetened. Just go easy on the whipped cream because of the calories, but it's a much better choice than the toppings in a tub. You could also use a little stevia or raw honey.


Spice mixes. The SBD says to avoid spice mixes that have added sugar. This is almost laughable when you consider the very small amounts in a jar of spices, which might give you a few grains in a serving, as opposed to the much larger amounts in salad dressings and whipped toppings that the SBD diet approves.


So—Dr. Agatston approves dressings with up to 3 grams of sugars per serving (most of them containing corn syrup and/or high fructose corn syrup, which are more harmful to your health than sugar) and whipped toppings that contain high amounts of corn syrup and trans fats—but he disapproves of spices with a tiny amount of sugar per serving. Now how much sense does that make.


I think that the very tiny amount of sugar in a serving of spice mix is insignificant. However, if you want to totally avoid sugar in anything, then avoid these spices—along with the salad dressings and toppings and other foods with added sugars—as it would be useless to avoid a serving of a spice with a few grains of sugar and eat dressings and toppings and other prepared foods that have much more sugar per serving.


Sweet treats. The SBD says that sweet treats should be limited to 75 calories per day because intestinal distress can occur with more than that, because of the sugar alcohols used in them. However, they don't all contain sugar alcohols—some of them contain aspartame, which is harmful to your health, whereas the sugar alcohols are not harmful. They can cause some digestive problems, but this varies with each individual. We have to experiment until we find our own tolerance level, which could be more or less than 75 calories. I don't endorse these "sweet treats."


Artificial sweeteners/sugar substitutes. The SBD says it's okay to use these. I think that most of them are probably harmful, especially if consumed in excess. I do think that we would be better off not using any of these. However, you will find recipes remaining on my site that use some of these because I have not yet had time to revamp the recipe pages. I will be removing recipes on my site that call for aspartame, such as those using sugar-free gelatins and puddings, and perhaps leave those using Splenda but recommend using it in moderation.     


Butter. The SBD says not to eat butter. However, researchers have learned that  butter is actually better for your health than margarine—even those margarines that say they are trans fat free. Other diets are correct in their use of butter instead of margarine. However, if you want to adhere to the SBD guidelines, be sure that the label says trans fat free, not “no trans fats per serving.” There is a difference.


Processed meats. The SBD Phase 1 Foods to Avoid list says to avoid processed poultry products, but on the Phase 1 Foods to Enjoy list, it has turkey sausage and bacon listed, which are processed meats, usually containing nitrites and other undesirable ingredients. And in Phase 2, all hot dogs, including beef, pork, poultry, are added back, and these are processed meats. I think that we should avoid all processed meats in any phase.


Corn and Popcorn. The SBD says that in Phase 2 you can eat 3 cups of popcorn (air-popped, plain, listed as “good”), and with butter or oil, it's “limited or “very limited." Corn is listed under vegetables (although it’s a grain) as a food to avoid or eat rarely. In the SBD Guides book, it’s “very limited” even in Phases 2 and 3. Corn grits and corn meal (listed under grains) are also very limited even in Phase 3. I’m still doing research on whether or not corn should be eaten in any form at all. For now, I’m recommending no corn products for at least for the first 4 weeks (and no corn sugars, such as corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, etc., ever). After four weeks, add corn as a vegetable gradually to see how you react. Many people are allergic to corn because it’s in so many foods and eaten so often, and have symptoms that they don’t even recognize as being an allergy. In the form of corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup, many studies conclude that it's the cause of the obesity epidemic. Corn is also heavily-sprayed with insecticides and herbicides because it's subject to many plant diseases as well as many insect pests. And some corn is genetically modified, which might be bad for your health.


Kraft Prepared Foods for SBD. I do not use or approve of these products. Reasons? Mainly because they contain ingredients that are not good for your health. Read the labels, and it will be obvious why these foods are not good choices. You can find these labels at http://www.kraftfoods.com/South_Beach_Diet. Click on “Find out more” then click on the product. I have a few of these on my site on this page. You can also read some comments about these foods that were made on forums or to me in e-mails.


Pork. The SBD says it’s okay to eat pork products and shellfish. In my personal diet, I do not eat any pork products or shellfish at all, and I do not recommend them to others. This is in agreement with Dr. Jordan Rubin, Dr. Mercola, Kevin Trudeau, and many others, including the Bible. Here is an excerpt from Kevin's book, Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About, pages 150–151:


"Remember, you are what you eat. Pork is a highly toxic diseased food. A pig eats anything in its path, including its own feces. Whatever it eats turns to meat on its bones in a few hours. All pork products are laced with disease and viruses. It is toxic and unhealthy. The human body virtually goes into toxic shock by consuming pork. Massive amounts of blood and energy go to the stomach and intestines to help break down and digest this toxic material. Pork is never fully digested in the human body; however, the human digestive system works nonstop in overdrive for up to eighteen hours attempting to neutralize and digest pork. If you didn't eat pork for thirty days and then had some, there is an excellent chance you would be violently ill. Eliminating pork, or at least reducing it dramatically, can have a profound impact on your health and sense of well-being. Try and see."


So, for now, these are the main differences. For my personal diet and my recommendations, the “jury is still out” on some things. As I continue to read and do more research, I’ll likely make some changes.


I’ll share some of my findings and sources with you on my Controversies About Foods page, which is in progress. I’ll add to it as I can.

I still have recipes on this site that are leftovers from the days when it was a South Beach Diet site. I am in the process of changing some of these, but am not yet finished, so you'll still find some "leftovers" here that will be changed as I continue to work on the site.

For other opinions about the SBD, see these reviews:





    Twelve reason to avoid the South Beach Diet




Links to pages on other Web sites that compare Atkins to South Beach:






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Recipe Pages—All Phases (1, 2, and 3)

Phase 1 List of Foods to Enjoy and Foods to Avoid

    Phase 1 Breakfasts Phase 1 Lunches 

 Phase 1 Main Dishes—Beef Phase 1 Main Dishes—Chicken Phase 1 Main Dishes—Fish 

 Phase 1 Main Dishes—Turkey Phase 1 Main Dishes—Meatless 

 Phase 1 Vegetables Phase 1 Legumes

Phase 1 Soups with Meat Phase 1 Soups—Meatless

Phase 1 Salads—Main Phase 1 Salads—Side Phase 1 Salad Dressings

 Phase 1 Desserts Phase 1 Snacks


Recipe Pages—Phases 2 and 3

Phase 2 List of Foods to Enjoy and Foods to Avoid

Phase 2 Breakfasts Phase 2 Lunches 

 Phase 2 Main Dishes—Beef Phase 2 Main Dishes—Chicken Phase 2 Main Dishes—Fish 

 Phase 2 Main Dishes—Turkey Phase 2 Main Dishes—Meatless 

 Phase 2 Main Dishes—Pasta ~  Phase 2 Legumes & Grains

Phase 2 Vegetables Phase 2 Soups-Meat ~ Phase 2 Soups-Meatless

  Phase 2 Salads—Main Phase 2 Salads—Side Phase 2 Salad Dressings

Phase 2 Desserts ~  Phase 2 Snacks Phase 2 Breads & Bread Products


Recipe Pages—Phase 3

Phase 3 List of Foods to Enjoy and Foods to Avoid

Phase 3 Breakfasts 

Phase 3 Main Dishes—Beef Phase 3 Main Dishes—Fish ~  Phase 3 Main Dishes—Turkey  

 Phase 3 Vegetables ~  Phase 3 Salads—Side Phase 3 Salads—Main Phase 3 Salad Dressings

 Phase 3 Desserts Phase 3 Snacks Phase 3 Breads & Bread Products


Miscellaneous Recipe Categories

(Phase listed under recipe title)

Bean Salads Crock Pot Deviled Eggs and Egg Salads   Drinks, Shakes, Smoothies

Eggnog ~  Guacamole Salsa Hummus and other Bean Dips and Spreads

Marinades, Mixes, Sauces, Seasonings

Potlucks, Parties, Holidays, Appetizers  ~  Sandwiches


Tips, Links, Menu Planning Chart, & Miscellaneous Pages

Tips for Beginners General Tips for Everyone ~  Tips About Specific Foods

Tips on Reading Nutrition Labels ~  Tips about Exercise

Food Combining ~ 2005 Government Guidelines for Diet and Exercise

  Links to other diet and health Web sites Download 7-Day Menu Planner

Low Carb Products Protein in our Diets Top Antioxidant Food Charts

Controversies About Foods Weight Loss Cartoons

Main Diet Page

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