There are very little
differences in the basics of my personal plan and all the other low GI,
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.
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
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
Salad dressings and
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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."
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
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
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
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
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.
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:
Main Diet Page