Welcome! I’m glad you’ve decided to try the South Beach Diet and have taken the first step toward a future filled with health and vitality.

The South Beach Diet can’t be classified as a low-carb diet, a low-fat diet, or a high-protein diet. Its rules: Consume the right carbs and the right fats and learn to snack strategically. The South Beach Diet has been so widely successful because people lose weight without experiencing cravings or feeling deprived, or even feeling that they’re on a diet. It allows you to enjoy “healthy” carbohydrates, rather than the kinds that contribute to weight gain, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. You can eat a great variety of foods in a great variety of recipes. This prevents repetition and boredom, two obstacles to long-term success. Our goal is that the South Beach Diet becomes a healthy lifestyle, not just a diet. The purpose of this guide is to help you to accomplish this with ease. Read on for more on the principles of the diet, how to use this Guide, and shopping and dining-out tips.


Good Fats, Bad Fats
Fat is an important part of a healthy diet. There’s more and more evidence that many fats are good for us and actually reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. They also help our sugar and insulin metabolism and therefore contribute to our goals of long-term weight loss and weight maintenance. And because good fats make foods taste better, they help us enjoy the journey to a healthier lifestyle. But not all fats are created equal—there are good fats and bad fats.

“Good” fats include monounsaturated fats, found in olive and canola oils, peanuts and other nuts, peanut butter, and avocados. Monounsaturated fats lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol—which accumulates in and clogs artery walls— while maintaining levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, which carries cholesterol from artery walls and delivers it to the liver for disposal.Omega-3 fatty acids—polyunsaturated fats found in coldwater fish, canola oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts—also count as good fat. Recent studies have shown that populations that eat more omega-3s, like Eskimos (whose diets are heavy on fish), have fewer serious health problems like heart disease and diabetes.

There is evidence that omega-3 oils help prevent or treat depression, arthritis, asthma, and colitis and help prevent cardiovascular deaths. You’ll eat both monounsaturated fats and omega-3s in abundance in all three phases of the Diet.

“Bad fats” include saturated fats—the heart-clogging kind found in butter, fatty red meats, and full-fat dairy products. “Very bad fats” are the manmade trans fats. Trans fats, which are created when hydrogen gas reacts with oil, are found in many packaged foods, including margarine, cookies, cakes, cake icings, doughnuts, and potato chips. Trans fats are worse than saturated fats; they are bad for our blood vessels, nervous systems, and waistlines.


Beyond Weight Loss:The South Beach Diet Benefits Your Health, Too Has your doctor has told you that you must lose weight to stave off heart disease or diabetes? Then the South Beach Diet may be the one for you. Why? Because the Diet that’s helping millions across the nation shed their extra pounds didn’t start out as a weight-loss diet at all. I created the Diet to help my patients lower their levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and to lower their risk of pre diabetes (the condition that precedes full-blown type 2 diabetes and that has been linked to risk of heart attack and stroke). And it’s been proven to do just that. To give just one example, one of my male patients in his mid fifties had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and narrowing in his coronary arteries. His previous doctor had prescribed the usual medications. But once on the Diet, his cardiac profile quickly improved. His triglycerides, which had been over 400, fell below 100—a normal level—after just a month. He also lost 30 pounds, which he’s kept off, and no longer takes all those heart medications.

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