South Beach a bummer?

Nutrition News

Wouldn't it be great if there were one simple way to lose weight and keep it off? An estimated 61 percent of adults and 13 percent of adolescents and children in the United States are overweight or obese, according to the American Public Health Association (www.apha.org).

There are hundreds of books preaching quick fixes to the nation's weight problem, but with so many different options out there choosing the healthiest plan can seem a bit overwhelming. Most recently, the three-phase South Beach Diet has taken the nation by storm, but the question remains: Will the latest fads lead to a healthy weight?

The first phase of the South Beach Diet requires the elimination of carbohydrate intake for two weeks. The second phase of the diet reintroduces some foods with healthy carbohydrates, including fruits and whole grains. The third and final phase is continuing to avoid foods with the bad carbohydrates, such as pasta or rice, throughout one's lifetime. The main principle behind this diet is to cut out the bad, refined carbohydrates that cause weight gain and substitute them with good carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Although the South Beach Diet is proven to work, it is not foolproof. Firstly, the three-phase premise is not practical. The average American doesn't adhere to any diet for more than two weeks. Secondly, phase one says eat until one is full, then phase three assumes one will continue to eat normal-sized portions. Any diet that introduces an all-you-can-eat rule and then assumes the dieter will continue with normal portions is unrealistic.

Does anyone remember the saying, everything in moderation? That is the solution; rather than mechanically monitoring diet do's and don't's, exercising daily and eating three square meals will do the trick. The only effective, sustainable diet is a balanced diet.

Even though many criticize the South Beach Diet, it claims to have done wonders for many individuals. The diet teaches the difference between good and bad carbohydrates; however, scientists and nutritionists do not support this.

The South Beach Diet offers a range of interesting recipes and encourages long-term eating from all food groups. For more information, purchase "The South Beach Diet" by Arthur Agatston for $14.68 in bookstores or visit www.southbeachdiet.com.

Never miss a story

Get our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox.

More from The Eagle

Would you like to support our work? Donate here to The Eagle Innovation Fund.

From the Archives

A look back into The Eagle's archives.