The food pyramid for the South Beach diet.
It emphasizes the consumption of good carbohydrates and good fats. According to the doctor, the excessive consumption of so-called bad carbohydrates makes it difficult for insulin to process fat and sugar. Too many bad fats, such as saturated fats and trans fats may increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
Good carbohydrates are high in fiber or high in good fats, and have a low glycemic index, which means they are digested and absorbed slowly. Preferred carbohydrates have more nutritional value than the alternatives. The South Beach Diet allows brown rice in moderation, but discourages white rice. When you eat carbohydrates, you should also eat fiber or fat to slow digestion of the carbohydrates. Good fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, especially those with omega-3 fatty acids. Saturated and trans fats are bad fats.
The South Beach has three phases. Phase 1 lasts two weeks. Here dieters improve insulinís food processing performance by avoiding high or moderately high-glycemic carbohydrates, such as dairy, sugar, candy, bread, potatoes, fruit, cereals, and grains. Many dieters will lose between 8 and 13 pounds in this phase. They may eat normal-size helpings of meat, fish, vegetables, eggs, cheese, and nuts. This phase includes three meals a day, plus snacks. Dieters eat until their hunger is satisfied. In this phase dieters weight, change their body chemistry, and stop craving sugars and starches. No alcohol is allowed. Forbidden foods include: beef brisket, liver, and other fatty cuts, chicken wings and legs, duck, goose, processed poultry products, honey-baked ham, veal breast, brie, edam, and other fatty cheese, beets, corn, carrots, white and sweet potatoes, green peas, and fruit. During this phase dieters must stay away from all starchy foods including bread, cereal, rice pasta and pastry. Other no-nos include ketchup and dairy. One or two caffeine beverages a day is permitted.
During Phase II whole grain foods, dairy product, and fruit are allowed. Dieters should introduce them gradually and in moderate quantities. And they may drink red wine, also in moderate quantities.
One of many South Beach Diet books.
When dieters reach their desired weight they proceed to Phase III, the maintenance phase. They are now allowed three servings of whole grains and three servings of fruit a day. This easy to follow, flexible diet emphasizes a permanent change in eating habits but allows a variety of foods. It encourages eating whole grains and vegetables and tolerates mono- and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, such as found in fish. It discourages the eating excessively refined processed foods (especially refined flours and sugars), high-fat meats, and saturated fats in general. Dieters need not count calories or limit servings; they may eat until they are satisfied. This diet recommends 6 meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with small snacks between each meal.
So what about wine in this diet? Alcoholic beverages are forbidden during the first phase. But they may cook with dry table wine. The problem isnít the carbs themselves but that alcohol is converted into sugar that increases cravings for bad carbs. Upon reaching Phase 2 dieters are allowed one or two glasses of wine a day. Excluded drinks include beer, brandy, liquors, and wine coolers. Drink the wine with or just after the meal to maintain an appropriate blood sugar level.