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South Beach Diet

While some diets eliminate carbohydrates altogether, the South Beach Diet does neither. The South Beach Diet seeks to simply replace "bad" carbs and fats with ones that are "good" for you.

Foods Encouraged In South Beach Diet

The first phase of the diet encourages lean proteins—like seafood, skinless white-meat chicken and turkey, and lean cuts of beef—as well as high-fiber vegetables such as Brussels sprouts.

Low- or no-fat dairy, eggs, and unsaturated fats like those found in avocados, nuts and extra-virgin olive oil are encouraged as well.

Phase two builds upon the first leg of the diet by reintroducing "good" carbs into the body. Whole grains, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, root vegetables, and fruits (but not high-sugar ones) are once again permitted.

Phase two South Beachers continue to consume fiber-rich foods as well as ones that contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, like oatmeal, nuts, extra-virgin olive oil and fatty fish like salmon, herring and tuna. Vegetarians can substitute soy products to get protein.

Foods To Avoid

The 14 day induction phase is relatively strict and forbids most carbohydrates, like rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, and even fruit. Fruit is frowned on because it is loaded with sugar, and the point of this first stage is to lower blood sugar levels in the body.

Alcohol is also banned during this two week period.

The South Beach Diet also discourages high-sugar carbohydrates. Aside from processed foods, this forbidden category includes sugary fruits and vegetables like beets, potatoes, carrots, peas and corn.

Needless to say, pastries are a definite no-no during the first two phases as well, though they may slowly be reintroduced later on.

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