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The South Beach Diet Good Fats, Good Carbs Guide: The Complete and Easy Reference for All Your Favorite Foods Kindle Edition

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Length: 160 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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About the Author

Arthur Agatston, M.D., is a preventive cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. In 1995, Dr. Agatston developed the South Beach Diet to help his cardiac and diabetes patients improve their blood chemistries and lose weight. Since then, his book The South Beach Diet and its companion titles have sold more than 22 million copies. Dr. Agatston has published more than 100 scientific articles and abstracts in medical journals, and recently he received the prestigious Alpha Omega Award from New York University Medical Center for outstanding achievement in the medical profession. He lives in Miami Beach with his wife, Sari.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Your Road Map to South Beach Success

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 helps 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.

As this Guide went to press, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that by 2006, food manufacturers must list the amount of trans fats in their products on the label. (The natural trans fats in meat and milk, which act very differently in the body than the manmade kind, will not require labeling.) Until then, here are a few ways to reduce your intake of trans fats and saturated fats, South Beach style.

Go natural: Limit margarine, packaged foods, and fast food, which tend to contain high amounts of saturated and trans fats. Make over your cooking methods: Bake, broil, or grill rather than fry. Lose the skin: Remove the skin from chicken or turkey before you eat it. Ditch the butter: Cook with canola or olive oil instead of butter, margarine, or lard. Slim down your dairy: Switch from whole milk to fat-free or 1% milk.

Good Carbs, Bad Carbs

Carbohydrates, foods that contain simple sugars (short chains of sugar molecules) or starches (long chains of sugar molecules), have been blamed for our epidemic of obesity and diabetes. This is only partially true, because there are both good and bad carbohydrates. The good carbs contain the important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are essential to our health and that help prevent heart disease and cancer. The bad carbs, which have been consumed by Americans in unprecedented quantities (largely in an attempt to avoids fats), are the ones that have resulted in the fattening of America. Bad carbs are refined carbs, the ones where digestion has begun in factories instead of in our stomachs. The good carbs are the ones humans were designed to consume--the unrefined ones that have contributed to our health since we began eating! Unrefined carbohydrates are found in whole, natural foods, such as whole grains, legumes, rice, and starchy vegetables. They're also called complex carbohydrates, so named for their molecular structure. Besides being packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, good carbs take longer to digest--a good thing, as you'll soon see.
Refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, are found in packaged, processed foods, such as store-bought baked goods, crackers, pasta, and white bread.

Refined carbohydrates are made with white flour and contain little or no fiber. In fact, many products made with white flour are advertised as fortified with vitamins and minerals, because the process of turning grain into white flour strips away its fiber and nutrients. One of our South Beach Diet rules is to avoid foods labeled as "fortified." Current evidence is that fortification with vitamins does not recreate the benefits of the natural vitamins that have been removed.

Despite the fact that good carbs are a critical part of a healthy diet, the typical American diet is filled with the bad kinds. And when we're overweight as a result of a diet laden with bad carbs, our bodies' ability to process all carbohydrates goes awry. To understand why, you need to understand the role of the hormone insulin.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1500 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale; Revised edition (April 19, 2005)
  • Publication Date: April 15, 2005
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594861986
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594861987
  • ASIN: B000S1LV7M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,747 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Arthur Agatston, MD
Leader in Cardiac Disease Prevention and Creator and Author of The South Beach Diet

Dr. Arthur Agatston is the Medical Director of Wellness and Prevention for Baptist Health South Florida. A pioneer in cardiac prevention, Dr. Agatston's work with Dr. Warren Janowitz resulted in the Agatston Score, a method of screening for coronary calcium as an indicator of atherosclerosis that is used at medical centers throughout the world and considered by most experts to be the best single predictor of a future heart attack. Dr. Agatston is a clinical professor of medicine at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. His cardiology practice in Miami Beach is focused on preventing heart attacks in high-risk patients.

Dr. Agatston has published more than 100 scientific articles and abstracts in medical journals, including the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Circulation, the American Journal of Cardiology, and the Annals of Internal Medicine. Among his many television appearances, Dr. Agatston was featured along with President Bill Clinton on Sanjay Gupta's 2011 CNN special, "The Last Heart Attack." He is a frequent lecturer on diet, cardiac imaging, and the prevention of heart disease both nationally and internationally and participates as a speaker, faculty member, and organizer of numerous academic cardiology meetings and symposia. Dr. Agatston has also served as an expert consultant to the Clinical Trials Committee of the National Institutes of Health and has served on committees of the American Society of Echocardiography, the American College of Cardiology, and the Society of Atherosclerosis Imaging. He is currently on the board of directors of the Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE). In recognition of his contributions to cardiac prevention, the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) created the esteemed Arthur S. Agatston Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Award in 2011, which is given annually to pioneers in cardiac prevention. In 2009, Dr. Agatston received the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Award from New York University Medical Center for outstanding achievement in the medical profession.

In 1995, Dr. Agatston created his balanced approach to healthy eating to help his patients improve their blood chemistries and lose weight. His eating plan worked so well that a Miami TV station asked if it could offer the diet to its viewers. Hundreds of South Floridians went on the diet and lost weight three years running, and its popularity eventually led to the publication of Dr. Agatston's internationally bestselling book--his first nonacademic work--The South Beach Diet, in 2003. Today, the South Beach Diet is the trusted choice of millions seeking a total solution for losing weight, reversing metabolic syndrome, and gaining health. There are more than 23 million copies of The South Beach Diet and its companion books in print worldwide, including The South Beach Diet Cookbook (2004), The South Beach Diet Good Fats/Good Carbs Guide (2004), The South Beach Diet Quick & Easy Cookbook (2005), The South Beach Diet Dining Guide (2005), The South Beach Diet Parties & Holidays Cookbook (2006), The South Beach Diet Taste of Summer Cookbook (2007), The South Beach Heart Health Revolution (2008), The South Beach Diet Supercharged (2008), The South Beach Diet Super Quick Cookbook (2010), and The South Beach Wake-Up Call (2011). His most recent book, The South Beach Diet Gluten Solution, was published in April 2013.

The South Beach Diet lifestyle program has grown to include Web-based materials and a family of healthy and convenient foods, including delicious and nutritionally balanced bars and snacks. Its popular online program,, provides weight loss tools, recipes, exercise routines, customized meal plans, support from registered dietitians, and a vibrant community of South Beach Diet followers.

In 2004, Dr. Agatston founded the nonprofit Agatston Research Foundation for the purpose of conducting and funding original research on diet, cardiac health, and disease prevention. The foundation is dedicated to improving the heart health and wellness of the nation through research, education, and prevention. In the fall of 2004, the foundation implemented the Healthier Options for Public Schoolchildren (HOPS) initiative to provide nutrition and healthy lifestyle education programming, including daily physical activity, to more than 50,000 elementary school children nationally. Data from the initiative, presented at national conferences, including those of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the American Dietetic Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and published in 2010 in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, show that children in HOPS schools improved their weights, blood pressures, and academic test scores more so than children in non-HOPS schools. Today the foundation is also working with the University of Pennsylvania on the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative (AUNI) to further pursue better nutrition in public schools and with the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Miami on research projects dedicated to developing healthier lifestyles and preventing cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Agatston also can be found on the Web at and, and he is an advisor on heart health for Prevention magazine. He lives in Miami Beach, Florida, with his wife, Sari. They have two grown sons.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

319 of 335 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
This companion book to the original South Beach Diet book serves as an excellent resource for figuring out which foods we can have and which we must avoid. It's a food guide, not a full-blown description of the diet. As such, it suits it's purpose just fine.
I've lost over 30 pounds on this diet in the past 3 months, without suffering and misery. The similiarities between South Beach and Atkins are clear to see. So are the differences. South beach is the product of a cardiologist, which is aimed at preventing heart disease and diabetes. It's not just low carb, it's correct carbs. It also emphasizes avoiding saturated fats and trans-fats. With all due respect to the late Dr. Atkins and his diet, this one presents a healthier alternative that has proven effective. This isn't the only diet book out there but it's a good one with good explanations for those serious about losing weight in a safe manner.
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198 of 208 people found the following review helpful By Lee Mellott TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 21, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The South Beach Diet Good Fats Good Carbs Guide" is a 138 page companion book to the best selling book, "The South Beach Diet".
According to the author, Dr. Arthur Agatston all fats and carbs are not created equal. The good fats and carbs will nourish your body, help you stay healthy and lose weight. Eating the wrong kinds will trigger cravings, decrease your ability to burn off calories and make you hungry.
In this book, Dr. Agatston shows you at a glance which fats and carbs are compatable with "The South Beach Diet". Each entry lists a food item, its carbohyrate, sugar and fat grams. Foods are then ranked as limited, very limited or avoid. There are over 1,200 listings.
The beginning of the book gives a quick overview of "The South Beach Diet". It describes why we need to select certain foods in order to lose weight and get healthy. Though it does not go into the great detail of the original South Beach Diet book, you could purchase this mini book and learn enough to be able to follow the diet successfully.
The book packs in a lot of information. In addition to the overview, and food ratings there are also shopping tips and meal makeovers. A handy dining out section makes it easier to stay on the South Beach track at your favorite restaurants.
A quick guide also lists what foods to enjoy on each phase of the diet.
The only drawback to the book is though its smaller than a normal sized book (7" tall by 5" wide), it's still to large to fit in a pocketbook. It would be nice if it were smaller, making it more portable, thus I deducted one star.
Other than that, the book is a super handy resource, excellent for those following the South Beach diet or concerned about their health.
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182 of 196 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Resnick TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
This review was written originally in December, 2004 and was about the first edition. Since then, a new edition has appeared, and some of the faults I found with the original book have been addressed. Since the original edition is still available, I have left my review intact. However, I have added comments at the end to address the changes. If you are planning to buy the revised edition, see the comments at the end too.

Original review:
If you are looking for a diet that is easy to follow, does not leave you hungry, is effective, nutritionally balanced, and improves your overall health, the South Beach Diet may be for you. In this companion book to The South Beach Diet book, Dr. Agatston lists many common foods, as well as whether they can be enjoyed in abundance, limited, or avoided completely. While this could have been done with a simple food list, this information is presented in a table that also lists carbs, sugar, and total fat.

The beginning of the book gives a brief overview of the diet, and a discussion of trans fats and why they should be avoided. It also has a discussion of the glycemic index. Although the recommendations in the book are based on glycemic index, glycemic load, and other factors, this information does NOT appear in the tables, purportedly because it's not available for all foods. Leaving it out for that reason, even when known, defies credibility.

As followers of this diet know, it's not about following the glycemic index, or counting calories or carbs. While the GI may serve as a guideline to let you know where foods fit in, it can also be misleading since some foods with similar GI values may not be of equal value to your diet.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Ron Atkins on April 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
The South Beach diet is a healthy alternative to the Atkins diet and allows enough variety in your diet to maintain a "healthy lifestyle, not just a diet." This is not a cookbook and offers only a few pages of discussion about the diet itself. Use this book as a supplement to the main South Beach Diet book. The book discusses the basic framework of the South Beach diet, including important information about the glycemic index of certain foods, which play a key role in insulin production and fat gain. The basic premise of the book, according to the author, is to help you "consume the right carbs and the right fats and learn to snack strategically."
To teach you how to do this, the book categorizes carb rich foods according to good and poor choices. For example, whole grains, legumes, rice, and starchy vegetables are listed as good carbs, while crackers, pasta, white bread, and processed food products are bad. The bulk of this small paperback is dedicated to lists of foods with their respective carbs, fat, protein, and sugar listed in grams. In short, it is a reference book that supplements the information you get from "The South Beach Diet" book.
Eating of course, is enjoyable, while dieting is a pain. However, having lost approximately 50 pounds over the past 18 months, I can tell you the pleasure of feeling and looking better is worth the inconvenience. Atkins helped me lose weight, but I could only take so much fatty foods, while longing for the crisp, clean taste of fresh fruit. I also read Dr. Phil's book and learned about how my emotions (stress, anger, boredom, etc) effect the way I eat. Trying to diet without understanding why you eat is an uphill battle, so I would recommend you try Dr. Phil and South Beach together.
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