South Beach diet author shuns 'low-carb' label

December 15, 2004 in Food Companies, Manufacturing and Trends, Nutrition Topics in the News

South Beach diet author shuns 'low-carb' label

The South Beach diet is no fad, its creator says, rejecting the notion that his eating plan would fizzle out with the rest of the low-carb craze.

He said the diet is not low carb, but rather good carb. Because carbohydrates like fruits and brown rice are allowed on the diet, the author even resists calling it low-carb, particularly when it means comparisons to the Atkins diet and its high-fat, bacon-and-eggs reputation.

Dr. Agatston plans to publish a heart disease prevention book next year and also hopes to pen a book of fast recipes -- and another on dining out -- sometime in the next year. The South Beach diet advocates eating lean meats and leafy vegetables while eschewing refined carbohydrates like pasta and bread. He says physicians and nutritionists have backed it.

South Beach differs from Atkins, which was created by Dr. Robert Atkins, in that it discourages consumption of foods that are high in saturated fat and advocates eating more fruits and whole grains like brown rice.

The Atkins diet soared to prominence by arguing that people can lose weight by eating high-fat foods like steak and cheese while avoiding starches like potatoes and rice. But Atkins has recently downplayed its "cheeseburger" image.

The percentage of Americans following some form of low-carb diet dropped to 4.6 percent in September from a peak of 9 percent in January, according to research firm The NPD Group.

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