Twelve Reasons to Avoid the South Beach Diet

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Although millions of people have tried or are currently on the South Beach Diet, there are at least a dozen reasons why this Diet is flawed by a poor understanding of nutritional science.

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Either Agatston is not aware of this important issue or decided not to cover it; no mention is made that, to safely avoid the mercury and PCB issue in fish, while still getting proper omega-3 intake, substituting clean sources of bottled or capsule fish oil is by far the wisest option.

The South Beach Diet may be “The Diet Everyone’s Talking About” as proclaimed on the book’s jacket. However, despite the diet's popularity, there are at least a dozen reasons to re-think using it as your best option for successful (and healthy) long-term weight loss.

So says Dr. Mercola, founder of the world's most visted natural health website Mercola.com. He believes that The South Beach Diet's popularity has more to do with its million-dollar-a-month marketing budget than its flawed prescription for weight loss.

So why does The South Beach Diet head the wrong direction if you want a healthy solution to permanent weight loss?

Reason #1: Although The South Beach Diet discusses the concept of good vs. bad carbs, Agatston mistakenly promotes whole grain breads and fruits as good carbs. Dr. Mercola believes this could be a prescription for disaster for South Beach dieters unknowingly affected by subclinical gluten sensitivity or for those who are highly sensitive to carbohydrates and struggle to control their insulin. Dr. Mercola recommends that you avoid all grains and sugars until insulin levels are normalized.

Reason #2: Dr. Agatston promotes eating fish, despite the fact that today, nearly all fish from every type of water source are dangerously contaminated with the pollutants mercury and PCBs. Mercury is associated with nerve and brain tissue damage and birth defects. PCBs are linked to cancer and impaired fetal brain development. According to Dr. Mercola, “Either Agatston is not aware of this important issue or decided not to cover it; no mention is made that, to safely avoid the mercury and PCB issue in fish, while still getting proper omega-3 intake, substituting clean sources of bottled or capsule fish oil is by far the wisest option.”

Reason #3: In The South Beach Diet, Agatston encourages the use of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (NutraSweet), despite the fact that many studies have linked them to a wide variety of diseases, including cancer, diabetes and various emotional disorders. Dr. Mercola recommends that you avoid artificial sweeteners completely.

Reason #4: Dr. Mercola believes that Dr. Agatston’s most significant oversight may be his lack of understanding of trans fats. These artery-clogging fats, found in margarine, shortening and many foods such as french fries and doughnuts, increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Early in The South Beach Diet, Agatston states that trans fats are dangerous; yet, on page 54, he claims that french fries and potato chips are healthier choices than baked potatoes “ . . . because of the fat in which they’re cooked.” Dr. Mercola believes that french fries and potato chips are among the unhealthiest foods you could eat due to their extremely high levels of trans fats.

Reason #5: Dr. Agatston appears unaware of the power of an optimized diet to normalize cholesterol, and apparently takes a statin drug to lower his own cholesterol, despite the dangers associated with statins. Dr. Mercola states: “It is quite possible to avoid taking statin drugs and supplements to normalize your cholesterol levels, and my patients have experienced amazing success by following my own Total Health Program. I encourage Dr. Agatston to give my program a try as well, so he can get off the statin drugs and avoid their risks.”

Reasons 7- 12: To access the entire 12 Reasons you can go to the original South Beach article.

Along with all the bio-nutritional reasons to avoid The South Beach Diet, Dr. Mercola points out that any effective long-term solution to weight loss must also address your emotional challenges, including cravings, food addictions, self-image issues and other self-sabotaging behavior. These issues are not addressed in Agatston’s book.

Dr. Mercola also has a free online test that will help you determine which foods you are genetically designed to eat. The test link is on the top left of the page at http://www.mercola.com.

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Susan Woller
MERCOLA.COM
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