Comparing The Mediterranean Diet To The South Beach Diet
Mediterranean Diet and the South Beach Diet Plan
A Comprehensive Contrast
Weight loss and improved overall health are two areas of interest for people of any ages from all over the world. As a result, the weight loss and fitness industries have seen explosive growth for the last decade or so. This growth has led to an ongoing surge of weight loss plans and health or lifestyle plans that, sadly, most of the users don’t understand very well. Like any red-hot industry, the weight loss and health improvement sector has its share of really good plans and really bad plans.
There are 2 diet plans that have received a lot of attention, the Mediterranean lifestyle and diet plan and the South Beach Diet. Both are extremely popular and have devoted followers that swear by these plans. On the flip side, both plans have their detractors. Here is a comparison of these two popular diet plans.
Understanding the Mediterranean Diet
Broadly defined, what is called The Mediterranean Diet isn’t an actual diet plan. Rather, it is a lifestyle plan than includes diet changes and meal planning. Promoters and fans of this diet will often call it the Healthiest Diet Plan In The World. That may be a stretch by it is recognized as being very effective when it comes to healthy long term weight loss and on improvement of the subjects overall health.
The name comes from studies done on the residents who live along the Mediterranean, specifically Greece and Italy. The diet is based on foods found in this region such of nuts, olive oil, whole grains and fish. White wine is part of this diet as well as fruits and vegetables native to the region. Meals are planned to be low fat and low sugar and any oils used are mono unsaturated.
Numerous long term studies have shown that people who follow this diet plan and add some regular exercise to their daily routines have seen a wide variety of health benefits. Not only is there a marked reduction in weight and a visible loss of cellulite, there also are some physical health benefits. Following The Mediterranean Diet has allowed users to realize lowered blood pressure, a reduction in cholesterol, a lessening or elimination of diabetes, lower rates of heart disease, an avoidance of cancer and gallstones, and an overall improvement in general health.
Understanding the South Beach Diet
Named after a famous section of Miami, The South Beach Diet is a popular diet plan that relies on a no carbohydrate style of meal planning. Generally, foods eaten in the first two weeks of the diet have little to no carbohydrates in their make-up. Meals are planned around eggs, nuts, cheese and lean meats with some vegetables added. Some dairy is allowed, as is soy. While not a true keto diet, South Beach does work in a similar manner by putting your body into a state called ketosis. During ketosis your body will not have carbs to burn for energy and will burn fat instead.
After two weeks the diet becomes a bit less restrictive and you can add more fruits to your diet. Your meal planning will still revolve around low carb foods but more variety is added. Phase 3 is considered a maintenance stage. By this time you should be able to determine which foods you can eat and what types of foods you need to avoid. Emphasis is placed on creating meals that are nutritious as well as low in carbs. Studies have shown that the South Beach plan will have accelerated weight loss in the first three weeks but then the weight loss slows. Similar studies have also shown that without an exercise routine being added weight loss will be much slower and harder to keep off.
There are some excellent health benefits from following the South Beach Diet. You will consume many fats during the first few weeks but after that your diet will emphasis more fruits, nuts, vegetables and whole grains. Sugar is very limited as well. Most users find a reduction in blood pressure and cholesterol levels after about 4 weeks. Diabetes and heart disease can be lessened or even avoided by following this diet plan.
Lots Of Similarities
Both of these plans are based on high quality recipes that promote monounsaturated fat, plus whole grains. The nutritional value of these recipes is usually very good and attention is paid to vitamin intake. One benefit of the world wide popularity of these plans is the tremendous amount of support available. There are online groups that post meal plans, many major supermarkets have sections dedicated to ingredients used in preparing meals and you can buy packaged meals that work with these plans. Health benefits can be achieved with both plans as well as long term weight loss.
Lots Of Differences
The Mediterranean Diet has more flexibility when it comes to alcohol. Red and white wine can be consumed while following a Mediterranean plan (in moderation) while South Beach doesn’t allow any alcohol in the first 4-6 weeks.
Fiber is where you will find a lot of difference between the two plans. The Mediterranean Diet is high in fiber and encourages eat high fiber foods. The South Beach diet is very low in fiber, at least for the first 6 weeks. Because it allows more fat the South Beach diet some users find that they need to add a fiber supplement.
The main focus of the Mediterranean diet is portion control. Smaller portions of low fat food is the anchor of meal planning with this plan. The South Beach Diet concentrates on restricting certain foods from your diet, especially those with carbohydrates and sugar. is consumed by restricting certain fruits and vegetables. A meal planned using the Mediterranean diet can use certain types of dressings and flavorings that are not allowed on the South Beach diet.
Another area of difference is age. The Mediterranean diet has been practiced for thousands of years by the residents of that region. The South Beach Diet is much more recent and has only had 40 years or so of research done. The Mediterranean plan has shown to have better results when it comes to long term health, although it is more of a lifestyle change than South Beach is.
Both of these plans have proven track records and both have millions of fans who swear by them. Most studies show that the Mediterranean plan is better for improving your overall health while helping you to lose weight. Both of these plans are more effective when you add a physical fitness routine to your daily activities.