The Low-Down on Atkins, South Beach, and the Zone Diets


With all the low carb diets out there it can be difficult to ascertain which one is right for you, and even what the differences between all of them are! Low carb diets are all the rage, and they have proven to be very effective. But, which one do you choose? Which one is right for you? Are they all the same? These are all fair questions, and we’ll attempt to clarify the differences in all three of these popular diets so that you can choose the one that is right for you!

The Atkins Diet

The book is an affordable $14.95 for the paperback version, making this program affordable, for starters. The Atkins diet was also the first and the most successful low carb diet, which is attractive for those that want a diet with a history. Basically, the Atkins diet is all about high protein, high fat, low carb, and low sugar. If you are worried about being able to prepare the foods and snacks, Atkins offers a whole line of controlled carb snacks and has Atkins brand foods like Endulge, as well as shakes and pasta side dishes. Atkins is so popular that it has major national restaurants such as Subway and even TGI Friday’s offering Atkins approved items on their menus.

The high fat content of the diet has earned the Atkins diet a lot of criticism because the large amount of red meat, dairy products, and butter leaves many with higher LDL cholesterol rates, leading to clogged arteries. This may or may not be true for you, but what is true is the first phase of the diet allows no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day! No fruit, bread, grains, starchy veggies, or caffeine! Eventually you’ll be able to eat some of these things again, but giving it all up can be rough! This is definitely not a good diet pick for vegetarians but is great for those that love red meat, fish, eggs, and salad.

The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet book will run about $25 and is considered to be much like the Atkins diet, but has been successful because it is easier to understand, better organized and simply a better read. The South Beach Diet is also more flexible than the Atkins diet, which many find appealing. It’s true that The South Beach Diet also has a two week induction period where you will eliminate most carbs, but it is low in saturated fats and high in fiber.

The problem with South Beach is that it isn’t really the healthiest program, though you will lose weight. The problem is that it encourages the consumption of processed foods, which isn’t good for long term health. While the induction period doesn’t allow alcohol, fatty meats, pasta, sugar, sugary vegetables, fruits and fruit juices, cookies, potatoes, milk and ice cream, healthy carbs will be allowed back into the diet in subsequent phases. South Beach is very specific about what should and should not be eaten, which is different than the Atkins Diet. If you love pasta, this isn’t the diet for you, but if you are a lover of eggs, lean meats, fish, nuts, and ricotta cheese you’ll love this diet!

The Zone Diet

The Zone has been around since 1995, and is a diet that is composed of 40% carbs, 30% fat, and 30% protein. The diet was originally created to increase the performance of athletes and will require a lot of math to figure how much of each thing you will need to eat!

The Zone doesn’t allow high glycemic index carbs such as white bread and sugary goods as well as egg yolks, deli meats, and fatty red meats. It’s been said that Jennifer Aniston and Renee Zellweger are firm believers of the Zone.

This simply is not a good diet for you if you want a simple diet with simple instructions, but works for those that want a very obsessive compulsive diet that will allow you to control every portion exactly as prescribed. Simply put, the Zone Diet is very complicated!

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