South Beach Diet not only permits people with a special condition to follow it but in certain cases it is recommended, as losing weight in a healthy way, on a easy-to-follow, resulting diet is a desirable effect in all cases.
Even with children, improved nutrition and exercise can help prevent not only obesity and diabetes but can also help improve their academic performances.
Drawn up by a cardiologist, the South Beach Diet aims to solve heart problems by modifying blood chemistry, improving cholesterol levels and blood pressure and the way your body responds to food.
People with diabetes often develop high blood pressure and cholesterol that increase the risk of heart disease, this being one of the main causes of death. The South Beach Diet is designed to manage such problems and thus diabetics can significantly reduce this risk. It also regulates pancreas functions and insulin levels.
A general check up is recommended before starting the diet. During the first phase it is possible that ketosis appear (it is only a possibility, it does not necessarily appear if the complex carbs intake from the recommended vegetables is enough), which is not risky for healthy people, but might cause inconvenience for people with kidney problems or with hypertension.
Risks associated with ketosis include dehydration, loss of glycogen stores, dizziness, heart palpitations, fatigue, lightheadedness, constipation, irritability, and electrolyte imbalance.
Especially patients with chronic illness or who are significantly overweight should consult with their physicians before starting the diet. People under medication for heart problems or for diabetes should also consult with their physicians as adjustments of medication may be necessary when the diet is started or it may be advisable to go straight to Phase 2.
For pre-puberty children, when weight loss is intended, and especially for Phase 1 of the diet, a pediatrician must be consulted to define whether the cause of weight gain is not a hormonal or a genetic problem.
Although designed for health improving purpose, the diet applies to anyone who wishes to lower their blood sugar levels and get rid of some extra pounds.
A vegetarian version was also created for this diet, based on lots of vegetables, beans, legumes and soy products. Also eggs and low-fat dairy products are allowed for those who eat other than vegetable products. Due to the fact that carbs intake is bigger with vegetarians than with meat eaters, weight loss might not have such spectacular results during the first phase.