Mediterranean Diet and the South Beach Diet: A Detailed Comparison
Good health and longevity interests people of all ages from around the world. As a result, the weight loss and fitness industries have been booming for years. There are so many diets that those seeking help with their weight loss or health needs don’t know where to turn.
Two diets that have become extremely popular recently are the Mediterranean Diet and the South Beach Diet. Here’s a detailed comparison of both diets.
Mediterranean Diet Explained
The Mediterranean Diet is often called “The Healthiest Diet in the World” because of its healthy weight loss benefits. Just as the name implies, the Mediterranean Diet has been enjoyed by people who live in the Mediterranean region, particularly Italy and Greece, for thousands of years and is now being adopted by many Americans and others around the world.
It is a diet low in saturated fat with healthy mono-unsaturated fats being provided through fish, nuts and olive oil. It features foods such as dried fruits, vegetables, whole grains, small portions of meat such as salmon, turkey, lamb, and tuna, and a small amount of wine.
The Mediterranean Diet is known for its many benefits such as help in the prevention of gallstones, breast cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, Lou Gehrig disease, high cholesterol, and other diseases.
South Beach Diet Explained
The South Beach Diet is a newer “no carb” type diet where carbohydrates are prohibited during the first phase of the diet, and then are slowly introduced back into the diet after two weeks. There are three phases all together, with the third being for maintenance. The focus is on lean meats such as chicken, turkey, shellfish, and fish as well as nuts, eggs, and low-fat cheese. The benefits are weight loss with a long-term balanced diet plan to help with weight maintenance.
How the Diets are Alike
The similarities of these two diets include eating restaurant quality recipes and promoting healthy monounsaturated fats. Both diets are low in unhealthy saturated fats. The unhealthy fats are found in cheese and meat. Both diets promote healthy foods. Both provide an avenue for fast weight loss with a plan for lifetime maintenance. Also, both diets offer online support and memberships for delicious diet recipes. For instance, Ayhan’s Mediterranean Menu Plans are available for those who want to change over to a Mediterranean way of eating.
How They Differ
With the Mediterranean Diet, alcohol (especially wine) is allowed in moderation. It is prohibited in the first phase of the South Beach Diet. The Mediterranean Diet is high in fiber while the South Beach Diet is low in fiber during its initial phase.
Portion control is the main focus of the Mediterranean Diet while the South Beach Diet restricts “what” is eaten by prohibiting certain fruits and vegetables. Another major difference is that those who adopt the Mediterranean Diet may order foods, dressings and seasonings online for their cooking needs. The South Beach Diet does not offer products such as these.
The South Beach Diet has only been around a few years while the Mediterranean Diet has been around for thousands of years. Studies have shown that those eating a Mediterranean Diet have less risk of major diseases and can even increase longevity.
In this comparison, we see that both diets offer health and weight loss benefits. However, the Mediterranean Diet appears to be better for long-term good health and has fared well in many studies.
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