Ask Dr. Everett: Paleo Diet vs. South Beach Diet

Remember The South Beach Diet?


The popular weight loss plan was the brainchild of Dr. Arthur Agaston and named for South Beach, a hip and trendy area of Miami, Florida. The plan is lower in carbohydrates and higher in heart healthy fats (Dr. Agaston is a cardiologist) and protein than other lower calorie diets. The balance of the latter plus carbohydrates that have a lower glycemic index (foods that do not cause a dramatic spike to your blood sugar) is purported to be a plan that you can realistically follow for weight loss and to maintain a healthy weight for a lifetime.

The South Beach Diet debuted in 2003. In 2014, we have the Paleo Diet. This eating plan is inspired by prehistoric eating habits.


A Paleo eating plan includes lean organic meats, vegetables and fruits, omega-rich fish, nuts and seeds and oils from nuts and seeds. Paleo enthusiasts do not consume dairy products, grains, legumes, sugar, salt potatoes and generally eschew all processed foods. The theory is that our bodies did not completely adapt to the modern diet which was created by farming, and that the “caveman menu” is better for preventing disease and obesity.

I asked Dr. Linda Everett of Everett Medical her opinion of the two diets.

The South Beach Diet

Dr. Everett likes the flexibility of the tropical inspired diet. “This plan offers more choices which makes it ideal for carnivores and vegetarians alike. Observational studies have shown that lower fat dairy products can help people lose weight and maintain weight loss. When people learn how replace high glycemic foods with lower glycemic ones, they are able to have more success dieting due to fewer cravings.”

The Paleo Diet

Dr. Everett feels the Paleo Diet has merit as well. “Some individuals have food allergies such as lactose-intolerance and gluten sensitivity, so eliminating dairy and grains from their diet can provide welcome relief from any negative symptoms from consuming those foods. However, the Paleo diet may be too restricting for some. Personally, I like to alternate between the South Beach and Paleo Diets. I may have a chicken breast with mango jalapeño salsa for breakfast, a whole wheat pita with hummus, sprouts, tomato and spinach for lunch and salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner. A piece of extra dark chocolate satisfies my sweet tooth.”

If thats’s what the doctor ordered, I will take two!

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