Good health and longevity interest people of any age 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. Which diet plan for weight loss is the best? Two diet plans that have become exceptionally 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 a healthy-eating plan. It’s plant-based and incorporates the traditional flavors and cooking methods of the region.
The Mediterranean Diet is often called “The Healthiest Diet worldwide” due to the fact 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 lot of benefits such as helping in the prevention of gallstones, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, and other diseases.
South Beach Diet Explained
The South Beach Diet is a commercial diet plan that Dr. Arthur Agatston and dietitian Marie Almon designed in the mid-1990s.
The purpose of the South Beach Diet is to change the overall balance of the foods you eat to encourage weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.
The South Beach Diet is a newer “no carb” type diet where carbohydrates are forbidden during the first phase of the diet and then are slowly introduced back into the diet after two weeks.
South Beach Diet says that its balance of complex carbs, lean protein and healthy fats makes it a nutrient-dense, fiber-rich diet that you can follow for a lifetime of healthy eating. Food sources of complex carbs, or so-called good carbs, include fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and legumes. Simple carbs, or “bad” carbs, include sugar, syrup, and baked goods made from refined white flour.
There are three phases altogether, 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 - Pros & Cons
The similarities of these two diets include eating restaurant-quality recipes and promoting healthy monounsaturated fats. Both diets are low in unhealthy saturated fats. 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 - Pros & Cons
With the Mediterranean Diet, alcohol (especially wine) is allowed in moderation. It is forbidden 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.
South Beach is much more balanced and focuses on curbing cravings while you’re making positive eating changes. While the first 2 weeks can be tough for most people, they are not starving themselves and the rapid weight loss can be reward enough for most people.
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.