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Reasoning behind certain foods?

First phase of South Beach Diet

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Reasoning behind certain foods?

Postby AnitaBath » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:57 pm

First off, hello everyone :mrgreen: I just started the diet yesterday, and get the general idea of the foods that are and aren't allowed on phase 1. However, sometimes I'm kind of confused about the reasoning behind the "this, not that" attitude with some foods. I was hoping maybe someone should shed some light and help me understand better?

1) Refried beans. I know they're allowed, so long as they're the vegetarian, fat-free kind. But is it only because the other kind is fried in lard and contains fat? I thought that fat wasn't considered "bad" on the SBD, just the kinds that prove harmful to health? I've read a lot of things recently that actually say lard ISN'T as bad for you as everyone would make it seem. Doesn't it have more mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats than it does saturated fats? Aren't all saturated fats "not created equal?" Plus, it has Omega 3's and 6's, and one can of non-ff refried beans only has 6g of saturated fat.

Mostly I'm asking because I made some mini quiches last night for breakfast this morning. I had one and thought it tasted good, but last night the carb withdrawal really hit me. This morning I just felt nauseous and weak, and the thought of taking a bite of one of those things made me want to puke (and, no, I know I'm not pregnant ;)) So I found the recipe for the 5 can soup on here and made that (delicious!), but in my no-carb haze I grabbed the first can of refried beans I could find off the shelf and made the soup with it. I'm hoping I didn't just ruin the SBD guidelines for an entire batch.

2) Whole milk. I guess my thinking is the same as the beans. If fat isn't bad, why the banning of 2% and whole milk? Is it just because it's a saturated fat?

Shoot, I had another question but I've already forgotten it. I'll just have to try and remember :D
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Re: Reasoning behind certain foods?

Postby Magna » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:08 am

The answer to both questions (about lard and other fat from meat, and full-fat dairy) is the same. Some people are questioning whether saturated fat from meat and dairy is really bad, but whether it is or isn't, it's not as healthy as other fats. As an example, here's an article that talks about the medical research: ... oblem.html

Even if the saturated kind turn out not to be harmful, they're still very calorie-dense and, as far as we know, don't provide any benefits that you couldn't also get from a healthier kind of fat. Since we have a choice, it's better to go with the ones we know are healthy, instead of letting the questionable ones crowd them out. You might want to ask your doctor about this and see what your doctor has to say about eating lard, full-fat dairy, and other saturated fats.

Btw, refried beans don't have to be fat-free. You can also have the vegetarian kind. And no matter what kind of refried beans you may have put into your soup, it should be OK. The fat in one can of refried beans isn't much in such a large pot of soup.
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Re: Reasoning behind certain foods?

Postby ami » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:01 pm

Please read from the SBD "official" site:
Fat: Friend or Foe?
Because fat is the most concentrated source of energy (i.e., calories) you can get from food, it's often vilified by popular weight-loss plans. Not all fat, however, deserves its bad reputation. Actually, good fats - like extra-virgin olive oil and canola oil - are an essential part of a healthy diet. Did you know that fat plays a role in making vitamin D (which is actually a hormone) and other hormones, cushions your vital organs and bones, aids in the absorption of vitamins A, E, and K, and keeps your cells healthy? It does.

The South Beach Diet(r) encourages you to enjoy the good fats. Not only are they considered essential fats, meaning you must consume them in your diet to maintain good health, but they add flavor and texture to foods and help you feel satisfied.
Certain fats, the so-called bad fats, should be avoided, since they contribute to heart disease and stroke. Here's a breakdown:

Good fats:

Unsaturated fat (mono- and poly-) exists in liquid form at room temperature.
These are the good fats that we encourage you to enjoy on all Phases of The South Beach Diet(r).
Unlike saturated and trans fats, unsaturated fats can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Monounsaturated fats include extra-virgin olive oil and canola oil.
Polyunsaturated fats include the omega-3s found in fish oil.

Bad fats:

Saturated fat exists in solid form at room temperature. It's found in animal products and some vegetable oils. Eating too much saturated fat can lead to high LDL ("bad") cholesterol, which can ultimately contribute to heart disease.

Trans fats are created when an unsaturated fat (like vegetable oil) is
chemically altered so that it stays solid at room temperature. Consuming trans fats can lead to clogged arteries.
Trans fats are found in processed foods like chips, baked goods, and fast foods.
You'll see the words "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" on the ingredient label if trans fats are present. Also, since January, 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required food manufacturers to display the amount of trans fats on all of their product labels.

Note: Children under the age of 2 should not be on a fat-restricted diet, since fat is important for proper brain development.

Shopping for Fats Daily Dish 6/22/04

This Daily Dish is the first in a series on how to read nutrition labels
The South Beach Diet(tm) does not ask you to count grams of fat. The focus is on eating the
right fats in controlled amounts. But what are the right fats, and how can you identify them
on a nutrition label?

Reading both the nutrition facts and the ingredients can help you solve the fat puzzle. Fat
is currently broken down into two categories under the nutrition-facts panel. The first
shows the total fat grams, and the second shows the grams of saturated fat.

If you subtract the saturated fat grams from the total fat grams, you'll be left with
fat that is either unsaturated ("good") fat or trans ("bad") fat. You'll now need to
look at the ingredients list to figure out the rest of the fat puzzle. This is because the
amount of trans fat won't be listed on the nutrition-facts panel until the year 2006.

Trans fats are listed in the ingredients as "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated"
oils, while unsaturated fats may be listed as olive oil, canola oil, corn oil, or a variety
of other vegetable oils. If you identify trans fats in a product, try to avoid purchasing it.
Trans fats have been shown to raise bad cholesterol levels and lower good cholesterol levels.

Now that you're armed with the keys to unscrambling the fat puzzle, you may start to see
a pattern that will help you avoid certain products (without spending hours deciphering the
nutrition label).
The Trans-Fat Hot List
From the official SBD site

You've probably heard a lot in the news lately about trans fats-a particularly nasty type of fat that can wreak havoc on your health. Food manufacturers have not been required to list this type of fat on their food labels in the past, but because of new government regulations, manufacturers will be required to list the amount of trans fats in their products by 2006. Until then, here is what you need to know to identify trans fats present in foods.
Look for the words "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oil on the list of
ingredients. If it is listed as the first, second, or third ingredient, the food has a lot
trans fats in it. The common names for trans fats to look for on food labels include partially hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated corn oil, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, partially hydrogenated coconut oil, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil shortening.
You can also refer to this "Hot List" of foods that are known to harbor trans fats. To keep your weight loss on track, and to maintain good health, it's best to avoid these foods as much as possible. There are plenty of great-tasting, healthier alternatives you can have instead!

Biscuits, made from mix Stuffing mixes
Biscuits or rolls, made from refrigerated
dough Taco shells
Coating mixes for fish, meat, or poultry White and wheat flour breads (some


Most commercial bakery items,
such as:
Pastries or bakery items with icing or
Cinnamon buns Sweet rolls
Danish Toaster tarts or strudel, plain or iced

Most commercial confectionery,
such as:
Hard candies with a creamy texture (some
Caramels Seasonal candy
Chocolate Taffy-like candy
Fruit chews

Bean dips (some types)
Crackers, including cheese-filled
sandwich-type, cream-filled sandwich-type,
saltine-type, snack crackers and
some types of wheat crackers
Cheese and pretzel snack kits Nacho cheese dips
Cheese and cracker snack kits (some
types) Popcorn packaged for the microwave
Cheese puffs Potato chips and potato sticks
Chocolate- or yogurt-covered snacks
(most types) Pretzels filled with imitation cheese
Cookie snack kits Pudding snacks, prepared
Cookies, most types such as chocolate
chip and vanilla wafers Tortilla chips (some types)
Corn chips Weight-loss snack bars (some types)


Breakfasts with biscuit Fried chicken
topping, made from biscuit mixes Fried fish sandwiches
French fries
Mixed meals from a box that contain
buttermilk biscuit topping, cornbread
topping, dumplings, or pouched seasoning
Fried apples or fast-food fruit pies. Most deep-fried fast foods

Most commercially prepared items, such
as Cake sprinkles, decorettes, or baking
chips Cakes and cake mixes
Pie crusts, such as traditional, graham
cracker, and cookie crumb, and some pie
fillings, such as chocolate
Cakes or cupcakes prepared with icing or
frosting Ice cream cakes Pound cake and fat-free pound cake
Ready-to-spread frostings

Light spreads (some types) Vegetable shortening, regular and butter-flavored
Margarine, hard stick and tub types


Entrees (some types) Pastries, heat-and-eat or pastries with
French fries Pizza and pizza crusts
Fruit pies and pie crusts Potpies
Pancakes and French toast Waffles and waffle sticks

International and instant latte coffees (some types)
Refrigerated nondairy creamers (some types)
Refrigerated fat-free nondairy creamers Whipped toppings


Commercially prepared salad dressings (some types)


Bouillon cubes (some types) Ramen noodle and soup cups (some types)
Boxed onion soup and dip mix
If you still have some questions about fats, please let us know.
Ami in OH
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Re: Reasoning behind certain foods?

Postby AnitaBath » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:25 am

Thanks so much for the replies! I guess I was just confused by the reasoning behind it. Like 1% milk still has saturated fat, so it's just the amount of it in whole milk that makes it bad to drink?

Sometimes the thinking that all saturated fats are bad just kind of confuses me. There's the room-temperature definition of saturated fats, but really that just means that the long chain of molecules has the full number of hydrogen atoms surrounding each carbon atom so that the molecule is in a mostly linear shape and can pack in tightly among the other molecules and form a solid at room temperature, while unsaturated fats have a double bond so they have a kink in their shape and can't pack as tightly and so they're liquids. Coconut oil, for example, is a saturated fat, but it's melting point is just a little bit under 70 degrees, so it's pretty much a liquid at room temperature. And it's supposed to be super good for you! I guess I'm still conflicted about where all of the saturated fats lie on the sliding scale :lol:

I'm probably way over analyzing all of this. I grew up drinking 2% milk, so anything with less fat just tastes bad to me. Actually, a helpful tip for anyone who may prefer the taste of fattier milks: organic milk tastes so much richer than regular milk. Organic skim milk tastes about the same as non-organic 2% milk.
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Re: Reasoning behind certain foods?

Postby Magna » Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:07 pm

Yes, the reasoning behind eating lean meats rather than fatty meats, and drinking nonfat or 1% milk instead of whole milk is that they have less saturated fat.

Coconut oil is being debated right now. Maybe the medical community will agree in the future that it's good for you, but for now, they haven't. Here's an article pointing out that the American Heart Association and the U.S. government haven't found it to be any healthier than other saturated fats: ... and-health

You can discuss it with your doctor and decide. But assuming it's good for you, I have never heard anyone say you should be eating a lot of it. You'll still need to limit it (along with other fats) if you want to lose weight. All fats are very calorie-dense, and if you eat a lot of them, you won't lose weight. The article mentions this.
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