Fats and Oils Allowed on the South Beach Diet

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On the South Beach Diet (read more about this eating plan, below), sources of trans-fats (such as regular margarine) and saturated fats (such as butter) are to be avoided.

Sources of Omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon and other fatty fish) are encouraged, as are oils high in monounsaturates, such as olive oil.

Sources of Omega-6 fatty acids (such as nuts) can also be eaten, but not to excess.

Sources of Oils Most Encouraged on the South Beach Diet

Other Acceptable Sources of Oils on the South Beach Diet

  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Regular mayonnaise (full fat)
  • Soy-based mayonnaise
  • Trans-fat-free spreads (no partially hydrogenated oils)

Fats and Oils That Should Be Limited on the South Beach Diet

  • Corn oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Palm oil or palm kernel oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Light or low-fat mayonnaise with no high-fructose corn syrup (avoid fat-free mayonnaise)
  • Coconut oil
  • Light coconut milk

Fats and Oils to Be Avoided on the South Beach Diet

  • Butter, all forms (fat-free substitutes such as Butter Buds are OK)
  • Lard, bacon grease, and other solid animal fat
  • Margarine and other spreads with trans-fats (partially hydrogenated oils)
  • Miracle Whip-type salad dressings
  • Vegetable shortening

See the rest of the South Beach Diet Food Lists.

What Exactly Is the South Beach Diet?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the South Beach Diet was created in 2003 by cardiologist Arthur Agatston, and named after a glamorous area of Miami, is sometimes called a modified low-carbohydrate diet. The South Beach Diet is lower in carbs (carbohydrates), which you don't have to count, and higher in protein and healthy fats than a typical eating plan.

But it's not a strict low-carb diet.

The diet consists of three phases. In the final maintenance phase of the South Beach Diet, about 140 grams of carbohydrates are allowed daily. A true low-carb diet might allow only 50 to 100 grams of carbohydrates a day.

Purpose of the South Beach Diet

The purpose of the South Beach Diet is to encourage weight loss and a healthy lifestyle by changing the overall balance of the foods one eats. 

Note: As with any eating plan, check with your doctor or health-care provider before starting any weight-loss diet.

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