Foods that Are Allowed on the South Beach Diet


South Beach Diet allowed foods offer a variety of delicious meals and snacks that can help you lose weight.

What Is the South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet is a semi low carbohydrate diet. The hypothesis behind the South Beach diet is that the body loses weight more readily when certain good carbohydrates and fats are incorporated into the diet and certain "bad" fats and carbohydrates are avoided. The "bad" carbohydrates and fats, according to the diet plan, cause increased hunger, cravings and weight gain.

The diet was created by cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agaston. It is organized in phases - an "induction" type phase where diet is the most severely restricted, an ongoing weight loss phase where the restrictions ease up somewhat and a maintenance phase where the diet is still restricted, but there is more wiggle room in what you eat.

The plan allows for three meals and two snacks each day, and South Beach Diet allowed foods provide variety in each of these meals and snacks.

The South Beach Diet promises that those on the plan can finally stop counting calories, weighing food portions and feeling deprived. It also promises results, and anecdotal evidence from South Beach dieters seems to support that the diet works well for many who follow it.

South Beach Diet Allowed Foods

As previously mentioned, the South Beach Diet is pursued in phases. The allowed foods in each phase are slightly different.

Phase One

In this initial phase of the South Beach Diet, all carbohydrates are restricted for a period of two weeks. The South Beach Diet allowed foods in this phase include lean meats like chicken and shellfish, low glycemic index vegetables, low-fat cheese, nuts and eggs. Typically in this phase, dieters lose a large amount of weight quickly--mostly from water loss.

The following foods are allowed in Phase I.


  • Lean beef cuts such as tenderloin and extra lean ground beef
  • Lean cuts of lamb with all visible fat trimmed such as lamb loin and lamb chop
  • Lean cuts of pork such as pork tenderloin, boiled ham and Canadian bacon
  • Skinless poultry like Cornish hens, turkey bacon and chicken and turkey breast
  • Eggs
  • Fat free or low fat lunch meats
  • Low fat soy meat substitutes like tempeh and soy nuts.


  • Low fat (1% or less) milk or soy milk
  • Sugar free or plain low-fat yogurt
  • Fat free half and half
  • Fat free or low fat cheeses

Nuts (limited to one serving per day)

  • 15 dry-roasted almonds
  • Four Brazil nuts
  • 15 dry-roasted cashews
  • 15 dry-roasted pecans
  • Eight dry-roasted macadamia nuts
  • Two tablespoons sugar-free nut butter
  • 20 small dry roasted peanuts
  • Three tablespoons of flax seed

Vegetables and Legumes (fresh, frozen or canned, no sugar added)

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beans - green, Italian, wax, black, butter, garbanzo
  • Peas - split and snow
  • Bok choy
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Greens - lettuce, collard greens, spinach, mustard
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Vegetable juice like tomato and V-8
  • Mushrooms
  • Nightshade vegetables such as onion (limited to ½ per day), tomatoes (one whole or ten cherry per day) and peppers
  • Pickles - sugar free
  • Radish
  • Rhubarb
  • Squash such as spaghetti, summer, yellow and zucchini


  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Enova
  • Grape seed oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Soybean oil
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • Margarines that don't contain trans fats
  • 15 olives
  • Salad dressings with less than three grams of sugar


  • Hot sauce
  • Two tablespoons of salsa
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon steak sauce
  • One tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Two tablespoons of light whipped topping


  • All spices - sugar free
  • Broth (try to get low sugar or sugar-free)
  • Extracts - almond, vanilla, etc.
  • Horseradish
  • Citrus juice - lemon and lime
  • Pepper - all varieties


  • Sugar free hard candy
  • Sugar free cocoa powder
  • Sugar free fudgsicles
  • Sugar free gelatin
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Sugar-free popsicles
  • Sugar substitutes - Stevia, acesulfame K, nutrasweet, saccharin, sucralose

Phase Two

Phase two lasts through your weight loss. You will follow this phase until you reach your goal weight. Foods allowed in phase two include everything allowed in phase one and also include:


  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Berries - blueberry and strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plumbs


  • Fruit flavored yogurt

Starches (used sparingly)

  • Whole grain bagels
  • Multi-grain whole grain breads
  • Cereal - whole grain such as Fiber One, All-Bran, high fiber cereal and slow cooked oatmeal
  • Sugar-free bran muffins
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Green peas
  • Whole wheat pitas
  • Popcorn
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Wild brown rice


  • Barley
  • Pinto beans
  • Black-eyed peas


  • Bittersweet chocolate (sparingly)
  • Fat-free, sugar-free pudding
  • Red wine

Phase Three

This is the maintenance phase that you will follow for the rest of your life. Foods allowed in phase three are the same as in the first two phases. In general, allowed foods in phase three are whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy and low glycemic vegetables and fruits. The South Beach Diet just may be the diet for you. Many lose weight and feel great eating the variety of foods allowed on the diet.

Foods that Are Allowed on the South Beach Diet