Developed by Dr. Arthur Agatston, The South Beach Diet is designed to help you lose weight while eating everyday foods. If you like Filipino style foods, you will be pleased to find that many Filipino dishes can be included in this diet. They key is choosing your sauces carefully, avoiding fried food and monitoring your intake of carbohydrates, particularly rice.
During Phase One of the South Beach Diet, your food options are restricted. Your meals consist of unlimited amounts of protein, vegetables chosen from a given list and a few servings of healthy fats. Dairy, fruit and grains are not allowed during Phase One. This is the most restrictive phase of the diet, and perhaps the most difficult to adapt to any particular culinary style. A traditional Filipino breakfast that includes rice would not be allowed in this phase of the diet. Most meat dishes that are not fried would be acceptable, so long as their sauces do not contain sugar (use a sugar-substitute), and they are not served with rice. Use vegetables as a side dish instead.
During Phase Two of the South Beach Diet, your food options are still controlled, but you have more choices. You can choose from a wider variety of vegetables, selected fruits, some dairy, and some whole grains. With its emphasis on seafood, meat, vegetables, dairy and rice, this is perhaps the easiest phase of the diet to adapt to Filipino cuisine.
Adapting Filipino Cuisine
Rice is a staple of the Filipino diet. To adhere to the South Beach Diet, the rice consumed must be brown rice or wild rice, and the portion size must be controlled. Fish and shellfish are allowed, but should be prepared without frying. Meat is allowed, but should be prepared without frying. Most vegetables and fruits are allowed except certain starchy ones. Non-fat diary products are also allowed. Adobong Baboy, a pork dish traditional in the Philippines, can be easily adapted to the South Beach Diet by controlling the amount of fat used in the sauce and using a leaner cut of pork. Adobo dishes can also be easily adapted to the South Beach Diet as well. With a little careful planning, you will find a number of Filipino dishes which are acceptable on the South Beach Diet or can be easily adapted.