South Beach Diet – Food List

The South Beach Diet has 3 phases. The first (two week) phase is very restrictive, whilst the second has some restrictions. The 3rd and final phase is a maintenance phase.

For a complete and thorough list to refer to, get your own copy of the South Beach Diet – Good Fats/Good Carbs Guide by Arthur Agatston.

NOTE: The food list is updated a number of times per year, as Dr. Agatston is continually refining the diet as new research comes to light.

NOTE: South Beach Diet now offer a home delivery service for food – currently offering 40% off.

Phase 1

Where the items have a line through them, this is a recent update.

Foods to ENJOY (controlled portions)

  • Seafood
  • Lean beef (i.e. good cuts)
  • Lean poultry (skinless chicken or turkey breast)
  • Lean pork
  • Vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, celery, asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, lettuce, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, onions, fennel.
  • Legumes – beans
  • Eggs
  • Cheeses – fat-free, cottage cheese
  • Dairy – (fat-free or 1% milk, fat-free plain yogurt). Dairy limited to 2 servings per day.
  • Nuts
  • Oils -canola or olive oil
  • Sweets / Sugars – no more that 75 calories per day

Foods to AVOID

  • All Starchy Carbs – bread, cereal, rice, pasta, potatoes, all baked goods.
  • Alcohol
  • All Dairy – ice cream, milk, yogurt
  • Fruit – all fruits and fruit juices
  • Cheese – full fat
  • Vegetables – barley, carrots, white or sweet potatoes, corn, yams, beets.

Phase 2

Foods to ENJOY

  • Starchy Carbs (sparingly) – bagels (whole wheat), bran muffins, cereals (high-fiber, oatmeal), pasta (whole wheat), rice (wild or brown), bread (multi-grain, bran, whole wheat).
  • Seafood
  • Lean beef (i.e. good cuts)
  • Lean poultry (skinless chicken or turkey breast)
  • Lean pork
  • Fruit – apples, medium-sized banana (added June ’04), blueberries, grapefruit, grapes, mangoes, oranges, peaches
  • Vegetables – barley, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, carrots.
  • Dairy – yogurt, milk (fat-free, 1%, 2-3 cups max.) Note that yogurt can be artificially sweetened non-fat – but limit to 4 oz. per day.
  • Sweets – chocolate (semi-sweet).
  • Soy products (< 6g fat or less per 2-3 oz. serving)

Foods to AVOID

  • Starchy Carbs – all refined carbs – white breads, white pastas, white rice, rice cakes, cookies.
  • Fruit – bananas, canned fruit, fruit juice, pineapple, raisins, watermelon.
  • Vegetables – beets, carrots, corn, white potatoes
  • Dairy – full cream


Aim for lots of water, and a maximum of one coffee (or other caffeine drink) per day. Soda should be sugar-free as well as other drink mix type beverages.

What About Coffee?

While the original South Beach Diet listed decaffeinated coffee and tea in the meal plans, the New South Beach Diet Supercharged Plan says that regular coffee and tea are acceptable.

Multivitamins, Minerals, and Supplements

It is recommended that the following supplements are taken:

  • 500mg Calcium (men and women)
  • 1 multivitamin / mineral supplement

See the South Beach Diet food delivery service

SBD 45 off


  1. Mom 4 days ago

    So, this is not an exhaustive list here of foods you can have. You can have soy, just in moderation- like a lot of things. The point is to jump start your body into using your fat stores instead of just your food, and then continue with exercise and healthy food choices to lose excess weight.
    It’s not about counting calories, it is as low-sodium as you make it- because you are preparing your foods. The pre-prepared foods they offer commercially are a totally different thing and the best way to find out about those is to call them.

  2. Gretchen 2 weeks ago

    In Phase One, can I have other vegetables than the ones listed, like okra, turnips, Swiss chard, bell peppers?

    • James 5 days ago

      Yes. Except possibly the turnips, that have a higher carb content.

  3. Al DeFelice 2 weeks ago

    Did this about 10 years ago, lost 75# in 6months, great diet.

  4. Kathy 3 weeks ago

    I don’t like fish or mushrooms or eggplant

    • James Adams 3 days ago

      Try using different cooking methods and make sure it’s fresh fish. Tuna that is fresh & Mahi isn’t fishy try grilling them add fresh herbs and spices!

  5. Fran 1 month ago

    How do I find the number of calories and fat I need per day? Is there a app for that

    • Gwen 3 weeks ago

      Yes do you count calories if so how many a day

  6. Marie Burkart 1 month ago

    Does any of the food contain soy

  7. Madiha 1 month ago

    I want to loose weight how to start im confused…

  8. cindy anderson 1 month ago

    do you offer low sodium meals?

    • James 1 month ago

      The foods meet the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 600mg or less of sodium in each meal. To go lower, you will need to browse the nutrition amounts of each meal, and choose the lower sodium foods.

  9. Sharon 1 month ago

    What about soy crumbles?

  10. Connie 1 month ago

    Soy foods are not mentioned anywhere in Phases 1 and 2. Does that mean they are entirely a NO?