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.

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.

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


Comments now closed
  1. Beth

    What about salad dressing and bacon in phase 1

  2. Yolanda

    Almond milk can i drink?

  3. Colleen

    Is mayo and or salad dressing on any Phase, but particularly Phase One?

    • Kate

      you can make your own mayo & salad dressing to make it easier & allowed 🙂

  4. Elizabeth

    Any vegetarian option

  5. Pam S

    Thanx for food lists..are the foods lined thru acceptable for that particular phase of diet? Re: bananas carrots on foods to avoid list?

  6. Jennifer B

    Can you have avocado on phase 1?

    • Ali

      What are some dessert options for Phase 2? Looking for anythibg ither than Ricotta cheese concoctions

  7. Tammy Wlodarski

    Can you have a plain baked potato with just salt and pepper?

    • Carol

      But you can have a sweet potato starting in phase 2

  8. Anthera Gibson

    Can I extend phase one for a longer period.

    • Brianne

      I have, for sure. That’s the phase you lose the most weight in.

  9. Kory

    Can you have whey protein shakes?

    • Will Drobnick

      i like to use a vegetable protein shake including fat free yogurt, home made almond milk (almonds and water), rolled oats and spinich or a few strawberries. Would this make it as a phase one breakfast?

      • Will Drobnick

        i like to use a vegetable protein shake including fat free yogurt, home made almond milk (almonds and water), rolled oats and spinich or a few strawberries. Would this make it as a phase one breakfast?

  10. Marilyn

    Can you have spaghetti squash in Phase 1?

  11. Mom

    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.

  12. Gretchen

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

    • James

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

  13. Al DeFelice

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

    • Billy

      Just curious…did you extend phase 1 to get more fat loss?

      • Sue

        I stayed on phase1 for about 4 weeks.

  14. Kathy

    I don’t like fish or mushrooms or eggplant

    • James Adams

      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!

  15. Fran

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

    • Gwen

      Yes do you count calories if so how many a day

  16. Marie Burkart

    Does any of the food contain soy

  17. Madiha

    I want to loose weight how to start im confused…

    • Monty

      Hi wild salmon is great for weight loss. Skinless chicken thigh. Eggs. Have things like pasta and potatoes and pop only once every seven days. Not a proper diet if your not drinking lots of water. Have red meat like steak and lean ground beef only two days a week. Broccoli is very good vegetable. Have some cheat days like every Saturday I have small amount of pop I have pasta even have small or medium pizza sometimes on Saturday. Hope this helps.

    • Carol

      Start phase 1

  18. cindy anderson

    do you offer low sodium meals?

    • James

      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.

      • Kurt

        The AHA is a political organization. Please get dietary information elsewhere. Low salt intake increases your chance of heart disease according to recent studies.

  19. Sharon

    What about soy crumbles?

  20. Connie

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