Can I Drink Orange Juice on the South Beach Diet?

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The South Beach Diet is a popular low-carb diet that focuses on eating healthy for life. Through its three phases, you re-teach your body how to eat, avoiding foods that are unhealthy and craving foods that are good for you. If orange juice is a favorite morning drink, you may want to know whether it’s allowed on the South Beach Diet.

Basics of the South Beach Diet

The premise of the South Beach Diet is that Americans are too reliant upon refined carbohydrates–white breads, pastas and sugary treats. These foods have a high glycemic index, which causes a spike in insulin, then a crash, which makes you hungry again. There are three phases to the diet–an introductory phase, a weight loss phase and a maintenance phase. Though it can be strict at first, eventually you can make room in your diet for any food that you want, including orange juice.

Three Phases

In the initial phase of the South Beach Diet, you must not eat foods that contain carbohydrates, including fruits. This makes orange juice off the table for the first two weeks. In phase two, you can start to reintroduce the healthy carbohydrates into your diet. This means that you should avoid white bread, but you could eat whole grain bread, for example. Fruits are allowed, so you can start drinking orange juice again, though you may find that you no longer have a taste for it. Phase three also allows fruits and juices.

Orange Juice vs. Orange Drink

Pay careful attention to the label when you purchase your orange juice. You want one that is 100 percent juice. Some versions are just “orange drink,” which is orange-flavored water. You should not drink orange drink if you are following the South Beach Diet.

Portion Control

The key to drinking orange juice on the South Beach Diet successfully is to watch your portion sizes. A serving of orange juice is just a small glass–about 6 oz. You can fit this into your diet, but if you are drinking orange juice as your primary beverage throughout the day, you’ll find that you gain weight again.

Oranges vs. Orange Juice

While orange juice does feature vitamins and nutrients, the actual orange is a healthier option. Orange juice has the fiber removed, which means that it has a higher sugar content. If possible, you may find more success on the diet if you forgo the juice in favor of an orange.

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