The South Beach Diet is a diet plan designed by cardiologist Arthur Agatston and dietician Marie Almon as an alternative to low-fat approaches such as the Ornish Diet and the Pritikin Diet advocated by the American Heart Association in the 1980s. Although the original purpose of the diet was to prevent heart disease in Dr. Agatston's own patients, in the early 2000s, word of the diet spread and quickly gained popularity as a means to lose weight. The term 'South Beach Diet' is a trademark of South Beach Diet Trademark Limited Partnership. A book, The South Beach Diet, was published by Rodale Books. While Agatston accepted the prevailing wisdom among cardiologists that a low-fat diet would reduce cholesterol and prevent heart disease, he found that, in practice, patients had a difficult time sticking to the diet. To explain this failure, he turned to the scientific work with insulin resistance which led David J. Jenkins to develop the glycemic index in the early 1980s.
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