Both Atkins and South Beach are excellent diets but they are not all that similar. Low Carb can vary a lot. If you are getting less than the recommended daily normal for carb intake it could be construed to be low carb but I don't think that is what your doctor has in mind and I don't think it will give the results you are looking for. Some people do zero carbs. Other in the Atkins range do 20gms of net carbs a day. Protein Power is around 30 daily net carbs. Most of these diets are not both low carb and low cholesterol though. When you get that low carb, it's not a good idea to be low cholesterol too. South Beach is not actually low carb - it's healthy good carbs and lower fat. People average around 75 net carbs a day in phase one and the amount they do in phase 2 depends on what food choices they make but most fall in the zone below 150net carbs. So it can be done low carb, low cholesterol. At any rate, most experts consider low carb to be under 150 net carbs a day and many people can't tolerate that much. You can eat fairly well on 100 to 150 net carbs without much deprivation. What is equally important is the quality of the carbs - unprocessed as much as possible - low glycemic veggies, low glycemic fruits, seeds, nuts, dairy, and occasional legumes if you can handle them. Most true low carb diets don't encourage a lot of grains unless it would be quinoa occasionally.
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