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Feb 21, 2007 09:31 AM

Paris on the South Beach diet--any suggestions?

I'm headed to Paris this weekend, and looking forward to eating. But, I've had to go onto the South Beach diet for medical reasons. So no lovely croissants and french bread, I'm afraid. I'm not on the diet for weight loss reasons, so on the plus side I am looking forward to eating lots and lots of cheese!

I wondered if anyone had any thoughts of particular restaurants, signature dishes, foods to look out for that doesn't have sugar or refined carbohydrates. (So I can't do white flour, pasta, or potatoes but could have couscous, whole wheat pastas, brown rice, etc.) I can have dark chocolate, so I'll investigate the enticing post about chocolatiers in Paris.

I am confident that I'll eat well in Paris even on this diet, but any tips you might have for me would be much appreciated!


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  1. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised -- most entree and main dishes on most menus will come with much fewer starch than you might expect (other than the obvious pastas and frites). Paris is made for low carbers.

    You've got the perfect excuse to gorge on the amazing seafood platters and oysters. We had an incredible meal at La Bar Huitres on St Germain -- the special no. 1 oysters (la Perles) and the grilled Dublin Bay prawns with sea spices was truly epic

    One drink I love that is common is the citron presse -- just lemon juice, to which you add water and sugar to taste.

    On most lunch menus there are terrific salads with a base of veggies and meats on top. I assume the small amount of sugar in the salad dressings will be okay if chocolate will be okay?

    Do you use Splenda? in Paris they sell splenda in pellets in cute little containers at the grocery stores like Champion and Monoprix -- never seen these anywhere else, so I stocked up.

    1. Great, thanks for the suggestions-- we'll try La Bar Huitres, as I imagine we'll be spending a lot of time on the Left Bank.

      I've seen the Splenda pellets in London-- it was quite a surprise when I opened up the package expecting to find granules. I'll keep an eye out when I head to Monoprix.

      1 Reply
      1. re: laurenreve

        The very popular Montignac diet is very similar to South Beach - in any case, here in Montréal we certainly got wind of it earlier - and it allows a moderate amount of red wine. As a result, it is now easy to find wholemeal (intégral) breads in boulangeries, but it is rarer in a bistro. I basically eat that way, with a wee bit of cheating - I'll occasionally have potatoes, or baguette if out in a resto, but in general I don't eat sugar. There is little or no sugar in French vinaigrettes - suppose everything can suffer that decline, but in general there is not nearly as much hidden sugar in food. I don't eat chocolate, but you can find very high cocoa, low sugar chocolate even in good supermarkets such as Monoprix.

        Couscous is of course extremely common in Paris. Do be careful about portions, as they tend to be large, and it is still a carb.