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Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews

South Beach Living Frozen Meals

Garlic Herb Chicken and Savory Pork

OK, I don't think that I've made it much of a secret that I am not a fan of the South Beach Diet. By and large it's just silly. But like a lot of fad diets, it does persist, and it has resulted in a lot of products. This week we chose two for review.

Garlic Herb ChickenThe Garlic Herb Chicken didn't look very promising from the outset. The meal looks like a typical frozen TV dinner, unlike some of what we have reviewed recently. A quick 5 minutes in the microwave and what you have is a very bad airline meal. The chicken is not very herbed and the sauce that covers it has a odor and flavor of petroleum. The texture is grainy.

This comes with a side dish of green beans, but these are pretty non-descript. Overall a very poor effort, and while the South Beach Diet claims to not be low-carbohydrate there are no carbs in this meal - no rice, potatoes, pasta or beans.

Just when you think that it can't get any worse, there's the Savory Pork. This is not even as good as a bad meal on a plane. The flavor of the sauce is not even as nice as school cafeteria gravy and the pork itself is bland and flavorless. Similar awful green beans are served with this.

Savory PorkThese are just plain terrible products.

Note that we chose these meals in particular for tasting because they were the only ones with less than 700 mg of sodium in what is a very small serving. Quite a lot of salt, really, and the high levels of sodium makes it hard for any of them being considered very healthy.

I do feel sad for Dr. Agatston that he has put his name on this product. In reading his book, he does believe in his diet, and while a bit odd, the recipes are not anywhere near as bad as these frozen meals. The good thing about the South Beach Diet books that he writes is the endorsement of eating fresh, less processed foods. This is the one redeeming value of the South Beach Diet, but these meals are so far from decent food as to not be even close to what Dr. Agatston intended.

Reviewed: April 4, 2008