What is Zone Diet?
A Time of Traditional Eating
Long ago, when people mostly eat meat, fruits, and vegetables, strength and vitality was at peak. No grains and no bad carbs.
Within the its zone, only meat, fruit and veggies are allowed. This diet comprises of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat, and is known as “The 40-30-30 Diet”. Dr. Barry Sears is the founder of this diet and he believed in the concept that it is the solution to diseases with disturbance in insulin levels. He claimed that Insulin is the answer for a healthier and fit body, by maintaining its normal level, we can achieve and healthy lifestyle. He made a proportion that for every 1-gram of Fat, there should be 2 grams of Protein and 3 Grams of Carbohydrates.
This diet is also recommended to diabetic and individuals with cardiovascular risk. It helps to regulate blood glucose levels and promotes weight loss. The diet’s aim is to consume low-glycemic index food items and low-fat protein. This food distribution will help the insulin levels be in a normal level, disrupted levels of insulin is linked in inflammation, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
What are the foods inside the Zone?
Zone diet plan is composed of fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, and almonds. Fruits includes berries, mango, grapes, apple, all of those that are high in vitamins and minerals. Starchy vegetables are removed, we will focus on green leafy, eggplant, tomatoes, and those that are not included in grains and rice. Dr. Sears want to build up a meal plan that will not produce too much calories, in the Nutritional Biochemistry, excess calories in the body are converted into body fat. So, people that are obese and overweight will gain advantage of balancing meals with the help of zone diet. This also helps those people who has problems in their craving as this diet is high in satiety level. It will help an individual control their hunger and will make them full as they follow this kind of diet. There are plenty of recipes that can follow the zone diet, some are available in the internet while other recipes can be given by their Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. Before following this kind of diet, always make sure to seek the help of your Physician or the Registered Dietitian to know the effects that it can give. Though compared to other diet like Atkins, Paleo, and Mediterranean diet, Zone diet can introduce starchy vegetables in the long run and it focuses on the Non-Starchy Vegetables, Fruits, and Low Fat Lean Meat.
What does the science think?
Based on the study conducted by Marlyn Damiano of Rowan University Entitled “Is the Zone Diet Safe, Effective ad Practical for Everyone? 2015. She concluded, “People with Chronic Conditions such as renal disease, liver disease, and other cardio vascular diseases may not benefit from a diet like this due to the load of protein being processed by the body as suggested by the Chair of the Nutrition Committee at the American Heart Association in the article by Chambers (2002). Performance athletes would not benefit from this diet either due to reduced energy through carb cutting (Cheuvront, 1999). The only study discussed that showed a positive outcome was with overweight or obese pre-menopausal women who showed no loss in Micronutrients while on the diet (Gardner et al., 2010). Productive traits of the Zone diet are as follows: The Zone Diet features good amounts of fruits and low starch vegetables and is low in saturated fats (balanced diet), provides anti-inflammatory health benefits, restricts low nutrition carbohydrates, and if followed correctly allows for steady weight loss (Sears 2015)(Harvard Medical School, 2007)(Healthy weight forum, 2003/2013)”, Marlyn Damiano quoted. Marlyn Damiano used male and female subjects aged 18 to 99 years old from different occupations, ethnicities, health levels, and education levels. They were included in the study because they are legal consenting adults who may or may not be candidates for this diet. Results of the survey showed the following:
Based on Familiarity, the chart shows 30% participants who has little idea with the Zone Diet because of acquaintances and the internet but would not like to follow the Zone Diet.
In the means of safety, 30% felt the Zone diet was extremely safe and 70% felt it is moderately safe for them.
60% basically felt it provided a good balance for nutritional purposes. 20% felt there should be adjustments per individual fitness goal and 10% they are unsure about the Zone Diet.
When it comes to effectiveness of the diet, the study showed 30% as extremely effective for the subjects, 60% rated as moderately effective, and 10% is not effective at all.
This data based on the study of Marlyn Damiano 2015, from Rowan University showed enough evidence that people differently react with the Zone diet, it needs more study regarding difference in nationality and ethnic groups to show the accuracy and effectiveness of how the Zone Diet will react on the body of a person. But it significantly showed that some individuals react positively with the effect of The Zone Diet to their health, and some noted that it has not showed enough effect that they felt positively, and some did not claim any positive health effect at all. The Zone Diet limits itself to people who has terminal diseases and those who are currently undergoing medications and therapy, it just showed positive and beneficial effect to obese person proving that it is effective in losing weight. The fat in the body is burned down through proper exercise and usage of the Zone Diet. Proper awareness in Nutrition and Balanced Diet to provided significant effect in one’s health.