The Zone Diet
The Zone Diet was popularized in the United States by Barry Sears, a Biotechnology researcher from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The diet espouses the 30:40 ratio of protein to carbohydrates to ensure that a dieter is in 'the zone', a physiological state where insulin and eicosanoids are in balance and are neither too high nor too low. This diet is based on the premise that when hormones such as insulin are controlled, the mood levels are stabilized, the dieter experiences weight loss and the risk to cardiovascular diseases becomes lower. Apart from controlling insulin, one of the important features of this diet is the recommended consumption of fish oils which contain Omega-3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. These acids, found in fish such as salmon and tuna are widely known to be good for the heart.
Although the diet requires eating bigger portions of carbohydrates than protein, certain carbohydrates are limited. Recommended carbohydrates include whole grains, vegetables and beans. Pasta, rice, bagels and other refined carbohydrates must be eaten in small portions.
The benefits of the diet are:
- Weight loss and a healthier heart
- The diet also improves mood and energy levels
- The diet allows generous servings of fruits and vegetables which provides essential nutrients to the body
- It does not restrict carbohydrates nor proteins unlike other diets
The disadvantages of the diet include:
- Some people have a hard time following the food ratios
- It is time consuming because it requires the analysis of the food content and ratios