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The Zone

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The Zone

The Zone Diet was developed by Barry Sears, a former  researcher in biotechnology at the Massachusetts  Institute of Technology. 

What is The Zone? 

The Zone is not some mystical place. It is a real  physiological state in which the hormones (insulin and  eicosanoids) governed by the food you eat are  maintained within zones that are not too high, nor too  low. The benefits of controlling insulin are increased  fat loss, decreased likelihood of cardiovascular  disease and greater physical and mental performance.  The benefits of controlling eicosanoids are decreased  inflammation and increased blood flow, which will help  improve virtually every chronic disease condition and  improve physical performance. 

The blood tests that define the Zone are ultimately  the same tests that can be used to define wellness.  This is what Dr Sears calls evidence-based wellness  which is the foundation for 21st century health care. 

The Zone Dietary Program 

The Zone dietary program is based upon consistent  insulin control coupled with the supplementation of  high-dose fish oil in order to modulate the synthesis  of arachidonic acid. 

Insulin control is achieved by balancing protein and  carbohydrate at each meal (1-4). The insulin-control  component of the Zone dietary program can be described  as a moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, and  moderate-fat dietary program. The maximum amount of  low-fat protein at any one meal should be no bigger  than the size and thickness of the palm of the hand  (this is approximately 3 oz. for females and 4 oz. for  males). The majority of carbohydrates should come from  vegetables and fruits, with starches (such as bread,  potatoes, rice and pasta) used sparingly as  condiments. Finally, most of the fat should consist of  heart healthy monounsaturated fat. Unlike high-protein  diets (that induce ketosis) or high-carbohydrate diets  (that elevate insulin levels), the insulin control  component of the OmegaZone dietary program is based on  balance and moderation at each meal. 

The other component of the Zone dietary program is  supplementation with high-dose fish oil. This has only  become possible with the advent of  pharmaceutical-grade fish oil that for the first time  allows the use of high doses without severe gastric  disturbances. 

The goal of the Zone diet is to keep a hormonal  balance between fat-storing insulin and the hormone  glucagon sand. Glucagon is responsible fore releasing  stored glucose from the liver when it is needed.  Maintaining a balance between the two hormones is  achieved by limiting the amount of certain food  groups. In particular, it can be defined as keeping  the hormone insulin in a tight zone: not too high, not  too low. The Zone Diet is a life-long hormonal control  strategy. 

The Zone's eating plan is a combination of a small  amount of low-fat protein, fats, and carbohydrates in  the form of fiber-rich vegetables and fruits. Proteins  should be eaten with every meal and at every snack.  Carbohydrates should be twice the size of the protein  portion. These include vegetables, beans, and  whole-grains. "Unfavorable carbohydrates" such as  brown rice, pasta, bananas, bagels, etc. should be  eaten in smaller portions.   

By eating too many fat-free carbohydrates or too many  calories at any one meal. Americans do both. 

It is impossible for dietary fat alone to make you fat?

It is excessive levels of the hormone insulin that  makes you fat and keeps you fat. 

How do you increase insulin levels? 

People tend to forget that the best way to fatten  cattle is to raise their insulin levels by feeding  them excessive amounts of low-fat grain. The best way  to fatten humans is to raise their insulin levels by  feeding them excessive amounts of low-fat grain, but  now in the form of pasta and bagels.   

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