The Zone Diet consists of watching what you eat to maintain proper insulin and is similar to the concepts of low-glycemic dietary principals. Barry Sears, a former researcher in biotechnology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes that controlling the levels of insulin will lead to a health happy life. Another concept in the Zone Diet is the natural maintenance of eicosanoids.
These are hormone like compounds formed by body tissues during self-healing responses to stimuli. They are formed from highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) that we acquire only by eating essential fatty acids (EFA) in foods or supplements. The Zone is achieved when insulin and hormone levels are in a balanced state of homeostasis. If insulin levels aren't too high, or two low, findings suggest that other hormone levels also find a better balance which results in better energy and a better feeling of a sense of wellness. The principals of the Zone Diet suggest a moderate intake of protein, fat and carbohydrates. All carbs should come from low-glycemic sources which take longer to absorb and therefore induce a more mild insulin response.
All fat sources should come from high quality fats, of fish and vegetable origins, but again they should be unprocessed whenever possible. The processing done to make vegetable oils (fats) generally serves to make them more harmful than unprocessed fats from the same sources. Because most people are challenged to obtain high-quality levels of good dietary fats, the Zone Diet recommends that supplements of fish oils be utilized. When selecting a fish oil supplement, make sure that it is third party certified to be free of toxins. A process called "molecular distillation" has been proven to safely extract the essential fatty acids and leave all other toxins behind. If you do not choose a fish oil that is proven to be toxin free, you could be at risk of ingesting heavy metals and other industrial toxins which are stored in the fat tissues of cold water fish.
Overall there isn't a substantial amount of medical evidence to support Dr Sears' theories for the Zone Diet although many have claimed that the diet has worked well for them. Principals of low-glycemic eating, which overlap some of the Zone Diet recommendations, have been clinically proven to lower cholesterol and improve insulin response, so there is good science that overlaps with the Zone Diet. Might this be the right diet for you? Do you own research and then consult a doctor before making any dietary change in case you happen to have any risk factors which might put you in danger.
Dave Saunders is a professional lecturer, and certified nutritional educator. He enjoys creating interconnections through his writings and lectures to help others create context and see new discoveries and technologies in more a practical light. You can find out more about new discoveries in health and nutrition at www.glycoboy.com.