THE ZONE DIET
By Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© December 2014, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
The Zone Diet was proposed some 30 years ago by biochemist Barry Sears, PhD. He wrote several books about it, and it was fairly popular in America and in other nations.
Dr. Sears advocates a diet with 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbohydrate in terms of calories. This he feels controls the production of three hormones – insulin, glucagon and eicosanoids. The result, he says, is the production of more anti-inflammatory chemicals in the body.
Dr. Paul Eck, founder of nutritional balancing science, liked Dr. Sears approach and, to some degree, modeled the early nutritional balancing diets on Dr. Sears concept of balancing the proportions of protein, fat and carbohydrates in the diet.
A major difference, however, was that Dr. Eck varied the diet depending upon whether a person is a fast or slow oxidizer - as revealed on a hair mineral analysis. Classifying people in this way is called Metabolic Typing. It is an ancient healing concept that was updated by the research of George Watson, PhD, author of Nutrition And Your Mind (1972).
DIFFERENT SCIENTIFIC BASES
The zone diet focuses mainly on the ratio in the diet between protein, fat and carbohydrate. While this is helpful, the newer nutritional balancing diets that I suggest add much more refinement to this concept. Nutritional balancing diets add the following diet concepts:
1. Metabolic typing. This means that the diet needs to vary depending on one’s metabolic type.
2. A more yang diet. To accomplish this, nutritional balancing avoids all fruit and sweets, and the vegetables that are really fruits (nightshades, okra, cucumber).
Also, cooking most food is extremely helpful to make the diet more yang. One must also limit juicing, which produces a very yin product. Other yin products to avoid or minimize include nuts and seeds, and most herbs, homeopathic remedies and vitamin/mineral and other supplements.
3. Avoiding mercury and other toxic metals. For this reason, nutritional balancing avoids all fish and shellfish except for 3-4 cans of sardines weekly. The diet also restricts other foods that may be high in toxic metals such as caviar, other fish eggs, rooibos tea and perhaps other products. For more on this topic, please read Toxic Metals.
4. Simple digestion. To accomplish this, nutritional balancing suggest very simple food combinations, as this is much easier for the body to digest. Cooked vegetables are the basis for each meal, and this can be combined with either one protein or one starch to form a meal.
5. A great need for the alkaline reserve minerals today. This is one of the most pressing needs. To obtain more of these minerals, nutritional balancing suggests large quantities of cooked vegetables at each meal. Human bodies cannot extract enough minerals from raw vegetables. Also, raw food is too yin, except I advocate raw dairy products because fat is damaged by cooking. Some cooking is needed for meats and eggs to prevent infections, but not much.
6. A detoxification diet. Detoxification of the body is another great need today. This is accomplished with the nutritional balancing diet by the use of large quantities of cooked vegetables, and less grains and less fat than the average American diet. Also, the diet avoids all processed and refined foods and food chemicals.
The zone diet also avoids most processed foods. For much more on this topic, please read Detoxification on this website.
7. Avoiding other possible food toxins. This is the reason the nutritional balancing diets avoid all pig products such as pork, ham, lard and others. Pig products can contain trichina cysts, even if it is well-cooked. Pig products tend to be more inflammatory for other reasons that are not well understood.
The diets also avoid the toxin solanin found in nightshade vegetables, and toxins found in many supplements such as chlorella, spirulina, blue-green algae, fulvic/humic minerals, colloidal minerals and other products.
8. Downward motion. This is a more esoteric concept. However, the human body is polarized and some foods and nutrients tend to move energy upward, while others tend to move energy downward from the head to the feet. For more on this interesting and important topic, please read Downward-Moving Energy And Healing.
9. Parasympathetic diet. Some foods have more of a sympathetic or excitatory effect on the body. Others, such as cooked vegetables and mild meats, have a more parasympathetic effect. For more on this topic, please read The Autonomic Balance on this website.
10. Acid-alkaline balance. The nutritional balancing diets are quite alkaline in their reaction inside the body. This is due to their high content of cooked vegetables. For more, please read Acid-Alkaline Balance on this website.
11. Higher etheric energy diet. Some foods have a higher content of what may be called etheric energy, or subtle energy. The foods with the most of this energy are the more yang foods – meats, eggs, grains and cooked vegetables, not raw vegetables or fruits. For more on this topic, please read Etheric Development And Your Diet on this website.
For more on diets, in general, please read Diet Concepts on this website.
SPECIFIC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE ZONE DIET AND THE NUTRITIONAL BALANCING DIETS
1. Vegetables. NB advocates many more cooked, not raw vegetables to provide alkaline reserve minerals and many other phytonutrients. NB also does not recommend vegetables that are really fruits (that contain seeds) and does not recommend the nightshade vegetables (tomato, potato, eggplant and peppers).
Zone diet recommends fewer vegetables, raw vegetables, and does not suggest the higher-sugar vegetables as much, such as carrots, parsnips, sweet potato and yams.
2. Fruit. NB does not suggest any fruits. They are too yin, the mineral balance is not correct, and they are too high in sugar in most cases. Zone diet encourages eating fruit.
3. Metabolic typing. NB varies the diet according to the oxidation types. Fast oxidizers require a little more fat, while we find that slow oxidizers need less fat and oils, and a little more protein.
4. Nuts. Zone Diet advocates eating nuts. The NB diets discourage nuts because they are somewhat toxic and harder to digest, and quite yin. An exception is some toasted almond butter and a little of the other nut and seed butters.
5. Fish. The Zone Diet encourages consumption of fish. NB does not permit any fish or shellfish except for 3-4 cans of sardines weekly due to the high mercury content of almost all fish today, even wild caught fish.
6. Meats. Both diets encourage eating some meats. However, Zone does not suggest red meat, whereas NB allows red meat, especially lamb, twice weekly for most adults.