This diet consists of a certain amount of proteins, carbs and fat at every meal in order to reduce inflammation in the body, among other health benefits.
The zone diet is eating a specific ration of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat.
The diet was introduced more than 30 years back by Dr. Barry Sears, an American biochemist.
Carbs should have a low glycemic index which means they provide a slow release of sugar into the blood to keep you fuller for long. Protein should be lean, and fat should be mostly monounsaturated.
This diet claims to reduce the inflammation in the body which is the reason people gain weight, become sick and age faster.
Foods you can eat
The food choices in the zone diet are similar to those of the Mediterranean Diet, which is one of the healthiest diets in the world.
Proteins – some good options include
- Lean beef, pork, lamb, veal and game
- Skinless chicken and turkey breast
- Fish and shellfish
- Egg whites
- Low-fat cheeses
- Vegetarian protein, tofu, other soy products
- Low-fat milk and yogurt
Fats – A type of monounsaturated fats. Some good options are
- Peanut butter
- Oils such as canola oil, sesame oil, peanut oil and olive oil.
Carbs – Vegetables with a low glycemic index and a little fruit. Some good options are
- Fruits such as berries, apples, oranges, plums
- Grains such as oatmeal and barley
- Vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, yellow squash, chickpeas
Foods you should avoid
Certain food choices are considered unfavourable because they may cause inflammation.
- High-sugar fruits like bananas, grapes, raisins, dried fruits and mangoes.
- Refined and processed carbs like bread, bagels, pasta, noodles and other white-flour products.
- High-sugar or starchy vegetables like peas, corn, carrots and potatoes.
- Processed foods
- Coffee and tea
- Soft drinks