The Zone Diet Advantages

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There have been many studies conducted to determine the health benefits of the Zone diet since it first came out. Many have confirmed the advantages of eating in the way that the Zone diet advocates.

The following are some of the main advantages of following the Zone diet:

  • Consuming low GI foods is beneficial for insulin/glucose levels
  • Reduction of insulin resistance in susceptible individuals
  • Improved blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels
  • Lowered risk of atheroscleriosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Reduced risk in cardiovascular disease
  • Significantly improves (reduces) glucose levels in diabetics
  • Significantly reduces body fat
  • Reduction in arachidonic acid
People with impaired kidney function or any other health condition should consult their doctor before trying this or any other diet

References and Explanations

  1. Ludwig DS, Majzoub JA, Al-Zahrani A, Dallal GE, Blanco I, Roberts SB, Agus MS, Swain JF, Larson CL, and Eckert EA. High glycemic index foods, overeating, and obesity. Pediatrics, 1999 Mar;103(3):E26. Accessed 11 January 2008. This study looked at the relationship between obesity and high glycemic foods, to determine the insulin and glucose response after a meal that was either low, medium or high GI. Twelve obese teenage boys were studied in this trial. The results showed that the high GI meal caused “a sequence of hormonal and metabolic changes that promote excessive food intake in obese subjects”. The authors also stated that further studies need to be done to examine the relationship between dietary GI and body weight maintenance.
  2. Markovic TP, Campbell LV, Balasubramanian S, Jenkins AB, Fleury AC, Simons LA, and Chisholm DJ. Beneficial effect on average lipid levels from energy restriction and fat loss in obese individuals with or without type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 1998 May;21(5):695-700. Accessed 11 January 2008. This study investigate whether a reduction in calories or a small loss of fat improved the blood lipid levels of the trial group of obese people (some of which had type 2 diabetes and some that didn’t). The results of this study showed that even in obese people with normal lipid levels, the special diet they were on (the Zone diet) did reduce heart disease risk and had a beneficial effect on their blood lipids too.
  3. Wolfe BM, Piché LA. Replacement of carbohydrate by protein in a conventional-fat diet reduces cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in healthy normolipidemic subjects. Clin Invest Med. 1999 Aug;22(4):140-8. Accessed 11 January 2008. This diet tested the Zone diet on healthy individuals with normal blood lipid levels. The outcome of the study showed that if there was a moderate replacement of dietary carbohydrate with low-fat, high-protein foods, this significantly improved blood cholesterol levels and cardiovascular risk.
  4. Gannon MC, Nuttall FQ. Control of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes without weight loss by modification of diet composition. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2006 Mar 23;3:16. Accessed 11 January 2008. The results of this study show that adhering to a Zone diet intake of carbs, fats, protein significantly reduces the blood glucose levels following a meal and that the Zone diet could be the best method to improve glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.
  5. Fontani G, Corradeschi F, Felici A, Alfatti F, Bugarini R, Fiaschi AI, Cerretani D, Montorfano G, Rizzo AM, Berra B. Blood profiles, body fat and mood state in healthy subjects on different diets supplemented with Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Eur J Clin Invest. 2005 Aug;35(8):499-507. Accessed 11 January 2008. This study showed that the Zone diet (either supplemented with high doses of EPA/DHA) significantly reduced body fat in the healthy participants of the study, especially as compared to the standard recommended diet.
  6. Pittas AG, Das SK, Hajduk CL, Golden J, Saltzman E, Stark PC, Greenberg AS, Roberts SB. A low-glycemic load diet facilitates greater weight loss in overweight adults with high insulin secretion but not in overweight adults with low insulin secretion in the CALERIE Trial. Diabetes Care. 2005 Dec;28(12):2939-41. Accessed 11 January 2008. This study showed that in people who secreted higher levels of insulin had a better outcome (weight loss, reduced insulin and glucose levels) when they were fed a low-carbohydrate diet with low GI load (like the Zone diet) than when they ate foods with a high GI load, plus the Zone diet also helped them lose weight. The authors also stated that their findings should be confirmed with further studies with more participants.

 

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