The Zone Diet Foods Permitted

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The Zone diet is less restrictive than some low carbohydrate diets as it does not ban whole food groups.

Each type of nutrient (protein, carbohydrate and fats) have two types of foods permitted - best choice and fair choice. The best choice for each nutrient is recommended as the first choice and should be eaten more often, while the fair choice should be eaten less often and should be regarded as the second choice. There are permitted food choices for vegetarians too. These are all detailed for each nutrient below.

Protein - Best Choices (lower in saturated fat)

  • Dairy - low fat cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese or ricotta cheese, non-fat cheeses
  • Eggs - only egg whites (or substitute)
  • Fish - salmon, sardines, tuna, bass, cod, trout, snapper
  • Lean red beef - grain-fed, organic or minced (ground)
  • Poultry - lean turkey bacon, skinless chicken or turkey breast
  • Shellfish - clams, prawns, crab, lobster, scallops, squid
  • Soy - low fat soy (or protein) powder, other soy products, tofu
The Zone diet is much less restrictive than some low carbohydrate diets as it does not ban whole food groups

Protein - Fair Choices (moderate in saturated fat)

  • Dairy - hard cheeses, low fat milk, plain low fat yoghurt
  • Eggs - whole eggs (free range and organic)
  • Lean red meat - beef, corned beef, lamb, lean ham, lean pork, veal
  • Poultry - skinless turkey (dark meat)
  • Soy - low fat soy burgers, silken or soft tofu, soy beans, soy milk, tempeh

Fats - Best Choices (unsaturated and low in cholesterol)

  • Fruit - avocado, olives
  • Nuts - almonds (oil, milk, raw/whole), cashews, macadamias, peanuts, pistachios
  • Pastes - almond paste, hummus, nut pastes, tahini
  • Seeds - sesame, sunflower
  • Vegetable oils - olive oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil

Fats - Fair Choices

  • Nuts - pecans, walnuts
  • Sauces - mayonnaise
  • Vegetable oils - canola oil, soybean oil

Low density Carbohydrates - Best Choices

  • Fruit - apples, apricots, berries (all), cherry, grapefruit, grapes, kiwifruit, lemon, lime, nectarine, peach, plum, pear
  • Leafy green vegetables - bok choy, chard, collard greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, turnip greens, watercress
  • Legumes - beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, snow peas
  • Sprouts - alfalfa, bamboo, bean,  snow pea
  • Vegetables - artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, capsicum, cauliflower, celery, chives, eggplant, garlic, leeks, mushrooms, okra, onions, peppers, radish, squash, tomatoes, turnips, water chesnuts, zucchini
  • Wholegrains - barley, oatmeal, oats

For more detailed information about the amount of each food permitted and the comprehensive list on all the foods permitted, see the Zone Diet official web site, which has a 2 week example food plan for men, women and vegetarians and other useful tools.



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