The Zone Diet Rating
The Zone diet has been recently refined since it first came out, with more emphasis on choosing low-fat protein lower in saturated fat (ie skinless chicken breast) more often than low-fat protein higher in saturated fat (lean pork) and more of emphasis on anti-inflammatory processes in the body and how the Zone diet impacts this, than when it was first released. This makes the Zone diet a less radical, less extreme form of low carbohydrate diet.
The rating of the Zone diet is on two levels and is based on the clinical evidence so far received for this diet from all the clinical studies so far conducted:
- Rating as a short term diet – 9.0/10
- Rating as a long term diet – 6.5/10
High fat diets are not recommended, more clinical trials are required to determine safety of this diet over the longer term
- There have been several studies that have shown the significant health benefits of this diet over the short term (clinical trials have been conducted for up to one year). While weight loss on the Zone wasn’t as dramatic as that in those people on the Atkins diet, the weight loss is still a benefit, together with other health benefits (stabilised blood glucose levels, lowered blood pressure and lowered blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels). Since the Zone diet does not restrict or ban any food groups, since it incorporates fruits and vegetables, it is given a higher score.
- This diet is not an extreme and restrictive diet and while it is a higher protein diet, it does recommend low-saturated fat protein sources over high-saturated protein sources and there are vegetarian options. The long term effects are yet to be determined – the National Institutes of Health is currently conducting a trial – Effectiveness of a Low Carbohydrate Diet Versus a High Carbohydrate Diet in Promoting Weight Loss and Improved Health. This is a current, ongoing trial which will determine risk of cardiovascular disease (blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as blood pressure levels), bone health, kidney function and endocrine (insulin and glucose in particular) mechanisms over the course of the study in groups of people who will be trying various diets over four years.