The Zone Diet is founded on the concept of consistent insulin control. The theory of the Zone Diet is based on the idea that insulin control is achieved when you are able to balance your intake of proteins and carbohydrates at each meal.

What the Zone Diet requires

A typical Zone Diet meal includes a small amount of low-fat protein, fats, and carbohydrates in the form of fiber-rich vegetables and fruits. Proteins are to be eaten with every meal and at every snack. The maximum amount of low-fat protein at any one meal is smaller than the size and thickness of the palm of your hand, which is about 3-4 oz.

Carbohydrates should be twice the size of the protein portion. These include vegetables, beans and wholegrains. “Unfavorable carbohydrates” such as brown rice, pasta, bananas, bagels etc. should be eaten in smaller portions.

What foods are missing from a zone dieter’s shopping list?

The Zone Diet has many resources for dieters. Among them is a list of grocery items that are good. So what’s missing from the list?

• starchy carbs
• bagels
• donuts
• candy
• corn
• bananas
• peas
• potatoes

Why are these foods missing? Because they are high in carbohydrates and have a high glycemic index. This means they will have a negative effect on your hormonal balance, causing your insulin levels to fluctuate radically.

Carbohydrates on the Zone Diet

While no food is restricted from this diet, it’s recommended that you don’t make unfavorable carbohydrates like grains, starches, breads and pasta, more than 25% of the total carbohydrate grams in any particular meal. The advice is to use them as condiments and not as your primary carbohydrate source. Instead, your main carbohydrates will come from fruits and vegetables.

Proteins on the Zone Diet

Additionally, you’ll likely not find high-fat protein on your Zone Diet shopping list. Proteins are recommended in low-fat and unsaturated fat forms. For example, dairy is okay for a zone dieter; however, milks and cheeses should be in a non-fat or low-fat form. Likewise meat and poultry are recommended as protein sources, although zone dieters are advised to choose proteins containing less saturated fat. Beef, for example, tends to be higher in saturated fat than chicken or turkey, so many Zone Diet recipes contain do not contain beef.

The reason for the low-fat proteins is simple: high-fat proteins take longer to digest and the fat content prevents adequate digestion of your fruits and vegetables. You don’t get as much of the benefit from your fruits and veggies as you would with a lower fat food. Additionally, saturated fat stays in your body and is stored.

Why is the Zone Diet so popular?

One of the reasons the Zone Diet is so popular is that it is easy to incorporate into everyday life. The foods that are not recommended are not denied, and the foods that are recommended are plentiful, delicious and easy to find in your local market. It’s a diet that almost everyone can do.