Is the Zone diet really balanced and recommendable? - Improve your health

If you have already made the decision to change your foodyou have probably noticed the considerable amount of information on the basic principles of a healthy and balanced diet. The Zone Diet is one of many existing regimes, a controversial proposal.

Many international public figures have opted for this food program. But as expected, this regime finds both defenders and detractors.

The formula 40-30-30, the flagship nutritional concept of this diet, is the basis of the debate : according to this diet, each meal must be composed of 40% of carbohydrates, 30% of proteins, and 30% of fats.

Nutritionally speaking, is this diet balanced?

Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are macronutrients that we must consume every day. In the past, specialists explained that a balanced diet was possible thanks to a specific distribution. The proportions were then as follows: 15-20% protein, 20-25% fats, and 50-60 carbohydrates.

Barry Sears, an American doctor behind several biochemistry studies and several lipid surveys, objected to this idea. His conclusion was this: this distribution leads to different pathologies, which is why it is not appropriate. He proposed the formula 40-30-30, the ideal equation allowing, according to him, a balanced distribution of macronutrients. Thanks to this formula, the patient can conquer the "zone", ie the maximum state of metabolic acceleration where the insulin is at the most stable level.

We recommend you to read also: Are protein diets beneficial or harmful?

The importance of insulin

The main goal of the Zone diet is to break down nutrientsbecause an excess of carbohydrates can increase the insulin concentration in the blood. This diagnosis can lead us to suffer from many diseases.

Hyperinsulinemia causes the following problems:

  • overweight
  • fatigue
  • cardiovascular and respiratory difficulties
  • convulsions
  • brain damage
  • hypertension

Some benefits of the Zone diet

The benefits of the Zone diet

The formula 40-30-30 is a constant diet: it concerns all meals of the day. It is also strongly recommended not to allow more than five hours to pass between meals. Another fundamental condition: the carbohydrates consumed must have a low glycemic index. Refined sugars are therefore excluded from this regime.

This diet thus limits the consumption of carbohydrates and encourages the reduction of insulin. The impacts on the body are:

  • the body uses fat as the main source of energy
  • insulin transports nutrients more efficiently inside the cells
  • the patient feels more satiated
  • the patient loses weight
  • the individual has more energy to face his routine

Some basic tips

You must take into account the following basic principles for the Zone regime to be effective.

  • Always take a Breakfast.
  • Do not let more than one hour pass between your wake up and your breakfast.
  • Eat every five hourseven if you are not hungry.
  • Consume mono-unsaturated fats containing omega-3, such as olive oil, avocados, dried fruits ...
  • Carbohydrates consumed must have a low glycemic index, such as seeds, vegetables and fruits.
  • Consume protein at each meal, because the balance of blood sugar depends on this last point.

We recommend that you read also: How to eliminate excess sugar in the body?

Adverse effects

Side effects of Zone diet

Every regime has its detractors and the Zone regime is no exception to this rule. Many questions that this regime does not answer. Many specialists have taken on the task of disassembling Dr. Sears' "wonders". The author of the book Mi dieta cojea (My diet box) published in 2016, Aitor Sánchez García, is one of its specialists. For him, Dr. Sears' diet is a lie motivated by the economic aspect.

Also a nutritionist / dietician / food technologist, Aitor Sánchez García says the Zone diet requires a large food industry to meet the 40-30-30 formula. Thus, according to him, the flagship formula of the Zone diet is impossible to respect as part of a healthy diet. He says, moreover, that this diet is high protein and low calorie, and that the scientific bases are insufficient to affirm that this diet improves the physical and mental state of its followers.

Other questions

This diet totally excludes carbohydrates from flours. The distribution of macronutrients suggested by Dr. Sears may not be far-fetched, but one thing is certain: to lose weight and have a better quality of life, there is no need to exclude some foodstuffs. We can consume all food groups in reasonable quantities, except in the case of medical contraindications.

This regime is very restrictive, so you have to be very willing to follow it literally. You must therefore ask yourself whether the requirements imposed by this plan meet your needs..

This article appeared first on