The Zone Diet and Barry Sear MD

Barry Sears is a leading authority on the dietary control of hormonal response.

A former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Sears has dedicated his research efforts over the past 30 years to the study of lipids. He holds 13 U.S. Patents in the areas of intravenous drug delivery systems and hormonal regulation for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

A turning point in his research occurred in 1982. That year, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded for discoveries of the role that specialized hormones, known as eicosanoids, play in the development of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, and cancer. Since eicosanoids are only generated from dietary fat, Dr. Sears reasoned that one could apply intravenous drug delivery principles to nutrition in order to control these exceptionally powerful hormonal responses with laser-like precision. In essence, his approach treats food as if it were a drug.

This area of his research led to various patents in the area of hormonal control by essentially using food as an oral drug delivery system to modulate eicosanoids especially for cardiovascular, diabetic, and neurological patients.

The impact of Dr. Sears’ revolutionary work in the dietary control of hormonal response began with the publication of his landmark book, The Zone. Since its publication in June 1995.

His second book, Mastering the Zone, published in 1997, also became a New York Times bestseller.

His third book, Zone Perfect Meals in Minutes, published in 1997, quickly became one of the best-selling cookbooks of 1997 and another New York Times bestseller.

The Anti-Aging Zone was published in 1999 and provides the molecular insights into how the Zone Diet can slow the aging process.

The Omega Rx Zone, published in 2002, explores the molecular foundation of chronic disease and how high-dose fish oil can dramatically reverse it. The Anti-Inflammation Zone published in 2005 discusses how to combat silent inflammation in order to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and many other inflammatory conditions—and how to reverse these conditions if they are already present.

His newest book, Toxic Fat, was published in October 2008. This new book goes into detail how obesity and has many similarities to cancer and explains why our current efforts to treat obesity will never be successful if they do not address its underlying cause, which is inflammation. To date more than 5 million hardcover copies of his books have been sold in the United States.

His research has elevated food from more than simply a source of calories to being recognized as an exceptionally powerful drug. Because of his revolutionary research, Dr. Sears has been a frequent guest on many national programs such as 20/20, Today, Good Morning America, CBS Morning News, CNN, and MSNBC.

Dr. Sears continues his ongoing research as the President of the non-profit Inflammation Research Foundation in Marblehead, MA. In addition to continuing research on the hormonal effects of food, Dr. Sears has expanded his research in developing innovative dietary approaches to treating cancer and neurological conditions, as well as his on-going work in treating cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Zone Diet is founded on the concept that our body, having a physiological state in which the hormones-insulin and eicosanoids-are also governed by the foods we eat, should be maintained within a balanced zone-not too high and not too low. When insulin is controlled, the body enjoys benefits such as natural weight loss, better performance of physical and mental faculty, and lower risks in having cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, when the eicosanoids are controlled, the circulation of the blood is enhanced and cases of inflammation are minimal.

Bearing this premise in mind, Dr. Barry Sears has made his Zone Diet consistent in insulin control by having a balanced protein and carbohydrate during each meal and supplemented by high dosage of fish oil. Zone Diet offers a variety of methods to control insulin. These are moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-protein and moderate-fat diet.

For protein intake, it should not go beyond 3 ounce for women and 4 ounce for men. The sources of Sear’s carbohydrates are not new. They should all come from fresh fruits and vegetables especially whole grains and beans. The amount should be double than that of protein. Foods that are natural in starch content like bread, potatoes, pasta and rice must only be used as condiments. Lastly, the fats should be good and natural especially from monounsaturated fat.

Fish oil supplement must be of natural pharmaceutical-grade to prevent the cases of gastric disturbances. The primary purpose of this zone diet is to establish a sound relationship between fat-storing insulin and glucagon sand hormone. Glucagon stimulates glucose from the organ liver when needed.

As a personal trainer and nutrition consultant, I believe that if you follow Barry Sear protocol you will:

  • Have more energy
  • Be healthier
  • Look younger
  • Lose weight

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