Toxic Fat

Toxic Fat: By Barry Sears

Dr. Sears outlines some theories that are certainly worth looking into.  His diet is healthy and well balanced and should improve your health.

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Toxic (fat) and toxic (food) appears to be the keyword for diet book lately. Barry Sears and The Zone Diet is one of the most prolific diet book authors of the past 15 years.

Barry Sears’ new book believes  that the weight loss experts are wrong about obesity.

Here are some of the philosophies behind Sears’ claims:

Summary Points

  • His hypothesis lies in increased production of a fatty acid called arachidonic acid (AA).  This fatty acid maybe responsible for obesity, but it is also can trigger some chronic diseases.
  • According to Sears, accumulation of excess body fat is an attempt to protect you by trapping toxic fat in your cells so that it does not attach the organs. Once it begins to spill over into your blood though – you have Toxic Fat Syndrome.
  • Removing visceral fat will keep insulin in check.
  • Cheap refined carbohydrates, cheap vegetable oils and a reduced consumption of fish oil creates toxic fat.
  • You must keep inflammation balanced. Inflammation disrupts hormone signaling patterns – leading to poor appetite control and leading to body fat.
  • When your body cannot produce enough ATP from the food you eat, you store more toxic fat
  • I could not disagree more, according to Barry Sears, body size doesn’t matter, as long as AA levels are low. However levels should remain low. It’s not excess weight but rather the spread of inflammation that is detrimental.  I believe that excess weight anyway increase inflammation.
  • He suggests attaining HDL cholesterol and Triglycerides. The ratio of TG/HDL should be less than 4.  I believe that  large HDL and numbers and size of LDL particles are more important.
  • The true marker of Toxic Fat Syndrome is AA/EPA (omega-3 subtype). If the ratio is greater than 10 – you have toxic fat syndrome. The ideal ratio should be between 1.5 – 3.0.

The Diet

  • This is basically the original Zone Diet,  40/30/30 (carbs/fats/proteins) breakdown.  Eat lots of colorful veggies, limited fruits and significantly cut back on grains and starches.But we know that some grains are very healthy for most of people when eaten in moderation.
  • He suggests dividing your plate into 3rds. 1/3 low fat protein and the other 2/3 low glycemic load carbs (veggies/fruits).
  • Do not skip breakfast, ea 5  little  meals a day including 2 little snacks.
  • High doses of fish oil are part of the plan

Overall Impression

Some serious research validate Sears claims. According to some study, too much arachidonic acid may trigger inflammation and diseases. His theories are probably valid, but it is well beyond my knowledge as a personal trainer and nutritionist,  more research may be needed.

Barry Sears diet aspect is to me excellent. I also believe that the original Zone Diet was the illusion that it was the magical proportions of macro-nutrients that caused the weight loss, whereas most of the daily meal plans barely rose above 1200 calories. However I also like the idea that the body need a balance protein, fat, ans carbohydrate. There seems to be a focus on healthy eating which doesn’t stray too far from contemporary wisdom of what constitutes eating for healthy weight loss.


Sears’ theories on toxic fat could prove to be groundbreaking. He certainly has a solid foundation of evidence, and the reputation to back it up.

The excess eating, the processed food and lack of exercise always will result in fat accumulation and chronic diseases. To that end, he states that an inability of the body to make ATP causes us to overeat and that we will either eat more in response to exercise or our organs will be cannibalized. I am not sure about this statement.

Sears also leans heavily on the genetic/biological causes of weight gain card while dismissing the influence of willpower and personal autonomy . However i agree on his emphasis on glycemic load not index.

Dr. Sears outlines some theories that are certainly worth looking into.  His diet is healthy and well balanced and should improve your health.

For more informations, you can email me. I work in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, and Palm Beach Gardens area.

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