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Grapefruit diet

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Also listed as: Diet, Zone
Related terms
Background
Safety
Author information
Bibliography
Evidence
Interactions

Related Terms
  • Adequate protein diet, Barry Sears, carbohydrate, diet, fat, low carbohydrate diet, protein.

Background
  • The Zone diet is an unproven dietary regime, which has been popularized by Dr. Barry Sears through sales of his 1995 book, The Zone. Despite claims made in the book, there is little available research to support its overall benefit.
  • The Zone diet is a calorie-restricted diet that provides adequate protein, moderate levels of carbohydrates, essential fats and micronutrients spread through three meals and two snacks that approximately maintain the protein-to-carbohydrate ratio throughout the day.
  • Proponents believe that the Zone diet promotes optimal metabolic efficiency in the body by balancing the hormones insulin and glucagon. Insulin is responsible for converting, in the blood, incoming nutrients into cells. Glucagon regulates glucose in the liver. Overall, the Zone's food plan consists of a dietary intake of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat.
  • Under this diet, recommended foods include fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen), oatmeal (whole grain), protein powder (e.g. soybean isolate), chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish, low-fat cottage cheese, soy food, nuts (e.g. almonds, cashews, macademia, pistachios), extra virgin olive oil, natural sweeteners, such as fructose or stevia.

Safety




Author information
  • This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Cheuvront SN. The zone diet and athletic performance. Sports Med. 1999;27(4):213-228.
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
  3. Sears B. The Zone Diet and athletic performance. Sports Med. 2000;29(4):289-294.

Evidence
  • Recent studies have shown that patients placed on low-carbohydrate diets such as the South Beach Diet® lost more weight than similar patients placed on low-fat diets such as the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) diet or the American Heart Association diet. Additionally, these patients also had greater decreases in triglyceride levels at the end of the studies. Other studies have duplicated these results and suggested that these low-carbohydrate diets not only increase weight loss but also decrease markers for cardiovascular disease, for example LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Experts say that even though this diet may be healthier than other low carbohydrate diets because it includes most of the major food groups, most of the weight lost in the first phase is water weight. These experts say that losing too much water can throw electrolytes out of balance. If you are following this diet, you should work closely with a dietician or another qualified healthcare provider.
  • The extreme carbohydrate restriction in the first phase may make you feel weak and will require serious willpower and will cut out a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. The elimination of fruits in the first phase also leaves you without the important vitamins and minerals they contain.
  • Experts that disagree with the diet also suggest that the expected 8 to 13 pound weight loss in the first two weeks is too much. Most experts recommend weight loss at 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Interactions

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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