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The Zone Diet Basics
The Zone Diet Affects Three Major Hormone Systems
The three major hormones in our bodies affected by the food we eat are insulin and glucagon, which have opposite effects, and a hormone-like substance called eicosanoids.
Insulin is the hormone that helps convert sugar, starches and other food into energy and fatty acids. Think of insulin as a little bulldozer that pushes things into your cell tissues. The main thing that sugar pushes into your cells is glucose, a simple sugar that comes from foods that contain carbohydrates.
Your Brain And Muscles Depend on Glucose
Insulin plays a very important role in keeping your blood sugar within a fairly narrow range. You may not automatically associate blood sugar with your brain but your brain is very dependent on getting a constant, well regulated glucose stream. More than three or four minutes without glucose and your brain begins to shut down some body activities.
Insulin is most important for muscles when you are in a resting state. Only a small amount of glucose is required. Your body has a very limited ability to store glucose as sugar, but it does have an unlimited ability to store it as something else - body fat.
How Our Bodies Deal With Excess Sugar From Carbohydrates
Because glucose is an essential source of fuel the body will find a way to store any glucose that is not immediately required in your fat cells, and by creating new fat cells if necessary. Zone Diet meals attempt to balance insulin, glucogen and eicosanoids levels by balancing the amount and the ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats you consume each day.
The Zone Diet accomplishes this with the right combination of protein - about 40% (such as lean chicken, pork or fish), the right type of carbohydrate from fruits and vegetables - about 30%, and a portion of "good" fat - about 30% (such as olive oil). Zone Dieters eat about 5 times a day and within an hour of getting up and going to bed. This keeps your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day, draws down the number of fat cells, and eliminates the need for the body to create new fat cells. Many Zone Dieters report elevated energy levels and mental acuity as well.
The Zone Diet is somewhat unique - no foods are forbidden. "That means you can eat anything, as long as it has the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat", says Dr. Barry Sears, the Zone Diet creator. This flexibility is particularly valuable to people with certain food intolerances as suitable combinations can come from many different food groups. Even the protein portion of the Zone Diet can be obtained from soy protein.
About the Author: (c) Peter Somerville. Peter is the creator of the Paratroopers' Guide to Fitness and Weight Loss. The guide principles are used daily by millions and enable everybody to benefit from the world's most successful and most carefully researched fitness and weight loss program. Zone Diet Meals should be an important part of your fitness and weight loss program.