Making the Top 100
Your Zone Primer
The Healthiest Foods in the World
The Top 100 Zone Foods
Eating Out or Dining In
Food and Hormones
The Zone vs. Other Diets
Motivation for a Lifetime in the Zone
All About Carbohydrates
Using Zone Food Blocks for Making Zone Meals
Zone Diet Validation Studies
About the Author
Other Books by Dr. Barry Sears
About the Publisher
The success of the Zone books that I have written during the past five years is primarily due to my team who
is not only my co-workers, but also my closest friends.
These include my wife, Lynn Sears, who does much of
the editing of my books, and my brother, Doug Sears,
who has a very clear insight and understanding of how
to translate cutting-edge science into easily understood
terms for the general public. In addition, I wish to especially thank Deborah Kotz for her excellent advice and
editorial input in helping develop this book.
Special thanks go to Roberto Mighty and Joseph
Alsop, who orchestrated the various recipes to illustrate
how easy it is to incorporate the Top 100 Zone Foods
into great Zone meals.
At the same time, I also have my team at ReganBooks
who consistently do an outstanding job of fine-tuning my
books for the general public. For this particular book, I
want to give special thanks to Doug Corcoran for his
Of course, my greatest thanks always goes to Judith
Regan, who had the courage and foresight to support
the Zone, and in the process helped improve the lives of
millions of people.
Since the dawn of time, scientific discoveries have been
ridiculed and violently rejected before they became selfevident. Galileo was imprisoned for asserting that the
earth revolved around the sun. Columbus was laughed
at for suggesting that the earth was round. As with all
innovative discoveries, the Zone has pretty much followed the same course. When I first came up with the
concept of the Zone some twenty years ago, my idea
was strongly ridiculed, and I was labeled as a charlatan.
The publication of my first book, The Zone, more than
five years ago generated a firestorm of criticism often
bordering on irrational vehemence.
As we settle into the twenty-first century, the Zone is
on the verge of becoming a mainstream nutritional program. I get more and more letters from physicians who
tell me they prescribe the Zone to their patients, and I
hear more nutritionists grudgingly admit that the Zone is
a reasonable diet. Some of my most vociferous past critics
are now adopting many of the concepts of the Zone as
their own. I welcome such a growing consensus. As the
old saying goes, victory has a thousand fathers.
I’m not surprised that the Zone has been embraced
by millions. After all, the program is based on simple
dietary common sense: balance and moderation. I’m
not trying to sell you a bill of goods by saying you can
eat as much steak or cheesecake as you want. What I’m
giving you is intuitive dietary wisdom based on cuttingedge science. Simply balance your plate with protein
and carbohydrates, add a dash of fat, and eat only a
moderate number of total calories at each meal. The
end result? Better hormonal control, specifically keeping the hormone insulin within a zone that is neither
too high nor too low.
As the majority of Americans struggle with obesity,
the concepts of balance and moderation have been
thrown out the window. You may think that the
“answer” to this obesity epidemic lies in an extreme
diet. In fact, you may have tried one yourself: the highprotein diet of steak and eggs or the high-carbohydrate
“bagel” diet. The Zone is not high-anything, because
it’s based on balance, the very thing that your body
needs to function at its best.
The goal of this book is to get you to feel the beneficial effects of the Zone and to give you the tools to
prepare the very best possible Zone meals. You will
learn how to incorporate the highest-quality foods you
can find into the Zone Diet. The payoff is huge: You’ll
get the greatest potential control over your insulin levels, which means a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes,
and cancer. You’ll get the additional benefit of losing
those stubborn fat pounds that you’ve never been able
to get rid of in the past.
As I said, I’m not trying to sell you an unproven theory. These hefty promises are backed by solid science. If
you’re already aware of the Zone Diet, you know that
it’s based on research that has determined the ratio of
carbohydrates, fat, and protein you need to get the hormonal response that sends you into the Zone.
This book takes the Zone Diet and combines it
with a new Zone Food Science Ranking System that I
developed using mathematical formulas to evaluate the
quality of the foods we eat. Using these formulas, I
identified the Top 100 highest-quality foods you should
eat when following the Zone Diet. Like high-octane
gasoline, these high-quality foods are the very best fuel
you can put in your body. Yes, you can make a Zone
meal out of low-octane foods—like a few pieces of
salami on a slice of white bread. But you’ll get the maximum hormonal mileage out of every meal if you
choose high-octane foods like grilled tuna accompanied
by an assortment of free-radical-fighting vegetables and
fruits. You’re probably already including some of these
Top 100 foods in your current diet, but you’ll also see
how easy it is to include new foods from the list that
you’ve never tried.
All you really need to keep in mind is the ultimate
goal of the Zone: lifelong hormonal control. Once you
become the master of your hormones, you can halt or
even reverse the aging process. You’ll retain muscle
mass (which naturally declines as you age), avoid those
inevitable old-age ailments like heart disease, cancer,
and arthritis, and even prevent wrinkles. This book will
teach you how easy it is to treat food with the same
respect as any prescription drug, while at the same time
enhancing the pleasure you get from every bite you
take. In fact, many people with adult-onset diabetes
(Type 2 diabetes) have been able to use the Zone to
completely control their disease without any medications, including insulin injections. Other Zone advocates have been able to go off the blood pressure or
cholesterol-lowering drugs their doctors had told them
they would have to use for the rest of their lives. I’d
much rather eat a savory piece of salmon covered with
crisp vegetables than swallow a bitter pill with numerous side effects. Wouldn’t you? If you choose food as
your health elixir for the future, then this book is written expressly for you. Welcome to the Zone!
Making the Top 100
You probably assume you’re a product of your genes.
You have your father’s eyes, your mother’s freckles, and
your grandmother’s diabetes. I, too, am a product of my
genes. Every male on my father’s side has died an early
death after suffering a premature heart attack. My father died in 1972 at the age of 54, and I was sure that I
was genetically destined for this same fate.
Although I knew I couldn’t change my genes, I
didn’t want to be a slave to them either. I was determined to alter my genetic destiny and live a normal,
healthy lifespan. I didn’t buy into the notion that some
new medication would come along to save me. I had to
take charge of my own health directly by changing my
eating habits. So I decided to devote my work as a researcher to discovering what, if any, dietary habits
could reverse my impending collision course with my
genetic fate. Through 20 years of research, I’ve learned
that food can indirectly turn certain genes on and off
by altering the levels of hormones, the chemical messengers that control our lives. These hormones can
The Top 100 Zone Foods
alter our genetic fate by increasing or decreasing our
One of the most powerful hormones controlled by
the foods we eat is insulin. My research found that if
you could keep insulin levels within a certain zone—not
too high and not too low—you could, in fact, bypass
your genetic glitches and avoid certain chronic diseases.
The result? A longer and healthier life.
I called my program the Zone Diet. Although it was
developed for treating cardiovascular disease and Type
2 diabetes, it is also the most effective way to lose excess body fat without feeling deprived or hungry. It is
not a short-term diet, but a life-long dietary strategy
that can keep you at a healthy weight for the rest of
your life. All you need to do is eat the right combination
of foods at every meal. This means eating a balanced
amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat at every meal
and snack—and eating all these foods in moderation.
Follow this simple rule at every meal, and you will
achieve the hormonal responses that will get you into
What does it mean to be in the Zone? Picture yourself going through your days feeling energized, happy,
and satisfied. That’s the feeling you get in the Zone.
Now picture yourself feeling exhausted, hungry, and
down in the dumps. That’s what you feel like when
you’re out of the Zone. If you follow my Zone prescription, within a week you will be thinking better, performing better, and looking better. In the long run,
you’ll receive some rather remarkable health benefits
like the permanent loss of excess body fat and a dramatically lowered risk of diabetes and heart disease.
The Zone has been incorrectly dubbed a high-protein
diet by the popular press. The Zone is not a high-protein,
high-carbohydrate, or high-anything diet. These diets are
Making the Top 100
faddish quick fixes and run contrary to what Nature intended. The Zone is a balanced diet in the truest sense
of the word. To stay healthy, you need to keep all of
your body’s systems in balance, and that’s what the
Zone Diet will do for you.
THE HEALTHIEST DIET IN THE WORLD
I firmly believe that the Zone Diet is the healthiest diet in
the world. Like any piece of technology, the Zone keeps
evolving. When I first created the Zone, I came up with a
system called Zone Food Blocks and divided all foods
into various blocks of protein, carbohydrate, and fat so
that you could mix and match them to get the best hormonal output. As long as you have the right combination
of protein, carbohydrate, and fat blocks, you can achieve
the hormonal effects of the Zone. You do, however, still
need to be selective about the quality of foods you eat. I
also told you to avoid certain carbohydrates that cause
dangerous rises in insulin (like bagels and potatoes). Dining on low-fat protein, heart-healthy fats, and tons of
fruits and vegetables makes the Zone Diet the handsdown most nutritious eating plan you can follow.
The Zone Diet has continued to evolve into increasingly healthier versions; such as replacing low-fat
animal protein with increasing amounts of soy protein.
I wrote The Soy Zone based on the diet eaten by the
longest-living population in the world, the Okinawans.
Their basic diet is the Zone Diet, containing primarily
vegetables, some fish and animal protein, but with most
of their protein from soy. That’s why you’ll find numerous soy protein products on my Top 100 list.
For this book I took a little journey down memory
lane. I went back through all my years of research and
searched through studies conducted by other scientists
The Top 100 Zone Foods
to determine which particular foods are the absolute
best for your health. New information is coming along
every day, but all the foods on my Top 100 list have
been found to have significant health benefits in study
Of course, I’m not telling you that you need to eat
only these foods. I want you to experience the hundreds
of varieties of fruits and vegetables whose shimmering
colors catch your eye on produce stands. (As you will
find out later, more color means more free-radical-fighting abilities.) I do, however, think it’s important to make
certain foods staples in your diet. For instance, you can
follow the Zone Diet and never eat a single cruciferous
vegetable, yet you’d be missing out on the cancer- and
aging-fighting chemicals that make broccoli, spinach,
and kale so potent in lowering the risk of heart disease
If you aren’t using the highest-quality foods in your
Zone meals, then you aren’t reaping the maximum
health benefits of the Zone. It’s as simple as that.
Maybe you’re not quite sure how to fit your favorite
fruits and vegetables into the plan. Perhaps you’re reluctant to try something new if you don’t have a recipe
to use it in. Chapter 4, “The Top 100 Zone Foods,”
will give you easy and delicious recipes containing all
of these foods.
These 100 foods are the highest-quality foods you
can get. They were the ones that came up on top when
I put thousands of foods through my Zone Food Science
Ranking System. I believe they will help you achieve the
peak effects of the Zone by giving you the biggest bang
for the buck.
The point is to get you to incorporate as many of
the foods as possible into your Zone eating plan—not
just the healthiest five foods on each list. I want you to
Making the Top 100
get out of the tomato-cucumber-lettuce salad rut. By the
time you’re through with this book, you won’t think
twice about mixing some orange slices with some
spinach leaves to create a salad or tossing some chickpeas in with your steamed broccoli.
I want to get you out of the “if it’s Tuesday, it must
be chicken” mindset and into the “variety, variety, variety” mode. That’s the message of the U.S. government
and the American Heart Association when they tell you
to eat 3 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. (The
Zone Diet actually surpasses this by recommending 10
to 15 servings per day.) Each food on my Top 100 list
contains its own array of disease-fighting chemicals that
help keep your body healthy. Combine these foods according to Zone principles, and you’ve covered all your
bases. Your body will have all the nutrients it needs and
will have a full arsenal of weapons at its disposal to
fight disease and live a longer and better life.
To qualify for my Top 100 list, the Zone foods have
to meet two criteria:
1. They have to be nutrient-dense.
2. They have to work the most effectively to improve
your insulin levels, enabling you to enter the Zone
and stay there on a long-term basis.
Use these foods identified by the Zone Food Science
Ranking System, and you have the quickest and most
effective way to get yourself into the Zone.
INSTANT GRATIFICATION IN THE ZONE
If you’ve never entered the Zone, you’ll be amazed at
how great you feel once you’re there. Within one week
in the Zone, you will:
The Top 100 Zone Foods
Get mentally focused. Keeping your blood sugar
level on an even keel throughout the day, you’ll find
you have a better ability to concentrate and won’t
have that mental haziness that can strike two to
three hours after eating a high-carbohydrate meal.
Experience a surge of energy. Adding more (but not
too much) protein to your diet will increase your
levels of the hormone glucagon, which helps your
body maintain constant blood sugar levels for mental energy. Once you lower your insulin levels, you
can access your stored body fat for an almost inexhaustible source of energy for increased physical activity. You’ll find yourself operating at peak
performance throughout the day. Afternoon mental
slumps will be a thing of the past. Coming home,
you’ll have the excess energy to enjoy life to its
Lose a few pounds of fat. You’ll see a change in
your body shape as you begin to shed fat. You can
expect to lose up to 5 pounds during your first week
on the Zone Diet (1 to 2 pounds of fat and 2 to 3
pounds of retained water). Excess insulin levels generated by high-carbohydrate diets cause you to retain 2 to 3 pounds of water that are shed once you
switch to fewer carbohydrates and more protein.
Feel happier. The sugar lows that leave you feeling
tired, hungry, and irritable between meals will be
banished for good. You’ll no longer feel like a slave
to food and will no longer be plagued by carbohydrate cravings. Overall, your body will feel like a
well-tuned machine, a sign that your hormones are
in tune, too.
Gain control over your insulin levels. Several studies have shown that within hours of going on the
Making the Top 100
Zone Diet, people experience a reduction in excess
insulin levels, the underlying cause of diabetes and
heart disease. A recent study from Harvard Medical
School found that the insulin-controlling benefits
kick in after just one meal in the Zone. (Of course,
your insulin levels will shoot right back up if you
have a meal that’s not Zone balanced.)
If you follow the Zone Diet, you’ll experience all
these benefits just by making a few simple changes in
your eating habits. Of course these are great short-term
benefits, but the real reason you want to make the Zone
an integral part of your life is that it can improve your
health dramatically and will lead to a longer life.
By incorporating the Top 100 Zone Foods into your
Zone eating plan, you will maximize the long-term
health effects of the Zone. Getting the proper balance of
protein, carbohydrates, and fat will take you most of the
way there. Adding the highest-quality foods in each of
these categories will allow you to reap the full benefits of
the Zone. Living a healthier life will allow you to lead a
fuller and happier life—and isn’t that the point of it all?
A vast number of health benefits can result simply
from getting better control of your insulin levels. In the
1. You will achieve permanent fat loss. The best way
to get a handle on your weight is to control your insulin levels. Through the Zone, you will naturally
shed all the body fat that your body doesn’t need.
Many Zone users have lost 20, 40, or in some cases
more than 100 pounds. More important, they have
kept those pounds off over the years.
2. You will reduce your risk of heart disease. As you
lower your insulin levels, you will also lower your
The Top 100 Zone Foods
likelihood of heart disease. A study reported in the
Journal of the American Medical Association found
that insulin levels are far more predictive for the development of heart disease than any other risk factor.
You will protect yourself against adult-onset (Type
2) diabetes. In this type of diabetes (which accounts
for more than 90 percent of all cases), people produce too much insulin, which can destroy healthy
organs and tissues in the body. Clinical studies have
shown that the Zone lowers excess insulin levels in
Type 2 diabetics within four days.
You will lower your risk of arthritis and osteoporosis.
Lowering insulin can alleviate tissue inflammation,
because reduced insulin levels also mean reduced levels of the building blocks of pain-producing
eicosanoids. By decreasing these types of eicosanoids,
you relieve the pain and inflammation associated
with arthritis. Research has also shown that
increased protein consumption actually decreases the
number of hip fractures in postmenopausal women.
You may reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. A number of studies have found an association
between high insulin levels and increased risk of
breast cancer. What’s more, research from Harvard
Medical School has shown that the more protein
(and fewer carbohydrates) a woman consumes, the
better her survival rate after breast cancer.
You’ll get fewer infections. Adequate protein ensures proper functioning of the immune system, the
body’s natural defense mechanism against disease.
Many people on high-carbohydrate diets have suppressed immune systems and are more susceptible
to infection because of excess insulin levels. They’re
Author Barry Sears Isbn 9780060741853 File size 1.2MB Year 2005 Pages 400 Language English File format PDF Category Cookbooks Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare Dr Barry Sears takes you on a tour of the top 100 Zone foods, offering capsule summaries of their nutritional benefits, along with delicious recipes and Zone Food Block information for each food item. Being in the Zone has just been made easier now that The Top 100 Zone Foods is available as a convenient mass market paperback. Dr Barry Sears selects the top 100 Zone foods and shows you how to mix and match them to form perfectly balanced Zone Meals. For each food item there is a brief description of its health and nutritional bragging points followed by one or two easytoprepare Zoneapproved recipes and the appropriate Zone Block information for foolproof Zone cooking. After explaining how to enter and stay in the Zone, Dr Sears shows why not all foods are created equal at least from a nutritional and hormonal point of view. Organising the Top 100 into protein, carbohydrates and fats, he shows you how to combine your favourite foods to form hundreds of appropriately balanced and deliciously prepared meals such as Prawn Scampi with Vegetables, MediterraneanStyle Chicken, Spinach Feta Pie, Lemon Meringue, and Strawberry Mousse. Download (1.2MB) Comfort Food Lightened Up (Keep It Simple) Fruit Infused Water Recipes: 31 Days To Weight-loss, Detox, Anti-aging & So Much More! Get Real and Stop Dieting! Culinary Confessions Of The Pta Divas Eat Raw, Not Cooked Load more posts