Following the Zone diet plan is an effective way to promote heart health. It involves making certain changes to your current meal plan to help balance the hormonal levels in your body, which in turn results in fat loss and improves heart health.
Dr. Sears, the pioneer of the Zone diet plan refers to “The Zone” as a healthy hormonal balance. This diet involves the intake of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the ratio of 40 : 30 : 30. According to Sears, following this diet plan increases the production of certain anti-inflammatory chemicals that are beneficial for the heart, the organ that forms the foundation of your overall health.
Foods Allowed In The Zone Diet Plan
Here is a list of foods that are permitted in the Zone diet plan.
Legumes are a great choice for those following the Zone diet plan. This is because legumes are composed of complex carbohydrates, folate, iron, and fiber. Additionally, as legumes are good sources of protein, they help meet the requirements of the Zone diet.
As a follower of the Zone diet plan, you’re allowed to include legumes such as kidney beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, hummus, and black beans in your diet.
Fruits are also beneficial if you’re on the Zone diet, as they’re good sources of complex carbohydrates. Certain fruits also contain significant amounts of dietary fiber. Fruits that are permitted in the Zone diet plan include bananas, grapefruits, grapes, pears, raspberries, apricots, cantaloupes, oranges, tangerines, kiwifruits, peaches, cherries, strawberries, and apples.
Tofu is also a great way to meet your protein needs while you’re on the Zone diet plan. It is a lean source of protein derived from soybean and contains a significant amount of carbohydrates. You can change tofu’s mild flavor by adding some spice to it while cooking.
Whole Wheat Pasta
The Zone diet plan emphasizes the inclusion of foods that are rich sources of complex carbs. This makes whole-wheat pasta a highly recommended option for increasing complex carb intake, as it is a rich source of this nutrient. It also contains fiber and protein, which eliminates cravings between mealtimes. Ensure that you avoid white pasta, as the Zone diet restricts this food.
As vegetables are loaded with carbohydrates and are low in calories, they are on the menu of the Zone diet plan. But you’re allowed to include only non-starchy vegetables in this diet.
Some of the vegetable that you can include in this meal plan are broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, radicchio, watercress, iceberg lettuce, radish, okra, collard greens, onions, cucumbers, eggplant, cabbages, and cauliflowers.
You can have meat products as part of the Zone diet plan, provided you limit your intake of fatty meat. Lean meat sources that can be included in this diet plan are chicken, fish, shellfish, beef, pork, egg white, and veal.
This detailed information about the Zone diet plan is sure to help you make the right food choices while starting with this popular diet. If you follow this diet religiously, there’s nothing to stop you from achieving your ideal weight and a healthy heart.