There are a number of diets on the market today and if you are like most people, you have tried your hand at a few of them. If you are currently a member of the Crossfit community, then you have likely been introduced to the Paleo Diet or the Zone Diet. Many athletes combine the two dietary programs, modifying certain methods and principles from each to form what is now known as the Paleo Zone Diet.
WHAT IS THE PALEO ZONE DIET?
The development of the Paleo Diet is based on extensive research that examined the types and quantities of foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. According to Dr. Loren Cordain, author of the book "The Paleo Diet," the goal is to consume the same types of unprocessed foods that our ancestors did prior to the Agricultural Revolution.
The Zone Diet is a nutrition program that was popularized by biochemist Dr. Barry Sears. It suggests that there are a specific number of macronutrients that our bodies need for optimal health and performance.
The Paleo Zone diet combines the two by restricting the types of foods you are allowed to eat to those consumed in the Paleo diet, while using the ratio outlined in the Zone diet.
In his book, Dr. Cordain advocates the consumption of whole foods such as lean cuts of meat, seafood, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables only. He asserts that the introduction of grains and legumes into the human diet also led to the introduction of modern diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
CONCEPTS BORROWED FROM THE ZONE
Many athletes eat Paleo foods while incorporating a few of the Zone diet principles created by Dr. Sears. Consuming a ratio of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat allows the carbohydrates that are taken in to be released into the bloodstream at a much slower rate, thereby providing you with a fuel or energy source when needed. In addition, less insulin is released into the body, which means less fat is stored and more body fat can be burned.
The proteins and fats that are eaten come from lean cuts of meat and healthy oils, while the carbohydrates come largely from vegetables.
The carbohydrates allowed on this diet have a low rating on the glycemic index. According to the Mayo Clinic, these foods will gradually increase your body's blood sugar and insulin levels rather than causing a rapid increase or change. The American Dietetic Association states that excessive insulin and high blood sugar levels can lead to the development of a cluster of diseases known as Syndrome X. This disease is a combination of obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and gout. In turn, the high levels of fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids found in The Paleo Diet will help to prevent Syndrome X diseases.
SAMPLE DAILY MENU
Meal 1: Omelet with spinach and mushroom Meal 2: Banana pear ambrosia Meal 3: Stir fried beef with veggies Meal 4: Colorado spinach salad Meal 5: Grilled chicken, steamed broccoli and tomato salad