The Zone Diet Versus The Atkins Diet

1001 words - 4 pages

The Zone and Atkins diets aim to achieve lower levels of insulin in the bloodstream. The Zone diet reduces carbohydrates by structuring calorie intake to a 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, 30% fat ratio. The ratio decreases the amount of carbohydrates consumed, inturn lowering overall insulin levels. The Atkins diet also lowers insulin levels by lowering the quantity of carbohydrates ingested. This four phase diet begins with extreme limitation and gradually allows small amounts of carbohydrates. Though these diets implement different approaches they both reduce the insulin levels in the bloodstream.

The Zone diet’s main concern is a lifelong optimization of the body’s metabolic function by regulation of levels of insulin in the bloodstream. These insulin levels are largely affected by the types of food consumed. Studies have shown that the consumption of foods high in carbohydrates lead to an increased level of insulin in the bloodstream. This increase in insulin levels is believed to lead to increased hunger and possibly obesity. In order to decrease the levels of insulin in the bloodstream, the Zone diet follows a strict formula of types and amount of food ingested. This one phase diet follows the notion that a diet should have a balance and avoid ketosis, or causing the body to think it is starving. This balance limits meals to a 40-30-30 composition. 40-30-30 means that 40 percent of a meal’s calories should be fiber rich carbohydrates, 30 percent should be low-fat protein, and 30 percent should be fats. Contrary to the Food Pyramid, the Zone diet decreases the amount of carbohydrates and increases the amount of protein. This decrease in carbohydrates lowers the levels of insulin and although it is believed that large amounts of protein will also increase insulin, protein levels are increased but remain constricted. The constriction of protein allows a person to consume an amount of protein that is suggested by scientific studies to give the needed nutrients. The 40-30-30 composition of the diet is supposed to allow the body needed nutrients without supplementation, while helping monitor the insulin levels in the bloodstream. Along with a balanced diet, the consumption of six Zone meals, at equally spaced intervals, will cause the body to react to food, affecting the insulin levels in the proper way. By eating many of these Zone meals, the body will retain a steady level of insulin in the bloodstream. Retaining a consistent insulin blood level trains the body to produce insulin at the desired level, just as repeating an activity forms a habit. The Zone diets rigorous regime of many well balanced meals, aims to lower insulin levels, in turn reducing excess hunger.

The Atkins diet is a lifetime nutritional philosophy, focusing on the consumption of foods high in carbohydrates...

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