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Home > Anti-aging Research > Zone Diet

Zone Diet

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News & Research:

  • Ornish: Why Atkins Still Doesn't Beat Low-Fat Diet -  Newsweek, 7/16/08 - "A new study comparing the Atkins diet, a Mediterranean diet and a low-fat diet published on July 17 in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), is likely to inspire headlines saying that the Atkins diet is better for your waistline and your health than a low-fat diet ... I believe this study is extremely flawed. Here's why: ... funded in part by the Atkins Foundation ... quality of data in this study ..."
  • Researchers Nix Low-carb Diet - Science Daily, 12/17/07 - "The term used to describe diets that produce this biological effect is ketogenic; hence, Atkins is a ketogenic, low-carbohydrate (KLC) diet, and the Zone diet is considered a nonketogenic, low-carbohydrate (NLC) diet ... the ketogenic diet may increase bone loss because of an increase in acid in the body and not enough intake of alkalizing minerals, such as potassium, to neutralize this effect. In addition, a higher percentage of calcium was found in the urine of those on the KLC diet, leading the researchers to believe that the bones are “leaching” calcium ... the reduction in fat loss and weight loss was about the same for both diets over a six-week trial. In addition, body mass index was significantly lower after six weeks in both diet groups. However, those following the KLC diet experienced a greater increase in LDL cholesterol than those following the NLC diet"
  • Consumer Reports Rates Diet Plans - WebMD, 5/9/05 - "Weight Watchers got the highest rating. On the 1 to 5 rating scale -- where 5 is best and 1 is worst -- Weight Watchers scored a 4"
  • What’s the Best Diet? - Dr. Weil, 6/11/04
  • Four Popular Diets All Good for Weight Loss But Not Equal for Reducing Heart Disease Risk - Doctor's Guide, 11/10/03 - "Patients were evenly assigned to the Atkins diet (low carbohydrates), Zone (moderate carbohydrates), Ornish (low-fat vegetarian), or Weight Watchers (moderate fat) ... the heart disease risk score is based on the HDL/LDL ratio, and the "Ornish diet does not increase HDL, while the other diets do achieve significant increases in HDL,"" - I put the results in table form:

At 12 months:


Weight decrease

Framingham risk score decrease

Insulin level decrease LDL decrease HDL increase % Completed study
Atkins 3.9% 12.3% 7.7% 8.6% 15.4% 52%
Zone 4.6% 10.5% 16.5% 6.7% 14.6% 65%
Ornish 6.2% 6.6% 19.9% 16.7% 2.2% 50%
Weight W. 4.5% 14.7% 8.8% 7.7% 18.5% 65%
  • 4 Popular Diets Heart Healthy - WebMD, 11/10/03 - "the heart disease risk score is based on the ratio between LDL cholesterol and HDL "good" cholesterol ... The Atkins and Zone diets increased HDL by 15%, while Weight Watchers posted an 18.5% gain. But the Ornish diet increased HDL by just 2.2%"
  • Improved Glucose Response with High-protein Diet in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes - Doctor's Guide, 10/16/03 - "either a control diet designed according to the recommendations of the American Diabetes Association (protein:carbohydrate:fat, 15:55:30) or a high-protein diet (30:40:30) for a period of 5 weeks ... fasting glucose concentration was consistently lower after the high-protein diet, with no significant change in body weight. The mean 24-hour integrated glucose area responses (with fasting glucose concentration as baseline) were 34.1 +/- 7.2 mmol x h/L and 21.0 +/- 4.2 mmol x h/L after the control and high-protein diets, respectively, revealing a 40% decrease with the high-protein diet"
  • High-Protein Diet Helpful in Type 2 Diabetes - Medscape, 10/6/03 - "The ratio of protein to carbohydrate to fat was 30:40:30 in the high-protein diet and 15:55:30 in the control diet ... there was a 40% decrease in the mean 24-hour integrated glucose area response after the high-protein diet. Patients on the high-protein diet also fared better in terms of decrease in glycated hemoglobin ... longer-term studies are necessary to determine the total magnitude of response, possible adverse effects, and the long-term acceptability of the diet"