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Thread: Disappointed in Mark's Take on Zone Diet page

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    Tomes's Avatar
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    Disappointed in Mark's Take on Zone Diet

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    I've been following a 40/30/30 diet for a very long time now and was curious on Mark's take on Zone diet. I'm disappointed that he seemed to miss a number of key points and wondered if there's a more detailed "primal" take on these issues (I was looking at a Post from 2008).

    The major missing piece is the idea of having most meals have a protein to carb ratio somewhere between 0.6 to 1.0, keeping your insulin and Glucagon in an ideal range, leading to further "downstream" hormonal benefits (with most carbs coming from low-glycemic sources). Instead, Mark treats the 40/30/30 ratio as a daily prescription, which is essentially irrelevant (it only really matters per meal.) And Dr. Sears has written a few times on the unsustainability of keeping your body in a ketogenic state--I didn't see any response to that idea.

    Mark also thought 30% fat was too low (and likely to make you hungry)--but the 30% fat ratio is clearly stated as a starting point, and the hunger issue just isn't an issue because it's "taken care of" by the hormonal benefits--Sears is all for eating as much monounsaturated fat as you need to supply energy (once you get to desire % body weight).

    In any case, my dubiousness was aroused by the Post on "seasonal eating" ("Nature makes apples bright red to encourage us to eat them at the right time of year"), and the Zone post didn't allay my concerns...

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    Well, sorry to hear your disappointment. What was your question?

    "if there's a more detailed "primal" take on these issues".....if thats your question then perhaps you should read the whole book rather than two blog posts separated by 4 years (one of which is actually a guest post) to see what its all about before jumping to any conclusions. Or heck at the very least use the search function to read more on the site.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 10-12-2012 at 05:17 PM.

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    Tomes's Avatar
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    I did read the book. If I had to boil down my question, it would be:

    - Why does Mark think being in a Ketogenic state is sustainable, when so many others give specific reasons why they think it's not?
    - Why isn't there any concern over glycemic index of carbs?
    - Has Mark looked at the data supporting the idea of eating around 3 to 4 ratio of Protein to Carbs at each sitting (not just zone--idea has been around for a while), and if so, what issue does he have with the data (i.e., why doesn't he think it's worth doing)

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    Not sure about all the answers but there is no real concern over GI of carbs because they are mostly coming in the form of vegetables, berries, some fruit, the occasional sweet potato or potato (which would not make the bulk of your plate anyway)....all fairly low GI and not an issue.


    In your initial post you mention the 30% fat is a starting point...if you raise it to primal levels you will be out of your 40/30/30 which may be why Mark is not bothered by the zone.
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    I have a lot of respect for Mark, I think he's a good researcher, and I think he does a decent job at evaluating things as being healthy or unhealthy. Usually. But he's not God, and I don't follow him blindly. There are some aspects of primal and paleo that I don't agree with because i've experienced health issues worsening as a result of this way of eating. So i keep the aspects of paleo and primal that are working, and I modify the other parts. Personally, I feel best eating higher carb / lower fat.

    If the zone diet is your thing, and eating that way makes you feel healthy and happy, who cares what Mark thinks about it? Keep the macros you're comfortable with, and you can still apply the primal way of eating to it if it makes sense to you (good fats instead of Omega 6 crap oils, no processed junk, etc...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomes View Post
    I did read the book. If I had to boil down my question, it would be:

    - Why does Mark think being in a Ketogenic state is sustainable, when so many others give specific reasons why they think it's not?
    His recs go up to 150g/day for the "average" person in the context of the Primal fitness plan. Hardly 100% ketosis. And there is nothing wrong with being in a ketogenic state. Most, but not all people do quite well with it.

    - Why isn't there any concern over glycemic index of carbs?

    Cause...GI is bunk. Add fat...GI fixed. Glycemic load is more important. Next question.


    - Has Mark looked at the data supporting the idea of eating around 3 to 4 ratio of Protein to Carbs at each sitting (not just zone--idea has been around for a while), and if so, what issue does he have with the data (i.e., why doesn't he think it's worth doing)
    Guess this is a question directly for Mark....I have my own opinions, but since I'm not him I wont answer.
    Answers in bold

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    Quote Originally Posted by BestBetter View Post
    I have a lot of respect for Mark, I think he's a good researcher, and I think he does a decent job at evaluating things as being healthy or unhealthy. Usually. But he's not God
    Nor is he any kind of doctor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpycakes View Post
    Nor is he any kind of doctor.
    Irrelevant.

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    If you ever need surgery for cheap, I know a dude.
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