Pop Sugar wanted me input on the Zone Diet. 

What is the Zone Diet? What are the benefits of the Zone Diet?
What is a good example of a Zone Diet dish or recipe?

The Zone Diet was created by a biochemist named Barry Sears.  This diet focuses on reduced carbohydrate consumption, reduced caloric consumption and most importantly avoiding spikes in insulin and working to improve insulin sensitivity.  The diet advocates eating five times a day, with 3 meals and 2 snacks, and includes eating proteins, carbohydrates – those with a lower glycemic index are recommended, and monounsaturated fats are considered the best.  The macro nutrient breakdown is in a ratio of 30%-40%-30% protein-carbohydrates-fats.

The benefits of the diet are improved blood sugar control, reduced risk for chronic disease, weight loss, and longevity, but like other low-carb diets, the ideas underlying the Zone diet are unproven.

As of 2013, there were “no cross-sectional or longitudinal studies examining the potential health merit of adopting a Zone Diet per se, [and] closely related peer-reviewed findings from scientific research cast strong doubt over the purported benefits of this diet. When properly evaluated, the ideas and arguments of popular low carbohydrate diet books like the Zone rely on poorly controlled, non-peer-reviewed studies, anecdotes and non-science rhetoric.”

Nutrition in very individual what works for one person may not work for another, adopting concepts from this diet that work for you individually is the best approach, as it should be the approach to all other diets.


Apple-Walnut Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Experiment with different types of chicken sausage to add a bit of variety, including flavors of jalapeno to add a little spice.

1 serving

Total Time (mins)30

  • Ingredients
  • Nutrition
  • 1/2 cupZone PastaRx Fusilli
  • 1/2 tspOlive Oil
  • 2 TbspDry White Cooking Wine
  • 1 sliceOnion
  • 1/2 linkal fresco® Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage (sliced)
  • 1/4Medium Apple (diced)
  • 3/4 tspWalnuts (crushed, toasted if you like)
  • 1 cupBaby Spinach Leaves


  1. Cook Zone PastaRx Fusilli as directed. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of liquid and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil and wine in nonstick skillet. Sauté onion until translucent, about 3–4 minutes.
  3. Add cut sausage and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in diced apples, walnuts, spinach and fusilli.
  5. Add some of the reserved water if needed.
  6. Cook for an additional 2 minutes until all ingredients are warm and spinach is wilted.




Cheuvront SN The Zone Diet phenomenon: a closer look at the science behind the claims. J Am Coll Nutr. 2003 Feb;22(1):9-17. PMID 12569110


Baron M. Fighting obesity Part 1: Review of popular low-carb diets. Health Care Food Nutr Focus. 2004 Oct;21(10):1, 3-6, 11. Review. PMID 15493377