Dr. Barry Sears developed the Zone Diet. He established a set of principles that balance carbohydrates and proteins at every meal. He has authored a diet book that has sold over 4 million copies since first hitting the market. He also founded the ZonePerfect Nutrition Company in 1996 and then sold the company to the Abbott Company five years later.
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The ZonePerfect Nutrition Company has continued to expand and is expected to sell in excess of one hundred million dollars worth of ZonePerfect foods this year. These include Zone diet bars, Zone diet meals, protein shakes and powders, supplements and fish oil capsules to be used as supplements. While these products are labeled as Zone Diet products, Dr. Sears does not agree that they are following the Zone Diet principles, and he is not endorsing several of the products.
In fact, Dr. Barry Sears is endorsing a new product called Smart Zone which is a meal supplement bar produced by Hersheys. There have been several lawsuits regarding the use of the Dr. Sears implied endorsement of ZonePerfect products. Dr. Sears is very clear that he does not endorse these products despite the fact that they use the ZonePerfect name.
What is the issue?
Dr. Barry Sears now operates a company called Zone Labs. They have the only Zone Diet products that Dr. Sears endorses at this time. The Hershey SmartZone bars will also carry Dr. Sears stamp of approval as soon as they are marketed.
The concern with the non-endorsed products is that while they appear to be the Zone products, they are not correctly chemically balanced to control insulin. Since the whole premise of the Zone Diet is to eat foods that will help your body control the hormones that produce and regular insulin it is very important that the chemical composition of the food is exactly correct.
Dr. Sears explains that a diet bar can be a prime example of how things can appear to be Zone foods but are not chemically balanced to work with the program. There are many nutrition bars that are composed of a 40/30/30 balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fat. The fat in Zone bars comes from a patented fish oil product that actually helps the body slow down the production of insulin and prevents hunger and cravings. Other bars marketed as Zone products have the 40/30/30 ratio but they use flaxseed or soybean oils that don’t have the same chemical composition. This oil does nothing to help the body with insulin control and will result in hunger and cravings.
What does Dr. Sears endorse?
Currently Dr. Sears endorses his own line of supplements that include:
* OmegaRx® Fish Oil Concentrates that act to optimize heart, brain and immune system functions as well as help with the hormonal control of insulin production.
* Zone Bars and Shakes that are available for on-the-go meals and snacks. These bars and shakes follow the 40/30/30 ratio and have the added benefit of the omega fish oil for insulin control.
* Zone Ribose is another supplement that is used to increase energy and decrease muscle stiffness and fatigue after exercise.
* SeaHealth Plus is a liquid supplement that provides the vitamins and minerals found in 2-3 servings of fruit and vegetables. It is high in anti-oxidants that rid the body of free radicals.
* An additional line of supplements for body and skeletal health that includes cardio support, bone supplement, hepatic support for detoxification and Zone foundation and micro nutritional support.
The only meal that is endorsed by Dr. Sears as a Zone diet product is the new line of frozen dinners he has developed with Cedarlane, a producer of organic and natural frozen dinners. These Zone endorsed meals include pizza, omelets, enchiladas and burritos. They are designed to be cooked in a microwave and enjoyed.
Dr. Sears continues to develop more supplements and meals that fit into the Zone Diet. Be careful to check that the product you’re buying does have Dr. Sear’s endorsement to ensure that you are truly staying in the Zone.