By Dr. Barry Sears:
For the past 20 years Dr. Sears has continued to blaze new paths in nutritional science. It started with his New York Times #1 best-seller The Zone in 1995 and now continues with his 14th book, “The Mediterranean Zone.”
The primary takeaway from “The Mediterranean Zone” is that any health benefit of the relatively undefined Mediterranean diet is really the result of the increased consumption of chemicals known as polyphenols. These are the chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their color. At high enough intakes they are also anti-inflammatory compounds. However, the full health benefits of those polyphenols will never be realized unless the meals that contain them are balanced according to the Zone blueprint (1/3 low-fat protein, 2/3 low-glycemic-load colorful carbs with a dash of monounsaturated fat) necessary to generate the appropriate hormonal response that is the primary cause of the reduction of diet-induced inflammation.
A second key point of the book is that we are entering the next phase of inflammation-induced diseases. The first phase was the rapid increase in obesity starting in 1980, followed 15 years later by a rapid increase in type 2 diabetes. Now the third phase is starting, and that is the rapid increase in Alzheimer’s disease. All of these chronic conditions are a direct result of increased inflammation in different organs of the body (adipose tissue, the pancreas, and the brain). In essence, we are observing the metastatic spread of diet inflammation just like a cancer.
Another key point of “The Mediterranean Zone” is that there is little scientific evidence to support much of our current diet nutritional hype (saturated fat and ketogenic diets are good; fructose, gluten, and dairy are bad). It makes great press, but it is bad science.
Finally, what makes “The Mediterranean Zone” such a powerful anti-inflammatory approach to treating obesity, diabetes, and by implication Alzheimer’s is that it puts forward a three-legged-stool dietary program consisting of an anti-inflammatory diet rich in polyphenols (i.e., the Zone Diet) coupled with high-dose omega-3 fatty acids and high-dose polyphenol extracts. The science behind this powerful combination is provided in detail in the Appendix in “The Mediterranean Zone.”
Perhaps the largest direct impact on the American health care will come from the development by Dr. Sears of his patented Zone Pasta that is a powerful dietary tool to stabilize blood sugar levels and thus act as a powerful appetite suppressant. When combined with the cutting-edge dietary concepts presented for the first time in “The Mediterranean Zone,” freedom from hunger and life-long management of chronic diseases caused by diet-induced inflammation become a reality.