Zone Food Blocks

Zone Blocks™ – The Precision Approach to keep you going in the Zone

Zone Food Blocks provide the most precise way to balance protein, carbohydrate, and fat to optimize hormonal balance that is the basis of the Zone Diet. Once you become accustomed to the size of your favorites in terms of Zone Food Blocks, making Zone meals is easy. One Zone Block of protein contains 7 grams of protein, one Zone Block of carbohydrate contains 9 grams of insulin-stimulating carbohydrates (total carbohydrates minus fiber) and one Zone Block of fat contains 1.5 grams.

Animal protein always contains some fat. Thus your best choices of animal protein will be those that are low fat. This is why each fat block listed below is based on 1.5 grams to help account for hidden fat in the low-fat protein choices. If you are using a protein source that is fat-free, you can double your fat blocks to get a total of 3 grams of fat, which is equivalent to one block of fat.

Zone Food Blocks

Use this tool to assemble meals and snacks that fit your lifestyle. It’s easy:

  1. Find out how many Zone Blocks you’re allowed to consume in a day. For most women it will be about 11, and for most men it will be about 14. Your activity level influences your Zone-Block daily allowance. Use the Body Fat Calculator to determine the exact amount of food blocks you can consume based on your activity level.
  2. Search for foods within the Zone Food Block Guide to assemble meals and snacks that align with your food block allocations.

Some considerations:

  • Food Block Type:  Some foods are a mix of protein, carbohydrate and fat. We’ve eliminated the thinking and classified these foods for you.  To make a Zone meal, a typical female needs 3 Zone Food Blocks from each of the block categories: protein, carbohydrate and fat.  A typical male will require about 4 blocks of each at every meal.
  • Quantity:  This is the amount of each food you can have that will equate to one block whether its protein, carbohydrate or fat.  To find out how many blocks you need each day check out our Body Fat Calculator.
  • Choice: We’ve classified each food choice as a Best, Fair or Poor. Protein and fat choices rich in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fats and arachidonic acid are considered Best.  Carbohydrates with a low glycemic load, meaning they aren’t quick to raise blood sugar levels, are also considered Best.  As the levels saturated fat, omega-6s, or high glycemic carbohydrates increase in a food choice, it gradually reduces its rating from Best to Fair to eventually Poor.  Even though the macronutrient composition of the meal would remain the same, using fair or poor food ingredients in a meal increase the inflammatory potential.

Access hundreds of foods, and their Food Block information, below.

FoodCategoryFood BlockQuantityRating
Acorn SquashCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate½ cupFair
Alfalfa SproutsRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate10 cupsBest
Almond ButterOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat½ tsp.Best
Almond OilOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1/3 tsp.Best
Almonds (slivered)Oils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1 tsp.Best
Almonds (whole)Oils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat3Best
Apple CiderFruit JuicesCarbohydrate1/3 cupPoor
Apple JuiceFruit JuicesCarbohydrate1/3 cupPoor
Applesauce (unsweetened)FruitsCarbohydrate1/3 cupBest
ApricotsFruitsCarbohydrate3 eachBest
ArtichokeCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate4 largeBest
Artichoke HeartsCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1 cupBest
Asparagus (12 spears)Cooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1 cupBest
AvocadoOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1 tbsp.Best
Bacon Bits (imitation)Oils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat2 tsp.Poor
Bacon, porkMeat and PoultryProtein3 slicesPoor
Bagel (small)Grains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate¼Poor
Bamboo ShootsRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate4 cupsBest
Barbecue SauceOthersCarbohydrate2 tbsp.Poor
Barley (dry)GrainsCarbohydrate½ tbsp.Best
Bass (freshwater)Fish and SeafoodProtein1 oz.Best
Bass (sea)Fish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Bean SproutsRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate3 cupsBest
Beans, bakedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate¼ cupFair
Beans, blackCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1/2 cupBest
Beans, green or waxCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1 ½ cupsBest
Beans, refriedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate¼ cupFair
Beans, slicedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate½ cupFair
Beef (lean cuts)Meat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Fair
Beef (range fed or game)Meat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Best
Beef, fatty cutsMeat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Poor
Beef, ground (<10% fat)Meat and PoultryProtein1 ½ oz.Fair
Beef, ground (>10% fat)Meat and PoultryProtein1 ½ oz.Poor
Beer (light)AlcoholCarbohydrate6 oz. or ½ bottlePoor
Beer (regular)AlcoholCarbohydrate4 oz. or 1/3 bottlePoor
BiscuitGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½Poor
BlackberriesFruitsCarbohydrate¾ cupBest
BlueberriesFruitsCarbohydrate½ cupBest
BluefishFish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Bok ChoyCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate3 cupsBest
BoysenberriesFruitsCarbohydrate½ cupBest
Bread crumbsGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½ ozPoor
Bread, whole grain or whiteGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½ slicePoor
Whole grainAlcoholCarbohydrate1 ouncePoor
Breadstick, hardGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate1Poor
Breadstick, softGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½Poor
BroccoliCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1½ cupsBest
BroccoliRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate2½ cupsBest
Brussels SproutsCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1 ½ cupsBest
Brussels SproutsRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate1 ½ cupsBest
Buckwheat, dryGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½ oz.Poor
Bulgur wheat, dryGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½ oz.Poor
ButterOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1/3 tsp.Poor
Butternut SquashCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate½ cupFair
Cabbage, shreddedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1⅔ cupsBest
Cabbage, shreddedRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate4 cupsBest
CakeOthersCarbohydrate1/3 slicePoor
Calamari (squid)Fish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Candy BarOthersCarbohydrate¼Poor
Canola OilOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1/3 tsp.Fair
CantaloupeFruitsCarbohydrate¼ melonPoor
Cantaloupe, cubedFruitsCarbohydrate¾ cupPoor
CarrotRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate1Best
Carrot, shreddedRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate1 cupBest
Carrot, slicedRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate1 cupBest
Cashews Oils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat2Best
CatfishFish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
CauliflowerCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate4 cupsBest
Cauliflower PiecesRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate4 cupsBest
Celery, slicedRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate2 cupsBest
Cereal, dryGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½ oz.Poor
Cheese, low-fatProtein-Rich DairyProtein1 oz.Fair
Cheese, nonfatProtein-Rich DairyProtein1 oz.Best
CherriesFruitsCarbohydrate8 eachBest
Chicken Breast, deli-styleMeat and PoultryProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Chicken Breast, skinlessMeat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Best
Chicken skinless, dark meatMeat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Fair
ChickpeasCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate¼ cupBest
ChickpeasRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate¼ cupBest
ClamsFish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Cocktail SauceOthersCarbohydrate2 tbsp.Poor
CodFish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Collard Greens, choppedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate2 cupsBest
Cookie (small)OthersCarbohydrate1Poor
CornCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate¼ cupFair
CornbreadGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate1-inch squarePoor
Corned Beef, leanMeat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Fair
CornstarchGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate4 tsp.Poor
Cottage Cheese, low-fatProtein-Rich DairyProtein¼ cupBest
Couscous, dryGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½ oz.Poor
Crab MeatFish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Cracker, grahamGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate1 ½Poor
Cracker, saltineGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate4Poor
Cracker, TriscuitGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate3Poor
CranberriesFruitsCarbohydrate¾ cupPoor
Cranberry JuiceFruit JuicesCarbohydrate¼ cupPoor
Cranberry SauceFruitsCarbohydrate3 tsp.Poor
Cream (half & half)Oils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat½ tsp.Poor
Cream CheeseOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1 tsp.Poor
Cream Cheese, lightOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat2 tsp.Poor
Croissant, plainGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate¼Poor
CroutonGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½ oz.Poor
Cucumber (medium)Raw VegetablesCarbohydrate1 ½ cupsBest
Cucumber, slicedRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate4 cupsBest
Doughnut, plainGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate3-JanPoor
Dr. Sears Zone BarProtein/Carbohydrate SourcesProtein½ barBest
DuckMeat and PoultryProtein1 ½ oz.Fair
Egg SubstituteEggsProtein¼ cupBest
Egg WhitesEggsProtein2 largeBest
EggplantCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1 ½ cupsBest
Endive, choppedRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate10 cupsBest
English MuffinGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate¼Poor
Escarole, choppedRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate10 cupsBest
French FriesCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate5Fair
Fruit Cocktail (light)FruitsCarbohydrate1/3 cupBest
Fruit PunchFruit JuicesCarbohydrate¼ cupPoor
GranolaGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½ oz.Poor
Grape JuiceFruit JuicesCarbohydrate¼ cupPoor
Grapefruit JuiceFruit JuicesCarbohydrate1/3 cupPoor
GrapesFruitsCarbohydrate½ cupBest
Greek Yogurt, low-fatProtein-Rich DairyProtein1/3 cupBest
Green or Red PeppersRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate2Best
Green Pepper, choppedRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate2 cupsBest
Grits, cookedGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate1/3 cupPoor
GuacamoleOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1 tbsp.Best
GuavaFruitsCarbohydrate½ cupPoor
HaddockFish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
HalibutFish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Ham, leanMeat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Fair
Ham, lean deli-styleMeat and PoultryProtein1 ½ oz.Fair
Hard CheesesProtein-Rich DairyProtein1 oz.Poor
HoneyOthersCarbohydrate½ tbsp.Poor
Honeydew Melon, cubedFruitsCarbohydrate1/3 cupPoor
Hot Dog (beef or pork)Meat and PoultryProtein1 linkPoor
Hot Dog (chicken or turkey)Meat and PoultryProtein1 linkPoor
HummusRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate¼ cupBest
Ice Cream, premiumOthersCarbohydrate1/6 cupPoor
Ice Cream, premiumOthersCarbohydrate2 tbsp.Poor
Ice Cream, regularOthersCarbohydrate¼ cupPoor
Jalapeño PeppersRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate2 cupsBest
KaleCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate2 cupsBest
KetchupOthersCarbohydrate2 tbsp.Poor
Kidney BeansCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate¼ cupBest
Lamb, leanMeat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Fair
LardOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1/3 tsp.Poor
Lean Canadian BaconMeat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Best
LeeksCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1 cupBest
Lemonade (unsweetened)Fruit JuicesCarbohydrate1/3 cupPoor
LentilsCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate¼ cupBest
Lettuce, iceburg (6-inch diameter)Raw VegetablesCarbohydrate2 headsBest
Lettuce (Romaine, chopped)Raw VegetablesCarbohydrate10 cupsBest
Lima BeansCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate¼ cupFair
Lime JuiceFruit JuicesCarbohydrate1/3 cupPoor
LobsterFish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Macadamia NutOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1Best
MackerelFish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Mango, slicedFruitsCarbohydrate1/3 cupPoor
Mayonnaise, lightOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1 tsp.Fair
Mayonnaise, regularOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1/3 tsp.Fair
Melba ToastGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½ oz.Poor
Milk, low-fatProtein/Carbohydrate SourcesProtein1 cupBest
Millet, dryGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½ oz.Poor
Molasses, lightOthersCarbohydrate½ tsp.Poor
Mozzarella Cheese, skimProtein-Rich DairyProtein1 oz.Fair
Muffin, blueberry (mini)Grains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½Poor
Mushrooms (boiled)Cooked VegetablesCarbohydrate2 cupsBest
Mushrooms, choppedRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate4 cupsBest
Nectarine (medium)FruitsCarbohydrate½Best
Noodles, egg (cooked)Grains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate¼ cupPoor
OatmealGrainsCarbohydrate1/3 cupBest
Oatmeal, dryGrainsCarbohydrate½ oz.Best
Okra, slicedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1 cupBest
Olive OilOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1/3 tsp.Best
Olive Oil & Vinegar DressingOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1/3 tsp oil + vinegarBest
Olives, large (slivered)Oils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat3Best
Onions, chopped (boiled)Cooked VegetablesCarbohydrate½ cupBest
Onions, chopppedRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate1 ½ cupsBest
Orange JuiceFruit JuicesCarbohydrate1/3 cupPoor
Orange, Mandarin (canned in water)FruitsCarbohydrate1/3 cupBest
Pancake (four-inch)Grains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate1Poor
Papaya, cubedFruitsCarbohydrate¾ cupPoor
ParsnipsCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1/3 cupFair
Pasta, cookedGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate¼ cupPoor
Peaches (canned in water)FruitsCarbohydrate½Best
Peanut Butter, naturalOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat½ tsp.Best
Peanut OilOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1/3 tsp.Best
PeanutsOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat6Best
PeasCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate½ cupFair
PepperoniMeat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Poor
Pineapple JuiceFruit JuicesCarbohydrate¼ cupPoor
Pineapple, dicedFruitsCarbohydrate½ cupPoor
Pinto BeansCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate¼ cupFair
Pita BreadGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate¼ pocketPoor
Pita Bread, miniGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½ pocketPoor
Plum SauceOthersCarbohydrate1 ½ tbsp.Poor
Popcorn, poppedGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate2 cupsPoor
Pork ChopMeat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Fair
Pork, leanMeat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Fair
Potato ChipsOthersCarbohydrate½ oz.Poor
Potato, bakedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate¼ cupFair
Potato, boiledCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1/3 cupFair
Potato, mashedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate¼ cupFair
PretzelsOthersCarbohydrate½ oz.Poor
Prunes, driedFruitsCarbohydrate2Poor
Radishes, slicedRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate4 cupsBest
RaisinsFruitsCarbohydrate1 tbsp.Poor
RaspberriesFruitsCarbohydrate1 cupBest
Relish, pickleOthersCarbohydrate4 tsp.Poor
Rice CakeGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate1Poor
Rice, brown (cooked)Grains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate1/5 cupPoor
Rice, white (cooked)Grains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate1/5 cupPoor
Ricotta Cheese, skimProtein-Rich DairyProtein2 oz.Fair
Roll, bulkieGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate¼Poor
Roll, dinner (small)Grains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½Poor
Roll, hamburgerGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½Poor
SalamiMeat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Poor
Salmon (note: rich in EPA)Fish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
SalsaRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate½ eachBest
Sardines (note: rich in EPA)Fish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Sauerkraut (canned)Cooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1 cupBest
Sausage, porkMeat and PoultryProtein2 linksPoor
Sausage, porkMeat and PoultryProtein2 pattiesPoor
ScallopsFish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Sesame oilOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat½ tsp.Fair
ShrimpFish and SeafoodProtein1 oz.Best
SnapperFish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Snow PeasRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate1 ½ cupsBest
Sour CreamOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat½ tsp.Poor
Sour Cream, lightOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1 tbsp.Poor
Soy BurgersProtein-Rich VegetarianProtein½ pattyFair
Soy FlourProtein/Carbohydrate SourcesProtein10 g.Fair
Soy Hot DogProtein-Rich VegetarianProtein1 linkFair
Soy MilkProtein/Carbohydrate SourcesProtein8 oz.Fair
Soy Protein Powder (7g protein)Protein-Rich VegetarianProtein1/3 oz.Fair
Soy SausageProtein-Rich VegetarianProtein1 pattyFair
Soy Sausage (links)Protein-Rich VegetarianProtein2 linksFair
Soybean Canadian BaconProtein-Rich VegetarianProtein3 slicesFair
Soybean Frozen SausageProtein-Rich VegetarianProtein1 linkFair
Soybean HamburgerMixed Protein SourcesProtein¾ pattyFair
Soybean Hamburger CrumblesProtein-Rich VegetarianProtein½ cupFair
Soybean Hot DogProtein-Rich VegetarianProtein1 linkFair
Soybean OilOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1/3 tsp.Fair
Soybeans, boiledMixed Protein SourcesProtein¼ blockFair
Spaghetti SquashCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1 cupBest
Spinach, choppedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate3 ½ cupsBest
Spinach, choppedRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate20 cupsBest
Strawberries, slicedFruitsCarbohydrate1 cupBest
Sugar, brownOthersCarbohydrate2 tsp.Poor
Sugar, confectionaryOthersCarbohydrate1 tbsp.Poor
Sugar, granulatedOthersCarbohydrate2 tsp.Poor
Sweet Potato, bakedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1/3 cupFair
Sweet Potato, mashedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate¼ cupFair
Swiss Chard, choppedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate2 ½ cupsBest
SwordfishFish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Syrup, mapleOthersCarbohydrate2 tsp.Poor
Syrup, pancakeOthersCarbohydrate2 tsp.Poor
Taco ShellGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate1Poor
TahiniOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat½ tbsp.Best
TempehProtein/Carbohydrate SourcesProtein1 ½ oz.Fair
Teriyaki SauceOthersCarbohydrate1 tbsp.Poor
Tofu, firm or extra firmProtein-Rich VegetarianProtein2 oz.Fair
Tofu, silkenMixed Protein SourcesProtein5 oz.Fair
Tofu, softMixed Protein SourcesProtein4 oz.Fair
TomatoRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate2Best
Tomato JuiceFruit JuicesCarbohydrate1 cupPoor
Tomato, cherryRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate2 cupsBest
Tomato, choppedRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate1 ½ cupsBest
Tortilla ChipsOthersCarbohydrate½ oz.Poor
Tortilla, corn (six-inch)Grains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate1Poor
Tortilla, flour (eight inch)Grains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½Poor
TroutFish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Tuna (steak)Fish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Tuna, white canned in waterFish and SeafoodProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Turkey BaconMeat and PoultryProtein3 stripsBest
Turkey Breast, deli-styleMeat and PoultryProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Turkey Breast, skinlessMeat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Best
Turkey, ground (7% fat)Meat and PoultryProtein1 ½ oz.Best
Turkey, skinless, dark meatMeat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Fair
Turnip Greens, choppedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate4 cupsBest
Turnip, mashedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate1 ½ cupsBest
V-8Fruit JuicesCarbohydrate¾ cupPoor
Veal, loin, leanMeat and PoultryProtein1 oz.Fair
Vegetable ShorteningOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1/3 tsp.Poor
WaffleGrains, Cereals & BreadsCarbohydrate½Poor
Walnuts, shelled and choppedOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat½ tsp.Fair
Water ChestnutsRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate1/3 cupBest
WatercressRaw VegetablesCarbohydrate10 cupsBest
Watermelon, cubedFruitsCarbohydrate¾ cupPoor
Whole EggEggsProtein1Fair
WineAlcoholCarbohydrate4 oz.Poor
Yellow Squash, slicedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate2 cupsBest
Yogurt, plain low-fatProtein/Carbohydrate SourcesProtein½ cupBest
Zucchini, slicedCooked VegetablesCarbohydrate2 cupsBest
Zone Pasta OrzoGrains, Cereals & BreadsProtein1/4 cupBest
Zone Pasta FusilliGrains, Cereals & BreadsProtein½ cupBest
Zone Extra Virgin Olive OilOils, Nuts, and SpreadsFat1/3 tsp.Best
Zone Protein Powder (9g protein)Protein-Rich DairyProtein1 scoopBest

Always check Nutrition Facts on canned/packaged goods. All fruit and vegetables medium sized unless specified.