Compared to other states, Florida enjoys a relatively low adult obesity rate of 26.2%, making it the 8th lowest in the country. The State’s obesity rate has been increasing steadily since 1990, dropping only slightly from 2011-2012 (26.6% – 25.2%). While obesity rates are low, comparatively, obesity-related health issues in Florida are on the higher end of the scale. According to a report by the Trust of America’s Health, the state ranks 13th in the nation for both its adult diabetes rate (11.2%) as well as its adult hypertension rate (34.6%).
With people becoming more and more knowledgeable in terms of how being overweight and obese can affect their overall health as well as life expectancy, they tend to experiment more with a variety of diet and exercise options. Finding a lifestyle plan that works for you is not always an easy feat as the media is inundated with countless options, all claiming to be best in terms of fast and effective weight loss. One diet that has been proven to offer sustainable weight loss together with a number of health benefits is the Zone diet that was created by Dr Barry Sears after his father died from a heart attack at 53 years of age in the 1970’s.
Benefits of the Zone Diet
1. Encourages fruit and vegetable consumption
Unlike many other diets, the Zone diet does not, in essence, completely restrict any food sources although it warns against the consumption of processed foods such as your typical fast foods as well as those with added sugar. A typical plate of food will consist of two-thirds non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, kale or spinach or fruit that is low in sugar such as citrus fruits and berries. While most people find it very easy to consume their daily ratios of protein and carbs, they tend to battle with vegetables and fruit, something which is made a lot easier when following the Zone diet.
2. Variety reduces nutrient deficiencies
Compared to other diets, the Zone Diet offers a lot more variety in terms of allowed foods. Once you become familiar with what foods are allowed, you will find the diet very easy to follow. The Zone diet is quite balanced when it comes to micronutrients. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, unlike a lot of popular diets such that increased the risk for micronutrient deficiencies,participants who follow the Zone diet for a year decreased their overall risk for a micronutrient deficiency.
The most common nutritional deficiency globally is iron deficiency which can lead to anemia, a blood disorder that commonly causes fatigue, weakness and a host of other symptoms. The zone Diet encourages a large protein and leafy green vegetable intake, both of which are high in iron.
Another common deficiency associated with heavy dieting is a calcium deficiency due to a lack of diary in the diet. A calcium deficiency can lead to a loss of bone mass as your body may end up using the calcium from your bones. The symptoms associated with this deficiency don’t always present themselves right away but can lead to serious health problems over time. With the inclusion of milk, cheese and yoghurt into the Zone Diet, calcium deficiencies and rare.
3. Weight loss and decreased risk of heart disease
For individuals who are overweight or obese, losing as little as 5% of their body weight, can have significant health benefits. It is enough to decrease your total body fat, liver fat and visceral fat (the dangerous fat that smothers your organs). By following the Zone diet you may lose a significant amount of weight and lower your risk of cardiac disease according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Overweight participants in the study who followed the Zone diet for a year lost weight and improved their cholesterol ratios which, in turn, reduced the risk of heart disease. A small tip of the scale also has the ability to lower your blood pressure and improve your insulin sensitivity.
4. It promotes fish oil consumption
The Zone Diet encourages adding omega-3 fish oil concentrate to the daily eating regimen which can be extremely beneficial to your health. The benefits include lowered blood pressure and reduced triglycerides as well as a slower development of plaque within the arteries in the body. Further advantages include a reduced risk of abnormal cardiac rhythms and the likelihood of heart attack and stroke.
5. Stabilized blood sugar levels and boosted energy
A lot of the food consumed while on the Zone diet has a low glycemic index which means that there will be relatively few spikes in blood sugar that the body needs to deal with, making it easier to control or prevent diabetes. Generally speaking, carbs tend to be more anabolic than fats due to their effect on insulin. The Zone diet is very well suited to individuals with diabetes as well as those who tend to gain weight easily on a high-carb diet. Many people are unable to process large amounts of carbohydrates and end up feeling sluggish and moody, something which will be avoided when on this specific diet.While the Zone Diet is not a low-fat diet, it does promote the consumption of healthy fats while discouraging saturated and trans fats.
Who will benefit from the Zone Diet?
The Zone Diet is ideal for individuals wanting to lose a lot of weight in a short period of time. If you are looking for a diet that does not pose significant food restrictions and has easy-to-follow guidelines to follow. If you are looking to improve your eating habits, the Zone Diet might be able to help you get started and help you practice portion control.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is vitally important for your overall health. In addition to reducing the risk of stroke, cardiac disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, it can also lower the risk of a variety of cancers. People who enjoy a healthy lifestyle are also generally happier than those who don’t, making it all the more important to find a diet that works best for you.