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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 09-01-2005, 08:31 AM   #1
Neal Winkler
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Hello,

I'm new to crossfit and I was wondering why crossfit emphasizes the Zone diet over a standard government "food pyramid" diet.

What do the Zone dieters here believe are the advantages of the Zone diet over a standard government "food pyramid" diet?

Thanks
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Old 09-01-2005, 08:46 AM   #2
Charlie Reid
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the food pyramid's foundation is based primarily around grains (breads/pastas). A lot of these grains, breads, and pastas carry a heavy glycemic load which leads to more hunger and obesity. The zone diet keeps insulin in check while emphasizing lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. This is just one of the advantages of a zone favorable diet, but i'm sure you'll get an earful from the folks here on the board. I highly recommend reading Dr. Sears book if you haven't already. I also recommend reading Dr. Loren Cordain's "Paleo Diet", which a lot of people follow here as well. A great deal of crossfitters do a hybrid paleo/zone diet.
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Old 09-01-2005, 04:07 PM   #3
Neal Winkler
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If that is indeed the case, then why does the government push such a diet based upon Zone diet recommendations? Also, why don't textbooks? The textbooks are not government controlled.

I had nutrition 2 semesters ago, and the textbook in line with the government recommended 60% carbs, 25%-30% fat, and 10% protien.

The government just restructured the food pyramid, and according to my nutrition teacher whom I ran into today, the recommendations are still the same. You would think that if there was any legitimacy to the claims of the Zone diet that this recent restructuring would of been good opportunity to change the guidlines.

Although, my teacher did say that 40% carbs was "ok" if you were not consuming any sugar.

Can't wait to hear more responses.
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Old 09-01-2005, 04:29 PM   #4
Chris Forbis
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I feel like crap when I eat grains as my primary carbohydrate source.

I feel good when I eat vegetables and fruit as my primary carbohydrate source, and in the ratios as specified by the Zone.

Thus I follow the Zone.

I started on the Zone after randomly picking it up off a friend's bookshelf, reading, and having Sears describe an insulin crash which I experienced once or twice daily. Thought maybe the guy was on to something, so I gave it a spin.

I have not looked back.

One of the reasons the governement pushes grains is because of the agricultural lobby, which I'm sure contributes to textbooks as well.
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Old 09-01-2005, 04:32 PM   #5
Charlie Reid
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As far as textbooks, i question who has their hands in people's pockets nowadays. A lot of scientists are cheap bastards and will print results and publish things that aren't completely true because a supplement company or outside interest is funding them. (God i love conspiracy theories). Unfortunately, nutritional science is a relatively new field of science in the grand scope (relative the last 100, but more like 50 years or so). There are a lot of things that come into play regarding what is right for the human body in respect to nutrients. Timing, Macronutrient ratio, genetics, activity level, type of activity, duration of activity, and a whole host of other factors come into play when examining what the proper diet is. There is no "universal diet" however i do believe in nutritional universals. For example, whole, unprocessed foods are going to be better than packaged and processed foods. Finding those nutritional universals is the key foundation to proper nutrition. The government is trying to appeal to everyone and that is fundamentally flawed because there is no one specific diet. On top of that, i dont believe the average american needs 60% of their calories from carbohydrates...especially orange juice and honey-nut cheerios. People just arent active enough for long enough to require that much. That leads me to question who these tests were done on to determine this ratio anyway? was it athletes, sick people, average people? There are just too many holes involved. Alright i'm done. somebody else post.
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Old 09-01-2005, 04:47 PM   #6
Jesse Woody
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I totally agree, I posted something similar just the other day. There is no singular right diet for everybody. I took the construct of the zone, upped the calories and added a *bit* more whole grains and feel great. I am getting so many more vital nutrients by relying on fruits and vegetables for the majority of my carbohydrates rather than grain products. Some people may do better with little to no grains, still others with a diet similar to the food pyramid (Clarence Bass comes to mind). You have to take information from a variety of sources and then actually try it out, take what works, trash what doesn't, and find out for yourself what your "optimum" dietary needs are.

One thing that is an essential concept addressed in the zone which the food pyramid doesn't even begin to touch on is making each meal a balanced combination to control hormonal response. Whatever you may infer from the differences in scientific opinion, this is an actual physiological response to the digestion of macronutrients. Whatever guideline one might use for the percentage of macronutrients, this essential idea allows a person to eat an appropriate amount of food without constantly experiencing spikes and lulls in energy and appetite.
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Old 09-01-2005, 07:51 PM   #7
Kalen Meine
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The government food recommendations are just barely recommendations. You have to realize how many different forces are in play to come out with something that isn't even as wimpy as policy, but is merely government suggestion. I wouldn't go so far as to say that there's some sort of dietary conspiracy, but it's definitely not an environment where science can exactly thrive. America grows lots of grain because it has lots of land, and makes lots of junk food because it has lots of money. If you eliminated either from the "pyramid," or attacked them with untoward language, the backlash would be huge from an immense corporate sector that could say, with a reasonable degree of honesty, that their products and produce don't hurt people. And it's true, a soda wouldn't kill ya, and it's hard to do anything decisive in government unless you in the midst of something catastrophic.

Secondly, remember that any piece of policy is based on yesterday's news. And yesterday, low-fat was big. Nevermind it was a that was a break from good sense (Our bodies are mostly fat and protein. Maybe we should eat fat and protein...) and hundreds of years of dietary tradition, but it was still the last big thing, and thus what is currently stewing at the FDA.
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Old 09-02-2005, 05:35 AM   #8
Neal Winkler
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Interesting thoughts.

Charlie Reid, the studies have probally been done on every type of activity level, race, and gender.

Of course, there is some leway in the governments numbers, because they have to apply to the entire diversity of the population. For example, if some food offers 100% of the daily value of some vitamin or mineral, that's really the amount that a large male needs, whereas small females only need about 80% of the recommended daily value.

Kalen, the government diet reccomends approximately 30% of our calories to come from fat, which is the same as the Zone diets 40-30-30 sceme.
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Old 09-04-2005, 08:52 AM   #9
Craig Van De Walker
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From personal experience this took place in 1990 pre-Atkins era, as far as I know at this time there was no talk about a high protien diet outside of BB

For years I felt guilty because I ate "wrong" high protien diet mod carbs and fats. I was fairly lean and strong. Get a desk job and start gaining weight. Great Idea why don't I change my diet to a healthy high carb low fat and protien. Felt like crap, breakfast (which I sometimes skipped sometimes had protien before) was now a bagel and orange juice tasty, but within an hour I was so hungry I could not think straight, I did not gain weight but did not lose either and it took amazing willpower not to overeat, workouts sucked. I'm not quick, I put up with this for about a month. My brief experience with a high carb diet was not comfortable for me.
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Old 09-04-2005, 08:55 AM   #10
Jesse Woody
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I think another aspect of this question is the fact that science doesn't always account for plain experience. If you try a high-carb diet and it doesn't work, you have to go with what DOES work, no matter what the science might say.
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