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Old 04-23-2007, 01:17 PM   #1
Colin McNulty
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I've been on the Zone for about 2 months now and this is one thing that I still don't feel that I get. The Crossfit journal that discussed the Zone, listed blockage for various foods, but what do you do when that doesn't agree with what the food label says?

E.g. tonight for example, I cooked (amongst other things) leeks and spinach leaves. According to the Crossfit Journal, Leeks are 1 block per cup. But my leeks said 2.9g carbs per 100g, and there were 3 equal leeks weighing in total 750g, so they were:

(750 / 3 / 100) x 2.9 = 7.25g carbs each.

I then trimmed the leeks, loosing maybe 10% meaning that each leek was about 2/3 of a block of carbs. I chopped and measured them, and each leek was 2 cups, which works out a 1/3 of a carb block per cup. The Crossfit journal says leeks are 3x the carbs I work them out to be!?!

It's a similar story with spinach. 1 1/3 of a cup of spinach is allegedly 1 block of carbs, but the label on the side of my huge 300g bag says there is only 4.5g of carbs in the entire bag! For reference, the bag was 14" x 12" and about 2" thick and stuffed full of spinach.

Actually while I think about it, Baked Beans is another one. Crossfit Journal tells me it's 1/8 of a cup for 1 carb block of Baked Beans. I've measured the tin and there are 2 cups exactly in the tin, so that means a massive 16 blocks of carbs per tin, effectively taking beans off the Zone menu completely.

BUT the side of the tin (it's UK Organic Heinz Baked Beans if that means anything) says that there are 52.8g of carbs in the whole tin. 52.8 / 9 (9g carbs per block) 5.87 blocks! That's a huge difference. If the tin is right, the baked beans could be made into a family zone meal, like chilli say (ignoring the unfavourability of the GI of course).

I know it sounds like I'm picking holes, but the discrepancies are so big, that it does make a big difference to the food I can eat. Having made the commitment to Crossfit and the Zone, I want to make sure I'm not shooting myself in the foot.

Cheers.
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:20 AM   #2
Jordan Glasser
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One thing to remember when calculating carb blocks is the amount of insoluble fibre. These would not count towards the total carb blocks, your body cannot break it down into sugars. An example would be (hypothetical):
18g carbs
9g insoluble fiber
net carbs 9g

this item would only count for one block, even though it has 18g total carbs.


There are other factors, that someone else will surely will explain scientifically, and they are cooking (changes the sugar content), and Glycemic load. Both of these can change the way foods impact insulin levels in the body, the one hormone the zone attempts to control, and that is why nutritional labels may not match block charts.

This should get you started, like I said earlier, there are more details, they'll get addressed soon enough.....

Jordan
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:46 AM   #3
Colin McNulty
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Thanks for the reply Jordan.

So what you're basically saying is that "a block = 9g of carbs" isn't always strictly true, and that the block measures have been weighted based on other elements, e.g. insoluble fibre, Glycemic load etc?

Given that the examples I gave had the crossfit block measure being significantly "worse" than the nutritional information on the pack, I assume then that they are weighted for being particularly high GI carbs for example?
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:08 AM   #4
Nick Cruz
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Listed on the label under "Total Carbohydrates" is "Dietary Fiber"

What Jordan is saying is that you deduct "Dietary Fiber" from "Total Carbohydrates"

In the below example
wfs

www.fightosteonow.org/images/nutrition_label.gif

Total Carbs = 13g
Dietary Fiber = 3g

So, Carbs counted for Zone purposes is 10g

Does that make sense? There may be other factors as well but I think thats the gist of it.
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:49 AM   #5
Garrett Smith
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Remember that a packed cup of leafy veggies is much different from an unpacked cup.

Getting overly worried about carbs from non-starchy vegetables is not necessary, IMO. Worry about the other carbs, the easier to count ones (fruit, for example).

I go by the amount on the bag. For example, a bag of spinach (7 oz.) works out to about 1 block of carbs according to the label. If I eat the whole bag, it's one block of carbs. If I eat half a bag, it's about half a block. I don't care what anybody else's chart says, I'm going by the label. It worked very well for me through my Zone period.

Also, weights of veggies are much easier to equate as opposed to volumes (ie. cups).
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:38 AM   #6
Brandon Oto
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I'd love to see a weight chart for veggies and fruits. The volume issue for both ("how packed is this cup? how big is this apple?") adds enough uncertainty that I feel sort of dumb sometimes measuring things out so precisely.
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:18 AM   #7
Jordan Glasser
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I use nutritiondata.com as my source for weighted measurements of foods. Works for me. Link is work safe.

Jordan
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