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Old 09-16-2010, 12:39 PM   #1
Charles Bram
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Salmon Fat and Protein Blocks with the Zone seem to be way off

Page 40 of Mastering the Zone: Recommends a 4 block meal of Salmon (6 oz of salmon to get 4 blocks) and salad. The text states that with the salad dressing that there is only 1 block of added fat so you need to add 3 blocks of fat. Here he used almonds to sprinkle on the fish.

Assumption: zone is supposed to be 30% Fat, 30% Protein and 40% carbs. And each fat block is 1.5 grams of fat assuming the protein source has 1.5 grams of "hidden fat."

Looking at the numbers on salmon:

I see that there are 3 g of fat per oz of fish and 6 grams of protein. So with 4 blocks of 1.5 oz fish we should get about 28 grams of protein, but according to the data on the site (which is similar to salmon I have bought at home), 6 oz gives you 36 g of protein (making this a 5 block meal). And at 3 g of fat per oz, that's 18 grams of fat, or 6 grams more than you should get in a 4 block meal (Zone says 3 grams total per block, 1.5 added to 1.5 hidden). So that would be a 6 flat block meal already.

Why would we add another 3 blocks of almonds to "balance" this meal?

It seems to me that if you are on the four block menu for a meal, then you would eat about a 4 oz of salmon = 24 g protein (knowing you will pick up a bit of protein with the veggies) on a bed of mixed veggies (2 blocks worth). and perhaps an apple for another 2 blocks of carbs.

What's wrong with my analysis? I can't seem to get things to balance under zone principles unless I just blindly follow the zone blocks associated with food. Every time I look under the covers, the actual fats, proteins and carbs don't seem to line up. A great example is with soy products. Crossfit Journal 21 shows soybeans (1/4) as a protein block and a carb block. Can't find any data to support this. However if you look at my dry roasted edamame (1/4 cup yields 14g protein (making it a 2 blocker), 10 carbs (here's one block) and 4 grams of fat (which is nearly in proportion to the protein). If I blindly followed the journal 21 recommendation of soybeans being only 1 block of protein and one carb, my total meal would be protein high by a block. And it would be at least fat high by one block.

It doesn't seem possible to meet the Zone recommendations of 7g protein in the protein item, 9 grams carb in the carb item and 1.5 grams fat in the fat items by blindly following the charts zone provides. And as I am doing my independent adding up of grams, I am ignoring the proteins in the fat items, etc. as the Zone recommends. What am I missing? Have all these charts now been vetted and reconciled with an updated chart somewhere?

Note: in Journal 21 giving a summary of the Zone program, it shows Protein quantities as cooked, where as in the Mastering the zone book it shows those same quantities as pre-cooked.

Thanks for your insights.
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:05 PM   #2
Rene Forestier
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Re: Salmon Fat and Protein Blocks with the Zone seem to be way off

That's one reason why some don't like the that for all all its attempts to be precise, it may not be. Several "Zone" references also seem to be discordant...the 2 cups vs. 3 cups of broccoli/block comes to mind. If one tried to calculate the protein in the fat, the fat in the protein, etc, it would be way too complicated.

The power of the Zone is the precision it provides within YOUR diet choices. Weigh and measure, and titrate to your desired body comp/performance goals.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:10 PM   #3
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Salmon Fat and Protein Blocks with the Zone seem to be way off

What Rene said. The Zone's block math makes tracking your intake easy, but the fact that it ignores secondary nutrients (like the fat in salmon) seriously undermines its claims about the allegedly important Zone ratio.

My advice would be to either blindly follow the Zone block charts, or ignore them completely. Trying to reconcile them with reality is clearly a recipe for frustration.

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