A Thumbs Down Book Review
Mastering the Zone
By Barry Sears, PhD
Review by Sally Fallon
Sears’ first book, The Zone, promises us that everything will be just wonderful in our lives if simply learn to keep a strict balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat in our meals. The lipid hypothesis was wrong, he says and fat is OK–but then comes the bad news.
We’re not supposed to eat saturated fat, or fats containing arachidonic acid–which eliminates delicious and nutritious foods like butter, whole cheeses, egg yolks, meat fat and organ meats–leaving the Zone diet eerily similar to the American Heart Associations “prudent diet” of lean meat, low-fat concoctions and vegetable oils. The only real difference is that Sears has replaced corn oil with olive oil.
Mastering the Zone offers a range of recipes that allow you to enter the hallowed circle of macronutrient balance–but a quick perusal reveals that there is even less fat–or rather oil–in the Zone recipes than can be found in many “heart healthy” recipes books endorsed by the AHA. Dinner entree recipes call for only 2 2/3 teaspoons of olive oil and that’s for two people!
Skim milk cheeses, low fat yogurt, egg whites (but not the yolks), soybean imitation products, and protein powders feature large in Mastering the Zone as aids on the road to Nirvana.
If you have trouble figuring out the exact proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrates you need to get yourself into Zone heaven, you can order specially-balanced Zone bars by calling a toll free number. Principal ingredients include fructose syrup, soy protein isolate, honey, calcium caseinate (Elmer’s glue), corn syrup and sugar.