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The Soy Zone Hardcover – May 30, 2000
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The world has grown increasingly curious about the benefits of soy in recent years. Not only is it a dietary staple of the people of Okinawa, who live longer than anyone else, it also seems to help prevent heart disease and breast and prostate cancer.
So author Barry Sears has now modified his popular Zone diet to include soy and made the whole thing just as easy to follow as before. Fill a third of your dinner plate with a dish high in soy protein and the other two-thirds with fruits and vegetables, and you've got the Zone dialed in.
Not surprisingly, Sears is just as down on starchy foods--potatoes, pasta, rice, breads, and cereals--in The Soy Zone as he has been in his past books. He says they trigger too large an insulin surge, which leaves people feeling sluggish a couple of hours after the meal, and sends them chasing after another burst of quick energy in the form of other insulin-generating carbohydrates. That, he says, makes people fat. He also comes down on traditional vegetarian diets for that same reason: "The insidious long-term consequence of a grain-based vegetarian diet is the constant elevation of insulin levels," he writes.
The payoffs of taking this detour into the soy zone are immediate, Sears notes. He promises that people following his diet will think better, feel more energized, look better (he predicts a five-pound weight loss after two weeks on the Zone diet, including about two to three pounds of retained water), and experience fewer sugar cravings. Even better, the addition of 50 daily grams of soy to the diet should reduce total cholesterol levels by about 9 percent, shrinking the risk of heart disease by 20 percent. Add it all up and you get a longer life at a lighter weight--a heck of a promise, but one Sears, as always, is confident the Zone can deliver. --Lou Schuler
About the Author
Dr. Barry Sears is recognized as one of the world's leading medical researchers on the hormonal effects of food. He is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller The Zone as well as Mastering the Zone, Zone-Perfect Meals in Minutes, Zone Food Blocks, A Week in the Zone, The Age-Free Zone, The Top 100 Zone Foods, The Soy Zone, The Omega Rx Zone, Zone Meals in Seconds, and What to Eat in the Zone. His books have sold more than five million copies and have been translated into twenty-two languages in forty countries. He continues his research on the inflammatory process as the president of the nonprofit Inflammation Research Foundation in Marblehead, Massachusetts. The father of two grown daughters, he lives in Swampscott, Massachusetts, with his wife, Lynn.
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My problem is, the book is not careful enough with the details, and one can't be too careful about diet! Diet is a very relative and individual matter. For example, the book does not even go as far as to consider the gender distinction and the recommended diet is a high protein-oriented, 'male' diet. Most of us can actually do quite well with far less protein than Sears recommends.
A more dangerous omission is the lack of a detailed discussion of the GMO soy crisis. Soy production is one of the largest arenas for genetically-modified seed. We don't really know what the effects of this type of biotech gene-altering, tampering with the food supply will create. The problem is not adequately addressed in the book. My advice is to stick with organic soy products and make sure they are labelled non-GMO (required by FDA regulations), unless you want to be a "guinea-pig" for this type of experimentation which, to reiterate, is currently rampant in commercial soy agriculture which is basically controlled by a few giant agro-corporations and not heavily regulated.