Dr. Sears revolutionized nutrition with his 1995 bestseller, The Zone. In the two decades since its publication, his dietary principles for optimal hormonal balance to control inflammation have become the standard by which all diets are measured.
The Mediterranean Zone takes his principles of anti-inflammatory nutrition to a new level by explaining the key role that polyphenols play in the reduction of inflammatory responses as well as their activation of anti-aging mechanisms embedded in our genes.
This book will also help you understand not only why the American health-care system is rapidly unraveling, but also what you can do to protect yourself and your family from those consequences.
What leaders are saying about The Mediterranean Zone:
The Mediterranean Zone is very readable and understanding for the layman but contains some significant new science, particularly in the appendix, for those really wanting to learn about the biochemistry of omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols and epigenetics. Dr. Sears has clarified many aspects for me regarding the resolution of inflammation. His discussion of eicosanoids and gene transcription factors remains the best I have read. Finally, the dietary circle of anti-inflammatory nutrition is completed by his superb discussion of the value of polyphenols in any diet, and in particular an anti-inflammatory diet. I remain extremely admiring of his ability to take such complicated science and put it in an understandable and useful form for the layman.
Joseph C. Maroon, MD, professor and vice chairman, Department of Neurological Surgery, Heindl Scholar in Neuroscience, and team neurosurgeon, The Pittsburgh Steelers
“I consider Dr. Barry Sears a mentor, innovator, and wise teacher. The Mediterranean Zone is a powerful new book that will help change your health quickly, but also permanently. It is not a fad, but a program that will get and keep you well for a very long time.”
Daniel G. Amen, MD, Author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life
FAQ’s About The Mediterranean Zone:
- What was the reason behind writing The Mediterranean Zone?
The Mediterranean Zone represents the last of my trilogy of books that describe the field of anti-inflammatory nutrition. My first book was The Zone (published in 1995) that described the impact of the diet on inflammation. The OmegaRx Zone (published in 2002) described the role of high-dose fish oil in reversing diet-induced inflammation. Now The Mediterranean Zone describes the science of polyphenols and their ability to control the microbes in our gut as well as slow down the aging process. These books represent the emerging science that connects those three synergistic arms of anti-inflammatory nutrition.
- What does The Mediterranean Zone present as the core cause of weight gain, illness and faster aging?
The driving force behind all three conditions is increased inflammation and its disruption of hormonal signaling systems in our cells. The Mediterranean Zone shows how you can re-establish the normal hormonal signaling that is the basis of better health.
- Why is it that weight gain, development of chronic disease, and acceleration of aging rate are occurring and at a much greater rate than ever in our history?
The Mediterranean Zone devotes a complete chapter to the reason why our diet has become far more inflammatory in the past 50 years. This diet-induced inflammation is driven primarily by the globalization of food and the reduction of its cost. The trade-off has been the increase in expression of our inflammatory genes.
- How can The Mediterranean Zone help readers specifically with their health and weight?
The key lies in balancing your plate at each meal with colorful carbohydrates (fruits and non-starchy vegetables that are rich in polyphenols) and low-fat protein that is low in omega-6 and saturated fats. The Mediterranean Zone shows you how simple that task can be for a lifetime. You know if you are successful in making the right balance if you aren’t hungry or fatigued for the next five hours.
- What is your view on low-carb diets relative to weight loss?
Balanced low-carb diets are excellent for weight loss and more importantly for long-term weight management and management of chronic disease. Unbalanced low-carb diets that generate ketosis are probably not. Harvard Medical School has shown that a ketogenic diet increases cortisol (the hormone that makes you fat, sick, and age faster) as well as decreasing thyroid hormones (the hormones that make you energetic). The Mediterranean Zone puts forward a life-long, non-ketogenic, low-carbohydrate dietary program whose daily consequences are lack of hunger and lack of fatigue.
- What is the primary reason we are eating more calories today?
The Mediterranean Zone explains how hunger and satiety are the result of complex interactions of incoming hormonal signals into the hypothalamus. Inflammation disrupts satiety signals, meaning the more inflamed you are, the hungrier you become.
- What are your thoughts about gut inflammation and digestive health as it relates to gut bacteria?
The Mediterranean Zone explores this exciting area in great detail. It is the level of polyphenols in the diet that have a central role to play in managing the composition of the microbial community in the gut and thus controlling the potential export of inflammation generated by those microbes into bloodstream.
- What are your thoughts on the role epigenetics plays in our weight and our health?
The Mediterranean Zone describes how many of these epigenetic markers (good and bad) are induced by the diet. Furthermore, fetal programming can transmit and amplify adverse epigenetic markers that affect metabolism from one generation to the next. This means that our struggle against increasing weight and declining metabolic health may be a multi-generational struggle.
- If you had to choose only two supplements, what would they be and why?
The two essential supplements to an anti-inflammatory diet are high-dose fish oil and purified polyphenol extracts. The Mediterranean Zone describes that only with higher doses of omega-3 fatty acids can you activate the resolution phase of inflammation that brings the body back to equilibrium. The polyphenol extracts provide the additional anti-oxidative protection for the omega-3 fatty acids as well as also act as anti-inflammatory agents. The fact that high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols in the blood also increase lifespan doesn’t hurt either.
- What is the advice to the reader who may be struggling with his or her weight and/or health?
It may not be their fault. If you have a weight problem or chronic disease, you really have an inflammation problem. This is why an anti-inflammatory nutrition program described in The Mediterranean Zone has such great potential in the future of medicine. You have to eat, so you might as well eat smart. The Mediterranean Zone provides a scientific blueprint of how to do this that is compatible with every possible dietary philosophy from vegan to Paleo.