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The Zone: Italian Style

By Dr. Barry Sears

I am often asked, 'Where in the world is the Zone Diet most popular?' The easy choice is Italy. People are amazed since they think of Italy as the land of pasta. That's true, but it is also the land of vegetables and fruits. And there lies the popularity of the Zone Diet in Italy. It is relatively simple to replace excess pasta with vegetables and fruits once you convince people of the hormonal benefits of that replacement. In countries like America in which fruits and vegetables are usually considered to be ketchup and French fries, the replacement of bread and pizza with real vegetables and fruits is considered close to Mission Impossible. As usual, my trips to Italy are constantly filled with seminars ranging from ones to cardiovascular physicians, university students, and the general public.

Along the way, I have to fill in any free time with interviews for national radio and TV as well as interviews with the leading newspapers and magazines. The final event in Italy was the 3rd International Congress on Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition in Milan where I was honored to be the keynote speaker for the three-day conference featuring many of the leading academic researchers in the world in this rapidly growing area of medicine.

The only downside to my trip to Italy was picking up a virus in the central mountains of Italy that led to a ruptured eardrum. This forced me to be held hostage in a five-star hotel in the middle of Milano until the eardrum had healed sufficiently to fly back to America. Even in times of illness, you have to love Italian style. That's why I go there at least three times a year. You have to go where the love is.