Zone Diet Food List


Ok so you’ve read my article on the Zone Diet and you’ve chosen to go for a bit more forgiving approach to nutrition.  Here is your food vendor list for your quest to the store, if you’ve chosen to follow the Zone Diet.  Keep in mind that grains, pasta and legumes should be consumed in VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES!

As a recap, Zone Food Blocks were developed to provide the most precise way to balance protein, carbohydrate, and fat. Once you become accustomed to the size of your favorites in terms of Zone Food Blocks, making Zone meals is easy. One Zone Block of protein contains 7 grams of protein, one Zone Block of carbohydrate contains 9 grams of affordable carbohydrate (total carbohydrates minus fiber), and one Zone Block of fat contains 1.5 grams of fat. (If you are using the gram method, a fat block is 3 grams. Here, the value is given at 1.5 to take into account hidden fat in the rest of a meal.)

To make a Zone meal, a typical female needs three Zone Food Blocks of protein, carbohydrate and fat at each meal, whereas a typical male will require about four blocks of each at every meal.

Use the Zone Food Block Guide as a reference to assemble meals and snacks in exact proportions.  Find out how many Zone Blocks you are allowed to consume in a day.  For most women it will be 11, and for most men it will be 14. Your activity level will increase your Zone Block daily allowance.



Most women should choose 3 blocks and men 4 blocks from the protein list per meal. (Be sure to find your exact block requirements by using the Zone Food Block Guide above.  Each protein block below contains 7 grams of protein.)


Meat and Poultry (low in saturated fat) Best Choices


Beef (range fed or game)

Chicken breast, skinless

Chicken breast, deli-style

Ground beef (Less than 10% fat)

Lean Canadian Bacon

Turkey breast, skinless

Turkey breast, deli-style

Turkey, ground (7% fat)

Turkey bacon (Louis Rich)

Meat and Poultry (moderate in saturated fat) Fair Choices

Beef (lean cuts)

Chicken, skinless, dark meat

Corned beef brisket, lean

Duck, skinless

Ham, lean

Ham, lean deli-style

Lamb, lean

Pork loin roast, boneless, lean

Pork Chop

Veal, loin, lean

Turkey, skinless



Fish and Seafood Best Choices

Bass (freshwater)

Bass (sea)


Calamari (squid)

Catfish, wild

Cod, Atlantic


Crab, canned

Crab, Alaskan king





Salmon, Alaska* (wild)

Sardines, canned in oil*






Tuna (steak)

Tuna, light canned in water

Tuna, white canned in water

*Rich in EPA


Eggs Best Choices


Egg whites

Egg substitute

2 large (66g)


Protein-Rich Dairy Best Choices

Cheese, nonfat

Cottage cheese, low-fat

Greek Yogurt, plain no-fat


Protein-Rich Dairy Fair Choices

Cheese, low-fat

Mozzarella cheese, part skim

Ricotta cheese, part skim


Mixed Vegetarian Protein Sources (*Read labels carefully)  (Huge variance in differing brands)

Protein powder

Soy Canadian bacon

Soy hot dog

Soy hamburger crumbles

Soy sausage links

Soy sausage

Tofu, super firm (Nasoya organic)

Tofu, firm (Nasoya organic)

Soy-beans, boiled

Soy burgers (47g)

Tofu, silken soft (MORI-NU)(140g)

Tofu, silken, extra firm (MORI-NU)(98g)



Mixed Protein / Carbohydrate (Contain 1 block protein and 1 block carbohydrate)

Milk, low-fat (1%)(183g)

Yogurt, low-fat plain (123g)

Soy milk(182g)



Best Choice (rich in mono-saturated fat) (If choosing a fat-free protein source, just use 2 fat blocks instead of one for a total of 3 grams.)

Almond butter

Almond oil

Almonds (slivered)

Almonds (whole)




Macadamia nut

Olives, large (14g) (slivered)

Olive oil

Olive oil and vinegar dressing


Peanut butter, natural

Peanut oil


Sesame oil




(Add 1 Zone Carbohydrate Block for each Zone Protein in a Meal)

Low Density Carbohydrates – Cooked Vegetables

Artichoke, globe or french, large

Artichoke Hearts (Canned)

Asparagus (28 spears 1/2″ base)

Beans, green or wax

Beans, black

Bok choy

Broccoli, chopped

Brussels sprouts

Cabbage, chopped

Carrots, sliced

Cauliflower, 1″ pieces


Collard greens, chopped




Kidney beans



Mushrooms (canned)

Onions, chopped (boiled)

Okra, sliced

Sauerkraut (canned)

Spaghetti squash


Swiss chard

Turnip, mashed

Turnip greens

Yellow squash, sliced

Zucchini, sliced

Low Density Carbohydrates – Raw Vegetables

Alfalfa sprouts

Beans, green or wax

Bean sprouts, Mung

Bamboo shoots

Cabbage. shredded

Carrots (7-8″ long)

Cauliflower pieces

Celery, chopped

Cucumber, peeled & sliced

Cucumber, sliced

Endive, chopped

Escarole (broad leaf endive)

Green Bell Peppers, chopped

Red Bell Peppers, chopped

Lettuce, Iceberg (crisp-head types) 6″

Lettuce, Iceberg (crisp-head types) 1/2″ chop, packed loose

Lettuce, Romaine, chopped

Mushrooms, chopped

Onions, chopped

Onions, (2 1/2″ dia)

Radishes, sliced

Salsa, tomato (check label)

Snow peas


Spinach Salad (3 cups spinach, 1/2 cup red onion, 1 cup mushrooms)

Tomato med/lg (2 3/4″ dia.)

Tomato, cherry

Tomato, chopped

Tomato sauce plain (check label)

Tossed salad – (3 cups shredded lettuce, 1/2 cup green bell pepper, 1/2 cup cucumber, 1 tomato)

Water chestnuts

Low Density Carbohydrates

Fruits – raw unless specified (if frozen, use unsweetened)


Applesauce (unsweetened)




Boysenberries, frozen

Cherries, sweet

Fruit cocktail (in water)

Fruit cocktail (in juice)

Grapes, seedless

Grapefruit, (4″ dia.)

Kiwi, (2″ dia.)

Lemon juice, fresh squeezed

Lime juice, fresh squeezed

Nectarine, large (2 3/4″ dia.)

Orange, small (2″ dia.)

Orange, Mandarin canned in juice/drained

Peach, small (2 1/2″ dia.)

Peaches, canned in water

Pear, small

Plum large (2 1/2″ dia.)


Strawberries, sliced


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