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Dr. Barry Sears: Toxic Fat

By Mimi Elliott

Dr. Sears has dedicated his research efforts over the last 30 years to the study of lipids, and developed The Zone Diet as a simple way to consume a low-fat protein with a low-glycemic carbohydrate and fish oil. As a biochemist, Dr. Sears understands the real epidemic behind the obesity crisis in our country.

While many believe obesity is due to gluttony or laziness, Dr. Sears disagrees. Rather, he views obesity as a form of “cancer” driven by inflammation and says the good news is that “if you’re fat, it’s not your fault.” Basically, the advice we hear to eat less and exercise more is meaningless.

Dr. Sears explains that the underlying cause of chronic diseases (like allergies, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Lupus, etc.) comes from the increased production of a natural fatty acid called arachidonic acid (AA), which can be toxic at high concentrations. Oddly enough, accumulation of excess body fat is your body’s initial attempt at protecting you, by encapsulating or trapping the toxic fat in your fat cells. The problem is that the toxic fat doesn’t stay trapped forever. Once it begins to spill into the bloodstream, Dr. Sears says you now have Toxic Fat Syndrome (TFS).

Dr. Sears' recent book, titled Toxic Fat, tells readers how they can use food as a drug to rid their bodies of toxic fat.

“Toxic Fat Syndrome is caused by your diet and fighting it is a life-long struggle,” Dr. Sears said. 

Dr. Sears believes the foods we eat should be treated like drugs (eaten at the right time with the proper balance of protein, carbs and fat). The epidemic of inflammation driven by increasing levels of toxic fat in the blood is a result of the American diet over the past 20 years: increased consumption of refined carbohydrates and vegetable oil along with the decreased consumption of healthy Omega-3 fish oil.

The good news is that toxic fat can be reversed in less than 30 days through a combination of the anti-inflammatory Zone Diet. 

“Reversing TFS is easy if you are willing to make the time to do it,” Dr. Sears said. 

15-second Prescription: Consume as much ultra-refined EPA/DHA concentrate (super fish oil) as you can. Dr. Sears has a line of super fish oils. With this one simple action, Dr. Sears says you have gone a great distance to reduce silent inflammation by diluting out toxic fat and move you to a higher state of wellness in 30 days.

30-minute Prescription:  Prepare Zone meals using Zone Meals in Seconds or other Zone Diet recipe books.

3-hour Prescription:  Take adequate levels of super fish oil, eat 3 Zone meals, add 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise and 20 minutes of rest (called stress reduction).
Being thin doesn’t always mean you’re healthy. Dr. Sears says you can be thin and still have high levels of toxic fat in the blood (the only way to measure it is from the blood). 

Manuel Uribe, who is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the heaviest man in the world, has lost more than one-third of his body weight and now weighs just over 800 pounds.  A team of international doctors, led by Dr. Sears, helped Manuel lose the weight. 

“I can’t get him healthier than he is right now,” Dr. Sears said.  Dr. Sears meets with Manual several times a year.
Dr. Sears is a leading authority on the dietary control of hormonal response. A former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Sears holds 13 U.S. Patents in the area of intravenous drug delivery systems and hormonal regulation for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

His research has elevated food from more than simply a source of calories to being recognized as an exceptionally powerful drug. Dr. Sears continues his research as President of Zone Labs, and in addition, he has expanded his research in developing innovative dietary approaches to the treatment of cancer and neurological conditions; as well as his on-going treatment of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.


Dr. Barry Sears

Little did I realize ten years ago the impact that the Zone Diet would have on nutritional thinking on a worldwide basis. I guarantee you that both my publisher and I were amazed that anyone ever bought my first book, The Zone. This was because it was written primarily for cardiologists to alert them to the hormonal impact of food.

Even though I have written some 10 books on the Zone Diet that have sold more than 4 million copies, the Zone Diet still remains largely misunderstood by the general public.  The concept of the Zone has relatively little to do with weight loss, but everything to do with the reduction of silent inflammation.

Although silent inflammation is now becoming recognized as the underlying cause of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, I came to the same conclusion nearly 20 years ago when the 1982 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded for early work in the study of eicosanoids. Eicosanoids are the hormones that control inflammation and can be dramatically altered by the diet. I reasoned that the key to treating chronic disease in the future was to control the production of these hormones and keep them in a therapeutic zone that was neither too high, nor too low. My 20-year odyssey to understand how the diet can be used as a powerful tool in the life-long control of silent inflammation eventually became the Zone Diet.

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