Our planet, our environment and our lifestyles have changed. Today there are over 82,000 certified synthetic toxic chemicals legally released into our environment every day. We have access to food 24 hours a day, which humans have never had. The result has been detrimental to our health. For the first time in human history more of us die from obesity than starvation.
Our diets must be reimagined. A diet that enables the body to build, rebuild and adapt in a healthy way is not the diet that most of us eat. Yet there is a simple guideline to follow for a healthy diet that will help us meet the challenges of today. It is my The Rule of Threes.
If we do nothing else but adopt my Rule of Threes, we can change the trajectory of humanity towards a healthier, happier, and active lifestyle. My Rule of Three Diet simply consists of 3 times more vegetables than proteins, and 3 times more protein than grains (including root vegetables). This is a diet that doesn’t require counting calories or relying on supplements. It is easy and will reset your metabolism and help you lose weight.
There are many reasons to follow the Rule of Threes Diet. Vegetables help cleanse the body of toxins. They are full of phytochemicals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory substances that protect our body from heart disease, cancer, arthritis and many more conditions. In fact, there’s even a high connection of a high vegetable diet with a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s. Let’s look at why this is true.
Three times more vegetables than protein
As humans, we do not digest vegetable fiber. We have trillions of bacteria that live inside our gut, mainly in the large intestines, that digest that vegetable fiber. These bacteria gobble up every single important morsel of food, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to reabsorb them. At the same time, they scavenge to find any toxic chemicals to help discard them. They are your best friends. Treat them like you would your pet; take good care of them, and they will take excellent care of you.
Your bacteria take in dietary fiber and transform it into short chain fatty acids (SCFA’s) which we need in abundance to survive and thrive. SCFA increase the integrity of our colon and decrease bowel disease. They help control our appetite, increase our energy homeostasis, and can activate the use of brown adipose tissue. This brown fat produces heat to help maintain your body temperature in cold conditions and the mitochondria in brown fat burns calories to produce that heat.
SCFA helps liver function and can aid in sleep. They regulate brain function and synaptic plasticity. In short, the lack of short chain fatty acids results in higher incidences of brain disease. Even in the case of autism, there is normally an imbalance of bacteria and SCFA’s. Research has shown success in autistic patients when the bacteria are balanced resulting in a positive change in our SCFA’s. There are hundreds of journal articles describing the benefits of these SCFA’s. They can affect mood disorders, depression, Parkinson’s, sclerosis, metabolic disorders, and aging. Higher levels of SCFA’s influence and improve hypothalamus function which can specifically affect our body’s ability to control hunger. So, from GI Physiology, to immune function, to metabolism and development of homeostasis of the central nervous system, bacteria are our friends.
3 times more Vegetables than Proteins is a Vital start. The goal is to consume about 6-8 servings or cups of vegetables a day.
Three time more protein than grain
Next, we need three times more proteins than grains. Proteins are the building blocks for muscles, tendons, ligaments, even bone, blood vessels and nervous tissue. If you want to be healthy and thrive, we need to constantly rebuild our body, and proteins are the raw materials for that. We especially want to focus on proteins with high Omega 3’s because they have multiple benefits which I will enumerate shortly. Some of the best sources of proteins with high Omega 3’s are fish, especially salmon, sardines, and anchovies, and grass-fed beef.
Let’s look at the benefits of these Omega 3’s. Sufficient levels can decrease depression and anxiety, increase eye health, promote brain health, decrease heart disease, decrease ADHD in kids, decrease metabolic syndrome, decrease inflammation and autoimmune disease, help correct mental disorders and Alzheimer’s and prevent some cancers. It decreases asthma in kids and fat in the liver and increases bone and joint health. Omega 3’s decreases menstrual pain and improves the quality of sleep and the quality and age of your skin. And remember, with metabolic syndrome, as you increase Omega 3’s in your diet, you can reduce your belly fat and the effects of diabetes and heart disease.
And finally, the grains.
Grains are not bad foods; except they generally get stored as fat. They are a wonderful to help avoid starvation. But if you own a refrigerator that is well stocked with food, and if you have a pantry that is likewise a storage for food products, (or if you just order in food whenever you wish), grains are not your friend. They promote fat storage. This includes root vegetables, like potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, etc. We do not have to avoid these foods, but they should be eaten in small amounts only.
The world has changed, and we have too. The changes have not always been for the better. But we can survive and thrive as healthy, in shape humans capable of meeting the challenges of this new world by simply adopting Dr. Hoody’s Rule of Threes.
Dr. Steve Hoody is an award-winning Nutritionist and weight loss expert. He is the CEO/Founder of Healthier2gether, a company dedicated to Health and Wellness through nutrition and education.