The 3/5 Rule Definition
- 3 or more grams of dietary fiber per serving
- 5 or less grams of sugar per serving
100% Whole Grains
The purpose of the 3/5 Rule is to make it easier to choose 100% whole grains over refined grains. Whole grains contain natural fiber which requires much more energy to metabolize AND reduces “bad” cholesterol.
Whole Grains Make You Feel Full
A slice of 100% whole wheat toast contains about the same amount of carbs and calories as a slice of “white bread” toast. The difference is it takes the body about four times longer to digest the whole wheat toast – this distributes the carb load over a greater period of time which helps you feel full.
Refined flours have most of the nutrients and fiber removed and are metabolized quickly in the body as sugar. This causes blood glucose and insulin to “spike” and then crash quickly. The sudden drop in glucose after digestion causes hunger.
Added sugars in breads and cereals increase the caloric content and should to be avoided. When shopping, be sure to assure that sugars are 5 grams or less per serving.
Types of Whole Grain
Rolled or steel cut oats, brown rice, wild rice, whole wheat flour, and quinoa are whole grains that should be increased in your diet. Eliminate refined grains like all purpose flour, white rice, and cereals that aren’t 100% whole grains.
Most grocery stores have 100% whole grain options for breads, cereals, English Muffins, tortillas, and pita bread. I’ve found that most of the generic whole grain cereals and breads are very good.
Make or buy whole grain dough and pizza can actually be a healthy option – just use a lean protein like chicken or shrimp instead of processed meats like sausage and pepperoni.
Most pastas contain about 2 grams of dietary fiber serving. There’s no need to toss these in the trash because they don’t meet the 3/5 Rule. When finished with the package, simply replace with whole wheat pasta which contain about 5 grams of dietary fiber. Increase the complexity of your carbs.
The goal is to increase the “quality” of energy sources in food – reduce the low quality, empty calories found in refined flours and replace them with complex carbs (which are high in dietary fiber) that make you feel full longer.
Low quality energy sources do not need to be eliminated but they do need to be minimized. The closer that you come to total elimination, the more your body will respond.
Dietary fiber is, by definition, “a carbohydrate from plants that is so complex that it doesn’t get fully digested“. Not to be confused with fiber which is defined as “a filament from vegetable tissue”.
Complex carbohydrates or “carbohydrates that contain dietary fiber” aid in the production of healthful compounds as they pass through the digestive tract. Dietary fiber also aids in creating stools & reducing constipation.
Dietary fiber lowers total & LDL (bad) cholesterol and regulates blood sugar which can help to prevent and/or control diabetes.