The Healthspan Solution

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Losing weight by getting just the right balance of macronutrients (fats, carbs and proteins) may be the latest nutritional trend. But registered dietitian Julieanna Hever and former NASA scientist Ray Cronise have a healthier alternative

As co-authors of the fascinating scientific textbook The Healthspan Solution, the pair suggest we dispense with calculating carbs and calories and focus on just eating the right foods and eating less.

This anything-but-superficial book takes a deep dive into the history of nutritional studies and calorie counting. And what it reveals is that, for the first time in human history, planet Earth is home to more over-nourished than undernourished people.

Backed by a decade’s worth of research and his own weight-loss experience, Cronise has created his own Food Triangle to replace the protein-carbs-fats standard. Its makeup?

  • A left “leg” of meat, eggs and dairy

  • A “top” of leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, herbs and spices

  • A right leg” of beans and other legumes, fruits, nuts, whole grains and starchy veggies.

And what, exactly, is your healthspan? According to the authors:

“Whereas lifespan refers to the total number of years alive, healthspan focuses on how many living years one remains healthy and free of disease or dysfunction.”

Each chapter of their book presents a variation on a common them: “… eat less, eat less often and when you eat, eat more of the right things.” What are those?

A diet based on the Food Triangle’s top and right leg, they say, “is the easiest way to implement dietary restriction without malnutrition, especially when it’s done within a shorter feeding window.”

The Healthspan Solution includes a wealth of charts, such as Hever’s 6 Daily 3s. Using colorful, easily deciphered graphics, it proposes eating three daily servings each of:

  • green veggies

  • colored veggies

  • fruit

  • nuts

  • seeds

  • legumes

along with 20 minutes of physical activity, from light walking or stretching to weightlifting or high-intensity sports.

Then there are pages and pages of mouthwatering recipes, all planned to help fulfill your 6 Daily 3s. With dishes such as Cauliflower Rice Chickpea Curry and New Year’s Black-Eyed Peas (known in the South as “Hoppin John”), I can’t wait to start trying them!

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