This afternoon, I buzzed through Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules”, which are basically his Cliff Notes on a healthy diet. His mantra is “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants,” which is hard to argue with when you look at the superior health of nations who eat according to those rules. Here in America, where we eat mostly highly processed, sweetened and fatty foods, we’re on the verge of a national epidemic. Obesity and diabetes will kill more and more people each year, young and old alike, and further cripple our ailing health care system if we don’t change our eating habits. Americans literally can’t afford to keep eating this way.
Here are some of my favorite food rules from the book:
#13 “Eat only foods that will eventually rot.” It is scary that there are foods that even bacteria and fungi won’t touch.
#19 “If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.” I can follow this maybe 70% of the time, but I love cold cereal.
#27 “Eat animals that have themselves eaten well.” Costs a little more, but who wants mad cow disease?
#36 “Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of milk.” My kids and husband love Fruity Pebbles, but I ALMOST never buy them.
#37 “The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead.” Complex carbs rule.
#41 “Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks.” How do you say “yum” in all those languages?
#43″ Have a glass of wine with dinner.” My favorite food rule.
#44 “Pay more, eat less.” Why are people willing to spend money on everything EXCEPT healthy food?
#58 “Do all your eating at a table.” This is harder than it sounds, but a great rule and teaches your kids good eating habits.
#59 “Try not to eat alone.” Eating is most enjoyable when it’s a shared activity.
#63 “Cook.” We only order pizza once a week. That’s not so bad, is it?
#64 “Break the rules once in a while.” My second favorite rule and essential to the sanity of anyone with kids to feed.
So, this weekend, call some friends, cook a good meal (that includes a salad) and open a bottle of wine. You’ll just be following the rules.
Posted on “Food Renegade’s” Fight Back Friday July 1, 2010
In today’s Science Times, Jane Brody tells us that it what we eat, rather than the supplements we take, that can help us live longer, healthier lives. She claims that eating a mostly plant-based diet with plenty of good fats (i.e. the Mediterranean diet), along with plenty of exercise, seems to be the key to lowering your risk of several types of disease. Read the article at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/health/12brod.html?ref=science . (Even if you’re not vitamin-takers, it is important to make sure that you and your family get plenty of calcium and vitamin D, through supplements if necessary, and keep in mind that you should always follow your pediatrician’s recommendations.)