Michael Pollan, whom I would define as a writer and author with interesting insights on the intersections between food, nature, and culture, suggests 6 basic rules for eating wisely:
These are summarized here:
- Don’t eat anything your great-great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. My grandfather lived till he was 90. He never ate packaged food, he loved butter and yogurt, especially home-made butter and yogurt. As we know, today, trans-fatty margarine is killing us. Eat food, not food products.
- Avoid foods containing high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It’s not just in cereals and soft drinks but also in ketchup and bologna, baked goods, soups and salad dressings. Its not any worse than sugar, but by avoiding it you cut out highly processed foods–the ones that contain the most sugar, fat and salt.
- Spend more, eat less. Cheap food is everywhere, much like cheap oil. We spend only 9.7% of our income on food, a smaller share than any other nation.
- Pay little heed to nutritional science or the health claims on packages. The healthiest foods in the supermarket–the fresh produce–are the ones that don’t make FDA-approved health claims, which typically festoon the packages of the most highly processed foods.
- Shop at the farmers’ market. Food here is in season and thus, highly nutritious and flavorful. It will compel you to cook rather than to buy packaged, highly processed foods.
- How you eat is as important as what you eat. Eat moderate portions, don’t go for seconds, if hungry between meals drink a glass of water or two and snack on fruits and nuts, and never eat in front of the tv or alone (if you can help it).