fourteen rules for eating by Michael Pollan (and me)

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

In seven words, Michael Pollan succinctly sums up the best way to eat. He’s famous for this mantra, from his superb book In Defense of Food. It sticks, hey!?

Picture 115 fourteen rules for eating by Michael Pollan (and me)                            photo via Cannelle et Vanille

 Michael has just released his latest book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual in which he lays out the most deadset simple rules for eating that don’t tax willpower and brainpower. And they work. For health and for the planet. Here’s some of his highlights:

some tips from Michael:

1. if it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.

2. when shopping in a supermarket, shop the periphery of the store and avoid the centre aisles laden with processed foods.

3. avoid sugar… (and) note, too, that refined flour is hardly different from sugar once it gets into the body.

4. avoid foods advertised on television…and food products that make health claims. No natural food is simply a collection of nutrients, and a processed food stripped of its natural goodness to which nutrients are then added is no bargain for your body.

5. cook. Cooking for yourself takes back control of your diet.

6. don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does. Don’t shop for your food at a petrol station.

7. “No snacks, no seconds, no sweets – except on days that start with S”.

8. eat at a table. Not at your work desk, or in front of the tv, or while you’re driving. If you’re not paying attention to what you’re eating, you’re likely to eat more.

9.  don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. “There are exceptions — honey — but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food,” Pollan says.

my tips:

10. choose the food with the least number of ingredients. when comparing, say, mayonnaise, in the supermarket, choose the one with the shortest ingredients panel.

11. eat the whole food. Don’t take out yolks or the fat. It’s the yolks and fat that contain the enzyme that breaks down the egg or the cafe latte in your stomach, providing for better metabolism.

12. for similar reasons, don’t drink fruit juice. It’s the fibre in fruit that enables us to handle the high sugar content. I’ve said this before, a glass of apple juice contains 10-12 teaspoons of sugar. So wrong.

13. eat food with less than about 6g/100g of sugar in it. I read the sugar content before I read the fat or calorie content.

14. crowd out. This is my personal mantra. Don’t say “don’t” (to “bad foods”), simply say “more please” to the good stuff. Eat as much good stuff as you can stomach and then allow yourself some crap…(if you can fit it in).

Do you have a favourite food rule that doesn’t use up too much brainpower?




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