After reading Michael Pollan’s book, In Defense of Food, I thought it would be useful to share some of his key rules to eat healthier:
- Eat Food: Meaning eat real food, avoiding all of these food-like substitutes that good marketers are trying to make us eat. So if you think your grandmother would not recognize a particular item in the supermarket, probably it is not food.
- Avoid the Unpronounceable: Avoid products that contain ingredients that you would not store in your pantry or you cannot pronounce. Avoid products that contain more than 5 ingredients, usually it means it’s highly processed.
- Shop in the perimeters of the supermarket and stay out of the middle section: Processed foods are usually stored in the middle aisles. Shop around the edges of the supermarket where fresh produce and meat are stored, this will help you avoid processed items.
- Shop at your local farmers’ market whenever possible: They normally offer fresher, tastier food. Don’t miss the opportunity to ask about where your food comes from. Shake the hand that feeds you.
- Eat mostly plants: Try to add as many leafy vegetables to your diet as you can. Eat seeds. Find a balance in your diet, eating less meat and more plants. Meat should not be the centerpiece of all your meals.
- Pay more, eat less: Better foods cost more. Farmers market foods often cost more. Healthier and environmentally friendly foods are more expensive than the not so good for you and for the planet ones. But it is worth it.
- Eat less: Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored. Eat slowly. Eat on smaller plates and drink in smaller glasses. Stop eating when you are 80% full. The feeling of fullness can sometimes be 20 minutes behind what you have actually eaten because it takes time for your brain and stomach to communicate.
- And lastly, break the rules every once in a while: Have fun with your food, it’s not only about nutrition. Best meals not only feed your body but your relationships and your soul. Enjoy it!