Learning the principles of healthy eating can seem overwhelming. There are books and blogs and websites and articles and experts spouting advice everywhere you look. It's not surprise most people don't even know where to start. Michael Pollan, in his book Food Rules lists some easy-to-follow (and fun!) tips that can help. Here a few of our favorites:
Don’t Eat Anything Your Great-Grandmother Wouldn’t Recognize as Food.
Shop the Peripheries of the Supermarket; Stay Out of the Middle.
Avoid Food Products That Have More Than Five Ingredients, or Ingredients a Third-Grader Can’t Pronounce.
If It Came From a Plant, Eat It; If It Was Made In a Plant, Don’t.
The Fewer the Feet, the Better the Meat. (Fish = no feet, Chickens = two feet, Pigs & Cows = four feet; Think of Plants as one-footed.)
Eat Your Colors, and Serve the Vegetables First.
Treat Meat as a Flavoring or Special Occasion Food.
If You’re Not Hungry Enough to Eat an Apple, then You’re Probably Not Hungry.
Eat When You’re Hungry, Not When You’re Bored.
Treat Treats as Treats.
No matter what approach you take, whether it’s Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian eating, USDA MyPlate, low-carb, Paleo, or a plan of your own, focus on these practices:
Crowd your plate with brightly colored vegetables and fruits that are packed with phytochemicals and micronutrients.
Have some protein – preferably plant-sourced – with every meal.
Sit at the table when you eat. Not at your desk, not in your car, not standing in the kitchen. Turn off the TV and the radio. Focus on and enjoy your meal.
Avoid processed foods (like refined flours, pastas, sugars, and sugary drinks) that are packed with empty calories and spike your blood sugar.
Eat fruits, vegetables, and proteins for your snacks.
Drink a glass of water with and between every meal, and also when you exercise.
When you eat real food you’ll need fewer rules. And when your fork meets your plate, remember Michael Pollan’s guiding principle, seven simple words:
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
By J. Dan Morris, M.D.
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