Why should you eat healthier? Processed foods, added fat, sugar, and refined grains can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Healthy eating advocate Michael Pollan outlined what may be the most sensible plan out there several years ago in seven simple words: “Eat food. Not too much, mostly plants.”
In food, Pollan means real, whole foods, not processed foods churned out by the agribusiness complex – food your grandmother would recognize.
Pollan notes that populations that eat like Americans — highly processed foods and meat, a lot of added fat and sugar, a lot of refined grains — have high rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Populations with more traditional diets don’t suffer those ills, but where they have become more Westernized that trend toward disease is starting to rear its ugly head.
How to eat healthier
Pollan’s small tome “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual,” spells out 64 ways for how to eat healthier, and some of it is just plain funny.
When it comes to portion size, Pollan says use smaller glasses and plates. He also says try not to eat standing up or alone, two habits that encourage the downing of too much fast food.
At a nutrition conference, Pollan told his audience that Americans are uniquely focused on the scientific aspect of food.
“It is an ideology, a way of organizing experience,” he said. “Like other ‘isms,’ it rests on a simple set of assumptions, though we don’t realize it.” The connection between food, science, and health is “a real linkage,” he said, “but it has overwhelmed all of the other linkages in our culture.”
In America, people care more about food components – cholesterol, saturated fat, fiber – than food itself. “And only in America can a low-fat craze grip the country, as it did from 1977 until 2002, to be displaced within a few months by a low-carb craze,” says leading health advocate, Andrew Weill, M.D.
April 09, 2020
Janet O’Dell, RN