Sunday, January 28, 2007

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

These seven words sum up everything you need to know about healthy eating. They're the tag line in this New York Times article by Michael Pollan that takes an in-depth look at food and nutrition.

There's some hidden depth to those words - after all, the article runs to several thousand words. Mine will be rather shorter, but one of the points he makes is that there are so many contradictory studies out there on what does and doesn't cause cancer in rats, that it's almost impossible to apply that advice to everyday eating.

In a nutshell, though, I can dissect that advice into something I mostly agree with. Eat food. Not vitamin supplements, or omega-3 tables, or whatever the fad du jour is. Not processed stuff. Not artifical flavourings and chemicals.

Not too much. Yeah, right. There's a few odd-ball results out there that suggest that eating an extremely restricted diet will lead to a longer life. But overeating is definitely bad for you - and more importantly, if you follow the advice and eat healthy food, eating too much becomes rather difficult.

Mostly plants. When I first read this, my first reaction was to object: "but I like meat". Yet when I look at my diet so far today, it has been mostly plants. In fact, with the exception of an ounce of ham in a lunch time sandwich, it's been plants all the way, and dinner looks to be fairly low in meat content too. Yesterday was similar - 200g of meat all day.

So, all in all, it seems like good advice to me.

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