Nutrition for Dummies
If you have time to read Michael Pollen's fantastic article in 1/27/07 New York Times, Unhappy Meals, go for it. If you are too time challenged to read the full 12 pages, I will summarize here the high points for your reading pleasure. Forget the ever changing recommendations of the experts. Think simple:
1. Eat foods your great-great grandmother would recognize as food. Would granny recognize a Go-gurt , breakfast bar or non-dairy creamer? There are 17,000 new food products introduced very year. Avoid them.
2. Avoid food products that come bearing health claims. They are apt to be heavily processed. (read my first post on this blog). Did you know that the American Heart Association charges food makers for their endorsements?
3. Avoid food products that are unfamiliar, unpronounceable or contain more than 5 ingredients.
4. Use farmers markets. The soil is important to the nutrients in the food (duh!). Every tomato is not the same and farmers markets are seasonal. That is how our bodies are designed to eat.
5. Pay more, eat less. That $1.29 happy meal is not a bargain. The "eat less" part is a challenge but conscious eating means you slow down, enjoy the taste and feel more satisfied with less.
6. Eat mostly plants, especially leaves. When was the last time you ate winter greens (collard, mustard, spinach)? Greens are really easy to prepare. Here are some recipes to try. winter greens recipes
7. Eat like the French or Japanese or Italians or Greeks. It isn't just the foods they eat. The secret may be in the small portions, no seconds or snacking, communal meals and pleasure taken in food and company. It is the traditional culture that may lead to better health outcomes.
8. Cook at home and take your homemade lunch to work/school.
Lets face it. Americans have too many food choices and easy access to the wrong kinds of foods.
We don't need nutrition experts to tell us what mom always said. "Eat your fruits and vegetables before you have that cookie" We just forgot.