"EAT FOOD. NOT TOO MUCH. MOSTLY PLANTS."
Seven simple words from Michael Pollan are extremely powerful, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Can it really be that simple? Yes.
By “eat food”, he means, and I agree, “real food”, not the ultra-processed products that make up half the calories in the American diet. Those products are more food-like substances than they are real food such as donuts, cereal, crackers, chips, pasta and cookies. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that calls for us to eat fresh—whole foods, grown and produced sustainably, that have been minimally processed or ideally not processed at all.
By “not too much”, he suggests one of the biggest problems in the western world today is that we have normalized obesity. We’ve gotten so used to seeing so many people who are overweight that we think it’s normal. But, it isn’t! And, it causes so many health problems. Dr. Susan Pierce Thompson says “obesity is not really a product of a lack of willpower or motivation, it’s more often an outgrowth of food addiction over which people often painfully feel little control”. The good news is that the more real food you eat and the more you move away from processed food-like products, the less you have to worry about how much you eat and the easier you’ll find to break free from food addiction.
Lastly, Michael’s last two words “mostly plants” means whole, fresh vegetables and unprocessed fruits. Plants are wonderful. There is a profound consensus that planting foods, in particular fresh vegetables and fresh fruits, will provide the highest reward of concentrated sources of nutrients we need to be our healthiest. They provide antioxidants, phytochemicals, phytosterols, fibers, enzymes, probiotics, essential fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. These compounds work together to turn off disease promoting genes, reduce inflammation, boost immune function, balance your hormones, enhance detoxification enzymes, maintain stable blood glucose levels, ensure healthy blood pressure, protect cardiovascular function and promote a vibrant well-being. A simple way to remember if it’s a healthy food choice or not is to ask yourself —did this grow out of the ground or have a mother? If so...eat it. If not, think twice and eat in moderation