6 Painless Ways to Eat Well

To get you through the holiday season, we're bringing back these innovative tips on eating well--without giving up anything except calories!
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6 Painless Ways to Eat Well

To get you through the holiday season, we’re bringing back these innovative tips on eating well–without giving up anything except calories!

-Michael Pollan

A woman eating a bowl of cereal

The author of no-nonsense best-sellers like In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, Pollan’s newest book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, offers sixty-three ways to change not only your nutritional habits but the way you think about food. Here, from that book, are six of his best techniques:

Avoid foods you see advertised on television. Food marketers are ingenious at turning criticisms of their products—and rules like these—into new ways to sell slightly different versions of the same processed foods: They simply reformulate (to be low-fat, have no HFCS [high fructose corn syrup] or trans fats, or to contain fewer ingredients) and then boast about their implied healthfulness, whether the boast is meaningful or not.

The best way to escape these marketing ploys is to tune out the marketing itself, by refusing to buy heavily promoted foods. Only the biggest food manufacturers can afford to advertise their products on television: More than two thirds of food advertising is spent promoting processed foods (and alcohol), so if you avoid products with big ad budgets, you’ll automatically be avoiding edible foodlike substances. As for the 5 percent of food ads that promote whole foods (the prune or walnut growers or the beef ranchers), common sense will, one hopes, keep you from tarring them with the same brush. These are the exceptions that prove the rule.

Read It’s The Holiday Season … Pig Out! (Or Not)

If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant [a factory], don’t.

Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk. Such cereals are highly processed and full of refined carbohydrates as well as chemical additives.

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