Book Review – The wisdom of Food Rules

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

That simple little line summarizes all of the wisdom found in Michael Pollan’s Food Rules.  But if you are hoping to get a little more out of the book, it will only take about an hour of your time. And as far as I am concerned, it is an hour well spent. Because of the glut  of confusing and contradictory nutrition research available, figuring out what are the healthiest foods for myself and my family is frustrating.  As it turns out, the “direction” for the healthiest way to eat is actually quite simple.  In fact, it is only seven words long (go ahead and count out that first sentence). 

Throughout his career, Pollan has gone through the over abundance of contradictory research pertaining to nutrition science.  In spite of that, his research found there are two facts that everyone actually does agree upon:
-People who eat the Western diet suffer from chronic Western diseases (Type 2
Diabetes, Heart Disease, etc.)
-Populations eating many different types of traditional diets (diets as varied
as Mediterranean and Inuit) do NOT suffer from chronic diseases seen in the
Western diet

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The book along with some of its friends

These facts suggest that there is no one ideal human diet. Rather, Pollan suggests, what we should be focusing on is eating actual food (think of the items found on the outside edges of the grocery store), instead of eating “food-like substances” (think of the items on grocery shelves).  Food manufacturers and their ad agencies spend a lot of money and energy trying to convince us to shop heavily from those shelves.  After reading Food Rules, you may be convinced to do otherwise.

Food Rules does not rehash existing research studies.  Rather, the wisdom found in this book was compiled by asking regular people what they felt healthy eating means to them.  Amazingly, people around the world would mention the same traits, ideas and habits over and over.  After being sorted through and including some explanations by Michael Pollan, the result is a simple and logical guide to healthy eating.

Trying to decipher all the information regarding health and diet can be overwhelming, but it does not have to be.  By reading Food Rules, the knowledge of the best eating practices is put into perspective in an easily understandable way.   This knowledge is comforting to have when trying to raise a healthy family…speaking from experience.

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2 comments

  1. […] Ask my wife…actually, ask anyone who has met me for more than five minutes, and you will hear about how I like to live “inside the box.” I don’t like straying outside of my comfort zone (I have gotten better, but that is not really saying much). Life is just more comfortable inside my box, unless you are talking about my eating habits. In that case, I prefer life outside the diet box. Those boxes have names like Keto, Paleo, Vegan, and any other type of “diet” you can think of. I take my diet cues from the book Food Rules and my wife’s review of it: Eat food. Not too muc… […]

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