Eating healthy shouldn’t be as hard as it is, but in today’s world, knowing what qualifies as “healthy” can be complicated. But let’s give it a go, shall we? A good rule of thumb is if you have to wonder if something’s good for you, it probably isn’t.
Writer and food activist Michael Pollan has a few axioms that he repeats in his many excellent books, columns, and speeches. One of them is
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Pollan posits that “food” means things you recognize as having come from a plant or animal, not a factory. He suggests that if you don’t recognize what the ingredients listed on a product are, you shouldn’t put it in your body.
Don’t fall prey to marketing that makes things look or sound “healthy.” This gluten-free tofu breakfast wrap certainly *looks* like it would be good for you. The wrapper practically screams well-being with its soothing green and soft yellow color.
But it’s not healthy at all. The packaging says it’s made with “organic tofu, hash browns & vegetables.” Guess what? All those things are naturally gluten-free. The big innovation on this product is that they somehow managed to turn seemingly wholesome ingredients into a product that has a whopping 300 calories, 120 of which are from fat. If you’d picked something like this up in a supermarket, you could continue reading further down the Nutritional Facts to see how it’s chock-full of sodium, but hopefully, you would have turned and run away in horror before getting that far.
(Amy’s products are now available in Paris in some Picard stores, so you might come across these. You’ve been warned.)
So, eat real food. Eat whole food. Eat things that you can identify. And live better because of it.
- Michael Pollan has a great 4-part series on Netflix called “Cooked” where he goes into his food philosophy a bit more.
- A list of gluten-free foods.