Food Rules, An Eater's Manual

Michael Pollan

A handbook more than a book with simple easy to follow rules to know what and how to eat. A much needed guidance in a world full of things we can digest but that are not really food.

My rating: 3/5 · I liked it
1 min · May 05, 2018 · Amazon

My Notes

I learned that in fact science knows a lot less about nutrition than you would expect—that in fact nutrition science is, to put it charitably, a very young science. — Michael Pollan

Two facts about nutrition and diet:

  • Western diet (lots of processed food, added sugar and fat, refined grains) correlates with obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
  • Other diets generally don’t suffer from these chronic diseases.

So, what to eat?

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. — Michael Pollan


Prefer foods that:

  • You’re great grandmother would recognize as food.
  • Will eventually rot.
  • Has been cooked by humans.

Avoid foods that:

  • Contain high-fructose corn syrup. It indicates it’s been highly processed and it’s sugar.
  • Lists sugar (or any sweetener) as one of the top three ingredients.
  • Has more than five ingredients. The more ingredients, the more highly processed it probably is. Home cooked recipes don’t count.
  • Make health claims. These are usually highly processed foods backed by incomplete studies.
  • Pretends to be something they’re not, for example, margarine.
  • Contain white flour.

What to eat:

  • High quality foods (which will cost more).
  • Mostly plans, especially leaves.
  • Vegetables with lots of different colors. The colors of many vegetables are related to their nutrients.
  • Little fish; mackerel, sardines, and anchovies.
  • Treat meat as flavoring or something for a special occasion.
  • Snacks from the farmers’ market.
  • Sweets as you find them in nature.
  • Junk food cooked by you.
  • A glass of wine with dinner.
  • Add and vary not only new foods but new species as well.

Stop eating before you’re full. Eat when you’re hungry until you stop being hungry. Eat slowly and enjoy your meals. Eat more meals and less snacks.

Have a big breakfast, a normal lunch, and a small dinner.

Eat only at a table. Your desk doesn’t count.

Cook for yourself.

Break the rules every once in a while.