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We have been eating wrong all our lives. This book shakes our belief patterns on food and diet.

Food Rules

Food Rules

by Michael Pollan, Maira Kalman


38.5K reads

Food Facts: What We Need To Know

  • Virtually all of the Type II diabetics, 80% of all cardiovascular diseases and 33% of all cancers are linked to the western diet.
  • Populations who eat a wide range of foods (unrefined) do not suffer from these diseases.
  • If you get off the western diet, your health can improve....

The Western Lifestyle And Diet

Most people don’t eat enough raw fruits and vegetables. They eat ‘grab and go’ stuff that’s less messy but more high-calorie dense and they eat as they handle multiple tasks. This is not good.

Populations that eat a so-called Western diet—generally defined as a diet consisting of lots of pr...


Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Key Points

  • Eat local, healthy food that your great-grandmother would have recognized.
  • Avoid anything processed.
  • Buy from your local farmer's market.
  •  Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human woul...

Populations eating a remarkably wide range of traditional diets generally don’t suffer from these chronic diseases. These diets run the gamut from ones very high in fat (the Inuit in Greenland subsist largely on seal blubber) to ones high in carbohydrate (Central American Indians subsist largely ...

There’s a lot of money in the Western diet. The more you process any food, the more profitable it becomes. You are mostly sold processed food as it is highly advantageous for the companies, even though it is an unhealthy diet.

The healthcare industry makes more money treating chronic disea...

Noncaloric sweeteners such as aspartame or Splenda, research (in both humans and animals) suggests that switching to artificial sweeteners does not lead to weight loss, for reasons not yet well understood. But it may be that deceiving the brain with the reward of sweetness stimulates a craving fo...

The Food Rules

  • Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients.
  • Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
  • Avoid food products that make health claims.
  • Avoid food products with the wordoid “lite" or the terms "low-fat" or “nonfat" in...


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

It's Not Food If..

  • It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car.
  • It’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language. (Think Big Mac, Cheetos, or Pringles.)
  • It's not food if it's not cooked by humans but came out of an industrial plant.

Science Does Not Want To Get Into Why Plants Are So Good

Scientists may disagree on what’s so good about plants—the antioxidants? the fibre? the omega-3 fatty acids?—but they do agree that they’re probably really good for you and certainly can’t hurt.

There are scores of studies demonstrating that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits reduces the...

Fewer Calories

By eating a diet that is primarily plant-based, you’ll be consuming far fewer calories, since plant foods—with the exception of seeds, including grains and nuts—are typically less "energy dense" than the other things you eat. (And consuming fewer calories protects against many chronic diseases.) ...


Eating what stands on one leg [mushrooms and plant foods] is better than eating what stands on two legs [fowl], which is better than eating what stands on four legs [cows, pigs, and other mammals].

Drink The Spinach Water

Another bit of traditional wisdom with good science behind it: The water in which vegetables are cooked is rich in vitamins and other healthful plant chemicals. Save it for soup or add it to sauces.

The Wild Plants

Two of the most nutritious plants in the world —lamb’s quarters and purslane—are weeds, and some of the healthiest traditional diets, like the Mediterranean, make frequent use of wild greens.

The fields and forests are crowded with plants containing higher ...

Eat The Fermented Foods

Many traditional cultures swear by the health benefits of fermented foods—foods that have been transformed by live microorganisms, such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, soy sauce, kimchi, and sourdough bread. These foods can be a good source of vitamin B12, an essential nutrient you can’t get from plants....


The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead.

We know that people who take supplements are generally healthier than the rest of us, and we also know that in controlled studies most of the supplements they take don’t appear to be effective. How can this be?

Supplement takers are healthy for reasons that have nothing to...

Go For Traditional Diets

  • People who eat according to the rules of a traditional food culture are generally healthier than those of us eating a modern Western diet of processed foods.
  • Any traditional diet will do: If it were not a healthy diet, the people who follow it wouldn’t still be around.
  • In bo...

Red Wine Is Okay

There is now considerable scientific evidence for the health benefits of alcohol to go with a few centuries of traditional belief and anecdotal evidence. Mindful of the social and health effects of alcoholism, public health authorities are loath to recommend drinking, but the fact is that people ...

  • How you eat may have as much bearing on your health (and your weight) as what you eat.
  • Pay more, eat less, or as grandmothers used to say, "Better to pay the grocer than the doctor."
  • Stop eating before you’re full.
  • Ask yourself not, Am I full? but, Is my hunger gone? ...

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