Friday, December 12, 2014

114:120 In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan

"Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants."  

There you go, the secret of this book and he lays it out right in the first chapter.  So why read on?  Because what Mr. Pollan goes to do is lay out the problem with the Western Diet and how it's killing us.  We have become a slave to Nutritionism and not food.  Science keeps telling us to eat more of this miracle nutrient and less of this one over here and we will be healthy and all will be good.  But it doesn't work and then next week or year or decade, they realize that what they first told us was absolutely wrong and they reverse it.  The Low-Fat Diet is a beautiful example of this.  We were told to eat less fat because consuming fat was making us fat and leading to heart disease.  So industry came to the rescue and took the fat out of everything replacing it with sugar and sodium and things we can't pronounce.  And that made us fatter than ever. Heart disease didn't go down and now we are told that carbs are the problem.  Eat more fish! Omega 3s! Paleo! Atkins!  The list goes on and all it does is leave those who need to eat more confused then ever.  There are now organic toaster pastries with Omega 3s.  Are those healthy?  The obvious answer is no but since Fritos can now put on their packages that they are a "heart healthy" food, who knows any more, right?!  

This is the point of Mr. Pollan's book, helping to decipher what we have been being told for the past 40+ years (longer than my lifetime). He breaks down the studies and tries to help the typical person understand what is being studied and how and what the results most likely mean.  How studies are flawed and how that tweaks the results.  He has his own rules for eating that he lays out in the last section but really, what it boils down to is the words at the top.  I had already started doing this after some less than stellar lab work at the doctor's and while it will be a few months before I know conclusively if it is helping in that department, my body is already showing positive changes to the new way of eating.  I highly recommend this book and I'm so glad that my son's high school health course uses it.

Page count: 244p/31,991p ytd/212,949p lifetime

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