Michael Pollan, author of the New York Times best seller In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma has released Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (Penguin Books). This little book is an eating manifesto that answers two simple questions about eating that have somehow become extremely complex. These questions are, “what should people eat?” and “how should people eat?”

Healthy Eating Habits Begin With Whole Foods

In his no nonsense guide, Pollan urges his readers to avoid the processed foods that line the aisles in the grocery store. These foods have, sadly, become the staple of many American diets. And, if you go to the grocery store and walk the aisles, it is no wonder. The bulk of the products sold in grocery stores these days are processed.

Pollan’s tips include shopping the periphery of the supermarket, where the fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats are sold. He also pushes readers to think beyond the grocery store. Farmer’s markets and farms sell the freshest produce, dairy and meats available. The food sold at these venues is local, tasty, healthy, and environmentally friendly.

Healthy Meals are Thoughtful and Downsized

After sharing his tips on what to eat, Pollan turns to how to eat. This section of his guide has two themes. The first is to downsize portions. Pollan suggests ending a meal before feeling full, leaving some morsels on the dinner plate, and even downsizing the plates and glasses used at the table.

The second theme involves eating mindfully. Eating carefully, with attention to the taste and texture of food is important. Enjoying a meal by sitting down at the table rather than grabbing it on the run and devouring it at the dashboard of a car helps avoid mindless eating, which is never satisfying.\

Michael Pollan’s Healthy Eating Tips are Easy to Follow

Unlike his previous books, which are dense and at times laboring, Food Rules can be consumed and digested in a single sitting. The tips are drawn from Pollan’s interviews with nutritionists, doctors, readers, as well as culture and tradition. They have a “back to basics” feel to them and many are humorous. Rule #57, “Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does,” exemplifies the cheeky fun that he has in sharing rules he hopes will stick with his readers as they troll down the aisles at the grocery store.

Food Rules Offers Advice to Build Healthy Eating Habits

Pollan offers simplicity in an area that has become increasingly difficult to understand and navigate: what and how to eat for optimal health. Though it seems that such a basic function should be natural, it is clear that Americans need advice. While nutrition continually advances, offering many explanations about anti-oxidants, omega 3’s, and other super nutrients, Americans have become ever larger and ever more prone to food related disease and illness. In Food Rules, Pollan cuts through the hype to offer basic, easy tips for healthy eating.