Follow These 4 Simple Food Rules

Follow These 4 Simple Food Rules

So much nutrition advice is focused on the “d” word: diet. It’s all about quick fixes to shed fat, beat bloat and slim down for specific events, such as an upcoming vacation.

But the tide is turning. Slowly, but surely, the quick-fix diet mentality is changing, thanks in part to thinkers such as food writers Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman, as well as to physicians, such as Aaron E. Carroll, who pens a regular column on health for The New York Times.

Carroll recently outlined a list of his seven simple rules for healthy eating. Each of the seven is meant to be a timeless tenet that readers (and Carroll himself) can take and apply year-round — whether it’s swimsuit season, the holidays or January “diet season.”

Although all of his points have merits, four particularly stand out as good lessons for the new year. Call them eating resolutions that have nothing to do with weight loss, and everything to do with enjoying a long and healthy life. Check out these highlights below, Carroll’s original column here, and let us know in the comments below which rules make the most sense to you.

Food rules to live by

Eat whole foods.

Carroll’s advice has many specific applications, but it focused on one central idea: Eat whole foods as often as possible, whether you’re at home or at a restaurant. That means eating ingredients, rather than processed foods made from lots of ingredients put together. Think fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean proteins, plain dairy products, etc.

As Michael Pollan advises in his book Food Rules, one way to make sure you’re on track with this plan is to steer clear of items in the grocery store with more than five ingredients.

Wine and cheese? Yes. Soda and Cheetos? No.

With this as the basic building block of your diet, you’re likely to thrive.

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Season appropriately.

One interesting piece of advice from Carroll — which makes so much sense if you’ve ever tried a restricted diet or seriously counting calories — is to season your food. Specifically, he advocates using enough fat and salt to make those whole foods he mentioned taste good.

For most of us, plain steamed broccoli becomes a lot more palatable when it’s tossed in oil, salt and pepper and roasted instead. By adding in the extra calories, fat and sodium, you’re creating a more satisfying meal. Now that’s a plan you can stick to for life.

Drink calories carefully.

A glass of red wine may be good for your heart, but that doesn’t mean it’s calorie-free. Carroll recommends keeping a close eye on any beverages with calories in them — whether it’s a green tea latte, kombucha and or fresh-pressed juice, or a margaritas, Frappuccino and some egg nog.

Eat with others.

Carroll’s last rule — one that’s too-often missing from healthy living advice — is to eat your meals with the ones you love. “It will make you more likely to cook. It will most likely make you eat more slowly. It will also make you happy,” he says.

And isn’t that what life’s all about?

What food rules do you live by?

READ  The Dangers of Being Skinny Fat

What to Read Next:

The Secret to Healthy Living All Year Long

The Best Healthy Foods to Eat for Breakfast

5 Simple Steps to Healthy Living

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