This little book is an excellent beginner’s guide to eating. If you are overweight or have been dieting for years, you have probably determined that there is no instant cure for what you have been doing for the past several years. What Pollan does is give you fast rules for eating that will take you as far, if not further, than many diets. Muffin tops and spare tires may look trendy, but they’re not very attractive or healthy. If you have them now in your twenties or thirties, it becomes even more difficult to lose them as you get older. So there’s no better time than the present to read this little book to get you started.

As a curious journalist, Pollan has written several books on food, including In defense of food, The omnivore’s dilemma Y Cooked. Try to pick one up from a local library and by this time next year, you may get a call to tell you to come pick it up or unload it. This little book may be the only thing available from this author for free and it’s a good start.

Nutrition is a relatively new science. Food companies want you to be their guinea pig and try their new foods that are sure to be “healthy” in one respect or another. By focusing on one item, vitamin, or nutrient at a time, they ignore other ingredients that are harmful, perpetuating confusion and poor health as a result. Therefore, food companies and the medical community are making a fortune at their expense. The only thing for sure is that by eating highly processed foods, you are most likely obese and diabetic and prone to heart disease and cancer. That is the result of the American diet.

Pollan sums it up with “Eat food. Not too much. Mainly plants.” But it gives you 64 rules to guide you to that conclusion. One rule in particular that supports it is Rule 12 “Shop on the outskirts of the supermarket and don’t stay in the middle.” That’s another way of saying eat fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, and dairy and avoid processed foods.

So before you go on a diet, make a record of what you are currently eating, follow the Pollan rules, and see if that doesn’t make a difference. If you think that eating healthy may cost a bit more, it is much cheaper than what you will pay the medical community if you don’t make a change.

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