Medical professional Aaron E. Carroll (@aaronecarroll) offers a handful of rules for healthy eating in a piece appearing in the New York Times. His is a simple and refreshing take on what is frequently a complex and difficult to navigate area: diet and nutrition.

The advice he offers? Get as much of your nutrition as you can from unprocessed, fresh foods. Cook at home as often as possible. Minimize your consumption of processed foods. Go ahead and use salt, butter and oil in cooking as needed. Drink mostly water, but some coffee and alcohol are fine. (Just be sure to treat beverages as you would other foods). And very important? Eating with other people, especially those you care about.


“Full disclosure: I did not invent most of these. I’ve developed them from reading the work of others, including what may be the most impressive “official” nutritional guidelines, those of Brazil, as well as from earlier suggestions from readers, as in this great NYT interactive graphic. It captures readers’ responses to food rules by Michael Pollan. He is, of course, the promulgator of the well-known advice: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

And this:


“All of these rules are subtly trying to get you to be more conscious of what you’re eating. It’s far too easy these days to consume more than you think you are, or more than you really need, especially when eating out. I’ve found that it’s impossible to tell any one person how much they should be eating. People have varying requirements, and it’s important for all of them to listen to their bodies to know when they should eat, and when they should stop.”


Related Links:

Proposed U.S. dietary guidelines draw praise, ire; a look at Brazil’s

Q&A: Michael Pollan

How can we get America cooking?