I found a breath of fresh diet-advice air recently. It happened in the form of a New York Times article written by Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana State University School of Medicine titled "Simple Rules for Healthy Eating".
Carroll advocates the smart, simple approach to eating that helped me lose 50 pounds and keep it off for more than a decade. Here's the condensed version:
- Get as much of your nutrition as possible from a variety of completely unprocessed foods.
- Eat lightly processed foods less often.
- Eat heavily processed foods even less often.
- Eat as much home-cooked food as possible, which should be prepared according to Rule 1.
- Use salt and fats, including butter and oil, as needed in food preparation. Carroll adds, "the key here is moderation".
- When you eat out, try to eat at restaurants that follow the same rules. If you eat at quality spots, you can easily do this.
- Drink mostly water, but some alcohol, coffee and other beverages are fine. I love how Carroll asserts "you can find a study to show that everything either prevents or causes cancer - alcohol and coffee included. But my take is that the preponderance of evidence supports the inclusion of a moderate consumption of most beverages."
- Treat all beverages with calories in them as you would alcohol. So smart! Drink them in moderation.
- Eat with other people you care about as often as possible. This will make you more likely to eat slowly and put your fork down (one of my favorite diet tips) which will help you consume less. It will also make you happy. Perhaps the best diet advice ever.
This is all pragmatic and DOABLE. There's nothing crazy here. If you are trying to find an approach to eating that works for you, read the entire post.
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