Monday, July 18, 2011


from "Food Rules: An Eater's Manual," by Michael Pollan


PART I: What Should I Eat?
(Eat food.)

RULE #9 - Avoid food products with wordoid "lite" or the terms "low-fat" or "nonfat" in their names.

The forty-year-old campaign to create low- and nonfat versions of traditional foods has been a failure: We've gotten fat on low-fat products. Why? Because removing the fat from foods doesn't necessarily make them nonfattening. Carbohydrates can also make you fat, and many low- and nonfat foods boost the sugars to make up for the loss of flavour. Also, by demonizing one nutrient - fat - we inevitably give a free pass to another, supposedly "good," nutrient - carbohydrates in this case - and then proceed to eat too much of that instead. Since the low-fat campaign began in the late 1970s, Americans actually have been eating more than 500 additional calories per day, most of them in the form of refined carbohydrates like sugar. The result: The average make is 17 pounds heavier and the average female 19 pounds heavier than in the late 1970s. You're better off eating the real thing in moderation than bingeing on the "lite" food products packed with sugars and salt.

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."


  1. When I was young, my mom wouldn't buy fat-free stuff even though I wanted it because she used to say they have to put something else in if they're going to take the fat out. Usually something you can't pronounce.

  2. Courtney:

    It goes to show that your mom knew something was odd about these products back when they were starting to come into the market full force! My sister pointed out to me once how much higher the sugar and chemical content was in these products ~10 years ago. This is one of the "few" food rules I was adhering to for the most part! :)