Michael Pollan gets the prize for brevity, for his seven-word motto to live by, “Eat food. Mostly Plants. Not too much.” Robert Lustig’s version is a little longer, but well worth remembering:
- A Nutrition Facts label means you’re holding a processed food, by definition.
- Liquids should have 5 calories or less per realistic serving.
- Solids should have a minimum of 3 grams of fiber per realistic serving.
- If the phrase “partially hydrogenated” appears on the label, put down whatever it is. You don’t want to eat any of these so-called trans fats* at all.
- If sugar or any form of sugar appears among the first three ingredients, you’re looking at dessert – whatever the food claims to be.
Read Lustig’s book, FAT Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease.
*In the US, food with less than 0.5 gram of trans fat per “serving” can be labelled “0 grams trans fat.” This hidden trans fat adds up, especially when the “serving” size is so unrealistic that you normally eat several “servings” at a sitting. And don’t overlook the additive effect: It’s easy to eat more than the recommended maximum of 2 grams/day when you eat several different foods, each containing less than 0.5 gram per serving.