How to Eat Better

There has been much discussion about the influence of the food industry on the nutrition information we receive, be it through its funding of research or participation in food policy. As a result there is understandable concern about the validity of some reports and government guidance for healthy eating.

The American Dietary Guidelines, published by the US government, is one such example. Ideally, the guide should be a simple outline of ways to ‘eat better’; but commercial interests have sponsored guidelines that encourage the continued consumption of their products in quantities that are not ideal.

Prior to their publication the Washington Post simplified the healthy eating message with How to eat more healthfully, in 6 easy steps — a much more practical guide than the official document published some days later. The authors, Tamar Haspel and Marion Nestle, are prolific writers on a variety of food policy issues. Tamar Haspel writes Unearthed, a monthly commentary for the Washington Post on divisive food policy issues. Marion Nestle, an authority on nutrition, holds several positions including the Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She writes a blog Food Politics, ‘untainted by industry lobbying, unrestricted by partisan politics’.

Their 6 easy steps were:

1. Eat more plants;

2. Don’t eat more calories than you need;

3. Eat less junk;

4. Eat a variety of foods you enjoy;

5. Find the joy in food;

6. Learn to cook.

I recommend reading the article in full . — How to eat more healthfully, in 6 easy steps

Two National Dietary Guidelines that do provide clear simple messages are:

• The Swedish Dietary Guidelines, which promote ‘whole food’, food that YOU cook. There are three simple messages:

eat MORE of……

eat LESS of……


The Brazilian Dietary Guidelines, like those of Haspel and Nestle above, address the social aspects of food. They also directly confront the food industry with their 10th recommendation, ie:

10.“Be wary of food advertising and marketing”

These 3 guidelines: How to eat more healthfully, in 6 easy steps; Swedish Dietary Guidelines; andBrazilian Dietary Guidelines, all emphasise that to ‘eat better’ you need to cook the majority of your own food. If you are wanting healthy cooking ideas that are simple and tasty, utilising fresh ingredients go toBrowsersGrazers. The recipes are easy to search for — listed underdiet type,meal style andingredients — with the latest posts listed at the bottom of each page.

Happy Healthy Cooking

Clare Sullivan

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