Eat Real Food

This page will provides tools and resources as you strive to learn more about the benefits of healthy eating and take the steps to adopt a healthy building diet.

Michael Pollan is the author of five books including the Omnivores Dilemma and In Defense of Food where he gives us his rules for healthy eating.  These seven words he says, form the basis of a healthy diet, but what do they mean? 

 “Eat Food” means to eat real food -- vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins while avoiding what Pollan calls "edible food-like substances."  What you ask is an edible food-like substance? 

Pollan uses these guidelines:

  • Don't eat food with more than five ingredients, or with ingredients you can't pronounce, or that contain high-fructose corn syrup (which serves as a 'marker' indicating that the food is highly processed).
  • Eat only food that you have cooked, or could cook.
  • Eat only food that your great, great grandmother would recognize as food.

By shopping the perimeter of the grocery store or better yet shopping at your local farmers’ market we avoid many of these food-like substances.  Most of the time real food does not have a label.  Eating this way will simplify your diet, reduce chronic illnesses and allow you to eat closer to the farm. Eat the foods you want to eat that are, in general, closest to the way you might encounter them at their source. Instead of always making the best choice, just make the better choice.

“Not too much” 

Portion sizes along with waist sizes have increased significantly since the 50’s.  We eat out more frequently and fast food portion sizes have increased by 75%!  We eat mindlessly, which encourages larger portions as we are unaware of just how much food is passing between our lips. Controlling portion sizes is critical to maintaining a healthy weight.  Pollan gives us some simple rules here as well.

  • Don't eat alone.
  • Don't eat in front of the TV.
  • Don't eat seconds.
  • Try to eat more slowly, use a smaller plate.
  • Perhaps most importantly, pay more and eat less. "I believe that the better quality food you eat, the less you need to feel satisfied."

Eat Right Ontario has a great Handy Servings Sizes Chart that you can download for your own personal use at:  You will also find other great information on managing portion sizes

“Mostly plants” Fill ¾ of your plate with plants (vegetables (1/2 the plate), fruits, grains and legumes to ensure a filling and nutrient filled meal.  Eating a wide variety of these foods as the basis for our diet will ensure that we are getting the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you require. 

If you eat meat it make it a side dish not the main course.

Three simple guidelines to help us to build healthy eating habits.  Easy to remember and with a little thought easy to follow.  It does mean we need to cook more but, cooking does not have to be complicated and can become a great activity to involve the whole family.