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Ryder Fuhrman

Professor Lohmeyer
English 101
22 November 2016

Three Rules Isnt All It Takes

Bethenny Frankel proclaimed that, Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are
good investments. I believe that this quote can have a lot of meaning to anyone that reads it.
People everyday take for granted the health choices they make. They arent worried about their
health until something bad happens to them. Then, health becomes their number one priority.
Michael Pollan made this realization and declared that we need to escape the western diet.
Michael realized that we need to improve our diets in order to avoid getting these illnesses. He
also went on to describe several poor eating choices that could have been made and he describes
the importance of wholefoods. These three rules include: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.
The one thing where Pollan goes wrong, in my opinion, is that he takes it to the extreme and
forgets to mention the other precautions that can be taken to prevent such illnesses. He doesnt
mention that exercise is very important as well. He also doesnt mention the importance of other
food groups to a persons diet. I believe that there is more to living a healthy lifestyle and eating
healthy than just following Pollans three rules.
There are a couple people that shared their ideas on Pollans three rules. Eve Adamson
has some choice words to say about Pollans three rules. People love to talk about his pithy
pronouncements on how we should eat(Adamson, 1). She is proclaiming that people are very

interested in what he has to say. His ideas are a very discussed topic. The Houston Chronicle also
had some comments to be made about these rules. But in the last few decades, we seem to have
lost that old cultural know-how or maybe its just hard to remember it in our drive-thru world.
We need rules (2). Both of these sources agree that it is important to have rules when it comes
to eating. I agree that there needs to be rules, but I think they might need to be reworded, or
expanded on. Adam Merberg has a different opinion. Ultimately, the overarching rules at which
Pollan arrives (Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.) may well lead a reader to a diet not far
from the scientific mainstream (Merberg, 7). He, among others, thinks that Pollans rules about
healthy eating have some flaws.
Eating a variety of food groups is essential to a healthy diet. I agree with Pollan to an
extent on his third rule. I am not saying it isnt important to eat plants, because it is. Fruits and
vegetables are most definitely important. Fruits in particular are important in supplying the body
with certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and fiber. They can also prevent multiple
diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and several strands of cancer. One thing to remember is
to make sure you consume fresh fruits and stay away from fruit juices. The same goes for
vegetables. They are a great supplier of different vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A, Vitamin C,
and dietary fiber are all examples of vitamins and minerals in vegetables. There are no
vegetables that contain cholesterol. It would also be a very good idea to stay away from different
vegetable juices as well. Stay away from different mixtures of vegetables and sugars. It is
written is his essay that whole foods and industrial foods are the only two food groups Id
consider including in any useful food pyramid (Pollan, 423). This can be very misleading. It is
believed that the traditional food pyramid with 6 different food groups is a very useful food
pyramid. The gray area stands where you interpret whether or not you eat processed versions of

each group. He makes a point that whole foods are healthier than processed. I still think he needs
refer to the benefits of other foods rather than just saying eat more plants.
Although eating plants is important, I believe consuming dairy and meats are also
appropriate. I believe that it is imperative to do this in order to get all of the nutrients your body
needs. I do believe that eating plants as a portion of your diet is important. That is a stance that I
agree with. What I think should have been expanded on were the other food groups that are very
important to a healthy diet. For example, dairy products are a huge part of most peoples diets. I
know that some individuals are lactose intolerant. They still need the nutrients given by dairy
products so they find alternative sources that can give the same effect. There is an inverse
association between the intake of dairy products and hypertension, stroke and colorectal cancer
(Leon, 1). This is one of many reasons as to why dairy can be important to a healthy diet.
Different types of lean meats contribute to a healthy lifestyle. There are most definitely
certain meats that need to be strayed away from. Some of which include: bacon, sausage,
chicken fingers, fish sticks, hot dogs, deli meats, potted meats and spam (Chen, 4). These meats
are ones to stay away from due to the preservatives found throughout them. They may contain
"beef, pork, water, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, salt, dextrose, corn syrup, hydrolyzed milk
protein, sodium phosphate, natural spices, smoke flavoring, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite"
(Boyle,1). Most of these ingredients can be considered as carcinogens, or cancer causing. The
meats that should be more focused on are your lean beef, venison, fresh fish or shellfish, and
eggs. I, being a deer hunter, prefer eating venison over beef or shellfish. It is a leaner meat than
beef and has less fat. It also has more nutrients, proteins, and minerals than beef as well. I am not
saying that beef is bad. I am simply saying that venison may be a healthier choice. It is said that
lean meat can be just as important to a healthy diet as plants.

Another very important component to a healthy lifestyle would have to be exercise. I


understand that Pollans essay is mainly about food, but getting an appropriate amount of
exercise is a very important thing to do in order to stay healthy and prevent chronic illnesses and
obesity. He should have added a fourth rule that pertained to this. Exercising has always been a
huge part of my life. I tend to workout at least three times a week. For people like me, being
healthy isnt that much of an issue. This is a very good example that shows that there is more to a
healthy diet than just eating healthy. As a teenage kid, I do not have a very healthy diet. It isnt
completely disastrous, but it definitely has room for improvement. One reason that I can eat the
way that I do without worrying about weight gain is that I exercise. It is said that being healthy is
seventy percent diet, and thirty percent exercise. Although eating right is a majority of the issue,
getting a proper amount of exercise still accounts thirty percent of what an individual does.
Exercising isnt mentioned at all in Pollans three rules. This crosses my mind as an issue. I
believe if someone is to talk about rules to follow for preventing chronic illness, they need to
mention physical activity somewhere on the list. It is possible for someone to eat healthy
everyday with no physical activity to still be overweight. If someone were to consume the same
foods as I do and undergo the same eating habits with no physical activity whatsoever, they
would most likely be overweight with at least one chronic illness such as diabetes, hypertension,
and heart disease. Eating healthy is a majority of the issue, but that doesnt mean that it is the
whole issue.
I believe a high metabolism can substitute for eating a healthy diet as well. This is a
statement that is believed by individuals everywhere. It isnt as common in middle age humans
as it is in teenagers and younger. Younger kids tend to have higher metabolisms. This is why
some teenagers and adolescents can eat as much as they want and not gain a pound. It doesnt

matter what they consume, they just dont gain any weight. As someone grows older, their
metabolism tends to slow and it gets easier and easier to gain weight. This is why it is important
to stay physically active and get into good eating habits at a young age. It is helpful to get a
headstart on your eating habits so you know how to do so and how to maintain yourself when
you get older. A healthy diet and a good amount of exercise can lead to a high metabolism. A
high metabolism can help in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
There are far more aspects to living a healthy lifestyle than the three rules portrayed by
Michael Pollan. People dont usually pay attention to their health, as described above. They are
too focused on what is on television next, or who is winning the ball game. Once we, as humans,
find out how important our health is, these chronic disease rates will go down. They might not go
down instantly, but there will be a noticeable change as time goes on. Eating a variety of food
groups and getting a good amount of exercise are crucial to staying healthy. It also helps to have
a high metabolism. Some individuals arent as lucky as others to have one, but it definitely helps.
These rules are good to live by, but different people should look further into eating healthy, than
just them.

Works Cited

Leon, Eva Luis Alvarez. "Dairy Products and Health: A Review of the Epidemiological Evidence
| British Journal of Nutrition | Cambridge Core." Cambridge Core. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/dairy-productsand-health-a-review-of-the-epidemiologicalevidence/F3C8FADE4CE4399C80E282F130ED136D

Chin, Brittany. "Whole Foods vs. Processed Foods: Why Less Is Actually Better." Food &
Nutrition. N.p., 8 May 2013. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.
http://www.foodandnutrition.org/Stone-Soup/August-2013/Whole-Foods-vs-Processed-FoodsWhy-less-is-actually-better/

Boyle, Elizabeth. "Ingredients in Processed Meat Products." N.p., Mar. 1995. Web.
https://www.asi.k-state.edu/doc/meat-science/ingredients-in-processed-meat-products.pdf
Eve Adamson. "Michael Pollan: Three Simple Rules for Eating." Co Op, Stronger Together. N.p.,
2016. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.
http://strongertogether.coop/food-lifestyle/michael-pollan-three-simple-rules-for-eating

Houston Chronicle Houston Chronicle, January 23, 2010. "How to Eat." Michael Pollan. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.
http://michaelpollan.com/reviews/how-to-eat/

Michael Pollan. "Escape from the Western Diet." They Say/I Say. Ed. Gerald Graff and Cathy
Birkenstein and Russel Durst. 3rd ed. W.W. Norton & Company. 420-427. Print.

Merberg, Adam. "Good Science Isn't Bad for Our Diet: A Critique of Michael Pollan's Food
Politics - The Berkeley Science Review." The Berkeley Science Review. N.p., 2014. Web. 27
Nov. 2016.
http://berkeleysciencereview.com/good-science-isnt-bad-for-our-diet-a-critique-of-michaelpollans-food-politics/