On my recent book tour, I spoke with a number of people about my take on a positive direction for the American diet. I’ve been semi-vegan for six years and in the book (called “VB6,” for Vegan Before 6 p.m. ), I argue that this strategy, or one like it, can move us toward better health.
In the last 30 years, researchers have graduated from the notion that Americans should “eat less fat, especially saturated fat” — the catchphrase of ’80s nutritionists — to widespread agreement that we eat too few unprocessed plants and too much hyperprocessed food, especially food containing sugar and those carbohydrates that our bodies convert rapidly to sugar. There is also compelling evidence that we eat too many animal products (something like 600 pounds per person per year) and too much salt.
None of this is simple. For one thing, we still have much to learn about the composition of plants and the aspects of them that are good for us , although it’s becoming clear that they’re beneficial not so much as a combination of nutrients but as the right package of nourishment, which we might as well call real food. In other words,you’re better off eating a carrot than the beta-carotene that was once thought to be its most beneficial “ingredient.”
Read the rest of this column, here.