A few years ago, everyone was carb-phobic. Before that Americans went to great lengths to avoid fat. Could processed goods be the next “fear food?”

I found this post on a nutrition blog I follow particularly disconcerting because the person writing in with a question was wondering whether they were better off getting their vitamin D and calcium from supplements after finding out that soy milk is a processed food.

Fortunately, the RD who runs this blog advised that a completely “unprocessed” diet isn’t exactly practical and that where the line is drawn between processed and unprocessed is somewhat arbitrary. She points to these points from Michael Pollan’s Food Rules as a way of offering guidance:

1. Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize.

2. Don’t eat cereal that changes the color of your milk.

3. Eat more food that comes without packaging.

4. Look for foods with fewer than 5 ingredients in the ingredient list.

5. Avoid things made with ingredients that you don’t recognize as food.

6. Eat more whole intact grains and less flour.

7. Eat most of your fruit whole and unprocessed.

8. Eat at least some of your vegetables raw every day.

PS—speaking of Michael Pollan, he was on Democracy Now today—definitely worth a listen!

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