Finding tips and advice on what to eat and not to eat is easy. Similarly, suggestions on what each food contains, what is beneficial and what is best avoided are also available aplenty. We also find enough on food that provides stamina, enriches beauty and boosts libido.

However, seldom does one find any such direct information on eating sensibly. In the book “Food Rules — An Eater'sManual”, food journalist Michael Pollan condenses his research into three short, sensible rules. Eat food. Not too much and mostly plants. The book covers 64 food principles into a thin volume.

We have selected seven tips that may provide answers on how to eat sensibly:

1) Avoid packaged foods: Packaged food is meant to stay long on the shelves. So they will have to be protected from bacteria, fungi and insects using certain chemical substances and ingredients. All those chemical names on the label like “low cholesterol”, “less sugar”, “reduced sodium”, are vague and exaggerated. The solution is those “if it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, avoid it.”

2) A diet around whole foods: Use wholegrain flour, handmade rice flakes and rice instead of polished varieties. Consume fruits and vegetables like papaya, carrot, pumpkin, cabbage and greens. Avoid meet products but you can have fish once in a while. Pick your daily quota of veggies from at wayside markets.

3) Fermented food: Food items made of fermented rice, milk or legumes are better. Avoid breakfast cereals that change the color of milk. They may contain coloring agents. Have your share of junk food like pizzas but prefer home-made varieties.

4) Sweet foods in Nature: Have seasonal fruits. These natural foods are ready to eat.

5) Eat small portions, s-l-o-w-l-y: Always try to consume small portions. At a buffet, fill your plate but don't go for a second helping. At home, use smaller plates and bowls. Stop eating when you are about 75 per cent full. Eat in a group. This slows down the pace of eating.

6) Fiber-rich foods: All you need a day is three fiber-rich, satisfying meals. Add fried stuff to these. If you want to snack, choose fresh and dried fruits, vegetables and nuts. Eat at the table. Avoid eating at the work desk, in bed, on the sofa or in the car. Don’t eat while watching TV or driving.

7) Sin foods: Ice cream or sweats made of milk products are called sin foods. These are fine once a week but, make it a point to find authentic organic food. Protect yourself from chemicals.