Food, Home & Lifestyle, Wellness

Eat Mostly Plants

Michael Pollan

Lesson time 13:23 min

Michael walks you through the many benefits that a primarily plant-based diet has to offer. He also offers his take on the controversial topic of GMOs.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Why You Should Eat More Plants • Trust Your Gut • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) • Grow Your Own


[MUSIC PLAYING] - So I found that very few things that all nutritionists agree on, and that is that eating plants is really good for you. And the more plants you eat, the healthier you will be. One study found that if Americans upped their consumption of fruits and vegetables to match the USDA recommended number of portions a day, which is not a lot, in a single year it would save 110,000 lives and savings to the health care system of $32 billion in cardiovascular care alone. Now we don't know if that's because the plants are pushing meat of the plate and maybe meat is the problem or just the plants themselves are really good for you, but we don't have to resolve that question. In this lesson, I'm going to talk about eating plants, mostly plants. That's not to say no meat, it's not to say all plants, but a reasonable balance between the two in favor of plants. [MUSIC PLAYING] So mostly plants, that's the food rule, and how do we do this? Well, this exercise should help. Come up with a veggie-forward meal. Even if you want to include meat, make veggies the star, and I think this will acquaint you with all the potential and the beauty and the great flavor of vegetables. And you don't have to rule out meat. You can use meat to flavor it, but make veggies the star of this meal. So a hallmark of the Western diet is a lot of meat. Processed foods, lots of sugar, lots of meat, and not much whole grains and not many plants. That's the Western diet and in a nutshell. A plant-based diet is tremendously important, not just to your health but to the health of the environment. Start with health. We know that people who eat a pound or more of plants per day have a much lower risk of cancer than people who don't. So antioxidants are one of the most important benefits of eating a plant-based diet, and a variety of antioxidants, because each plant has a different kind, is one of the most important things you can do for your health and, specifically, to prevent cancer. So another benefit from some plants, not all, are omega 3 fatty acids. We associate this nutrient with fish and fish do have omega 3s in abundance, but in fact, leafy greens do, too. And omega 3s very important in many ways, to heart health, to eye health, to mental functioning. They're just one of the most vital nutrients. Omega 3s and omega 6s are both essential fatty acids. That means we need them in our diet. We can't make them ourselves. Omega 3s are anti-inflammatory and omega 6s are pro-inflammatory. Where do you get omega 6s? From grain. Grain is full of omega 6s. Where do you get omega 3s? From green, leafy plants, fish, and animals that have eaten green leafy plants. There's nothing better you can do for your health than to eat more plants and lower the proportion of meat in your diet. Meat also is a tremendous contributor to climate change. Somewhere between a third and 40% of greenhouse gases come from agriculture and the clearing of land to mak...

About the Instructor

For more than 30 years, award-winning journalist Michael Pollan has explored the intersection of humans and nature—including groundbreaking probes of the food we eat. Now the NYT bestselling author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” teaches you how to ditch fad diets and eat with intention. From following the food chain to fixing dinner, learn to make choices that reflect what’s important to you.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Michael Pollan

Acclaimed author Michael Pollan teaches you what he’s spent decades researching: how to eat more ethically, healthfully, and sustainably.

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