Smart eating made simple

Meet our dietary experts Melina B. Jampolis, grocery shopping

"As a doctor, I believe that more and more Americans are becoming interested in eating nutritionally, in the power of food as medicine. The idea that healthful food can prevent disease isn't just something health nuts are talking about anymore. These days we all want to make better choices. And for many of us, these choices begin when we plan our weekly menus and make out a shopping list. Now we go to the store and we want to know, How will this food affect my family's health?"

-- Melina B. Jampolis, M.D., author of The No Time to Lose Diet (Thomas Nelson, 2007) and health and nutrition adviser to Better Homes and Gardens

Brian Wansink, dining out

"Most people assume they make about 15 food-related decisions a day. In reality, that number is more like 227. It's not just a matter of choosing the soup or the salad; it's, Do I add croutons? Do I finish the whole bowl? Do I go back for seconds? Since we're not always conscious of these decisions, we're easily swayed by cues in the environment -- and the environment almost always nudges us to eat more than we really need to. The good news is that once we become aware of these environmental cues, we can nudge them to work for us rather than against us."

-- Brian Wansink, Ph.D., author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (Bantam, 2006), and director of the Food & Brand Lab at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Mark Bittman, home cooking

"To me, the message is so incredibly simple: The more unprocessed foods you eat -- especially plant-based foods -- the healthier you're going to be. That's it. It doesn't really matter what the plants are, what order you eat them in, or what proportions you eat them in. If you start eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds -- and less of everything else -- you've radically improved your diet. One of the best ways to do this is to cook at home. I'm living proof that cooking doesn't have to be complicated or difficult, and the investment pays off a billion times."

-- Mark Bittman, author of the cookbooks Food Matters (Simon & Schuster, 2009) and How to Cook Everything (Wiley, 2008). He also is a contributor to The New York Times.

David Kessler, snacking

"By now Americans know that there's overwhelmingly strong evidence of a link between diet and health. But at the same time they seem to be asking themselves, Why do I feel so powerless to control what I eat? The fact is, when food is highly processed and loaded and layered with sugar, salt, and fat, it becomes so stimulating that it hijacks the brain -- and our behavior. People are starting to say, 'Enough!' They're ready for a return to authenticity and moderation."

-- David Kessler, M.D., author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite (Rodale, 2009) and a former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Tracee Yablon-Brenner and Jeannette Bessinger, feeding fussy eaters

"We believe that adults and kids alike are naturally designed to eat whole foods in reasonable amounts, according to individual cues for hunger and satiety that change as people grow and develop. Today, one of the biggest challenges for us as parents is to meet these needs by preparing tasty, healthy, real food for our families in the small amounts of time we have available to us each day."

-- Tracee Yablon-Brenner, R.D., and Jeannette Bessinger, certified holistic health counselors, coauthors of Simple Food for Busy Families (Celestial Arts, 2009) and Great Expectations: Best Food for Your Baby & Toddler (Sterling, 2010), and cofounders of realfoodmoms.com

Continued on page 3:  Sneaky supermarket traps at a glance