#header-inner { margin: auto; }

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

How Then Should We Eat?

I really enjoy reading about health and nutrition. If I do not put the Lord first each day, even before I get out of bed, then I am in danger of not reading the Word at all. There is always a book, article, or web page with something interesting to learn about the human body.

There is so much information available, and so much of it is conflicting. I know one reason I read so much is that I want answers. I want to know for sure what is best for my body. I have realized that I live in a fallen world and so nothing will ever be perfect. I will never have perfect health. My body will eventually weaken and return to dust. I know that, but I still desire to take good care of the vessel the Lord has given me. I desire to provide the best nourishment I can for my children. Plus, the human body absolutely fascinates me. I love learning about how my body is affected by what I eat, how I exercise, and the environment around me.

My health interests have shifted toward biblical nutrition in the past two years. I read many secular publications on health, but I really study books having a God-centered focus. What else really matters? I wanted to compare The Maker's Diet by Dr. Jordan Rubin and Your Body, God's Temple by Dr. Ronald Kleyn. The latter is something I picked up from a clinic I used to call on in Fresno; the former is written by a well-known naturopath.

While there are many differences between the two books (which I am using to represent two nutritional schools of thought), the main discrepancy between the two is as follows: Rubin advocates a diet rich in protein/animal foods, while Kleyn believes we should all eat mainly plant foods.

Conventional medical research is on the side of traditional vegetarianism. In 1968, Danish researchers replicated the "Daniel Diet" (Daniel 1- He and his friends refused to eat the king's delicacies, subsisting on only vegetables and water for 10 days. They appeared healthier and stronger than those who ate meat the whole time and thus everyone in the kingdom was put on a vegetarian diet). The Danish researchers placed a group on men on three eating plans: first, they ate a mixed diet of meat and vegetables; then, they ate a high animal-protein diet; finally, they were fed a strict vegetarian diet. After diet period, they were tested for endurance on a stationary bicycle. Their endurance was more than double after the vegetarian diet.

Another medical fact I find intriguing is this: "Carnivores have short, smooth intestinal tracts which allow them to rapidly digest and eliminate the decomposing flesh. Our intestinal tact is long and rippled" (Kleyn 97). It appears that the Lord designed our bodies for a vegetarian-centered diet.

Kleyn also draws upon numerous clinical studies that show how hypertension, heart disease, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, obesity, and other diseases are lessened or eliminated by switching to a strict vegetarian diet.

His dietary conclusions are to reduce our intake of animal fats and replace most of our calories with those found in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain starches, beans and tofu, raw nuts and seeds, and extra-virgin olive and coconut oils. Kleyn believes it is biblical to exercise moderation and prudence with animal products in our diet.

Dr. Jordan Rubin believes that our diet should include a substantial percentage of animal products. His own amazing journey to health was achieved through this way of eating. He believes that the "Levitical Diet" (Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14) take precedence over "The Genesis Diet" or "The Daniel Diet".

In Leviticus 11, God gives the Israelites a new diet, which includes meat from clean animals, fish with fins and scales, and clean birds. The Israelites were not to eat unclean animals, birds, or fish, including pork and shellfish.

Dr. Rubin also advocates consumption of raw milk and low-carbohydrate, high fiber foods like cruciferous vegetables, nuts, and seeds. He believes we should add fermented foods to our diet to help with digestion. Healthy saturated fats likes high-vitamin butter and coconut oil stimulate our immune systems.
Dr. Rubin's work is also rich with scientific evidence supporting his case. Instead of using conventional medical research, Dr. Rubin presents his readers with interesting facts about the body and food. For example, on p.153, he states "Eggs contain all known nutrients except for vitamin C...they can actually help reduce the risk of both heart disease and cancer". Also, "Raw liver figures prominently n many world-renowned alternatice cancer protocols, including the Kelley and Gerson programs" (Rubin 153).

Dr. Rubin's book is a fascinating read. I just studied it again recently, after my girlfriend turned me onto the wonderful world of holistic nutrition. Dr. Rubin's ideas correlate with Dr. Weston A. Price's research from the 1930's. Whole foods, with an emphasis on organic animal products, promote health and longevity. Dr. Rubin's work is intriguing because of all of the information about how nutrition affects the human body. I would love to lend out my copy to anyone who is interested.

While this comparison is anemic compared to what I wish I had time for, the conclusions I
have drawn are these:

1. Organic food is best for my family
2. Whole, unprocessed animal foods will contribute to my health
3. Organic fruits and vegetables should make up the bulk of my diet
in order to get the essential vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber they contain.
4. Starches should be unprocessed and whole and should be eaten in moderation.
5. Everything should be eaten in moderation, and for the purpose of sustanance.

My Creator desires that I serve Him to the best of my ability, which includes being a godly wife and mother. I am to be constantly growing in my walk as a result of progressive sanctification. I am to raise my children for Him and have strength to positively impact others for the Kingdom. In order to do this, I must treat my body and the bodies of my family as temples (and prayerfully, eventual temples) of the Holy Spirit.

God has put everything on this earth for our benefit and because of Jesus Christ, nothing is unclean as long as it is used properly and with wisdom. However, there are "better" choices I can make to protect my health. I encourage you to seek out God's wisdom in your health and the health of your family. He has much to say on the subject.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails