The Flaw in Modern Diets
Modern diets (both popular and medical) often vilify foods that the Bible calls “good” (I will share seven “forbidden foods” below).
The currently promoted and popular low carb ketogenic diet is one example. There are definitely some good reasons to curb your carbs — especially the unhealthy ones. But the Bible speaks highly of some of these “forbidden” calories.
We should take care to not call evil that which God has called good — even if for a good reason (to lose weight).
This should evoke caution in choosing any life-style diet which forbids “God approved” foods.
Science Doesn’t Trump The Bible
To be fair, there is science behind the ketogenic diet. It can help you lose weight (which promotes health).
But science is not all knowing, like God. Men interpret data through fallen eyes; and as new information becomes available, scientists must occasionally change their opinions completely. And sometimes, people actually manipulate facts to support an agenda. The Bible, on the other hand, is fully reliable, all the time.
I Timothy 4:3-4 warns about forbidding food that God has created to be received with thanksgiving. Of course the context concerns religious worship. Yet the truth remains. We should not reject the good food God has created to be enjoyed. If certain foods were harmful, God would have warned us. [In fact, He did. But that is another post.]
But the opposite is true with at least seven foods which modern diets vilify. God not only approves these seven foods, but He actually calls them good — and eats them while on earth.
Some of these “forbidden foods” are making a comeback (due to new science) — but the Bible has always approved them. And always will.
7 Forbidden Foods the Bible Actually Approves
One: Grains and Bread
I’ll start with grains because this is one of the food groups vilified under the ketogenic diet. Yet God gave grains as food at creation and deemed them a staple after the fall. Learn more about The Evolution of Food here. Whole grains are full of healthy carbohydrates and super nutrition. Another reason (besides being a carb) grains have a bad reputation is because they contain “phytic acid” and sprout inhibitors, which men have found harmful. The natural traditional solution to this problem is to soak or sprout grains and seeds prior to use and/or use natural fermentation techniques prior to using the flour produced from the grains. In addition, toxic pesticides, herbicides, and GMOs further add to the dangers of grains. Best practice is to use organically grown ancient grains (heirloom varieties that produce seed after their own kind. See Genesis 1:11-12, 29).
The ketogenic diet also vilifies bread, a grain product. Yet all through the Bible, God says bread is good. In fact, Jesus eats bread and commands that His followers eat bread in remembrance of Him. Learn more about the Foods Jesus Actually Ate here. In fact, bread is such a staple of life, the Bible uses “bread of life” as a metaphor for eternal life. If you think bread is bad — it may be time to rethink your stance. It is true that modern day bread lacks the nutritious elements of the bread God designed from the beginning (and it often contains harmful ingredients). But we shouldn’t throw it out all together. Rather we should eat traditionally prepared and fermented bread, using whole (ancient) grains, not man modified and manipulated grains.
Two: Milk and Dairy
Perhaps a friend or health coach has suggested: “You’re not a cow, therefore you should not be drinking cow’s milk.” Many people have gone dairy-free because they believe milk and dairy are bad. Instead they create “almond milk” or “soy milk” to put on their cereal or in their coffee. Milk and dairy are traditional foods. And the Bible condones their consumption.
- In a theophany, Christ ate dairy products Himself (What Did Jesus Actually Eat?).
- Proverbs 27:27 tells us that an abundance of goat’s milk for food is a blessing from God.
- Exodus 33:3 and other verses speak well of milk, using it as a description of the promised land, flowing with milk and honey.
So if dairy isn’t bad, why does it have such a bad reputation and why are there so many dairy allergies today?
Again, man has corrupted that which God gave. I’ll be brief here, discussing this in further detail in future posts. When man stopped caring for how they raised their cattle, the cattle started producing dangerous milk. In response, scientists developed a system of cooking the milk (pasteurization) to kill the pathogens. [When they should have improved the condition of their herds.] Pasteurization also killed important enzymes and healthy bacteria in the milk, destroying the nutritional value. This and other changes (homogenization, poor diet, added hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs) produced a milk that was unfit for human consumption, yet was still passed off as food. And modern breeding practices caused a toxin called casein to develop in the milk. All these together spelled disaster for God’s good food, milk. But there is a solution.
Raw, fermented, A2 (casein free) milk from grass-fed cows (or goats) grown with organic farming methods — produces wonderfully healthy dairy today. Find some real milk near you.
Most diets recognize honey as a safe sweetener when used in moderation. But there is one group of people who refuse to eat honey. Vegans see honey as an animal product and therefore reject it. Yet the Bible speaks glowingly of honey.
- Proverbs 24:13 says, “Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.” The passage then compares honey to wisdom for the soul.
- Solomon uses honey to describe the sweetness of his new bride’s lips (SoS 4:11).
- Honey has the power to “brighten the eyes” of those who partake. (I Samuel 14:29).
God has not rejected honey; He has honored it. We too should not refuse such a wonderful gift from God. Honey has much nutrition and has some amazing properties to ward off infection and disease, especially raw Manuka honey.
I have already written extensively on this topic, so I’ll be extra brief here. There are many diets and health gurus who advocate abstaining from wine (or alcohol). But the Bible speaks well of wine.
- God gave wine in moderation as a gift to gladden man’s heart.
- Wine is a picture of abundance and blessing. Jesus demonstrates this when He turns water into wine at the wedding at Cana.
- Jesus not only drank wine, He also commanded the church to drink wine in remembrance of Him.
For a thorough treatment of this topic (including warnings of excess) see Almost Every You Need to Know About God and Alcohol.
Jesus was not a vegetarian. He ate beef, lamb, and fish. And why shouldn’t He eat meat? God gave it as food in Genesis 9:3. We should not forbid this substance which God has given and ordained. A vegetarian diet is not an optimal choice. It is almost impossible to get all the nutrition we need from plant food. That doesn’t mean there are not times and purposes for abstaining from meat. But it is not the best life-style choice.
Read more about why Meat (not vegetarianism) is a Gift from God to Be Enjoyed.
Here is a WRONG diet recommendation from the mainstream medical establishment based on so-called science. Thankfully, the medical elite has reconsidered this position, encouraging the use of salt again. Salt is a necessary nutrient for the human body. It can balance ph levels in the body, help allergies, aid blood sugar levels, improve sleep, cause a sense of emotional wellness, and so much more. But I don’t need any scientific studies to tell me that the medical establishment had this one dead wrong. All I had to do was open my Bible.
- Mark 9:50 and Luke 14:34 say it straight out: “Salt is good.”
- Matthew 5:13 calls believers the “salt of the earth.” This is a compliment and a charge to do what salt does: make bland things better and preserve the good.
- Colossians 4:6 defines graceful speech as “seasoned with salt.”
If salt were bad, the Bible would not call it good. And nowhere in the Bible does it say to use salt in moderation (but our tastebuds do warn us naturally). To forbid salt in the name of science is to attack life itself. This is why we need to be careful to believe what the medical establishment says without filtering it through the truth of the Bible. But to be fair — not ALL salt is good. Again, man has corrupted God’s design. In nature, salt forms with many trace minerals that are vital to health. Most salt sold in the stores (including most sea salt) has been stripped of its life-giving minerals for the sake of profit. Though, out of necessity, some of the nutrients are added back in (such as iodine). But the body needs all the accompanying minerals to use the salt properly. Choose Celtic Sea Salt; Himalayan Sea Salt; Real Salt™; or some other salt with its naturally occurring minerals.
And finally fats, another modern day forbidden food that faulty science has wrong accused. In the 1980’s, the U.S. put out dietary guidelines vilifying fat, especially saturated fat. Low fat food and diets became popular. And today, Health.gov still recommends “eating styles that emphasize unsaturated fats and are low in saturated fat.” They claim, “This recommendation is based on scientific evidence that replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fats is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.” New studies prove this theory false. But it is not uncommon to find opposing views in the medical establishment and among alternative health gurus. This is why we must determine truth by studying the Bible. God created this world. We can trust Him. Even with our fats.
Unfortunately, these saturated fats that are vilified include healthy oils like: butter, coconut oil, cream, and milk fat — all natural God-given sources of necessary fats. And the promoted unsaturated fats include dangerous oils like: corn oil, safflower oil, and canola oil, which are subject to rancidity (and cause free radical damage to the body) due to their chemical make up. And for full disclosure, there are some (saturated) animal fats that are forbidden in Scripture as well as some healthy unsaturated fats.
The real concern is not whether the fat is saturated or unsaturated, but if is it healthy (and promoted by God). And I have a simple way you can test. Butter, coconut oil, cream, and milk fat are simple to extract from food. The average person on the other hand could not extract corn oil, safflower oil, or canola oil. It occurs in minute quantities in these plants — and is not designed to be extracted for food. Olive oil (an unsaturated fat), on the other hand is mentioned throughout the Bible as a healthy oil. And it too is easy to extract. Stick with the healthy oils. Stay away from the rest. This topic is much larger than can be addressed here, but our next post will go into more details about fats.
Enjoy the Food God Has Created
If you’ve been rejecting any of these good foods that God has created to be enjoyed, it time to make a change. Your health could depend upon it. God really does care about the foods you eat. He wants you to be healthy. Sick is not normal. Our bodies have the ability to heal themselves when they have all the nutrients (and the proper environment) that God has designed.
This post sums up the topic of eating the foods that God has created to be enjoyed — and not rejecting them. Next we will delve into some specific prohibitions concerning the eating of fat and blood in the Bible.
Next: What the Bible Says About Eating Fat and Blood
Return to: Biblical Health Study
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Reformed Health exists so you can take control of your own health and be all that God has designed you to be. The information shared on Reformed Health is the sole opinion of the author and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. None or our claims have been evaluated by the FDA or any other government organization. We are not medical doctors, nor do we have any medical doctors on staff. If you are having a health emergency, please call 911, contact your doctor, or visit a local emergency room. Always consult your doctor before engaging in any new exercise regime.
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