Monday, June 14, 2010

“Nutrition in the Bible”

On Valentines Day, 2008 I began to discover the importance of following our Lord’s wise nutritional counsel given to man at creation (see Genesis 1:29). I enjoyed the evening with my lovely wife, Doloris. She was arranging the Valentine bouquet I bought her to celebrate almost fifty years of wedded bliss when a sharp pain stabbed my right eye socket. Hoping to relieve the pain, I lay down on the floor. “I think I’m passing out,” I mumbled.
When I awoke, an EMT informed me that I had suffered a mild stroke. After four days in the hospital, with multiple hi-tech tests, I went home with the deep conviction that God really did know what He was talking about when he gave our first parents a totally plant based diet.
We had been on a “mostly” vegan diet for a few years, but many, many years of poor diet and insufficient exercise had taken their toll. My parents owned a Jersey cow. The family’s high fat milk, cottage cheese, and ice cream diet was one I continued as an adult. It is sad that professed
Bible believing Christians often ignore the lessons of Scripture, and the prophetic counsel. Often we are moved to action only when disease strikes.
Health is our own responsibility – not the doctor’s. We can live by the principles of God’s word, or we can choose to let our taste buds drag us into the toxic American diet which diminishes our brain function, weakens our bodies, and ends up sending us to the doctor. At each step in this process, our Lord is grieved and our effectiveness in His service is diminished.
Barbara Starfield, MD, one of the most well regarded voices in medicine, stated that physician error, medication error, and adverse events from drugs or surgery kill 225,400 people a year.
This means our health care system is the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer (see Journal of the American Medical Association, 284 2000). If we educate ourselves about our bodies, and do all we can to keep them in health, the doctor may be an important (and occasional) ally in our search for optimum health. But if we make the doctor responsible for making us healthy, we are unwise.
The China Study, a book based on the research of T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University , is the most comprehensive study in nutrition ever conducted. Dr. Campbell states, “One of the most fortunate findings from the mountain of nutritional research I’ve encountered is that good food and good health is simple…The recommendations coming from the published literature are so simple that I can state them in one sentence: eat a whole foods, plant based diet, while minimizing the consumption of refined foods, added salt and added fats” (page 242). His research reveals that animal protein is implicated in the initiation and growth of cancer. In experimental animals cancer was initiated by animal protein and turned off by switching to plant based protein (see the chapter “Turning off Cancer” on page 43 of the China Study).
The Eden Diet was fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, and later, vegetables. After sin entered, more challenging exercise was added to preserve man’s health. Note that the pre-flood giants lived nearly nine hundred years (see Genesis, chapter 5). The post-flood lack of vegetation led God to give mankind permission to eat the flesh of the clean animals that were preserved in the ark, but they were instructed not to eat the blood (see Genesis 9:3, 4). Genesis 11 and Acts 15:19, 20 chronicle the post-flood decrease in life-span. Our sedentary life style, our high sugar, high fat, and refined foods diets have led to a host of health problems. The young feel invincible, but with age we reap what we have sown.
Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD, formerly a thoracic surgeon at the famed Cleveland Clinic, in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, tells us how we can, by diet alone, prevent and reverse America ’s number one killer, heart disease. His plan is simple.
Avoid the following: 1) Anything with a face or a mother. 2) Dairy products. 3) Oils.
4) Refined grains and sugars. 5) Nuts (for those with heart disease).
Recommended foods: 1) Vegetables. 2) Legumes. 3) Whole grains. 4) Fruits. 5) Water. 6) If needed, a few supplements such as Vitamin B12.
The latest research shows that 70% of Americans have low levels of vitamin D because of our indoor lifestyle. Low levels are implicated in various lifestyle diseases.
Jesus sympathizes with us in our suffering, He spent more time in ministering to the sick and oppressed than in preaching or teaching. God is the creator of the whole person and He desires us to excel in all areas of our lives and service. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8: 32, 36).
This speaks to every area of our lives: physical, mental, social and spiritual freedom.
God through Paul tells us to study to “show ourselves approved unto God” (2 Timothy 2:15).
The laws of health are as much God’s laws as the Ten Commandments. Poor health interferes with the communication of the Holy Spirit to us through the nerves of our brains. This in turn inhibits our witness and service for God. “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2).
Daniel and his friends placed their lives on the line by insisting on vegan fare over the delicacies of the kings table (see Daniel 1). God added his abundant blessing to this Eden fare. Their faithfulness to Him, in everything, including such a “small” issue, elevated them to the highest positions of authority and influence in the “super-power” of Babylon .
“Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children. Godliness – Godlikeness – is the goal to be reached. Before the student there is opened a path of continual progress. He has an object to achieve, a standard to attain, that includes everything good, and pure, and noble. He will advance as far as possible in every branch of true knowledge” (Ellen White, Education page 18). --Lloyd Knecht
For a full transcript of the article from which this Insights was excerpted, email