Have you ever decided to start eating a healthier diet but then second-guessed every single food choice because you’re not sure if it’s actually good for you or not? One day the diet gurus tells you it’s all about low-fat…next it’s high protein…then it’s low carb…finally it’s NO carbs (the horror!)
You settle on what you think is the best plan to lose weight and get healthy. Then, as you casually scroll through your newsfeed looking for cute cat videos, you come across the story of a man that ate nothing but junk food for 30 days and STILL managed to lose weight. You wonder if worrying about your food choices is really worth the hassle…or if it even matters what Christians eat.
Amid all the confusion, contradiction, and calorie-counting, what’s a clean living Christian supposed to eat?
Seek and You Shall Find
The answer is pretty simple actually. Try cracking open the good book and searching for some answers there.
Surely, if we can glean life principles about personal and business relationships, handling our emotions, and money management there would be something worthwhile for us to learn regarding how to care for these magnificent bodies that God created.
Well, there is. The Bible is full of information and guidance regarding the human diet. Though the specifics change through time, there is one common denominator that connects all the dietary guidelines that God laid out in his Word.
And it’s a super easy principle.
Ridiculously simple actually.
Are you ready to have your worldview completely transformed?
Here it is…
God directed his followers to eat food that He made. They’re called Whole Foods.
The Food that God Made
Whole foods are defined as minimally processed foods, which are in (or close to) their natural state. These foods do not have chemical additives, preservatives, artificial flavors, colors or any other synthetic ingredients. They are foods in the same form they existed in the Garden of Eden when God first created them.
Here are some examples of whole foods you’ve probably eaten before:
- Vegetables (Eggplant, Peppers, Cucumbers, Squash, Green Beans, etc.) – Genesis 1:29
- Leafy Greens, Root, and Cruciferous Vegetables (Spinach, Kale, Carrots, Potatoes, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, etc.) – Genesis 3:18
- Fruits (Oranges, Apples, Lemons, Limes, Bananas, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Avocados, Olives, etc.) – Genesis 1:29
- Whole Grains (Wheat, Corn, Barley, Rice, Quinoa, Millet, Amaranth, etc.) – Genesis 1:29
- Legumes (Kidney Beans, Black Beans, Peas, Black Eyed Peas, Peanuts, Lentils, etc.) – Genesis 1:29
- Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Cashews, Pine Nuts, Macadamia Nuts, Pistachios, etc.) – Genesis 1:29
- Seeds (Hemp Seed, Flax Seed, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, etc.) – Genesis 1:29
- Animals (Beef, Chicken, Fish, Turkey, etc.) – Genesis 9:3
If you prefer a little nutrition science to back this idea up, researchers compared the pros and cons of every mainstream diet and concluded that eating whole foods, i.e., real food that God made, most of which should be plant-based, is the unifying key to health and longevity.
So, if you’ve been searching for an optimal way of eating, the best place to start is by eating more whole foods, particularly those from plants. And if you’re adding in more whole, God-made foods to your diet, that means you probably need to eat a lot less of the man-made ones.
Can Man Improve on God?
That’s not a rhetorical question.
Think this through for a minute.
If you believe, as I do, that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and omni-present…that HE is the highest intelligence, then does it also make sense to believe that man-made foods are better for us than the ones God made?
Are the highly processed, nutrient deficient “frankenfoods” that man created with his limited intelligence any match for the wholesome, nurturing, vitamin and mineral rich foods that God made in his infinite wisdom? (That’s a solid no for me.)
I believe that God created the first human beings – Adam and Eve.
I believe that the creation story in Genesis is a historical account and not an allegory for evolution.
And because I believe that God is the architect behind the design of the human body, his instructions on what to eat ought to be taken as gospel truth.
But given the typical spread we eat at most church functions, Christians must believe that man-made “food” is superior to God-made food…because that’s mostly what we’re eating on a daily basis.
The High Cost of Ignorance
Rates of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s are increasing at an alarming rate in the US. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 6 in 10 Americans have a chronic disease. According to The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, “[chronic illnesses] account for 81% of hospital admissions; 91% of all prescriptions filled; and 76% of all physician visits”.
The CDC lists poor nutrition as one of the leading risk factors in the development of chronic disease. The other three (tobacco use, lack of physical activity, and alcohol consumption) are all lifestyle related causes.
It’s NOT our genes which are to blame. It’s what we’re putting into our mouths and how we’re choosing to live that is at the root cause of most of our suffering.
“Chronic disease is a foodborne illness. We ate our way into this mess and we must eat our way out” – Dr. Mark Hyman
Reaping and Sowing
Galatians 6:7 says “ Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Our current culture is oriented around eating for pleasure…to “please our flesh”. We’re often more concerned with feeding our appetites than the health effects of the foods we’re choosing. Those choices are literally leading us to broken down bodies and early graves. These same choices are cutting short contributions that we could be making for God’s kingdom. Sadly, most of us are sowing junk food and reaping disease.
Thankfully, God made our bodies incredibly resilient. When we start to shift more towards a whole foods, God-made diet similar to the one in Genesis 1:29, we start to experience vibrant health. In many cases, disease progression stops and may even fully reverse. Skeptics may chalk up curing the incurable to spontaneous remission or even a miracle, but the truth is, people who eat what God calls food are just reaping the benefits of eating the way He designed us to eat.
What Will You Choose? Chronic Illness or Vibrant Health?
What matters most when it comes to Christians (and everyone else) experiencing vibrant health, is what we choose to eat and how we choose to live.
We can bounce between all the mainstream diets and their complex rules or…
We can follow the simple roadmap for diet that God defined in his Word.
We can suffer unnecessarily with all the dreaded diseases of the modern age or…
We can reap abundant life, optimally nourished and prepped to fulfill the purpose for which God created us.
It’s completely our choice.
Now, I’d love to hear from you.
Have you struggled with trying to sort through conflicting and contradictory information around what to eat?
Do you believe that eating in alignment with the guidelines God designed will impact your health for the better?
Are you willing to transition from a diet based on man-made foods to one based on a God-made one?
Share your thoughts!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DALILA JONES STITZ
Founder and CEO, Health Insurrection LLC
Dalila is a native Houstonian and currently lives in Switzerand with her husband and two kids. She received her health coach training through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and Hallelujah Acres and teaches in-home bible studies and online courses.