Is it just me or is anyone else getting tired of the “experts” telling us what we should and shouldn’t eat? It’s true that obesity is on the rise and that we need to take better care of our bodies. After all, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost, and in fact, they’re not really “ours” at all. They belong to God, and as such, we should care for them much better than we do. But honestly, it’s not as easy as it may seem.
For years, the experts were telling us to avoid carbs at all cost. So, we avoided carbs and guess what? Obesity and poor health continued to rise. So, then they changed gears to fats. Whatever you do, don’t eat fat. Fat will make you fat! So the market exploded with low-fat everything, yet overall health continued to deteriorate. Then it was sodium. After that, dairy. And now they’re saying that fats actually are good for us but grains, especially wheat, should be completely eliminated from our diets. What?
It seems to me that if these scientists and experts can’t agree on what is healthy and what isn’t, I probably shouldn’t heed their advice. After all, it changes from month to month and year to year, so do they really know what they’re talking about, or are they just creating fads to sell more weight loss shakes and exercise equipment? The world is messed up!
Just the other day I was speaking with someone about health matters, and she basically condemned everything on my regular menu, even though I make an effort to eat healthy. “You shouldn’t drink bone broth if it’s not from organic, grass-fed sources. Grains are bad for you. The grains now days are processed so much that they’ve lost all their nutrition. Just stay away from them. Oh, and you shouldn’t eat those fruits or vegetables either because they’ve been sprayed with all kinds of chemicals and insecticides.” Honestly, by the time the conversation was done, I found myself asking, “Well, what can I eat?”
Let’s face it, in a perfect world, our foods would be grown naturally without over-processing and the use of inferior feed and chemicals. But, this isn’t a perfect world, and not all of us can grow our own food or afford to eat only organic. So, what do we do? Which foods are good for us and which ones are bad, and how can we know the difference? How can we take care of our temples in a day and age of so much conflicting information?
In times of confusion, there are two Bible verses I cling to. While these verses do not spell out what to eat and what to avoid, they offer sound principles to guide us in every area of our lives, including our diet.
The first part of Philippians 4:5 says, Let your moderation be known unto all men. In fact, self-control (also known as temperance) is listed among the fruit of the Spirit. In relation to our diet this verse reminds us that we should eat in moderation. Not only should we control our overall portions, but we should also strive to eat a balance of healthy proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Too much of one without the others will result in health issues. Our bodies need balance, not an overdose of one particular thing. So, eat a variety of healthy foods, but eat them in moderation.
Twice in the book of I Corinthians, Paul made the statement, All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient. In other words, all things are allowed, but not all things are beneficial. When it comes to our diets, there are no forbidden foods. With the exception of Jewish law, you won’t find a verse in the Bible that says, “Don’t eat this food.” But just because something is allowed doesn’t mean that it’s good for us. This is where we must allow the Spirit to take control and to guide us in our daily walk toward better health. We know that an apple is better for us than a piece of chocolate cake (though the cake probably tastes better). We understand that too much caffeine can wreak havoc on the body. We know what foods are beneficial to our bodies and which ones will cause problems, so with that knowledge, we must decide to abstain from those things that are not beneficial, or at least, decide to eat them in moderation.
Yes, the information in the health industry today is vast, overwhelming and constantly changing. Fortunately, the Word of God never changes, and the principles that I’ve pointed out in this post are as relevant today as they were at the time they were written. We don’t need crash diets or crazy fads to improve our health. We need only take these two principles to heart. Do all things in moderation. And do those things that we know are beneficial. I guess it’s not really that difficult after all.
What steps are you taking to improve your health?