Researchers set out to replicate the “Daniel Fast,” the biblical nutrition trial outlined in Daniel 1:8-16.
Images thanks to Nickolay and translation help from my favorite biblical Hebrew scholar, Laura Greger (my mom! :)
Epidemiological studies, particularly those like EPIC following such large populations, can offer tremendous insight into critical public health questions, such as what should and shouldn't eat to minimize our risk of falling prey to the epidemics of chronic disease currently plaguing the world. But the gold standard is an interventional study, where you put people on a certain diet and track what happens.
It’s easy to get people to make little changes—especially if you pay them. Getting people to add grape juice to their daily diet, or some nuts, as we've seen, is a piece of cake— especially if that's what you're trying to get people to eat!
But increasingly we’re seeing evidence that to see big changes in our health, we need to see achieve big changes in our diet. Like with the cholesterol. You want to lower your risk, sure you can tweak, but if you want to eliminate your risk, or reverse the disease you have you really have to take healthy eating seriously. But how are you going to get people to commit to a healthy diet? Tell them the bible told them to.
Chapter 1, verses 8-16, of the prophet Daniel best known for his lion’s den rather than his budding role as nutritional scientist. He resolved not to defile himself with the king's meat. The official said no way, and so he told the guard: look, put it to the test. Round up some test subjects put them on a plant-based diet and see how they do. (In the King James version they use the word "vegetables," but the original Hebrew-- ha-zay-row-eem— can translate into a broader definition). And what do you know they looked healthier and better nourished than whatever the king used to be feeding them, and so Daniel got his veggies.
2700 years later, researchers at the University of Memphis decided it was time to try to replicate the study. stay tuned, for tomorrow's conclusion.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.
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The EPIC study mentioned in the beginning is a reference to Meat and Weight Gain in the PANACEA Study, the grape juice study is from Fat Burning Via Flavonoids and the nut study from Nuts and Obesity: The Weight of Evidence. For more on the "moderation kills" concept, check out videos like Heart Attacks and Cholesterol: Dying Under Normal Circumstances and Trans Fat, Saturated Fat, and Cholesterol: Tolerable Upper Intake of Zero. Stay tuned for Monday's Biblical Daniel Fast Put to the Test.
For some context, please check out my associated blog post: Biblical Daniel Fast Tested.
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