Tightening the Bible Belt

Tightening the Bible Belt
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Researchers set out to replicate the “Daniel Fast”—the biblical nutrition trial outlined in Daniel 1:8-16.

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Epidemiological studies, particularly those like EPIC, following such large populations, can offer tremendous insight into critical public health questions— such as what we should eat, what we 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 the 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, there’s building evidence that to achieve big changes in our health, we need to achieve big changes in our diet. Moderation kills. Like with cholesterol, right? You want to lower your risk? Sure, you can tweak. But, if you want to eliminate your risk, or reverse the disease, 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, and put them on a plant-based diet. See how they do.” (In the King James version they use the word “vegetables,” but the original Hebrew—hazayroeem—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.

2,700 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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 we should eat, what we 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 the 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, there’s building evidence that to achieve big changes in our health, we need to achieve big changes in our diet. Moderation kills. Like with cholesterol, right? You want to lower your risk? Sure, you can tweak. But, if you want to eliminate your risk, or reverse the disease, 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, and put them on a plant-based diet. See how they do.” (In the King James version they use the word “vegetables,” but the original Hebrew—hazayroeem—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.

2,700 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Nickolay, and translation help from my favorite biblical Hebrew scholar, Laura Greger (my mom! :).

Nota del Doctor

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 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 more context, also check out my associated blog post, Biblical Daniel Fast Tested.

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