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! :).

Doctor's Note

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.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

19 responses to “Tightening the Bible Belt

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  1. 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.

    If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.




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  2. I learned the translation as “grain.” It was wheat — spelt or kamut, I think.
    I, personally, like the Biblical angle; though, it’s definitely an approach that should be considered for certain people or situations, only. Religion is too fiery a topic sometimes!




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    1.  Strix: On page http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-best-way-to-boost-serotonin you
      wrote:

        

      ‘This is just on of the reasons why I wonder — struggle
      with — why the No-fat doctors continue to insist that fat is bad. It really
      boggles my mind. In my opinion, at best, they are derelict in recommending no
      fat. I also find it morally incomprehensible, especially since I suffered from
      following that recommendation for years. I just hope I don’t pay any more than I
      already have in the future!’

         

      You were then asked by April Lillie : ‘What side effects
      did you have from the low fat diet?’ You did not answer. I myself then asked
      you. You did not answer. I then asked a second time. Again you did not
      answer.

         

      The civil thing to do is: either answer the question or
      retract the accusation.




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      1. I’ll reply for Strix. I have MS.  The MS diet is notoriously low in fat. I was panicked and willing to do whatever it took heal. Mind you, this is seriously low fat, not no fat. And the same for meat. After 6 weeks I had lost 28 pounds. The problem was this: I weighed 168 at the start. I’d been a fit gymnast and weighed 160 for 40 years. I wasn’t losing fat–I was losing muscle. I was evaporating and my body was eating itself. The theory was that one needed to do this for two years to “come out of it”. I’m certain I would have died before then. Fearful and paranoid, I started to add the dreaded fat back into my diet. It took over a year to rebuild the loss of muscle but I did and as my strength returned I ate more dreaded fat and protein and my symptoms abated.  10 years later I am quite healthy and have more energy than most. I know this: Some people do well on one diet.  Some people do well on another. Mind your own diet. Don’t preach what you don’t understand. Don’t recite another’s philosophy because you have adopted it as your own. Live your own life following the rules that speak to you and let others do the same. Eskimos may live on blubber but I don’t recommend it for others. Studies are studies. Even if a vast majority of people do well on one diet, be assured, there are those that didn’t. YOU don’t know who that might be. Nor does anyone else. 




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  3. This study confuses me, if youll read Daniel 1:15…And after ten days their faces appeared fairer and fatter than all the children that ate of the king’s meat.

    So where does it say that eating the vegetables and drinking water made their waistlines smaller than the people who ate the kings meat?

    Although Daniel 1:20 does say……In every matter of wisdom and understanding, concerning which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters who were in all his realm.




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  4. “Thou shall not for the sake of food destroy the work of God. ….It is right not to eat meat… Thou shall not eat with offense… If just one finds it offensive, it is not right.” -Romans 14:20. One of my fav verses. Do not kill, period. A natural death is not offensive, so would be okay.




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    1. Can you tell me what translation you’re quoting here, I was amazed when I read your post and have never seen that passage so translated.

      “It is right not to eat meant” is this your own insertion?




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  5. Shavua Tov – A good week to one and all!
    The modern translation of zeraim זרעים  is seeds or kernels, but my Artscroll Bible (Tanach) does use “pulse” in the translation of Daniel.
    So Daniel and his companions abstained from the king’s rich food and were healthier eating pulses. This recent nutrition trial gives us a modern version with similar healthy results. Hmmm, I wonder if they were living on hummus and techina?




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  6. I like to see how they worked exactly the foods available  then and of course there are  no details. Replicate as a study a  line  in the bible where they gave them food.  




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  7. awesome, thank YOU for providing this insight into Bible based evidence because many church families are more obese than general public and could benefit from this great. I know I will use it in my many public appearances on preventing and controlling Diabetes and heart disease etc. THANK you!! Nancy Rodriguez RN,BSN, CDE, CEO, LIDERr Wellness Foundation,NFP org ( community, evidence, AND faith based )..& Plant Strong !




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  8. When Daniel refused the king’s meat it means he refused rich foods, probably including meat, sweets, wine, etc. that would tempt him away from his Jewishness toward Babylonianism.




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  9. Apparently there were a lot of vegetarian Jews 2000 years ago who rejected temple sacrifice when Jesus came along to head the group. After Jesus freed the animals from the temple slaughterhouse, the issues of vegetarianism and eating at the table of demons split early Christianity apart. For a great read on this https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&ei=KJGlVJO2KISKyASVyYGYAw&url=http://www.amazon.com/Disciples-Jewish-Christianity-Shaped-Shattered/dp/1937002500&ved=0CB0QFjAA&usg=AFQjCNGkFfy4D1gBZIm4eAOWPuqPglSboQ&sig2=BGe6rDejRX9mN5YBJ5YBlQ




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