|You don't have to be Christian to benefit from the Jesus diet. After all, Jesus was not a Christian. In fact, you don't even need to believe in God.
Please note: This article has nothing to do with several "Jesus Diet" hits found on google.com. Some of those provide food for thought, while others are just plain foolish.
For numerous reasons, exact knowledge about Joshua ben Joseph, the person, is rather scarce. The New Testament was assembled several centuries after his death, and really was not focused on the historical person's life. In fact, I have read excerpts from later theological texts which "prove" that Jesus neither ate meat nor defecated, both of which seem unlikely.
So, the best guess at what Jesus ate can be obtained from study of Mediterranean cultures, especially the Jewish.
First Conclusion: Jesus never ate ham, not even for Easter or Christmas. People ate pork at the risk of death from trichinosis (a worm infestation).
Second Conclusion: Jesus did eat fish. This is documented in the New Testament. He did not eat any sea food which lacked fins or scales, such as clams, oysters, crabs, lobster, octopus, eel, as these were un-clean by Jewish Kosher laws. Likewise, he did not eat meat from pigs, horses, donkeys, camels, vultures. He could have eaten deer meat, chicken, duck, turkey, eggs, et cetera. Most likely, he did not eat rabbit, squirrel, rat, or any birds of prey.
Kosher laws were originally based on good empirical observation on what foods did or did not cause illness. They are not the latest word on good health practices. Some of the Kosher laws go against modern medical and common sense. However, the concepts of "eat only what is good for you", and "do not kill food animals with avoidable suffering" are certainly good ones.
Third Conclusion: Jesus did not eat four legged meat every day. The average for those times was about once a week to once a month, even for sheep herders. Hunters in the field probably ate more meat. This does NOT mean that Jesus was a vegetarian, as some claim.
Fourth Conclusion: Jesus ate bread; lots and lots of bread.
And it was not "low carb", either.
Fifth Conclusion: Jesus probably ate fruits, vegetables, grains, garbanzo beans, nuts, olives, goat cheese, salted fish (when fresh was not available). He probably also needed salt in his diet, ate honey, but most certainly did not eat refined sugars.
Sixth Conclusion: Jesus was in good physical condition. Any carpenter without power tools, any person who walks a lot, would be in good physical condition.
Seventh Conclusion: Jesus was not a teetotaler, despite what some branches of Christianity now claim. Miracles attributed to him involved loaves, fishes, wine. If you don't belive in miracles, there are several historical facts to consider.
1. For most people, refrigeration is a modern invention.
Fermentation is a natural event unless deliberately avoided, such as by cooking, drying, pickling, and/or salting foods. Canning was not known in biblical days. Fermentation allowed the making of leavened bread and the preservation of grain and fruit juices as beer and wine.
2. For most people living in early communities, drinking water could not be counted on to be clean. Not everyone had access to fresh spring water, or un-polluted streams.
Therefore, use of beer and diluted wine allowed alcohol to fight microbes.
To my knowledge, Jesus did not spell out recipes for his followers. He certainly would not have forbidden or promoted foods that were not known in his time and area. I don't think he knew about soy foods, caffeinated beverages, high fructose sugar, and more.
Modern Christians, and others, do well to learn from recent health publications on paper and on internet, using healthy skepticism. Things which cause obesity are not healthful. Myths which masquerade as truth (such as "low carb" fad diets), should be evaluated and cast aside. Tobacco and other smoking materials are to be avoided, both through direct use and second hand smoke. Sedentary life styles should be offset by at least moderate exercise, such as daily walking. And nothing to excess -- except for parties.
Historical records seem to show cancers and strokes were formerly less common than today. However, some illnesses were not recognized, such as "colic" which probably covered appendicitis, cancer, and food poisoning. Whereas some people lived long in biblical times (ignore Methuselah), life expectancy was much less than in modern countries so that most died before some diseases could get to them.
Still, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts a lot of emphasis on Good Diet and at least Moderate Exercise as keys to good health and longevity. I don't think Jesus would argue against that.
** Diet with FACTS, not MYTHS. **
About the author:
Dr. Donald A. Miller is author of "Easy Health Diet" http://easyhealthdiet.com/diet.htm,"Easy Exercise All Ages" http://easyhealthdiet.com/eeaa.htm,and numerous free articles on health http://easyhealthdiet.com/articles/.
Seven of ten deaths are caused by preventable diseases.
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