With the astounding rise of cancer and heart disease, scientists and laymen alike are examining our food habits. What will they find?
WHY SHOULD it be in this enlightened century — this age of knowledge and advancement — that our hospitals are filled with sick bodies and sick minds? With the availability of modern research by way of electronic and print media, it would seem that this century should produce the healthiest people in the recorded history of man. And, yes, some argue that man is generally healthier in some areas of the world than he has ever been. But let's examine the record.
Before the 20th century, and in this century's earlier decades, diseases like smallpox, tuberculosis and polio plagued man. Through developments of better hygienic conditions, primarily, and vaccines, secondarily, the onslaught of these maladies was curbed. But paradoxically, it seems that once one disease falls before medical science, new and treatment-resistant afflictions spring up in its wake. Major epidemics like cholera, smallpox and diphtheria have all but been wiped out through improved sanitation and mass inoculation. But instead of British, European and American deaths from cholera, today thousands see their friends or loved ones suddenly develop unusual bleedings and discharges, or slight lumps, and undergo debilitating chemical and radiation treatment and/or surgery. Or they read about it afflicting others. And it's frightening! Or instead of dying of acute tuberculosis, a close friend unexpectedly expires of a heart attack. Even athletes aren't immune from the no. 1 killer disease in the Western world.
Why Early Death
There has to be a cause for every effect! To research the underlying factors in heart disease and cancer, many large foundations and universities have developed whole staffs and facilities dedicated to conquering and eradicating fatal diseases. What has emerged as a contributing factor of maintaining good health is nutrition. Virtually all authorities agree that a balanced diet rich in certain foods positively contributes toward better health. Agreement is widespread that your diet — what you eat every day — plays a substantial role in both your mental and physical well-being. But the agreement stops there. As Jean Mayer, a professor of nutrition at Harvard University, admits: "nutrition is not a 'finished' science. We [the nutritionists and dieticians] are constantly discovering new facts." One aspect indeed that has accompanied nutrition through the years is heated debate (and that's putting it mildly!). Since nutrition is such a new and unexplored science, too many make themselves an "expert." Accordingly, you can hear one story about nutrition in the university
Paradoxically, it seems that once one disease falls before medical science, new and treatment — resistant afflictions spring up in its wake.
classroom, a completely different view in the so-called health food store and yet another view from advertisements. Why this Babylon of confusion?
Researching the Basic Cause
Scientists and home-grown nutrition experts (no pun intended) alike generally ignore and/or reject the basic source of all knowledge. Consider this: if you had a finely tuned electronic device that you needed to know more about, how would you gather information? You would look for the brand name of the device. Accordingly, the directions accompanying it would become your guide. Yet in many respects, this is exactly the opposite of what individuals do with the question of nutrition. Most people cut themselves off from the only source of information given from the Creator on the subject of human nutrition. That source is none other than your Bible!
At Ambassador College, an institution affiliated with The Plain Truth (campuses in Pasadena, California, and Big Sandy, Texas), the faculty employs one basic precept in disseminating information. This precept is prominently inscribed on one of the main college buildings: "The Word of God is the foundation of knowledge." While the Bible is not a complete textbook covering every subject in minute detail, God does provide the main principles that judge all information. In addition to providing information for human behavior, the Bible serves as a point of reference for our very thoughts and reasoning processes. "My thoughts are not your thoughts. saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:8-9). What God calls for in evaluating human, physical knowledge is that we compare it to his standard! "To the law and to the testimony [revealed knowledge from God]: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20). But — "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter" (Prov. 25:2). Therefore, when we pursue nutritional information, we need to make sure it follows and agrees with the information revealed by God first. Let's look at some examples.
Is It True, or — ?
One prominent nutritionist claims that an important key to maintaining good health is the strict avoidance of fat and oil in our diet. Researching this against the Bible shows him to be partially correct. God says: "It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood" (Lev. 3:17). This shows that we should trim the fat from meat before eating. If more people followed this guidance from God, there would be less cardiovascular disease arising from excessive cholesterol intake. As heart disease statistics prove, you ignore God's health laws at your own risk. But what does the Bible say about olive oil? It says a lot, particularly about the positive uses of unrefined olive oil as a source of food (I Kings 17:12, 14). In a symbolic history of Jerusalem, God speaks of feeding His appointed bride "fine flour, and honey, and oil" (Ezek. 16:13). So from this we can determine that oil (not the petroleum kind of course) in a natural state (not altered by chemicals or unnecessary heat, as are hydrogenated vegetable oils), is divinely certified fit for human consumption. Another item regarded as on the taboo list of some is milk. Certain nutritionists allege that human breast milk is fine for young babies, but animal milk; particularly cow's milk, is something that adult humans should not consume, whether it be in the form of cheese, ice cream or whatever. But when Abraham — the father of the faithful and the man whom God praised as a righteous man and a personal friend (Jas. 2:23) — was visited by two angels and the Being who was later to become Jesus Christ, what did he serve to them? "And he took butter, and milk, and the calf [beef, which some say you should never eat] which he had dressed, and set it before them; and... they did eat" (Gen. 18:8). Yet some suppose animal products are not to be eaten. By inference then, we can see here, and also by many other biblical examples (Deut. 32:14), that certain animal milk is available for human consumption. In Proverbs 27:27 it is noted that goat's milk, a food not normally thought of as a source of nutrition in some circles, is perfectly fit for consumption! God also approves the consumption of certain meats (Lev. 11 and Deut. 14), which today have also been recognized for their value by medical science. (For an important key to good health that millions are unaware of, write immediately for our free reprint, Is All Animal Flesh Good Food? See inside cover for addresses) Contrary to certain nutritionists, the Bible also approves the use, in temperate amounts, of honey and alcoholic beverages.
But in addition to certifying foods for human consumption, the Bible also spells out another important principle relative to nutrition. Gluttony is condemned (Deut. 21:20-21; Luke 21:34; I Pet. 4:3). And: "Every man that striveth for the
Agreement is widespread that your diet — what you eat everyday — plays a substantial role in both your mental and physical well-being.
mastery is temperate in all things" (I Cor. 9:25). Moderation is a law (Phil. 4:5). For example, the Bible says salt is good (Matt. 5:13; Luke 14:34). But, research has shown that too much salt can contribute significantly to high blood pressure and other maladies. This principle can also be applied to other natural products such as honey. The Bible reveals "it is not good to eat much honey" (Prov. 25:27). Also, nowhere is it commanded that we must eat meat or drink milk. Some people have problems digesting certain foods, or they might rightly want to abstain from certain meats because of the use of chemical preservatives. The scientific jury is still out so far as preservatives are concerned, but some wisely elect to avoid treated meat because of possible cancer-related results. The same is true of milled wheat. Some nutritionists and registered dieticians still claim there is substantially little difference between so-called white bread and commercially available whole wheat. A vast amount of evidence remains to be analyzed concerning the advantages of whole wheat flour (where the entire kernel of wheat is milled instead of only the soft interior). But those who mill their own bread and flour products made with whole grains know the difference. Most nutritionists will at least admit that whole wheat bread provides more bulk than its white counterpart. As implied in the prophet Daniel's controversy as a young student with the "king's meat" (Dan. 1:8-16), refined and processed food should give way to a diet fortified with more vegetables or grains in their natural form. God expects a person to use wisdom in selecting nutritional foods. And he expects his Word to be the foundation of that wisdom (II Tim. 3:15-16).
In conclusion, it should be noted that in the area of nutrition and diet some are simply unable to utilize what God has made fit for humans in general. Why? Because of the accumulative effect of physical law-breaking for thousands of years. Some may inherit their physical problems, while others may suffer from years of improper diet, or related environmental problems. For example, a confirmed alcoholic should never use the Bible as an excuse to resume drinking. This same is true of other aspects of nutrition. Heart patients must generally avoid salt, even though the Bible reveals that salt is good. These same people and others must often restrict their cholesterol intake. It must be pointed out that the primary goal of The Plain Truth is to promote understanding, not offer professional medical advice. Our articles are meant to point the way to overall health and happiness. Our readers should be cognizant of their own unique needs and/or problems when evaluating any dietary information. You are always to "glorify God in your body" (I Cor. 6:20). We should strive not to eat things that we find harmful to us individually (because of allergies, for example). If you'd like some additional information about the broad principles that God has set down to follow, read our booklets Principles of Healthful Living and The Seven Laws Of Success. Developing a rational diet is only one part of maintaining a sound, zestful, happy life.