Have you ever noticed that you are constantly being bombarded with ads about food? They are everywhere! You see them when you watch television or read the newspaper or a magazine and you see them on billboards when you’re driving in your car. That’s because the food industry spends billions of dollars each year on ad campaigns and marketing campaigns that are designed to tell you what to eat. The only problem is, they are telling you the wrong foods to eat. They are promoting unhealthy processed foods that may taste good, but are bad for your health. It’s very unlikely that eating these foods occasionally will cause serious health problems, but eating them several times a week can put you at risk for developing health issues such as heart disease and diabetes & can also lead to weight gain. Eating this way also goes against God’s original design for your body.
As our creator, God knows what foods work best for our bodies. He designed our bodies to be intelligent and efficient, but we have to feed it the right foods so it can function at its best. God also gave us a body, mind, soul and spirit as a gift; our gift back to God is to take care of it by eating nutritious foods and leading a healthy lifestyle.
Processed Foods & Fast Foods Vs Whole Foods
Low quality processed foods are toxic to our bodies because they have additives and preservatives that clash with our body chemistry and our biological makeup. Back in 2010 Dr. Travis Stork from the hit TV show The Doctors did his own version of Morgan Spurlock’s ‘Super Size Me‘ experiment. His producers asked him to walk in the shoes of many American people who suffer from obesity. He took on the challenge and did the experiment so he can feel what it’s like to be unhealthy and explain the process to the general public. They called his experiment “Project Unhealthy.” During the experiment, he gained eight pounds in five days and developed high blood pressure. He put his body in jeopardy, gained weight and felt miserable! He said he will NEVER do it again, but he did it to prove a point, “when you eat fast food it causes an addictive pattern in your brain causing you to eat more and more. In the end you end up overweight, lethargic and not feeling good about yourself” said Dr. Stork.
I’m going to tell you what happens to your body when you eat a fast food meal based on Dr. Stork’s experience. When you eat a fast food meal, contents of fat, sodium and refined sugar molecules release dopamine into your brain, which mixes with serotonin and make you feel great at first. Then your body starts working overtime to make insulin to deal with the sugar overload from fries, white bread and soda. Insulin drives sugar into cells, but it also tells your body to store fat. After eating a fast food meal your intelligent body thinks that you are going into hibernation and begins to store fat. It thinks you are eating a big meal with a lot of calories because you are getting ready to hibernate. The stored fat cells start to grow in size and begin to secrete even more toxic substances that lead to heart disease, diabetes and many other health problems. The high amounts of sodium causes your heart pressure to go up so your heart starts to beat “twice as fast against twice as much resistance.” Dr. Stork explains. Now your brain is no longer releasing dopamine, but instead it’s signaling you to release cortisol, a chronic stress hormone that ironically tells your body to store even more fat! Thirty minutes after your meal, there’s no more dopamine and no more serotonin, you feel lethargic, unhappy and you don’t feel good about yourself. This is why when you eat a fast food meal you feel great and thirty minutes later you feel lousy.
Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are essential to the body because they are full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. They help you become the efficient, energetic person that you were designed to be. After all, you are what you eat! God gave us every seed bearing plant and every seed bearing fruit as food for our enjoyment. Genesis 1: 29. The more fruits, vegetables and whole grains you eat the better it is for your body and the better you will feel.
Some people in the Bible nourished their bodies in such a way that was pleasing to God and produced optimum results. Let’s look at Daniel for example: When Daniel was a young man, a king named Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and took over. He chose the smartest, strongest and most handsome Jewish young men to leave their home and come work for him in his palace; among the chosen ones were Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. They had to go through a training program where they were fed royal food “and the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.” Daniel 1:5. The problem was, King Nebuchadnezzar offered the first portion of that food to idols before serving it at the table. Daniel and his friends followed God, and wanted nothing to do with idols. Even though most Babylonians didn’t follow God Daniel and his friends did, so they had to figure out how to obey God and still serve the king.
Daniel had an idea. He said to the king’s guard “Please, test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink.” Daniel 1:12. The plan was that if they got too weak or skinny during that time they would eat something else. After ten days, God made them even stronger than the young men who ate the king’s food. You can achieve amazing results if you eat the way Daniel and his friends did during their time with the king. It is known as the Daniel’s Fast in the Christian Community and Veganism to the general public. Daniel and his friends obeyed God and did not defile themselves by eating the royal food. Because of this, God blessed them with optimum health. It’s important to understand that this story is not just about them obeying God, but also about Daniel’s knowing that vegetables and water would sustain them and give them the nutrients they needed to stay strong. The story goes on to say that at the end of the ten days, Daniel and his friends looked better and were healthier than the other young men who ate the royal food.
Your choices matter. Even if you are cooking your food instead of eating fast food you still need to pay attention to the type of foods you are eating. What ingredients are you putting in it? How are you preparing it? A meal made up of fried fatty foods can be just as bad for you as processed foods, or a fast food meal. If you choose to eat meat, try organic- grass fed meats instead. Bake your meats instead of frying them. Choose more salads and leafy greens, whole grains like quinoa and millet, root vegetables like carrots and beets and use healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. You have options so choose to eat healthier. In the long run, you’re going to be healthier, stronger, look better and feel younger because of it.
“So from then on the guard let them continue to eat vegetables instead of what the king provided.” Daniel 1:16