Eating as an Act of Worship Ministries does not advocate a one-size-fits-all diet plan because that way of thinking directly contradicts Biblical doctrine. From Genesis to the Book of Revelation, the Lord instituted a method of eating and drinking for those who have a covenant relationship with Him. Indeed, Jesus explained that those who love Him obey, or rather keep, His commands. Since the word love means worship, obedience to the God ordained method of eating and drinking is automatically part of how God’s people worshiped Him. For example, under the Adamic Covenant, Adam and Eve were directed to eat from every tree in the Garden except from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Consequently, Adam and Eve were commanded to follow what we refer to as a plant-based diet plan such as the vegan and vegetarian plans that are popular in our culture.
After the fall of Adam and Eve, God entered into a new covenant with the Israelites who were instructed to abstain from eating certain animals which God referred to as unclean. Clearly, the Israelites were not required to be vegetarians who abstained from eating meat altogether. Only specific types of animal flesh were banned from their diet. In fact, God clearly explained that they were to worship Him in this way in order to, “Be holy for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45). In the New Testament, God entered into a new covenant with those who accepted His Son, Jesus the Christ, as Lord and Savior. Under the new agreement, God declared all animal flesh clean and commanded Peter to kill and eat it. This was necessary for Peter and the apostles to fulfill their mandate to spread the Gospel throughout the world since the Israelites considered the Gentiles who ate the unclean things to be unclean themselves. As a result, the Israelites had strict rules regarding interactions with non-Jews because fraternizing with unclean people was considered the same as eating an unclean thing. To be plain, doing so would have made the Jew in question unclean.
Under the current covenant, we are now free to eat all plant and animal flesh, but we must still do so in a holy way in order to worship God. We know this to be true because 1 Corinthians 10:31 commands, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” The question then is how should each individual eat and drink for the glory of God? The food and beverage industry works diligently to keep us in a state of confusion about health and fitness because it is a part of Satan’s multi-billion dollar system designed to keep you in bondage to obesity and eating disorders, to steal your health, to prematurely take your life, and to destroy the long, abundant life you were meant to enjoy with your family. However, the truth of the health and fitness matter is quite simple and much easier to discern than you have been led to believe.
In order to determine if a diet plan, such as the keto diet, is right for you, you must first demystify the health and fitness options. The way to do that is to eliminate the hype. That means step one is to ignore and never participate in any diet gimmick or fad especially when logic and reason tells you it is not going to work before you spend your money. For example, human beings do not only drink tea, shakes, and smoothies. Eventually, you must eat real food. Likewise, putting what looks like Saran Wrap all over your body is not a viable weight loss option either. Furthermore, taking diet pills have proven to be dangerous in the past, so you should stay away from anything that could compromise your health, that includes so called supplements and vitamins that are supposed to promote weight loss. Many have proven to be lethal.
Once you eliminate the nonsense, then you can see past the glamour the enemy has placed on health and fitness plans. You do this by recognizing the obvious. Every real diet plan that you ever tried, meaning a plan that requires you to eat real food and drink healthy beverages, makes you do three things without fail.
#1: You must drink a lot of water, meaning at least sixty-four (64) fluid ounces per day.
#2: You must eat a lot of vegetables, preferably fresh and organic.
#3: You must eat a lot of fruit, also fresh and organic.
This is true even on a low carb diet, such as the keto diet. After taking into account those three health and fitness rules, however, diet plans deviate. For example, some require you to either completely abstain from or limit your consumption of animal products. These are usually plant based diet plans such as the vegan and vegetarian diets. Others require you to limit your intake of fats or lower the amount of calories you consume. In the case of the keto diet, adherents must decrease the number of carbohydrates they eat each day.
Keto is short for ketogenic. The name derives from what transpires in the body when a person abstains from eating carbohydrates, which are composed of sugars, starches, and fiber. When a person limits his or her intake of carbohydrates, he or she begins to burn fat instead of sugar for energy. That puts the body into a state of ketosis. In order to reach ketosis, those who have a significant weight problem usually have to drastically limit their current consumption of carbohydrates to fifty (50) grams or less per day. This is achieved by limiting the bad carbs found in foods and beverages with high levels of sugar and starches while choosing foods and drinks with high levels of fiber, a good carbohydrate, or little to no carbs at all.
That probably sounds complicated, but it is not. In order to understand the keto diet, you must first understand what a carbohydrate is and which foods contain carbs. Unhealthy or bad carbohydrates are found in foods that contain high levels of starch and sugar. To succeed on a low carb diet like the Keto Diet, you must learn which food groups contain sugars and starches and which do not. Sugar is easy. The food industry puts it in just about everything. The trick is that they give it long, complicated names such as high fructose corn syrup, instead of being honest and calling it what it is, sugar. Another problem is that it is also naturally occurring in foods and beverages we often think of as healthy. That leads many people to think it cannot be good for you.
It is identifying starches that tends to throw many people off. A starch is simply a complex carbohydrate made up of long chains of sugar molecules. In other words, we are still talking about sugar, or at least what breaks down inside our bodies and gets stored as sugar, even though it does not necessarily taste sweet when we eat it. For example, wheat products, such as bread, crackers, and croutons as well as cakes, pies, and other baked goods, contain starch, but refined sugar is also added to give cakes and pies a sweet flavor. Consequently, it is easy to see that you have to eliminate the obvious culprits that every real diet plan tells you to abstain from, namely hamburger and hot dog buns, which by the way usually have refined sugar on the ingredients label. However, dinner rolls and breakfast sandwiches such as croissants and stuffed biscuits are out, too.
Another factor which adds to the confusion is that foods usually considered healthy can also contains high levels of carbohydrates and must be avoided on the keto diet. For example, bananas, honey, potatoes, dates, corn, and beans are all examples of healthy foods that are off limits or consumed in small quantities on a low carb diet. On the other hand, ketogenic dieters are encouraged to eat foods that are high in protein and fats, which usually includes the consumption of animal products with high levels of saturated fats such as beef and pork, and low starch vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Opponents of low carb diets argue that the consumption of fat and prohibition against starches and sugar are proof that the keto diet and other low carbohydrate plans are unsustainable and ultimately bad for your health. There was even a recent study that claimed the keto diet could shorten a person’s life.
So should you stay away from the keto diet or other low carbohydrate diet plans? Maybe. Maybe not. That depends on your body’s weaknesses and sensitivities. In response to those who argue against low carb diet plans, the Bible warns of the dangers of over consuming healthy foods and unhealthy foods alike. Specifically, Proverbs 25:27 states, “It is not good to eat too much honey.” According to that Scripture, it would seem God was warning His people that too much sugar, even in the form of honey, could cause obesity, obesity related diseases such as diabetes, and premature death.
Another layer of confusion the enemy uses to keep people confounded about health and fitness is misinformation. He also over saturates the airways and media with both negative and positive medical and scientific research regarding diet plans. For instance, you can probably find just as many positive articles about the keto diet as you can negative ones. That is true for every real diet plan, including the Mediterranean Diet, the vegetarian diet, the Paleo diet, and low calorie diet, just to name a few.
At Eating as an Act of Worship Ministries, we never direct participants to abstain from any food because the Bible says that is one sign of a false prophet or teacher (1 Timothy 4:1-5). On the contrary, we recommend that everyone taking the class prays to the Lord to reveal each individual’s food sensitivities and weaknesses and to point them to the diet plan or plans (God often tailor fits a plan that is right for you) that directly addresses those issues. In the meantime, participants are encouraged to do that which every legitimate health and fitness plan requires until they hear from the Lord. Specifically, class members are encouraged to make water their primary beverage and eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables until they get specific instructions from God regarding the diet plan they should adopt. Notwithstanding, we like to expose those who follow us to different diet plans in order to assist the participants when they pray. Moreover, looking at your family history and speaking with your doctor are also good ways to narrow down which health and fitness plans to begin asking God for guidance about.
By way of explanation, many people who suffer from diabetes are often medically advised to follow a low carbohydrate plan. Diabetes occurs when the body’s mechanism for breaking down sugar malfunctions and prescription insulin eventually becomes necessary to help control blood sugar levels. If you have a family history of this disease, have already been diagnosed with it, or were told you are pre-diabetic, then the next logical step would be to inquire of the Lord as to whether or not you should adopt a low carb diet plan. However, just because those factors do or do not exist in your life, it does not mean you should or should not follow a low carb diet plan.
If the Lord directs you to adopt a low carb lifestyle, that still does not mean you have to follow the Ketogenic Diet Plan. There are many low carb plans to choose from. Some are strict and some are more lenient. Accordingly, the next step is to ask the Lord which one is right for you. For example, the Southbeach Diet is a very liberal form of a low carbohydrate plan as opposed to the Ketogenic diet, which is very strict. The Atkins diet falls in the middle. The original form of the plan initially severely limits the number of carbohydrates an individual consumes, but only for two (2) weeks. Afterward, the carb limit is gradually increased.
Whole 30 and the Paleo Diet are also high protein, low carbohydrate diet plans, and they subtly differ from the three (3) mentioned above. For instance, the Paleo Diet is not only very restrictive about the consumption of carbs, but it also completely prohibits the use of salt to season food. Moreover, Paleo dieters can only eat meat from animals that were grass-fed. In addition to the requirement to eat organic, grass-fed meat, Whole 30 also includes dairy products and alcoholic beverages on its list of prohibited foods and drinks.
Consequently, choosing the carbohydrate plan that is right for you will depend on a number of factors. First, praying for God’s direction is key. If He clearly speaks concerning one over the others, then you simply need to obey His commands. If, however, you do not get an answer right away, but you believe He may be leading you to follow a low carb diet, then consider the following factors when deciding where to start.
#1: Do you have a family history of diabetes? This is a strong indicator that your body might not process sugar and starches efficiently anymore. Although you do not have diabetes, limiting your carbohydrate consumption now may prevent it and other obesity related diseases, such as hypertension and high cholesterol, while allowing you to still enjoy carbohydrates in smaller quantities on a daily basis while simultaneously giving you the freedom to enjoy eating carbs without fear of causing a major health crisis on special occasions such as your birthday, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. Under these circumstances, a liberal or moderate low carb diet plan, such as the Southbeach or Atkins diets, may be right for you.
#2: Have you been diagnosed with diabetes or been given a pre-diabetic diagnosis? This is direct evidence that your body is not processing carbohydrates properly anymore, which means the mechanism in your body which breaks down sugar and starches is broken and completely malfunctioning. It is probable that you will require a strict, low carbohydrate plan under these circumstances, but in some cases, an individual may be able to adopt a moderate, or even, liberal plan.
#3: Has God revealed that you are sensitive to starches, sugars, or both? If you are told that either or both of those things are problems for you, you are probably being led to follow a low carb diet plan. However, you should keep praying for confirmation.