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Oct 12

FODMAP Food List | IBS Diets

Updated: October 1, 2019

The low FODMAP diet can be challenging but this helpful food list makes the diet so much easier to follow. Simply have a read of the list to familiarize yourself with what you can and cant eat. During the elimination phase try to restrict high FODMAP foods from the bad list and try and eat the low FODMAP foods from the good list. You can also print a more concise printable FODMAP food list.

For those of us needing 1 on 1 personal help with the diet and lifestyle change see the recommended FODMAP diet coaching page or try the personalized low FODMAP meal plan service.

Get freshly prepared low FODMAP meals delivered right to your door with meal delivery service Epicured. Get an exclusive $20 off your order offer by clicking here.

A wonderful FODMAP focused store providing many delicious FODMAP friendly foods such as tasty stocks and salsas and essential pantry foods is Casa de Sante. I highly recommend giving their range a try as it makes the diet that much easier and tastier.

Looking for a book to have a list on the go? Try The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet by Sue Shephard. If youre looking for a food diary to track food during the diet then try the low FODMAP food journal.

Fruit fruits can contain high fructose

Meats, Poultry and Meat Substitutes

Cereals, Grains, Breads, Biscuits/Cookies, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes

Condiments, Dips, Sweets, Sweeteners and Spreads

Prebiotic Foods

Drinks and Protein Powders

Dairy Foods

Cooking ingredients

If quantities are given these are the highest amount allowed

A great source of ready made and flavorful low FODMAP sauces, oils and snacks is FODY Foods.

For a list of FODMAP free foods see the FODMAP stacking and FODMAP Free Foods page.

Vegetables and Legumes

Fruit

Meats, Poultry and Meat Substitutes

Fish and Seafood

Cereals, Grains, Breads, Biscuits, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes

Condiments, Dips, Sweets, Sweeteners and Spreads

Drinks and Protein Powders

Dairy Foods and Eggs

Cooking ingredients, Herbs and Spices

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FODMAP Food List | IBS Diets


Oct 12

The Diabetes Diet – HelpGuide.org

Healthy eating can help you prevent, control, and even reverse diabetes. And with these tips, you can still enjoy your food without feeling hungry or deprived.Whats the best diet for diabetes?

People with diabetes have nearly double the risk of heart disease and are at a greater risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression. But most cases of type 2 diabetes are preventable and some can even be reversed. Taking steps to prevent or control diabetes doesnt mean living in deprivation; it means eating a tasty, balanced diet that will also boost your energy and improve your mood. You dont have to give up sweets entirely or resign yourself to a lifetime of bland food.

Whether youre trying to prevent or control diabetes, your nutritional needs are virtually the same as everyone else, so no special foods are necessary. But you do need to pay attention to some of your food choicesmost notably the carbohydrates you eat. While following a Mediterranean or other heart-healthy diet can help with this, the most important thing you can do is to lose a little weight.

Losing just 5% to 10% of your total weight can help you lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Losing weight and eating healthier can also have a profound effect on your mood, energy, and sense of wellbeing. Even if youve already developed diabetes, its not too late to make a positive change. By eating healthier, being more physically active, and losing weight, you can reduce your symptoms or even reverse diabetes. The bottom line is that you have more control over your health than you may think.

Being overweight or obese is the biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, your risk is higher if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen as opposed to your hips and thighs. A lot of belly fat surrounds the abdominal organs and liver and is closely linked to insulin resistance. You are at an increased risk of developing diabetes if you are:

Calories obtained from fructose (found in sugary beverages such as soda, energy and sports drinks, coffee drinks, and processed foods like doughnuts, muffins, cereal, candy and granola bars) are more likely to add weight around your abdomen. Cutting back on sugary foods can mean a slimmer waistline as well as a lower risk of diabetes.

A diabetic diet doesnt have to be complicated and you dont have to give up all your favorite foods. The first step to making smarter choices is to separate the myths from the facts about eating to prevent or control diabetes.

Fact: You can enjoy your favorite treats as long as you plan properly and limit hidden sugars. Dessert doesnt have to be off limits, as long as its a part of a healthy meal plan.

Fact: The type of carbohydrates you eat as well as serving size is key. Focus on whole grain carbs instead of starchy carbs since theyre high in fiber and digested slowly, keeping blood sugar levels more even.

Fact: The principles of healthy eating are the samewhether or not youre diabetic. Expensive diabetic foods generally offer no special benefit.

Fact: Studies have shown that eating too much protein, especially animal protein, may actually cause insulin resistance, a key factor in diabetes. A healthy diet includes protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Our bodies need all three to function properly. The key is a balanced diet.

As with any healthy eating program, a diabetic diet is more about your overall dietary pattern rather than obsessing over specific foods. Aim to eat more natural, unprocessed food and less packaged and convenience foods.

Carbohydrates have a big impact on your blood sugar levelsmore so than fats and proteinsso you need to be smart about what types of carbs you eat. Limit refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as soda, candy, packaged meals, and snack foods. Focus on high-fiber complex carbohydratesalso known as slow-release carbs. They are digested more slowly, thus preventing your body from producing too much insulin.

High glycemic index (GI) foods spike your blood sugar rapidly, while low GI foods have the least effect on blood sugar. While the GI has long been promoted as a tool to help manage blood sugar, there are some notable drawbacks.

Eating a diabetic diet doesnt mean eliminating sugar altogether, but like most of us, chances are you consume more sugar than is healthy. If you have diabetes, you can still enjoy a small serving of your favorite dessert now and then. The key is moderation.

Reduce your cravings for sweets by slowly reduce the sugar in your diet a little at a time to give your taste buds time to adjust.

Hold the bread (or rice or pasta) if you want dessert. Eating sweets at a meal adds extra carbohydrates so cut back on the other carb-heavy foods at the same meal.

Add some healthy fat to your dessert. Fat slows down the digestive process, meaning blood sugar levels dont spike as quickly. That doesnt mean you should reach for the donuts, though. Think healthy fats, such as peanut butter, ricotta cheese, yogurt, or nuts.

Eat sweets with a meal, rather than as a stand-alone snack. When eaten on their own, sweets cause your blood sugar to spike. But if you eat them along with other healthy foods as part of your meal, your blood sugar wont rise as rapidly.

When you eat dessert, truly savor each bite. How many times have you mindlessly eaten your way through a bag of cookies or a huge piece of cake? Can you really say that you enjoyed each bite? Make your indulgence count by eating slowly and paying attention to the flavors and textures. Youll enjoy it more, plus youre less likely to overeat.

Reduce soft drinks, soda and juice. For each 12 oz. serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage you drink a day, your risk for diabetes increases by about 15 percent. Try sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime instead. Cut down on creamers and sweeteners you add to tea and coffee.

Dont replace saturated fat with sugar. Many of us replace saturated fat such as whole milk dairy with refined carbs, thinking were making a healthier choice. Low-fat doesnt mean healthy when the fat has been replaced by added sugar.

Sweeten foods yourself. Buy unsweetened iced tea, plain yogurt, or unflavored oatmeal, for example, and add sweetener (or fruit) yourself. Youll likely add far less sugar than the manufacturer.

Check labels and opt for low sugar products and use fresh or frozen ingredients instead of canned goods. Be especially aware of the sugar content of cereals and sugary drinks.

Avoid processed or packaged foods like canned soups, frozen dinners, or low-fat meals that often contain hidden sugar. Prepare more meals at home.

Reduce the amount of sugar in recipes by to . You can boost sweetness with mint, cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla extract instead of sugar.

Find healthy ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Instead of ice cream, blend up frozen bananas for a creamy, frozen treat. Or enjoy a small chunk of dark chocolate, rather than a milk chocolate bar.

Start with half of the dessert you normally eat, and replace the other half with fruit.

Its easy to underestimate the calories and carbs in alcoholic drinks, including beer and wine. And cocktails mixed with soda and juice can be loaded with sugar. Choose calorie-free mixers, drink only with food, and monitor your blood glucose as alcohol can interfere with diabetes medication and insulin.

Being smart about sweets is only part of the battle. Sugar is also hidden in many packaged foods, fast food meals, and grocery store staples such as bread, cereals, canned goods, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, low-fat meals, and ketchup. The first step is to spot hidden sugar on food labels, which can take some sleuthing:

Choose fats wisely

Some fats are unhealthy and others have enormous health benefits, so its important to choose fats wisely.

Unhealthy fats. The most damaging fats are artificial trans fats, which make vegetable oils less likely to spoil. Avoid commercially-baked goods, packaged snack foods, fried food, and anything with partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients, even if it claims to be trans fat-free.

Healthy fats. The healthiest fats are unsaturated fats, which come from fish and plant sources such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados. Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation and support brain and heart health. Good sources include salmon, tuna, and flaxseeds.

Saturated fats. Found mainly in tropical oils, red meat, and dairy, theres no need to completely eliminate saturated fat from your dietbut rather, enjoy in moderation. The American Diabetes Association recommends consuming no more than 10% of your daily calories from saturated fat.

Its encouraging to know that you only have to lose 7% of your body weight to cut your risk of diabetes in half. And you dont have to obsessively count calories or starve yourself to do it. Two of the most helpful strategies involve following a regular eating schedule and recording what you eat.

Your body is better able to regulate blood sugar levelsand your weightwhen you maintain a regular meal schedule. Aim for moderate and consistent portion sizes for each meal.

Start your day off with a good breakfast. It will provide energy as well as steady blood sugar levels.

Eat regular small mealsup to 6 per day. Eating regularly will help you keep your portions in check.

Keep calorie intake the same. To regulate blood sugar levels, try to eat roughly the same amount every day, rather than overeating one day or at one meal, and then skimping the next.

A recent study found that people who kept a food diary lost twice as much weight as those who didnt. Why? A written record helps you identify problem areassuch as your afternoon snack or your morning lattewhere youre getting more calories than you realized. It also increases your awareness of what, why, and how much youre eating, which helps you cut back on mindless snacking.

Exercise can help you manage your weight and may improve your insulin sensitivity. An easy way to start exercising is to walk for 30 minutes a day (or for three 10-minute sessions if thats easier). You can also try swimming, biking, or any other moderate-intensity activity that has you working up a light sweat and breathing harder.

Learn how to lose weight and keep it off. If your last diet attempt wasnt a success, or life events have caused you to gain weight, dont be discouraged. The key is to find a plan that works with your bodys individual needs so that you can avoid common diet pitfalls and find long-term, weight loss success.

Authors: Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., Lawrence Robinson, and Melinda Smith, M.A. Last updated: June 2019.

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The Diabetes Diet - HelpGuide.org


Oct 7

Diet | Definition of Diet by Lexico

noun

1The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.

More example sentences

Synonyms

selection of food, food and drink, food, foodstuffs, provisions, edibles, fare

screen violence is becoming the staple diet of the video generation

More example sentences

2A special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.

I'm going on a diet

More example sentences

Synonyms

dietary regime, dietary regimen, dietary programme, restricted diet, crash diet

More example sentences

1Restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.

I began dieting again

More example sentences

Synonyms

follow a diet, be on a diet, eat sparingly, eat selectively, abstain, fast

He dieted me down to 185, to make sure I was as lean as possible.

Middle English from Old French diete (noun), dieter (verb), via Latin from Greek diaita a way of life.

1A legislative assembly in certain countries.

The term originated with the protest of the reforming minority at the diet of Spires in 1529 against the catholic majority.

Under the October Diploma of 1860, the government agreed to call the diets, which would then elect to the Reichsrat.

Synonyms

legislative assembly, legislature, parliament, congress, senate, synod, council

That judgment sympathetically, clearly and concisely deals with a case that must have been very far from the ordinary diet of a judge sitting in the crown court.

Late Middle English from medieval Latin dieta day's work, wages, etc., also meeting of councillors.

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Diet | Definition of Diet by Lexico


Jun 5

Follow a Healthy and Biblical Diet | United Church of God

Mark Twain reportedly said, Dont read health books; you may die of a misprint. Although the great American humorist said this in jest, we should be cautious about whose advice we take on health matters, including diet. The fuel for our bodies is vital to our health. Just as a gasoline engine will suffer damage if we pump diesel fuel into it, our bodies suffer if we consume the wrongfuel.

Few people have considered that the Bible is an authoritative and reliable source of dietary information. However, it conveys numerous principles by command and example. Modern dietary science and research verify that the information it contains is accurate and beneficial and thats only logical, since God, the designer of our bodies, knows what we shouldeat.

Other than simply keeping us alive, what benefits should a healthy dietprovide?

Perhaps most important, it should fortify our immune system and help protect us against disease. It is common knowledge that a proper diet lowers our risk for manydiseases.

It should also enable us to avoid the troublesome weight problems that plague the Western world. Half of all adults in Europe and 61 percent of Americans are overweight (University of California, Berkeley, Wellness Letter, November2001).

The situation is serious enough that the surgeon general of the United States has declared obesity a national epidemic, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says its fast replacing smoking as public health enemy No. 1 ( U.S. News & World Report, July 1). This statement illustrates the magnitude of the risk of being overweight, considering that an estimated 500,000 Americans die annually from tobacco-relateddiseases.

What are the biblical laws that, if obeyed, would promote good health and combatdisease?

The Bible declares some kinds of meat, including pork and shellfish, to be unclean, meaning they are not meant to be consumed as food (Leviticus 11:4-44 Leviticus 11:4-44 4 Nevertheless these shall you not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean to you. 5 And the coney, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean to you. 6 And the hare, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean to you. 7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he chews not the cud; he is unclean to you. 8 Of their flesh shall you not eat, and their carcass shall you not touch; they are unclean to you. 9 These shall you eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall you eat. 10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination to you: 11 They shall be even an abomination to you; you shall not eat of their flesh, but you shall have their carcasses in abomination. 12 Whatever has no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination to you. 13 And these are they which you shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, 14 And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; 15 Every raven after his kind; 16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, 17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, 18 And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, 19 And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. 20 All fowls that creep, going on all four, shall be an abomination to you. 21 Yet these may you eat of every flying creeping thing that goes on all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap with on the earth; 22 Even these of them you may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. 23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination to you. 24 And for these you shall be unclean: whoever touches the carcass of them shall be unclean until the even. 25 And whoever bears ought of the carcass of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even. 26 The carcasses of every beast which divides the hoof, and is not cloven footed, nor chews the cud, are unclean to you: every one that touches them shall be unclean. 27 And whatever goes on his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean to you: whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the even. 28 And he that bears the carcass of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean to you. 29 These also shall be unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, 30 And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole. 31 These are unclean to you among all that creep: whoever does touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even. 32 And on whatever any of them, when they are dead, does fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed. 33 And every earthen vessel, into where any of them falls, whatever is in it shall be unclean; and you shall break it. 34 Of all meat which may be eaten, that on which such water comes shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean. 35 And every thing whereupon any part of their carcass falls shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean and shall be unclean to you. 36 Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which touches their carcass shall be unclean. 37 And if any part of their carcass fall on any sowing seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean. 38 But if any water be put on the seed, and any part of their carcass fall thereon, it shall be unclean to you. 39 And if any beast, of which you may eat, die; he that touches the carcass thereof shall be unclean until the even. 40 And he that eats of the carcass of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that bears the carcass of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even. 41 And every creeping thing that creeps on the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. 42 Whatever goes on the belly, and whatever goes on all four, or whatever has more feet among all creeping things that creep on the earth, them you shall not eat; for they are an abomination. 43 You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps, neither shall you make yourselves unclean with them, that you should be defiled thereby. 44 For I am the LORD your God: you shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall you defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creeps on the earth.American King James Version). Many dont realize that the dietary laws God gave in this regard still apply. Indeed, it appears likely that God gave these laws because the proscribed meat is simply bad for us, unfit for humanconsumption.

A common false assumption is that God meant His dietary laws only for ancient Israel, that they constituted part of the Old Covenant and were abolished under theNew.

Actually, however, the Bible records commands that make the distinction between clean and unclean animals that predate Gods covenant with Israel by nearly 1,000 years for, as Genesis 7:2 Genesis 7:2Of every clean beast you shall take to you by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.American King James Versionrecords, God instructed Noah to take onto the ark seven pairs of clean animals and one pair of unclean. When God instructed Noah, Noah didnt need to ask God which were clean or unclean because he already knew. Indeed, it seems probable that when God created the animals in Genesis 1 He designated them either clean or unclean from that timeforward.

For a thorough explanation of this subject, as well as a listing of animals the Bible defines as clean and unclean, we invite you to request our free booklet Clean and Unclean Meats: What Does the Bible Teach? This publication thoroughly discusses many biblical passages on the subject, including those that people mistakenly believe give us permission to eat the flesh of any animal. It also discusses health dangers associated with eating unclean creatures, backed by statements from doctors and nutritionists. (See also Did Jesus Make All Meats Clean?,)

God created certain meats for human consumption (Leviticus 11:2 Leviticus 11:2Speak to the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which you shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.American King James Version). Red meatsuch as lamb or beefis high in nutritional value and beneficial for health. But the biblical example is to eat red meat sparingly; often it was served only at feasts or other specialoccasions.

It is very likely that Jesus ate beef since we know that many people celebrated His presence in their homes, and we know from Scripture that He attended weddings, where beef was often included as a feast food. Beef consumption, however, would not have been a daily or weekly practice (Don Colbert, M.D., What Would Jesus Eat?, 2002, p.48).

If you need to reduce your red-meat consumption, you can supplement your diet with more fowl and fish. During the time of Jesus domestic fowl such as chickens, geese, pigeons, partridges, duck and quail [were consumed] (Colbert, p.66).

On the shores of the Sea of Galilee, fish was a common article of food in the days of Jesus (Fred Wight, Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, 1983, p. 51). Several of Jesus disciples were former fishermen, and Jesus Himself ate fish (Luke 24:42 Luke 24:42And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.American King James Version).

Current research demonstrates that fish and fowl are especially healthy foods. The Wellness Encyclopedia notes that a small portion (three to four ounces of cooked poultry without bones or skin) provides about half the daily adult protein requirement and has half to one-third the calories and fat of a similar portion of steak. Poultry is also a good source of B vitamins

It adds: Like meat and poultry, fish is an excellent source of protein relatively low in calories, fat and cholesterol Fish also supply certain vitamins Moreover, fish fat contains a special group of polyunsaturated fatty acids known as omega-3s. Research has shown that omega-3s can protect against heart disease (University of California, 1991, pp. 185,189-190).

The Bible tells us not to consume animal fat and blood (Leviticus 3:17 Leviticus 3:17It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that you eat neither fat nor blood.American King James Version). Scientists now realize that a direct cause-and-effect relationship exists between excess consumption of fat and heart disease. Over 53 percent of people in large industrialized countries die of heart disease. Heart disease is most commonly caused by fat deposits that build up in the arteries, often beginning in the teenage years (Reginald Cherry, M.D., The Bible Cure, 1998, p.34).

But that is not the only hazard associated with eating animal fat. Toxins also tend to concentrate in an animals fat. While most of the fat in lean, range-fattened clean animals is isolated from the meat and easily trimmed away, the toxins in pork are held especially in the fat, which is not isolated from the meat as can be the case in lean beef, but rather, it is dispersed throughout the meat (Colbert, p.50).

There are also important reasons to abstain from blood. Scientists have long known that blood carries infections and toxins that circulate in an animals body. If people eat animal blood, they are needlessly exposed to these infections and toxins (Rex Russell, M.D., What the Bible Says About Healthy Living, 1996, p.14).

Our bodies require some fat to be healthy. Nutritionists generally recommend that we ingest no more than 30 percent of our calories from fat. Some sources of fat are healthier than others. The best sources include fish and unsaturated plant-based fat. Fat from olives is among the healthiest plant-based fats. God supplied His people with this in abundance in that He placed them in a land of olive oil (Deuteronomy 8:8 Deuteronomy 8:8A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;American King James Version).

A modern example that indicates olive oil is healthy for food is the dietary habits of the inhabitants of the Greek island of Crete. Residents of Crete consume more olive oil per person than any other nation In a fifteen-year period, 38 out of 10,000 Cretans died of heart disease, as compared to 773 out of 10,000 Americans (Colbert, p.118).

To realize the maximum benefits from consuming olive oil, it should be extra virgin or virgin olive oil. If a bottle of olive oil is not labeled extra virgin or virgin, then the oil has been refined in some way (Colbert, p.116).

Oils that are beneficial also include canola, safflower and sunflower. Nutritionists frequently exhort us to raise our HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, the good kind. If raising your HDL is a primary concern, you should replace saturated fats (found in meats, whole milk, and cheese, as well as coconut oil) with either polyunsaturated fats (as in sunflower and safflower oil), or, even better, monounsaturated fats (as in olive and canola oil). This will lower both total cholesterol and LDL [low-density lipoprotein], and maintain HDL or boost it slightly ( Wellness Letter, December2001).

Be aware that many commercially sold oils are subjected to a hydrogenation process before marketing. When the oils are hydrogenated, their beneficial effects are largely nullified. Depending on the degree of hydrogenation, these artificially saturated vegetable fats are no better for you than comparably saturated animal fats ( The Wellness Encyclopedia, p. 95). Because baked products sold in stores generally contain hydrogenated fats, they should be consumed inmoderation.

Are the fats in dairy products healthy for us? They constituted part of the biblical diet (Genesis 18:8 Genesis 18:8And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.American King James Version; 1 Samuel 17:18 1 Samuel 17:18And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and look how your brothers fare, and take their pledge.American King James Version) and are beneficial if eaten sparingly. Butter, in moderation, is an acceptable source of fat. Recent studies reported by Dr. Matthew Gillman of Harvard Medical School confirm that heart patients who ate margarine had twice as many heart attacks as those who atebutter (Russell, p.68).

Cheese is high in protein and loaded with calcium but contains a lot of fat. It can be safely consumed in moderation, though many overdo it. Cheese is the leading source of artery-clogging fat in the U.S. diet, according to a report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The average American is eating three times as much cheese today as 30 years agoon pizza, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, and even salads ( Wellness Letter, May2001).

Bread, made from wheat, barley or millet, was the staple diet item in Bible times. Bread was of such importance that the expression eat bread and drink water could be used to signify eating and drinking as a whole (Bread, The Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, 1962).

The importance of bread in the biblical diet is illustrated by Jesus when He said He was the bread of life (John 6:35 John 6:35And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.American King James Version, 48). Just as Christ is essential for salvation (Acts 4:12 Acts 4:12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.American King James Version), whole-grain products are essential to healthyeating.

Eat six or more servings of grains or legumes, daily. Whole grains are especially nutritious. These foods will help you obtain the 20 to 30 grams of dietary fiber you need each day and will provide most of the important vitamins and minerals (John Swartzberg, M.D., and Sheldon Margen, M.D., The Complete Home Wellness Handbook, 2001, p.18).

One caution, however, concerns hybrid grains. Many of todays hybrids, including wheat, contain a greatly reduced percentage of protein and an excessive percentage of carbohydrates compared with the nonhybrid grains in use during the biblical era. Nonhybrid grains tend to be far more nutritionally balanced than are most hybridgrains.

Grain products also typically undergo major changes in their journey from the field to the grocers shelf. For example, wheat is generally processed into white flour. The result? Both the bran and the germ have been removed, along with approximately 80 percent of the wheats nutrients (Colbert, p. 31). What about commercially produced breakfast cereals? They usually have more than 50 percent of their calories in sugar and very little to no fiber (p.30).

The average Western diet lacks adequate fiber. Though not a source of calories, vitamins or minerals, it contributes to health in several ways, and deficiency of it in the ordinary diet is a significant nutritional problem in our societies (Andrew Weil, M.D., Eating Well for Optimum Health, 2000, p.136).

Fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, constituted the bulk of the biblical diet. Everywhere the Hebrew people traveled, they included vegetables in their diet (James Packer, Merrill Tenney and William White Jr., editors, The Bible Almanac, 1980, p. 247). The vegetables included leeks, onions, garlic andcucumbers.

The various fruits mentioned in the Bible show the Israelites ingenuity in growing, harvesting, and preparing them for use. Fruits were eaten fresh, dried, pressed into cakes, and squeezed for juice (ibid., p. 254). Fruits mentioned include apples, figs, grapes, berries, apricots, melons andpomegranates.

Grapes were particularly popular. The Bible has more references to grapes and grapevines than to any other fruit and plant except olives and olive trees Grapes are the first cultivated plant mentioned in the Bible Grapes have been shown to fight tooth decay and to stop viruses, and they are high in caffeic acid, a substance shown to be a strong cancerous fighting agent (Colbert, pp.146-147).

Adding more of these fruits and vegetables to your diet in place of other foods will supply a wealth of nutrition and also help with weight control. Fruits and veggies come loaded with complex carbohydrates and other essentials for life, such as amino acids and essential fatty acids. They also include many of the natural vitamins and minerals vital to human nutrition Fruits and vegetables also have both soluble and insoluble fiber that allows our bodies to select what nutrients are needed. This fiber allows many unneeded calories to pass through the intestinal tract (Russell, p. 90). As this occurs, superfluous calories are eliminated rather than added as bodyfat.

A diet consisting predominantly of fruits and vegetables is the most important factor currently identified in the prevention of cancer The evidence for this is overwhelming: Study after study has confirmed that people who have the highest intakes of fruits and vegetables have the lowest rates of cancer (Swartzberg and Margen, p.16).

Fruits and vegetables may even help prevent Alzheimers disease. A new study says a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and less red meat may ward off the degenerative brain disease, which affects 12 million worldwide ( U.S. News & World Report, July29).

Eating fruit as a substitute for calorie-laden desserts aids weight loss. The natural sugar in fruit is nutritionally superior to processed sugars, which are major contributors to overweight. In the United States, sugar intake has increased from 1 percent to 20 percent of total calories during the last 200 years The average American consumes 150 pounds of refined sugar a year (Russell, p.88).

A large part of that sugar intake comes through soft drinks. Americans, on average, drink 53 gallons of soda [carbonated soft drinks] per year40 percent more than they drank two decades ago ( Harvard Health Letter, February2001).

Proper eating habits are necessary for good health. If we stuff our bodies with food lacking in nutrition, we will eventually pay theprice.

Sadly, in many cultures it isnt easy to select the foods that are best for us. In America, of the more than 11,000 new food products that came on the market in 1998, more than two-thirds were candy, snacks, baked goods, soft drinks, ice creams and similar items ( Wellness Letter, June2002).

Once these products are in the stores, advertisers crank up the propaganda. For example, the food industry spends some $30 billion a year on advertising. By contrast the entire federal budget for nutritional education equals one fifth the advertising costs for Altoids mints ( U.S. News & World Report, July1).

How great is the health risk if you are overweight? Avoiding weight gain may guard against cancer of the colon, kidney, uterus, and breast. Being overweight and/or sedentary also increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes ( Wellness Letter, November2001).

Major strides have been made in the last century in increased life expectancy. At the start of the new millennium, the World Health Organization states that at least 120 countries have a life expectancy at birth of more than sixty years. The global average life expectancy has increased to sixty-six years, compared with only forty-eight years in 1955 (Bradley Wilcox, M.D., Craig Wilcox, Ph.D., and Makoto Suzuki, M.D., The Okinawa Program, p.327).

One reason for this is that many of the major killers of the past are largely under control. For example, in America deaths from infectious diseases have been decreased by 93 percent, and infant mortality has dropped by 93 percent ( Parade Magazine, March 19,2000).

Though our life expectancy is much greater now, we need to be concerned about health expectancy. The food we put into our mouths will partially determine not only how long we live but whether we enjoy the wonderful benefits of good health in the time we have. GN

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Follow a Healthy and Biblical Diet | United Church of God


Jun 5

Take Responsibility for Your Own Health – Nobody Else Will …

Thousands of scientific studies over the past thirty years have shown that our lack of proper nutrition is perhaps the single most significant factor behind the reason people get sick. Last year over a trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000) was spent on health care in the United States alone. What has this staggering expenditure of funds and resources produced? Lets see what the experts have tosay.

Dr. Charles Mayo, of the famous Mayo Brothers in Rochester, Minnesota, made the following statement in 1900: We are all afraid of germsbut what we should be afraid of is lowered resistance which comes from within Normal resistance to disease is directly dependent upon adequate food. It never comes of pill boxes Adequate food is the cradle of normal resistance, the playground of normal immunity, the workshop of good health and the laboratory of longlife.

Almost a century later Dr. Julian Whitaker wrote: The greatest medical discovery of our time is the awesome power within the human body to heal and rejuvenate itself! This tremendous discovery is destined to change the way we practice medicine in America. In the future, instead of cutting the bodyinstead of drugging itinstead of working against its natural systemsdoctors will strive to feed and enhance the bodys amazing power to self-heal. Were starting to see the shift in awareness already (Julian Whitaker, in Wellness Today, July1993).

In the early 1980s, the NCI established a diet, nutrition and cancer prevention research program. In this study a growing number of compounds in fruits, vegetables and cereal grains were found to interfere with the process of cancer development in laboratoryresearch.

Epidemiologists have found that populations that consume large amounts of plant-derived foods have lower incidence rates of some types ofcancer.

Eating vegetables and fruits is associated with a decreased risk of cancers of the esophagus, oral, cavity, stomach, colon, rectum lung, prostate, larynx and possibly other cancers (National Cancer Institute2001).

1,540 people die from cancer every day, more than one a minute (American Institute of Cancer Research,1997).

Of those who suffer from chronic illness, over 41 million have their daily activities limited in some way because of their condition, and better than 12 million are unable to live independently (Institute for Health &Aging).

Cancer is the chief cause of death by disease in children under age 15 (American Cancer Society,1999).

Did you know that diet is probably the greatest single factor in the epidemic of cancer (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine,2000).

Since emphasis has been on treating illness rather than prevention, a disease care system has developed rather than a health care system. Dr. George Malkmus states in his book, Gods Way to Ultimate Health , Weve been looking at health from a Disease Model for many, many years now. The time has come for a paradigm shift to a WellnessModel.

Thankfully, things are beginning to change. The American Institute for Cancer Research conducted The Diet & Cancer Project. This project was an outgrowth of the National Academy of Sciences landmark 1982 report on diet and cancer in which, for the first time, a clear link between diet and cancer wasestablished.

Findings contained in the reportsupported by more than 4,500 research studies and reviewed by the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nationsconcluded that as many as 60 to 70 percent of cancers could be prevented by coupling healthful dietary and lifestylechoices.

Drs. John Bailar and Heather Cornick published an article in the June 1997 New England Journal of Medicine in which they said: The effect of new treatment for cancer on mortality has been largely disappointing. Bailar continued: I cant say the money spent on new treatments is definitely wasted, but it certainly hasnt paid off. At this point, I cant see whether it will ever pay off. Frankly, Im not convinced that there are wonderful cancer cures waiting to be discovered. We have given it our best effort for decades; billions of dollars of support, the best scientific talent available. It hasnt paid off ($30 Billion War on Cancer a Bust? USA Today, May 29, 1997, emphasis addedthroughout).

Overweight and obesity may soon cause as much preventable disease and death as cigarette smoking, Surgeon General David Satcher said. People tend to think of overweight and obesity as strictly a personal matter, but there is much that communities can and should do to address these problems. Approximately 300,000 U.S. deaths a year are currently associated with obesity and overweight, compared to more than 400,000 deaths a year associated with cigarette smoking. (U.S. Department of Human Services Press Release, December2001).

S.A.D. Why are millions suffering from hundreds of chronic conditions? Chances are good that you, or somebody you know, suffers from poor health. What is causing this modern health holocaust? Simply put, its the result of the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.). While there are other reasons people get sick, the single largest cause of illness is the Standard AmericanDiet.

Without a doubt, the ranks of the walking wounded have become a serious problem in the United States in particular and the Western world in general. What is causing this human disaster, and what can be done aboutit?

The American Cancer Society has ten suggested steps to take control of your life and reduce your cancer risk. The first five steps are protective items to add to your lifestyle and the second five steps are risk factors to decrease from your currentlifestyle.

PROTECTIVE FACTORS

1. Eat More Cabbage Family Vegetables. Studies show these cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower) appear to protect against colorectal, stomach, and respiratorycancers.

2. Add More High-Fiber Foods. Fiber occurs in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, including peaches, strawberries, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, wheat and bran cereals, rice, popcorn, and whole grain breads. A high fiber diet may protect against coloncancer.

3. Choose Foods with Vitamin A. Dark green and yellow vegetables such as carrots, peaches, apricots, squash, and broccoli are good sources of vitamin A. These foods may help protect you against cancer of the esophagus, larynx, andlung.

4. Choose Foods with Vitamin C . Fresh fruits and vegetables, such as grapefruit, cantaloupe, oranges, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes are good sources of vitamin C. These foods may help protect you against cancers of esophagus andstomach.

5. Maintain Weight Control. Obesity is linked to cancers of the uterus, gallbladder, breast, and colon. Exercise, such as walking, and reasonable calorie intake help to maintain a reasonableweight.

RISK FACTORS

6. Trim Fat From Your Diet. Eat lean meat, fish, skinned poultry, low-fat dairy products, and baked or steamed foods. Limit consumption of pastries and candies. A high-fat diet increases the risk of breast, colon, and prostatecancers.

7. Subtract Salt-Cured, Smoked, Nitrite-Cured Foods. Cancers of the esophagus and stomach are common in countries where these foods are eaten in largequantities.

8. Stop Cigarette Smoking. Smoking is the biggest cancer risk factor of all-the main cause of lung cancer and 30% of allcancers.

9. Keep Alcohol Consumption Moderate, if You Do Drink. The risk of liver cancer increases with increased alcohol consumption. Smoking and drinking alcohol greatly increase the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, larynx, andesophagus.

10. Respect the Suns Rays . Too much sun causes skin cancer and other damage to the skin. Use at least a #15 sunscreen and wear clothing with long sleeves and a hat during the hours of 11am to3pm.

Taking control of your lifestyle is the key to helping you feel better and reduce your cancer risk. This information is supplied by the American CancerSociety.

Most people dont want to change their eating habits until forced to do so. In other words, they are willing to gamble with their health, hoping to beat the odds. Changing the way one eats is not easy. But those who do so will experience a transformation in their lives. This transformation will impact their physical, mental well being aswell.

The primary reason people turn from the Standard American Diet is because they feel they have no other option available to them. They have lost their health from one of hundreds of major illnesses and have not been able to find relief from othersources.

In Romans 14:17 Romans 14:17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.American King James Version, we are reminded that the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. While it is very important to make sure we nourish our bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit, it is critical that Christians keep their focus on the spiritual. The apostle Paul reminds us that the Kingdom of God is righteousness, which includes moderation, self-control and diligence. It takes character to make right choices. This is true in every area of life, including our eating and exercisinghabits.

Clearly eating the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) is not conducive to the enjoyment of abundant health. The purpose of this article is stir the reader to change the way he or she thinks aboutfood.

Seven basic rules of health are listed below to arm the reader with information needed to make informed decisions. They are presented in a general nature and are not intended to replace advice from dieticians and other competent medical professionals. These seven rules are not all-inclusive but are meant to provide a framework by which tolive.

Rule #1: Your life is not your own. Remember, your body is not your own. It is the physical instrument through which God lives in us. In 1 Corinthians 6:20 1 Corinthians 6:20For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods.American King James Versionwe read: For you were bought at a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are Gods. Christians must recapture the sense that their bodies belong toGod.

Rule #2: Eat to live. As simple and straightforward as this rule is, it is rarely followed. A persons mindset toward food goes a long way in determining his/her future health. Those who live to eat often abuse food by using it as a means to escape daily pressures. Food becomes a type of drug to numb emotional and psychologicalpain.

Those who understand proper nutrition dont eat to deal with emotional discomfort. Instead, they eat to maintain good health through proper nutrition. In other words, they eat to live, not live toeat.

Rule #3: Eat living food. Raw food has been called living food. Numerous scientific studies have shown the unmistakable benefits of eating a diet of mainly raw fruits and vegetables. Doing so will help ensure that the vitamin and mineral content ispreserved.

Living foods (raw or uncooked foods) are absolutely necessary for the maintenance of good health. A diet of mainly cooked food is not going to provide the body with the nutrients it needs to supporthealth.

Many who encourage a largely raw food diet say that an 80/20 ratio is called for. That is to say, 80 percent of ones diet should consist of fresh raw foods, while the remaining 20 percent should be cooked. Uncooked foods have active enzymes in them. While this information is not new to the scientific world, it is largely unknown to the average layman. The importance of eating raw food is understood when one understands the function ofenzymes.

Eating raw foods will also maintain the enzymes needed to properly digest them. It is critical that living food, be the staple of our diet in order to maintain good health. Many authorities claim that a diet rich in living foods actually enables the body to rejuvenate itself from certain commonailments.

Rule #4: Eat only clean meats. It is clear that God never intended that human beings eat those creatures labeled as unclean. The reason for this is not explicitly stated in Scripture, but upon closer examination it is quite possible that the primary reason was for health matters. Recent scientific studies support thisconclusion.

Modern science is catching up with Gods Word. Over 3,200 years ago God declared creatures like shellfish, clams and shrimp were not fit to eat. Now scientists are telling uswhy.

All crustacean and mollusk shellfish have no scales and are therefore unclean. Mollusks include clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops. Crustaceans include crabs, lobsters, shrimp, prawns, andcrayfish.

Raw shellfish is a major source of food poisoning in our nation and diseases commonly carried by shellfish include salmonella and the Hepatitis A virus Clams and oysters can filter between twenty and fifty gallons of seawater a day. The toxins, however, remain in the flesh of the shellfish (Don Colbert, M.D., What Would JesusEat?).

Rule #5: Drink pure water. Make it a habit to drink water free of as many man-made substances as possible. Remember, strive to eat or drink things in the state God created them. For example, drink water in as pure a state as you possiblycan.

Rule #6: Exercise on a regular basis. Exercising on a regular basis is vitally important for maintaining health. Walking is a practical form of exercise, which most people can do without spending a lot of money. Others enjoy jogging, tennis, golf, etc. No matter what form of exercise you choose, it is important that you check with your doctor before starting your exercise program. Tell him/her what your exercise goals are, then make sure you exercise according to those goals. It should go without saying, dont smoke. More than 30 years of research has proven beyond a doubt the detrimental effects smoking has onhealth.

Rule #7: Make sure you get sufficient sleep. Tips for getting a better nightssleep:

- Keep regular hours. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.- Go easy on caffeine. Caffeine disturbs sleep patterns. Nicotine and alcohol have similar effects.- Exercise early. While working out early in the day can help you sleep better, exercising within four to six hours of bedtime may make it harder to sleep.- Schedule in worry time. If thinking about the day ahead keeps you from falling asleep, set aside a regular time before you go to bed to write down or think about your to dolist.

Proper sleep habits are just as important as proper nutrition and exercise. By correcting poor sleep habits and revising your routine, your sleep patterns should fall into place. If they dont, talk to your doctor. He or she can give you a thorough evaluation to help you determine the cause andtreatment.

Remember what Paul said in Romans 6:13 Romans 6:13Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.American King James Version: And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness toGod.

Its time to take charge of your own health by educating yourselves about the laws of health. Be careful to avoid extremes. Strive for balance by staying away from extreme dietary doctrines, which claim to be a cure-all. At the same time, avoid those who argue diet is not important for maintaining goodhealth.

Remember, each of us is responsible for taking care of the body God has given us. As you learn more about the basic principles of health, be sure to put them into action. By doing so, you will be choosing life: I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live (Deuteronomy 30:19 Deuteronomy 30:19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live:American King James Version).

May God bless you on your journey to betterhealth.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers (3 John2).

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Take Responsibility for Your Own Health - Nobody Else Will ...


Jun 5

Why What We Eat Is Important | United Church of God

Imagine the opulence, the splendor of the court of ancient Babylon. Youre young, in your late teens or early 20s. You and three friends are captives, but your captors have selected you from among your people to serve at the court of theking.

Right now, though, youre hungry. The man in charge offers you all the rich, steaming dishes of the palace kitchen. But you realize you have limited choices if you want to obey what God says about what we should and shouldnt eat. The delicacies of the royal table are made with foods listed as uncleanunfit for human consumptionin the Holy Scriptures. And the royal steward believes youll starve if you dont eat the meals provided by the kings command. What do youdo?

If youre the young prophet Daniel of the Bible, you reject the palace foods, ask for vegetables and water, and trust God to give you the good health to succeed at court (read Daniel1).

Have you ever wondered what people ate in ancient times? Historical references in Bible commentaries reveal that the royal Babylonian table would have many dishes stewed in a combination of fats, spices and blood to give intensity and richness. They ate many different kinds of meats, both of the biblically clean (allowed to be eaten) and unclean varieties. Pork was very popular, as was shellfish. Both of those are listed as unclean for food in the Bible (read the free online Bible study aid What Does the Bible Teach About Clean and Unclean Meats? to knowmore).

Many animals were slaughtered, cooked and eaten as offerings to religious idols. Animals werent always well bled when they were killed, leaving blood in the bodywhich the Bible also forbids. Knowing Gods dietary laws, Daniel and his three friends realized they couldnt easily sort out what was clean or unclean on the kings table. Instead, they chose vegetables, which likely included grains and beans or lentils, all things that grew fromseed.

They also drank only water because beverages at the Babylonian court were primarily alcoholic ale and wine in large quantities. These may have been thickened or clarified with animal byproducts, potentially rendering them unfit for human consumption according to Gods way. What a menu! But what we can learn from Danielsexperience?

Daniel and his three friends Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael (renamed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego by the Babylonians) learned that the foods available to them in the court of the king of Babylon were tainted. Perhaps they observed the kitchen staff at work, or quizzed the chief eunuch or royal steward about ingredients and preparation. Whatever the case, they knew what was in the foodand what toavoid.

We also need to learn whats in our food. This involves a bit of research like reading ingredient lists. A solid knowledge of the lists of clean and unclean meats (see Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14) helps us make proper judgments. Generally speaking, the fewer, less complicated-sounding ingredients there are, the easier it is to decipher the actual origins of afood.

Whole foods are easiest. An apple is an apple, a carrot is a carrot, and a beefsteak is, by grain, cut, and smell, relatively easy to distinguish from pork or horse meat (both of the latter are unclean by Gods standards). Yet even meats clean by kind can be tainted, as noted later. Again, we need to know what were putting into ourbodies.

Even if Daniel and his friends would have had clean foods available to them, they still may have avoided the palace foods. Ancient Babylonian recipes translated in the 1980s show a very rich and highly spiced cuisine. Beer was popular, as was wine. Meat dishes were fatty andheavy.

Such decadent fare would have been difficult to digest, and the quart to a gallon of beer a day consumed by the average person at court would have made the four young men sluggish atbest.

The only thing between us and our food isus. We are responsible for what does or doesnt go into our bodies. Knowing what makes you feel your best requires careful attention to your bodys reaction to certain foods. Some people even keep track of any particularly unpleasantreactions.

Knowledge of personal health helps us to better submit to Gods will for us. Health crises sometimes interfere, but striving to be fit and healthy servants of God makes us more productive. Our bodies are the physical vessels for Gods Spirit, and we have a responsibility to keep ourselves in good order (see 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 16 Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.American King James Version).

Daniel requested of the chief eunuch that he and his comrades be given foods that wouldnt defile them, specifying vegetables and clean water. Vegetables included high-protein legumes. Rice, cultivated around Babylon at the time, combined with lentils or beans may have provided a completeprotein.

The kings steward feared the effects of this diet on the young mens health. Yet God blessed them and granted them favor with the steward, and he allowed them to test their diet. They remained fit, well-muscled and healthier-looking than the other young courtiers (Daniel 1:11-16 Daniel 1:11-16 11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 Prove your servants, I beseech you, ten days; and let them give us vegetables to eat, and water to drink. 13 Then let our countenances be looked on before you, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the kings meat: and as you see, deal with your servants. 14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the kings meat. 16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them vegetables.American King James Version).

As at that time, we today need to educate ourselves on health issues and ask God for clean, health-building food choices. God is the Master Provider, and if we sincerely want to improve our health, He will provide what we need. (As our Creator, He certainly knows whats best for our bodies.) But beyond asking, we have to take action and, like Daniel, choose to eat the goodfoods.

Another possible lesson from the four young Jewish men in Babylon is that a diet featuring vegetables can be a boon to our health. Some people have chosen, with success, to consume a predominantly vegetable diet while dealing with a period of illness or stress. While that choice is individual, it requires research and often the guidance of a professional. Its safe to conclude that a light, nutritious diet, focusing on the benefits of fresh produce, can be a tonic for a stressed body. (You should always inform your general practitioner of a serious change indiet.)

In contrast, the rich, alcohol-heavy, significantly unclean Babylonian diet was hard on the body. The toxins of unclean meats alone can be an immense stress on the body systems, but today we also have to be wary of toxins sprayed on or injected into foods, to say nothing of highly processed and genetically modifiedfoods.

None of this means we should adopt vegetarianism, as God intends that we eat meat if it meets biblical requirements (see 1 Timothy 4:1-5 1 Timothy 4:1-5 1 Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.American King James Version). Yet edible meat must be in addition to other needed food, including vegetables, to give us a more balanced and nutritious diet. However, there may be times when eating just vegetables is the best option available to us, as with Daniel and hisfriends.

In any event, analyze what you eat carefully for what improves or damages your well-being. Seek out healthy food sources and ask God to provide. Like Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael, we have choices to make in a world that doesnt always have our good health at heart. By faith and obedience to His food laws, God can help us make the best of ourhealth.

Original post:
Why What We Eat Is Important | United Church of God


Jun 5

The Importance of Prayer and Bible Study | United Church …

Why is it absolutely imperative that we study the Bible and pray? What does it accomplish for a Christian? How do we take prayer and Bible study and convert it into spiritual strength andcharacter?

One way that we can understand how the conversion process works is to look at how our physical bodies use food and convert it into energy. Both physically and spiritually we need to be recharged and energized! Physically, our bodies can get into a run-down condition. We need proper food and rest to build our bodies back up. Spiritually, we need to be recharged by the Spirit of God so that we might have the power toovercome.

We all start out as babes in Christ (Matthew18:1-6). We are not to remain children, but are to mature spiritually (Hebrews 5:12-14 Hebrews 5:12-14 12 For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.American King James Version). A babys diet initially consists of milk from its mother. The first fluid that a nursing baby receives from its mother is called colostrum. This fluid is rich in protein and prepares the babys body to receive milk, by coating the stomach. It also helps to prevent susceptibility to certaindiseases.

When God initially calls us to understand His way of life, the Spirit of God prepares our minds to receive spiritual food. Gods Spirit also helps us to fight off spiritually wrong thoughts and ideas. God doesnt want us to stay on milk forever. He wants to us grow up and to go on to perfection (Ephesians 4:13-15 Ephesians 4:13-15 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 14 That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:American King James Version; Hebrews 6:1 Hebrews 6:1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,American King James Version).

Why do we eat food? What is the purpose of eating? We all like to eat. We realize that food gives us strength and energy. We know that we must sustain our physical life or we die. Romans 12:2 Romans 12:2And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.American King James Versionexplains that we must spiritually renew our minds. Just as the physical body must be renewed in power and strength, so must our spiritual batteries be recharged. We are to eat, or imbibe, the Word of God. It becomes a part of us. Likewise, when we eat food it becomes a part of the very cells of our bodies (John 6: 48-51, 63). Ephesians 3:16 Ephesians 3:16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;American King James Versiontalks about a Christian being strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, and verse 20 also talks about power that works in us. The Spirit of God imparts spiritual power to us. That Spirit is renewed in us through prayer and Bible study. Children eat a lot when they are going through growth periods. They seem to be an appetite with skin wrapped around it! Do we stop eating spiritually after we have been in the church for awhile? Our spiritual development depends upon constantly eating of GodsWord.

How often do most of us eat? We generally eat two or three times a day. We seldom forget to eat because our bodies constantly remind us that we are hungry and have need of food. Notice 2 Corinthians 4:16 2 Corinthians 4:16For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.American King James Version: Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. The physical is a type of the spiritual. The new man must be renewed on a daily basis. Colossians 3:9-10 Colossians 3:9-10 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:American King James Versionalso demonstrates that the new man is to be renewed in knowledge. The knowledge and wisdom of God come from the Spirit of God and the holyScriptures.

In order for food to be properly assimilated into the body it should be digested properly. We chew our food in the mouth to help break it down. Consequently, the acids in the stomach are able to further break down the food. Food has to be digested to be properly used by the body. There is a spiritual analogy to this also. When we study the Scriptures, we need to meditate on what we study. Spiritually speaking, we chew on it, or think about it. We break the Word of God down into understandable parts and apply it to ourlives.

Food in the body is converted into energy and strength. It repairs the cells, fuels the body, and imparts the nutrients needed to sustain life. This also compares to the working of Gods Spirit. Galatians 5:22 Galatians 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,American King James Versionshows that Gods Spirit imparts fruit. One of the fruits that it imparts to us isfaith.

What is the power that motivates the true servants of God to obey, to overcome, to grow in grace and knowledge? It is faith! Hebrews 11 demonstrates that faith is what motivated the men and women of old to obey God. Obedience is faith transformed into action transformed into another form. James 2:14-20 James 2:14-20 14 What does it profit, my brothers, though a man say he has faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say to them, Depart in peace, be you warmed and filled; notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful to the body; what does it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?American King James Versionexplains that faith must be usedthat faith without work is dead. The Spirit is depleted, or used up, through service,works and spiritual overcoming. Hard physical labor innervates us physically. After extensive athletic exertion we become tired. We eat to renew our strength. The spiritual power that God gives us is His Spirit (Acts 1:8 Acts 1:8But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.American King James Version).

Jesus Christ through good works used up the power of God. As Luke 6:19 Luke 6:19And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.American King James Versionsays: For power went out from Him and healed them all. On another occasion Jesus healed a woman who had a flow of blood for 12 years (Mark 5:25-30 Mark 5:25-30 25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, 27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. 28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. 29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?American King James Version). Verse 30 states that power had gone out of Jesus to perform this miracle. When we obey God or serve others we use us a certain amount of the spiritual power that God gives us. It has to be renewed. There is nothing constant about a spiritual mind in a physicalbody.

Herbert Armstrong stated in the past that the Spirit of God is like water that flows out of a Christian in good works. We must be constantly connected to the source of that water, or GodsSpirit.

Different work-related jobs expend different amounts of energy. A person who has a desk job does not burn as many calories as someone who does hard manual labor. Christ explained to His disciples that different problems require being close to God. The disciples had cast out demons through the Spirit of God. Yet we have an example in Matthew 17:14-21 Matthew 17:14-21 14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for often he falls into the fire, and oft into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not cure him. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him here to me. 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief: for truly I say to you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you. 21 However, this kind goes not out but by prayer and fasting.American King James Versionwhere they were not able to cast out a violent demon. Why were they not able? Unbelief or lack of faith! Christ went on to explain in verse 21 that this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. The obvious implication was that Christ had been praying and fasting and the disciples had not. Yet Christ did not indicate that prayer and fasting was necessary for every demon that is cast outonly certain types of demons. None of us know when we will be confronted with a major test that will require a great deal of faith on our part. The first epistle of Peter 1:6-7 shows that our faith will be tried to see how strong we are. We must be close to God at all times and not allow the self to coast spiritually and rest on past laurels or accomplishments. In a trial our faith is translated intopatience.

Physically speaking you cannot always tell how much endurance and strength a person has by looking at him. There is a spiritual parallel. We all know members that we thought were spiritually strong and rooted firmly in the truth of God. Yet when a major trial confronted the church in the mid-nineties many of them did not pass. Others that you may have thought did not have spiritual depth did remain faithful. Our character and strength are measured by how we react in atrial.

We have all heard the expression you are what you eat. When it comes to our spiritual diet, what do we eat? Lets take a look at four different spiritualdiets.

StarvationIf you stop eating food and drinking liquids, you will starve to death. The parallel is a lack of prayer and Bible study. Death does not occur immediately on a starvation diet, but if not corrected it will invariable lead to death. The same is true if we seldom study orpray.

Unbalanced dietAn unbalanced diet can lead to poor health and many physical difficulties. Spiritually, an unbalanced diet would be where we tend to study only one topic in the Biblesuch as prophecy or history. The Bible gives us a balanced diet of spiritual foodincluding Christian living, prophecy, history, doctrine, etc. We may have a favorite section of the Bible that we like to study, but dont neglect the whole Bible (Matthew 4:4 Matthew 4:4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.American King James Version).

Food fanaticsWe have all encountered people who become extreme in their eating habits. I remember one gentleman that I encountered who basically just ate bananas. Spiritually, this would be a person who only studies one point of Scripture. This becomes his spiritualbaby.

Balanced dietOur physical diet should consist of a proper balance of foods from all the different food groupsfruits, vegetables, grains, meats, etc. A balanced spiritual diet would be to study the Bible in proper proportions. Sometimes we study according to our spiritual needs. Those needs will vary from time totime.

What happens when you eat a poor diet? Your resistance is low. As a result you could get a cold, flu, or some disease. When youre sick you dont want to eat, and you become weaker. When our spiritual resistance is low, almost any trial or test could throw us. Paul admonishes us in Galatians 6:10 Galatians 6:10As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially to them who are of the household of faith.American King James Version: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. The more we rely upon God and the closer we are to Him the more Gods strength is made perfect in us (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I sought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christs sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.American King James Version). We receive the power of God when we totally rely uponHim.

Very seldom do we forget to eat. We would not dream of only eating once a week. Yet this is what we do spiritually if the only time we study and pray is on the Sabbath. Every time we sit down to eat it should be a reminder that we need to eat spiritually. We must pray and study regularly for spiritual strength. UN

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Jun 5

Fear and Depression: Conquer Them With These Crucial Keys

Our current global financial crisis is taking a toll on people in many ways. Some have already lost their jobs. Others fear that as the world economy continues its downturn, they will lose their jobs too. Others are concerned that they wont be able to afford their house payments and will lose their homes. A substantial number of people fear that the economic situation will spiral down into another GreatDepression.

All of these concerns and uncertainties are contributing to widespread anxiety and despair. Of course, fear and depression are not new to human beings. They are ongoing dynamics that have been around as long as we haveexisted.

The Bible is essentially an owners manual on how to conduct our lives. If we apply it, it assures us of overall peace andhappiness.

Some fears are not bad. Fear keeps us from taking unnecessary chances that might endanger our health or lives. (The proper fear of God is a healthy fear that involves standing in awe of Him and His power to intervene in judgment and ultimately to decide our eternal destiny, leading us to respect and obey His commandments rather than scoff anddisobey.)

However, when normal fears graduate to the point that they interfere with a healthy state of mind or infringe on our ability to function effectively in life, they have becomeproblems.

Lets take a glance at the extent of the problem and consider some ways to combat it in our ownlives.

The numbers of those who suffer crippling fear are surprising. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that in a given year, one in 11 adult Americans suffers from a phobiaa fear so extreme that it interferes with the ability to function normally. One example is acrophobiafear of heights. A person who suffers an extreme form of this phobia might fear even to enter a tall building or be afraid of venturing higher than a fewfloors.

An online search for phobias and fears can easily bring up lists of hundreds of entries ranging from ablutophobia (fear of washing or bathing) to zoophobia (fear of animals). Some of these phobias are relatively common, and some are veryrare.

Far more people suffer from anxietyconstant fearful uneasiness. Though generally less intense than phobias, anxiety can also reach the point of being disabling. In general, any fear that is not God-oriented or healthy presents an obstacle that denies us normal happiness andwell-being.

Unhealthy fear began among human beings when Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Genesis 3:10 Genesis 3:10And he said, I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.American King James Version). After they disobeyed Him, they became afraid of God, whereas before they had regarded Him as a friend. Fear and terror are among the curses God said would come on His people Israel if they disobeyed Him (Leviticus 26:16-17 Leviticus 26:16-17 16 I also will do this to you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 And I will set my face against you, and you shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and you shall flee when none pursues you.American King James Version).

Like unhealthy fears, depression has also been around ever since man departed from the commandments of God. When Cain and Abel brought offerings to God, the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering (Genesis 4:4-5 Genesis 4:4-5 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect to Abel and to his offering: 5 But to Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.American King James Version). Though the Genesis account does not state explicitly why God didnt respect Cains offering, 1 John 3:12 1 John 3:12Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And why slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brothers righteous.American King James Versionimplies that God wouldnt accept it because evil was present in Cainslife.

Its interesting to note Cains reaction after this rejection: So Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed. And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and dejected? (Genesis 4:5-6 Genesis 4:5-6 5 But to Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said to Cain, Why are you wroth? and why is your countenance fallen?American King James Version, The Amplified Bible). So the first specifically recorded incident of depression in the Bible occurred in connection withsin.

Fears and depression often go together. Psychologist and author Dr. Archibald Hart explains that you seldom see depression without some anxiety, or anxiety without some depression. They are two sides of the same coin. It just depends which side lands faceup ( The Anxiety Cure, 1999, p.170).

These fellow travelers often make life miserable for many people, so its imperative that we know how to deal with and overcome them. Professional therapy and medication are often used with success, but well here explore five tools and techniques that everyone can use and apply at little or no cost to successfully deal with fear anddepression.

One method many people have found helpful is to record their feelings. Dr. Hart writes: How can you change your thinking habits without engaging in a lifetime of therapy? One way is to get yourself a little notebook to record your beliefs whenever you catch them (p.113).

Mistaken thoughts about life situations or how others feel toward us can lead to depression or anxiety. Perhaps youve never thought about it this way, but the benefit of journaling is attested to not only by health professionals, but also by theBible!

Gods servant David, though generally a man of great courage and sound mind, at times suffered from depression and anxiety. For example, he referred to depression when he said, The Lord shall enlighten my darkness (2 Samuel 22:29 2 Samuel 22:29For you are my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.American King James Version). He expressed vivid thoughts of depression and anxiety in Psalms 22:1 Psalms 22:1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?American King James Versionwhere he wrote: My God, my God why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? (New InternationalVersion).

Biblical scholars recognize that the thoughts of this psalm presage the anguish of the Messiah, but the psalm also expresses deep emotions that David feltthough we do not know the specific circumstances in his life that triggered thesethoughts.

Davids pen expressed his agonies as he progressed through the psalm, yet at the end his words are exultant (verses25-31).

David is the primary author of the book of Psalms. Through this remarkable collection we can learn of events in his lifes storyin which he often expressed strong emotions. Almost without exception Davids writings end on an exultant note; he worked through his anxieties and sorrows through writing and pouring out his heart to God. We can read his psalms and be encouraged, and we also can write out our own feelings and take them to God to lift ourspirits.

We live in a fast-paced, overstressed world. Stress is one of the causes of anxiety and depression. Counselor and author Rex Briggs writes: There is a lot of external pressure in this type of society and little emotional support. Perhaps that is why anxiety disorders are the fastest growing psychiatric condition for which people seek help today ( Transforming Anxiety, Transcending Shame, 1999, p.39).

Some people are particularly vulnerable, such as those involved in caregiving occupations in which they are providing emotional and/or physical support for others. Research shows that these people suffer from depression, anxiety, insomnia and stress about three times as often as non-caregivers. Mothers carry a heavy load of caregiving, especially if no father is present, and thus could fall victim todepression.

Regardless of occupation, those who want to avoid excessive stress must maintain balance. This includes getting enough sleep and exercise. Exercise is a proven method of reducingstress.

Not that long ago, people were usually employed in occupations that involved physical laboror in many cases they walked quite a bit to get to and from work. Today, however, most people either drive to work or take mass transit, and their work is relatively sedentary. Many do not perform chores around the home as earlier generations did, and they relax in front of the TV when they gethome.

One result of this is that too many people dont participate in stress-relieving physical activity. Lack of exercise contributes to a lack of restful sleep, which in turn feeds into the stress-on-stresscycle.

A simple antidote to this is to initiate an exercise program to burn off some of the stress you feel. Research has demonstrated that weight-bearing activities help relieve stress. This includes walking, which most people can do easilyenough.

The Bible was written in a time when people were physically active and didnt need an exercise program like many need today. Scripture does recognize, though, that physical exercise has some value (1 Timothy 4:8 1 Timothy 4:8For bodily exercise profits little: but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.American King James Version, Good NewsTranslation).

Most mental health professionals understand that some foods are beneficial and some are not, especially if eaten in excess. Some foods enhance our natural tranquilizers while some are natural stimulants. Both can be beneficial, but we need to strive forbalance.

Since the Bible is Gods inspired, revealed Word to mankind, its the first place we should look for overall guidance in dietary matters. God gave His people guidelines on what they should eat and what they should avoid, and provided them with an environment in which a healthy, balanced diet would come somewhatnaturally.

The ordinary food of the average Hebrew of Bible times was bread, olives, oil, buttermilk and cheese from their flocks; fruits and vegetables from their orchards and gardens; and meat on rare occasions (Fred Wight, Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, 1987, p.43).

The Bible Almanac similarly states: Vegetable products formed a major portion of the diet When meat was used, it was often for the purpose of serving strangers or honored guests. Grains were an important part of the diet Fruits and fish were a favorite part of the diet (James Packer, Merrill Tenney and William White, editors, 1980, p.465).

Mental health professionals who emphasize sound nutrition, in connection with sound mental health, recommend balance from all the major food groups. This includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products and protein, as describedabove.

A person who is suffering from anxiety should limit intake of stimulantsincluding caffeine. One who is suffering from depression, if he or she chooses to drink alcoholic beverages, should do so in carefulmoderation.

A feast is made for laughter; and wine makes merry (Ecclesiastes 10:19 Ecclesiastes 10:19A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry: but money answers all things.American King James Version), but alcohol is also a depressor of the central nervous system. Excessive alcohol consumption will drive someone deeper into depression. Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise (Proverbs 20:1 Proverbs 20:1Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whoever is deceived thereby is not wise.American King James Version).

As the English poet John Donne wrote several centuries ago, No man is an island. This brief statement expresses a simple but vital truth: It is not healthy to be alone. In the beginning when God created Adam, He stated, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him (Genesis 2:18 Genesis 2:18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.American King James Version).

The truth is that we need other peopleespecially when we face various challenges or crises in life. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he has not another to help him up.American King James Versiontells us: Two are better than one For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help himup.

God intended that we should share our experiences in life. It is especially vital that we have someone to share our burdens with when were laboring under the crushing weight of fear ordepression.

Without having someone with whom we can share our burdens, we may well think theyre insurmountable. But the truth is that no trial is too great if we have divine help and wholesome fellowship with other Christians and with God (Philippians 4:13 Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.American King James Version; 1 John 1:3 1 John 1:3That which we have seen and heard declare we to you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.American King James Version).

Other people can help us see the lighter side of life even when things look bleak. Humor is a valuable tool to provide balance to extreme thoughts and feelings and by nature neutralizes fear and depression. Its been said that laughter is the best medicine, and it is one of the vital antidotes for mental disorders. Depression is not just a mental affliction. It involves an imbalance of endorphinsthe good chemicalsin the brain, and humor helps boostendorphins.

The Bible long ago expressed the effectiveness of humor in providing relief for a depressed spirit: A merry heart does good, like medicine (Proverbs 17:22 Proverbs 17:22A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.American King James Version).

Whenever Christians gather together, they can mutually edify one another by the synergistic effect compared to iron sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17 Proverbs 27:17Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.American King James Version). When all is said and done, the best guarantee of a long and healthy life may be the connections you have with other people (Nancy Shute, Prescription: Dont Be Lonely, U.S. News and World Report, Nov. 12,2008).

The most important thing you personally can do to combat and overcome fear and depression is to develop a vibrant relationship with God. Secular research and biblical instruction alike verify itseffectiveness.

At one time psychologists believed that faith in God detracted from psychological wellness, but research has shown otherwise. Modern psychologists predicted that religion would be exposed as a neurosis and outgrown; instead, religious commitment has been shown empirically to be a vital component of basic mental health (Patrick Glynn, God: The Evidence, 1999, pp.19-20).

Further, people of committed religious faith report much higher levels of personal happiness and psychological well-being than do their agnostic or atheistic counterparts (pp.61-62).

The Bible is essentially an owners manual on how to conduct our lives. If we apply it, it assures us of overall peace andhappiness.

Many of its passages assure us that a relationship with God will enrich our lives: Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble (Psalms 119:165 Psalms 119:165Great peace have they which love your law: and nothing shall offend them.American King James Version). God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 1:7For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.American King James Version). Love is one of the attributes of Gods Holy Spirit, and perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18 1 John 4:18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.American King James Version).

Psalm 19 contains several statements about how the Word of God engenders a healthy mind. It converts the soul (Psalms 19:7 Psalms 19:7The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.American King James Version), rejoices the heart and enlightens the eyes (Psalms 19:8 Psalms 19:8The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.American King James Version).

Another element of a healthy relationship with God is prayer. Men and women of God in the Bible prayed. Jesus told His disciples to pray, and He taught them how (Matthew 6:9-13 Matthew 6:9-13 9 After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For your is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.American King James Version). Jesus prayed regularly to His Father and on at least one occasion prayed all night (Luke 6:12 Luke 6:12And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.American King James Version). He prayed in part because He experienced the same human emotions and temptations we all experience (Hebrews 4:15 Hebrews 4:15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.American King James Version).

The night before He died, Jesus was very anxious as He said, My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death (Matthew 26:38 Matthew 26:38Then said he to them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even to death: tarry you here, and watch with me.American King James Version, NIV). He countered this by praying earnestly three times to God (Matthew 26:39-44 Matthew 26:39-44 39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will. 40 And he comes to the disciples, and finds them asleep, and said to Peter, What, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, your will be done. 43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.American King James Version), and in so doing was strengthened to face the excruciating ordeal that awaited Him in the hours tocome.

Prayers can likewise strengthen us in times of fear and depression. Both David and the prophet Daniel faced threats to their lives that they overcame through prayer. Both men habitually prayed three times a day (Psalms 55:17 Psalms 55:17Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.American King James Version; Daniel 6:10 Daniel 6:10Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled on his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.American King James Version). The New Testament tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17 1 Thessalonians 5:17Pray without ceasing.American King James Version).

Still another tool in our kit for a healthy mind through a relationship with God is meditation. Meditation is focused thinking. No amount of meditating can magically erase the stress of losing a job or a loved one. But it can help people cope (Michelle Andrews, How to Beat Stress and Angst Through Meditation, U.S. News and World Report, Dec. 29,2008).

The apostle Paul urged Timothy to meditate on Gods Word: Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them (1 Timothy 4:13-15 1 Timothy 4:13-15 13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Neglect not the gift that is in you, which was given you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself wholly to them; that your profiting may appear to all.American King James Version). The author of Psalm 119 said that he meditated on Gods law (verse97).

Meditation enables us to replace unprofitable thoughts with healthy ones. If you find your life burdened with stresses and anxieties, the end of the day is a good time to overhaul your thinking. Dr. Hart advises, This is a good time to do a mental wash when you review anxieties that are cluttering your thinking and dump those that are not important (p.204).

Worry is a form of fear, and excessive worry can also morph into depression. Jesus knew that we are prone to worry, so He said to His disciples, Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on (Matthew 6:25 Matthew 6:25Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?American King James Version). He added: For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:32-33 Matthew 6:32-33 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. 33 But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.American King James Version).

The ultimate solution to all of humanitys needs and problems is for Jesus Christ to return, for God to establish His Kingdom and for mankind to receive the gift of eternal life. But God has promised to provide the essentials of life now to those who seek Him, and His unbreakable promise is that those who turn to Him in repentance and obedience will eventually live forever in His everlastingKingdom.

May we all believe God when He tells us in Isaiah 41:10 Isaiah 41:10Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.American King James Version: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous righthand.

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Fear and Depression: Conquer Them With These Crucial Keys


May 14

Diet | Definition of Diet at Dictionary.com

diet

"regular food," early 13c., from Old French diete (13c.) "diet, pittance, fare," from Medieval Latin dieta "parliamentary assembly," also "a day's work, diet, daily food allowance," from Latin diaeta "prescribed way of life," from Greek diaita, originally "way of life, regimen, dwelling," related to diaitasthai "lead one's life," and from diaitan, originally "separate, select" (food and drink), frequentative of *diainysthai "take apart," from dia- "apart" + ainysthai "take," from PIE root *ai- "to give, allot." Often with a sense of restriction since 14c.; hence put (someone) on a diet (mid-15c.).

diet

"assembly," mid-15c., from Medieval Latin dieta, variant of diaeta "daily office (of the Church), daily duty, assembly, meeting of counselors," from Greek diaita (see diet (n.1)), but associated with Latin dies "day" (see diurnal).

late 14c., "to regulate one's diet for the sake of health," from Old French dieter, from diete (see diet (n.1)); meaning "to regulate oneself as to food" (especially against fatness) is from 1650s. Related: Dieted; dieting. An obsolete word for this is banting. The adjective in this sense (Diet Coke, etc.) is from 1963, originally American English.

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Diet | Definition of Diet at Dictionary.com


Apr 18

Study shows how high-fat diets increase colon cancer risk …

Epidemiologists have long warned that, in addition to causing obesity, eating too much fat and sugar puts a person at greater risk for colon cancer. Now, researchers at Temple University have established a link that may explain why.

The findings, Epigenetic Differences in Normal Colon Mucosa of Cancer Patients Suggest Altered Dietary Metabolic Pathways, were published in the March issue of the American Association for Cancer Researchs journal, Cancer Prevention Research.

There have always been questions about why things like diet and obesity are independent risk factors for colon cancer, said Carmen Sapienza, professor of pathology in Temples Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, the studys lead author. This study suggests how and why high fat diets are linked to colon cancer.

The researchers compared colon tissue in non-colon cancer patients with normal colon tissue in patients with the disease. In the normal tissue from patients with colon cancer, they found that epigenetic marks on genes involved in breaking down carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids abundant in the fatty Western diet appeared to have been retrained. Epigenetic marks are chemical modifications that serve as on/off switches for many genes.

These foods are changing the methylation patterns on a persons insulin genes so that they express differently, pumping out more insulin than the body requires, said Sapienza. In people that have colon cancer, their glucose metabolic pathways and insulin signaling pathways are running at completely different levels than people who dont have colon cancer.

Sapienza said that cancer cells love insulin and studies have shown that tumors feed off of insulin. Insulin is only supposed to be expressed in your pancreas, so having this extra insulin is bad, he said.

Sapienza pointed out that people dont usually get colon cancer until the age of 50 or older, so it is unclear when the epigenetic modification of the genes begins.

The hypothesis is that the changes in the metabolic pathways happen first, and once they occur, if any kind of mutation happens that causes a cancerous polyp, you are going to feed it through this excess insulin, he said.

There have always been questions about why things like diet and obesity are independent risk factors for colon cancer. This study suggests how and why high fat diets are linked to colon cancer.

-- Carmen Sapienza, professor of pathology, Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology

Sapienza said this study provides the first evidence of widespread epigenetic modification of metabolic pathway genes occurring in healthy colon tissue.

The researchers theorize that if the modification found in healthy colon tissue could also be found in other healthy tissues in the body, they might be used to diagnose or determine the likelihood of colon cancer by through a saliva or blood test in addition to a colonoscopy.

In addition to Sapienza, researchers om the study included Matthew L. Silviera, Brian P. Smith and Jasmine Powell of the Fels Institute for Cancer Researcher and Molecular Biology in Temples School of Medicine.

The study was funded through the National Institutes of Health and Temples Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology.

More here:
Study shows how high-fat diets increase colon cancer risk ...



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