It can be SO confusing trying to sift through the deep forest jungles of nutrition information. There's the Atkins Diet, the Paleo Diet, the South Beach Diet, and the list can go on and on! I recently just heard about the Ram An Onion Up Your Nose Diet (ok, not really, but some of these can really get out of hand). All of these diets are encouraged for quick weight loss and are supposed to bring "health" to the body. We appreciate living in the "Information Age", but TMI (too much information) can leave us overwhelmed and confused. Even though we may reside in the overgrown jungle of nutrition confusion and misinformation, I am going to hand you a machete and we'll sift through this together.
So, why do we want to eat right?
One of the reasons we want to eat right is because we want to feel good. When we feel good physically, we then have the energy and stamina to be able to help and serve others. When we are sick all the time, we can't even help ourselves. Some of the greatest temple blessings we can receive are those of health...but, like anything else, faith without works is dead. In Doctrine and Covenants 89 we received the Word of Wisdom. In the word of wisdom we learn that wholesome grains, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts are for us to eat. Meat can be eaten, but is to be eaten sparingly. Not just because too much animal protein produces too much mucus for our bodies which can cause various ailments, but also to "spare" the animal.
In the book "Original Fast Foods" by James Simmons (http://www.amazon.com/
Original-Fast-Foods-James- Simmons/dp/1568612273) Heber J. Grant is quoted as saying this:
"I think that another reason I have very splendid strength for an old man is that during the years we have had a cafeteria ( at the temple)....I have not, with the exception of not more than a dozen times, ordered meat of any kind. ... I have endeavored to live the Word of Wisdom and that, in my opinion, is one reason for my good health." (Conference Report, April 1937, p. 15)
I have been to a few classes by Peter Bigfoot, who said he was "vegetarian" for about 20 years, and he said it almost killed him. Sometimes our bodies need it, but sparingly isn't 3 times a day for our entire lives as other guidelines available suggest.
In "Original Fast Foods" the author suggests 10 percent of what we eat be animal protein. Fair enough.
Dr. John R. Christopher wrote a pamphlet called "Just What is the Word of Wisdom?" He had some interesting points to consider, so much so that Elder John A. Widtsoe encouraged him to continue to print it so that it would be made available to as many people as possible. Here are a few of his thoughts:
- – “This has generally been accepted as referring to intoxicating liquors, but a strong drink is any drink, hot or cold, which is a habit forming drink.” He goes on to explain that it was many years after this revelation was given before Man and Science understood the phrase “for the washing of your bodies”. It was discovered that alcohol could be used for the cleansing of wounds and for the killing of germs.
- – Dr. Christopher suggests that if tobacco is such a strong and dangerous herb to require a caution for its use even on the outside of the body, “what will it do to the delicate tissues and membranes inside the body?”
- – “The common conception of hot drinks is tea and coffee . . . Medical Science has discovered . . . that any hot liquid taken into the body is harmful . . .” He clarifies that hot chocolate, postum and even soup—if too hot—can be very injurious to the delicate tissues of the body. (? By Dr. John R. Christopher, MH, p.5-7)