Jesus Christ, the apostles and the Mediterranean diet/Mosaic diet

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Christ And The Rich Young Ruler by Heinrich Hofmann (1824–1911), 1889.

In addition to the Mosaic diet, Jesus Christ ate a Mediterranean diet.[1]

The Mayo Clinic describes the Mediterranean diet thusly:

If you're looking for a heart-healthy eating plan, the Mediterranean diet might be right for you. The Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating — plus a splash of flavorful olive oil and perhaps even a glass of red wine — among other components characterizing the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

Most healthy diets include fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, and limit unhealthy fats. While these parts of a healthy diet remain tried-and-true, subtle variations or differences in proportions of certain foods may make a difference in your risk of heart disease.

Benefits of the Mediterranean diet

Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. In fact, an analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer, as well as a reduced incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases...

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:

  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)

The diet also recognizes the importance of being physically active, and enjoying meals with family and friends.[2]

In terms of physical activity, Jesus Christ worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty years old. Jesus had no electric power tools as carpenters do today, but worked with hand tools made of iron. Then for about three years, Jesus was an itinerant preacher.[3]

Jesus and the Mediterranean diet

The Christian Chuck Norris wrote in his article entitled Chuck Norris asks, 'What would Jesus eat?':

In his excellent book “What Would Jesus Eat?” Dr. Don Colbert does a great job of explaining what the Master would have eaten and drank during his day.

Colbert told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “I thought I’d go back to the training manual – the Bible – and see what Jesus ate. Lo and behold, Jesus ate the healthiest diet ever developed, the Mediterranean diet.”[1]

Mosaic diet is a healthy diet in terms of weight management

For a large segment of their lives, the apostles of Jesus not only ate a Mediterranean diet, but ate according to the Mosaic dietary laws. The Mosaic dietary laws are in accordance with a healthy lifestyle in terms of weight management as evidenced by the fact that one looks at the pictures of modern Orthodox Jews, most have a healthy body weight (See: Google image search of the term "Orthodox Jews").

Mosaic diet and low animal Toxicity

Dr. David Macht

In 1953 Dr. David Macht, a Johns Hopkins researcher, conducted toxicity tests on many different kinds of animals and fish and concluded that the toxicity of Levitically "unclean" animals was higher than that of the "clean" animals, and that the correlation with the description in Leviticus was 100%.[4]

Macht's study in terms of classifying kosher and non-kosher animals matched the kosher classification performed by James W. Atz, Ph.D., Curator and Dean Bibliographer in the Department of Ichthyology of the American Museum of Natural History, NY, NY and Adjunct Professor of Biology, Graduate School of Arts and Science on New York University. Dr. Atz's list of kosher and non-kosher animals was published by the Orthodox Union in Kosher Guide and in the Orthodox Union Kosher Consumer Directory.[5] According to a list of kosher and non-kosher fish published by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, deciding what fish have scales, in the Orthodox Jewish community, appears to involve semantics as scales which are not visible to the human eye or scales that cannot be removed without tearing the skin are not considered "scales" in terms of the Torah law for determining which fish are kosher. It appears that Jewish religious authorities do appeal to well known Torah commentators.[6] Also, Dr. Macht's classification of swans as kosher is in accordance with the research done at Ohr Somayach Institutions in Jerusalem, Israel.[7]

Furthermore, Dr. Macht states in the peer reviewed journal Science that the toxicology test he used was a reliable method for detecting zoological toxins as it was a toxicology test sensitive to these type of toxins, and therefore one could conclude it was also suitable for testing the toxicity levels of fish, meat, and poultry.[8] (The toxicological method that Dr. Macht used was also cited in the Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine.[9]) In addition, Dr. Macht was an expert in cobra venom, which is a zoological toxin. Macht's conclusions, however, were challenged by three of his science community peers in a Seventh Day Adventist publication although one partially affirmed his study.[10] This was partly due to a likely unfamiliarity with what food is kosher and non-kosher. Also, perhaps they were unfamiliar with the toxicity test Dr. Macht used, and its apparent effectiveness in testing zoological toxins.

In the short term, eating non-kosher food often appears to have no dramatic ill effects in general. For example, the Arabs, who do not eat kosher, consider camel to be a delicacy. Clearly, non-kosher Arabs do not fall dead right after eating camel meat. However, the long term optimality of eating clean versus unclean meat is an unanswered question of science. Also, eating non-kosher foods clearly has some nutritional benefit. For example, shrimp and pork contain protein.

The New Testament declares:

For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. - 1 Timothy 4:4-5 (NKJV)[11]

In regard to the aforementioned verse, it could be argued that prayer does sanctify food. The Bible has plenty of verses regarding God's protection. Also, it could be argued that the benefits outweigh the costs in all foods and thus all food is good. Clearly there is some nutritional goodness in foods that the Torah declared unclean (for example, shrimp has protein). What foods are optimal from an empirically tested science viewpoint is often controversial. In short, in regard to eating strictly a kosher diet versus a non-kosher diet, science has no definitive answers at the present time. From a Christian theological point of view, it could be argued that food should not be an impediment to anyone making a decision to become a Christian. It should be noted that orthodox Christian believers in Biblical scientific foreknowledge believe that Christians can eat the food that was declared unclean in the Old Testament, and 1_Timothy 4:4-5 and Galations 2:7-16 make this very clear.

In addition to the aforementioned study testing kosher and non-kosher foods for toxicity levels, Macht developed evidence indicating that combining meat and milk tended to be more toxic than either foodstuff alone.[12] In addition, he compared conventional animal slaughtering versus kosher slaughtering and determined that kosher slaughtering produced less toxic meat.[12]

A 1985 study by Nanji and French found that there was a significant correlation between cirrhosis and pork consumption (Macht claimed that swine was more toxic than the animal meat the Bible called clean).[13] Modern pork production methods are different from ancient methods of raising pigs, so the result of this study might be hard to apply to the ancients or those who raise pigs by organic farming methods, without the use of hormones or antiobiotics.

Jane Cahill reported in Biblical Archaeological Review that the toilets of a Jewish household in Jerusalem were examined and no parasites or infectious agents were found.[14]

Today, some "alternative medicine" practitioners do not recommend pork to their patients and subscribed advisees. Their reasons include the possible content of hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides, and also the undiscriminating diet of the pig. Joseph Mercola, DO, who has a private practice in alternative general medicine, writes:

Pigs are scavenger animals and will eat just about anything. Their appetite for less-than-wholesome foods makes pigs a breeding ground for potentially dangerous infections. Even cooking pork for long periods is not enough to kill many of the retroviruses and other parasites that many of them harbor.[15]

Dr. Mercola does not even recommend pasture-raised pork, because wild boars will often infect herds of pork with Trichinella spiralis or other parasites.[15]

See also: Bible scientific foreknowledge

Religion, irreligion, health and obesity

Nate Phelps spoke at the 2009 American Atheists convention.[16] Nate is currently the Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry Canada.[17] (photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement), Title: Nate Phelps AAC00 (a very brave man)

See also: Atheism and obesity

According to the Gallup Inc., "Very religious Americans are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are moderately religious or nonreligious."[18]

Studies on religion and self-control

See also: Atheism and gluttony and Atheism and hedonism

In the journal article Religion, self-regulation, and self-control: Associations, explanations, and implications, psychologists McCullough and Willoughby theorize that many of the positive links of religiousness with health and social behavior may be caused by religion's beneficial influences on self-control/self-regulation.[19][20] Furthermore, a 2012 Queen's University study published in Psychological Science found that religion replenishes self-control.[21][22] Also, numerous studies indicate that those who engage in regular spiritual practices have lower mortality rates.[23][24] See also: Atheism and hedonism

For more information, please see: Atheism and obesity

Religion, irreligion and health

There is considerable amount of scientific evidence that suggest that theism is more conducive to mental and physical health than atheism [25] (For more information, please see: Atheism and health).

For example, the Iona Institute reported:

A meta-analysis of all studies, both published and unpublished, relating to religious involvement and longevity was carried out in 2000. Forty-two studies were included, involving some 126,000 subjects. Active religious involvement increased the chance of living longer by some 29%, and participation in public religious practices, such as church attendance, increased the chance of living longer by 43%.[26][27]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Chuck Norris asks, 'What would Jesus eat?': Discovers Christ ate 'healthiest diet ever developed' by Chuck Norris, Published: 03/29/2013 at 9:59 PM
  2. Mediterranean diet by Mayo Clinic
  3. One Solitary Life by Grahame Pockette
  4. Macht, David I., MD. "An Experimental Pharmacological Appreciation of Levitcus XI and Deuteronomy XIV." Bulletin of the History of Medicine 27(5):444-450, September–October, 1953. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  5. Atz, James W., contrib. "KASHRUT.COM - Kosher and Non-kosher fish" Scharf Associates, 2008. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  6. Goldberg, Chaim. "Consumers’ FAQ’s on Kosher fish." Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, 2004. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  7. "Ask the Rabbi - Are swans kosher?" Ohr Somayach Website,, October 24, 1998. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  8. Macht, D.I. , Science 1930, 71 :302
  9. Macht, D.I. and Macht, M.B. Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine 1941, 26: 597
  10. Harris, Lester E., Jr. "This Question of Unclean Meats." Ministry Magazine, March 1953, p37-38. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  11. 1 Timothy 4:4-5 (NKJV)
  12. 12.0 12.1 David I. Macht, Medical Leaves 1940; 3:174-184
  13. Nanji AA, and French SW. "Relationship between pork consumption and cirrhosis." Lancet 1985 Mar 23, 1(8430):681-3. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  14. It had to happen, Scientist Examines Ancient Bathrooms of Romans 586 B.C. by Jane Cahill and Peter Warnock. BAR May/June 1991
  15. 15.0 15.1 Mercola, Joseph, DO, ed. "Are There Deadly Superbugs In Your Pork?" <>, July 12, 2008. Accessed September 12, 2008.
  17. Huffington Post, May 2012
  19. Religion, Self-Regulation, and Self-Control: Associations, Explanations, and Implications
  20. Religion, Self-Regulation, and Self-Control: Associations, Explanations, and Implications
  21. Religion Replenishes Self-Control, Psychological Science, June 2012 vol. 23 no. 6 635-642, Kevin Rounding, Albert Lee, Jill A. Jacobson and Li-Jun Ji at Queen’s University
  22. Study finds religion helps us gain self-control
  23. Religious involvement and mortality: a meta-analytic review. McCullough ME, Hoyt WT, Larson DB, Koenig HG, Thoresen C., Health Psychol. 2000 May;19(3):211-22.
  24. The role of spirituality in health care, roc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2001 October; 14(4): 352–357.
  25. McCullogh ME, Larson DB, Hoyt WT. et al. (2000). Religious involvement and mortality: a meta-analytic review. Health Psychology. 19, 3. 211-222
  26. The psycho-social benefits of religious practice by Iona Institute
  27. McCullogh ME, Larson DB, Hoyt WT. et al. (2000). Religious involvement and mortality: a meta-analytic review. Health Psychology. 19, 3. 211-222