There is an urgent need for dietary guideline for contemporary society because there are diverse health challenges. People suffer from diverse diseases and most of these diseases are diet- related. People are prone to diseases for two major reasons- TOXICITY and DEFICIENCY. Toxicity occurs on the one hand when people take in the wrong food most of the time. On the other hand, the body gets deficient of the right nutrients due to wrong feeding. Man lacks the discipline to eat the right kind of food and therefore a dietary pattern may be useful in controlling people’s food choices. Berdanier, a nutritionist advocated for a dietary pattern for individuals and nations as a major way of improving world health status.
The Food Pyramid was introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) since the 1970s, and it has been modified and updated in 1992 and 2005. A Food Pyramid is a pyramid-shaped diagram representing the optimal number of servings to be eaten each day from each of the basic food groups. However, the American Food pyramid has not produced the desired result in terms of improving health. The reason the American Food Pyramid has not been very effective is that it does not necessarily instruct people to remove certain harmful foods from their diets. The search for a solution to disease rummaging individuals and nations is an ongoing exercise.
WHEN YOU CHANGE YOUR DIETARY LIFESTYLE, YOU CHANGE YOUR HEALTH AUTOMATICALLY.
SOCIETAL NEED FOR GOD’S DIETARY GUIDELINE
Since previous efforts by the World Health Organization have failed in establishing public health, there is need for a new strategy. God prescribed plant food to man in order for him to enjoy optimum health on earth, as is spelt out in Genesis 1:29, “I give you every seed bearing plant/herb(KJV) on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it, they will be yours for food” (NIV). The reason plant based food is very unique is that it is only the plants that can help man harness the basic minerals located in the earth/soil, such as Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, which the body requires on a daily basis. In fact, writing about plant food, McDougall affirmed that there is no comparison between animal food and plant food when it comes to providing immune boosting and cancer fighting nutrients. Animal foods are devoid of antioxidants whereas plant foods are rich in antioxidants and provide a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals and other health promoting nutrients. Only plant food contains phytochemicals which fight free radicals in our system and are very good for preventive health care.
Pamplona Roger (2004); Malkmus and Shockey (2006); and Obinna ( 2008), have all written to amplify the fantastic nutritional and medicinal values in fruits and vegetables. Eating them raw is more beneficial to humans. Raw foods have live force because they retain the vitamins, nutrients and enzymes in them (Malkmus and Shockey 2006). These listed components in raw food enhance the function of the cells in the body but they get destroyed by heating and frying.
The other uniqueness of God’s dietary laws is that the laws also prescribe the foods especially animals and animal parts that should not be eaten ( Leviticus 11 ; Deut.14). God did not give the Israelites any other reason why they should obey the dietary laws other than for them to be holy and set apart for him. The Old Testament record however shows that those Israelites that adhered to these laws lived healthier lives than the people who ignored them (Dan. 1:11-15). Many exegetes and commentators made the case for the health implications of the dietary laws even though it is still a topic of debate. It must be noted that most of those proscribed foods have been scientifically proven to be very harmful to man especially fat and blood. The OT dietary laws indeed have a contemporary bite and appear to suit the health need of our society. Why the diet guideline that God gave the Israelites is still applicable to our society is because Israel is a nation that God has chosen as his channel to reach out to the entire nations of the world.
Since we know that God made our bodies, we should also obey his instructions concerning the feeding, nourishment and well being of our bodies. In putting down the dietary laws, he has humanity’s welfare at heart. What can solve the health problems facing our contemporary society both in Nigeria and across the globe is DIETARY LIFESTYLE CHANGE. Once people decide to change their dietary habit, their health will change automatically. People should lay off fatty foods , sugars, foods of artificial composition, excessive meat and feed more on raw vegetables and fruits. If we feed more on raw food, we are bound to operate in super health. Diet change is the road to optimum health of individuals and nations.
Berdanier , C.(2000) Handbook of Nutrition and Food: London: CRC Press
Clemency, M.(ed et al 2003) Vibrant Health in the 21st Century: England: The Stan Borough
Douglas, W.(2004) Vol.6, Issue 2http://tomorrow’s world.org
Fuhrman (2006)ensinearticles.com/sideeffects of fat
Malkmus,G. and Shockey ,S.(2006)The Hallelujah Diet: Experience the Optimal Health You
Were Meant to Have: U.S.A.: Destiny Image Publishers.
Obinna ,C.(2008) Vegetables: Common but Uncommonly Nutritious in The Vanguard, Friday, Sept. 12.
Pamplona Roger (ed.2004) Encyclopaedia of Foods and Their Healing Power ( A Guide to food science and diet Therapy: Spain: Review and Herald Publ. Association.
Dr.(mrs) Uzonna Echeta( Bible Health minister and diet counsellor)
Dept. of Religion and Cultural Studies.