“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
Fat causes cardiovascular disease, fat doesn’t cause cardiovascular disease, carbs are bad, most of your diet should consist of carbs, grains are bad…well actually, as long as they’re whole grains you’re okay. Is your head spinning yet?
There have been so many dietary recommendations in my lifetime I don’t even know what the government wants me to eat anymore. Which is why I decided to make my own rules. If God didn’t make it directly, I’m not eating it. Fruits? Vegetables? No problem. Meat? Yes please. Bread, cookies, cereal, basically anything that comes in a box or bag? Not so much.
Personally, I’ve taken this a few steps further and completely cut out all grains (yes, even corn) and am basically following the paleo diet 90% of the time (we’ll talk about the other 10% later). But honestly, if you can cut out anything processed you’re already miles ahead the rest of the population.
By the way, I realize that the Paleo Diet is based on the idea that we evolved from primates. No, I don’t believe this. However, even if you disregard that fact, the information about how different foods react with our body still stand. Also, I feel a lot better physically since starting to eat that way and that’s really all that matters. So, I have no problem adopting this way of eating even though I disagree with part of it.
Yeah, but what does that include?
To me, processed food is any food that you don’t purchase in its original form.
- cake mixes
- granola bars
- ice cream
- frozen prepackaged dinners
- this list could go on for days
Anything in a package with a long list of ingredients can safely be assumed to be processed. Why would you want to avoid these? Well first of all, you don’t really know what they contain. Have you ever read the ingredients list on a loaf of bread? I have no idea what half of that stuff is…so how do I know it’s safe for me to eat?
A good rule I’ve heard is that if you can’t make it in your own kitchen with the ingredients on the ingredients list, it’s processed and probably shouldn’t be eaten.
Okay, but you’re not even eating any grains?! God made all these delicious foods so…what’s the big deal?
I’ve struggled with this question myself. How can all these things be so harmful when God created them? Well first of all, let’s look at how most grains are eaten, especially wheat.
You guessed it, processed so much that they are completely unrecognizable from their original state. If you looked at a loaf of bread, you would never be able to tell what the original form of the grain even looked like. Chicken Nuggets shaped like dinosaurs? I don’t really think that’s how God intended us to fuel our bodies. God didn’t create these insanely unhealthy foods, man did…and man added a lot of crap to keep things cheap and addictive.
So, reason number one, most of the things that are bad for you, were created by man. Stick to whole, unprocessed foods designed by the ultimate designer.
Just because God made it, doesn’t mean we should be eating lots of it all the time.
Let’s look at the first part of 1 Corinthians 6:12: “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful.
Yeah, we can eat it, but should we eat it? Probably not. Let’s think about this another way. God created tobacco and we can smoke that if we want (if we’re over 18) but should we do it? No, it’s not healthy. Neither are processed foods and grains. It’s been proven! I’m not just telling you not to eat these things because I think they’re wrong. I’m telling you because they are destroying your health and making you fat.
Why eat a piece of bread with a couple nutrients that don’t really get absorbed very well into your system when you could eat a huge salad with tons of nutrients? It might taste better but you aren’t going to look or feel better in the long run. (Plus, you can TOTALLY spice up that salad to make it delicious.)
Not all things are helpful.
Reason number two: Not all things that are made to be eaten are helpful.
The second part of 1 Corinthians 6:12 says, “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.
Studies have shown that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. I can attest to this one myself. Well, I’ve never done coke but I’ve NEVER ever had a craving for anything in my entire life except for sugar. I recently gave up coffee (and I drank a lot of coffee) and was thinking it would be pretty hard. Honestly, the only negative effect I experienced was a headache for a few days. I never actually had the feeling that I needed to drink a cup of coffee. But holy crap, giving up sugar has been the hardest thing EVER. Especially when most of my meals consisted of sweets for a really long time.
I don’t like being a slave to my sugar cravings and I hope you don’t either. Kick the habit. Yeah, it will be really hard at first, but it gets easier.
Do yourself a favor and don’t replace sugary treats with a bunch of extra fruit. It’s still sugar. Obviously a healthier version, but you’ll never get rid of the cravings that way. Instead, try some protein. Jerky or nuts are always good when you’re craving a snack. After a while, you’ll actually start to want to eat those things instead.
Reason number three: That crap is addictive.
We should avoid processed foods and sugary things because…
- Man created processed foods, not God. Man does not have our best interest in mind. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 1 John 5:19
- All things that are able to be eaten are not helpful. Meat, vegetables, and fruit provide WAY more nutrients than any processed food.
- Some things are addictive and we don’t want to be a slave to our diet.
Make the choice today to take one processed food out of your diet. Skip the soda, instead of eating that chewy granola bar covered in chocolate, drenched in sugar, (it’s basically a candy bar FYI) grab some nuts or beef jerky for a snack, it will fill you up for longer and it’s better for you!
What are you going to do today to take processed foods out of your diet and add in healthy whole foods? Let me know in the comments!