Christianity And The Paleo Diet: Can They Co-Exist?
I really enjoy philosophical questions about nutrition from my readers because it means they are giving serious thought to this whole concept of livin’ la vida low-carb and not just blindly following it (that’s what far too many people are doing with conventional wisdom regarding diet). Some people buy into the healthy low-carb lifestyle hook, line, and sinker because it just makes total sense to them through the scientific evidence and results they see personally while others have to come into it gradually at their own pace as knowledge and understanding begins to happen and they become convinced empirically. That’s what is so fantastic about the whole low-carb/Paleo/primal community is that each of us are at varying levels on this journey to attain optimal health and have our own hurdles and obstacles to overcome to make this way of eating work for us in the long-term.
With the rise in popularity of the Paleolithic diet in recent years that hearkens back to the nutritional and exercise habits of our early human ancestors, an intriguing question has come up amongst a certain segment of my readership: Christians. I’ve briefly discussed the subject of diet and the Bible in a previous post I wrote called “Does The Bible Consider The Atkins Diet A Sin?”. As a believer in Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, I’ll receive an e-mail from time to time questioning how I reconcile my faith in God and the Paleo diet. Whether it’s the whole “evolutionary” aspect of it or the seemingly high-carb diet of Biblical days, there are some serious concerns whether or not a Christian can follow a Paleolithic diet while maintaining the integrity of their religious beliefs. The following e-mail I received from a reader recently addresses this directly from a Christian who sincerely wanted to know how her faith and chosen diet can co-exist:
I’ve been a faithful, long-term low-carber for seven years, so I’m totally on-board with the health benefits of low-carb eating. I enjoy reading your blog, Dr. Eades’ blog, and Gary Taubes book/interviews. I like to think I’m pretty well-educated on the ins-and-outs of low-carbing.
I have one question that keeps coming up that I don’t know how to answer. I am a Christian, as are my parents. I know that you are, too, so perhaps you can put this into perspective for me. My mom keeps saying, “Why did God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, eating from the fruits and vegetables that grew there, if human digestive systems were not designed to eat those things? Why did God even create edible grains if we weren’t meant to eat them?”
The people in the Bible routinely ate “bread” and even Jesus used the metaphor, “I am the Bread of Life.” Christians “break bread” together as part of the commemorative act of Communion. You see where I’m going with this. At what time in human history were we hunter/gatherers?
The results of low-carbing speak for themselves, but this perplexes me. Thanks for any insights you can offer, Jimmy.