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The Maker's Diet: Updated and Expanded: The 40-Day Health Experience That Will Change Your Life Forever
by Jordan Rubin
Learn More | Meet Jordan Rubin
The Desperate Search for Health
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that millions of middle-aged American moms and dads, college students, and even younger teens sense that something is terribly wrong with their health. They just don’t know what to do about it.
Best-selling health books offer ever-changing “flavor of the month” fad diets, while the media blow like a leaf in the wind, breathlessly telling us to eat a certain food one day and to avoid it the next. A recent example is the U.S. government stating that it’s okay to drink up to five cups of coffee per day. I thought caffeine wasn’t good for you!
So how does an exhausted forty-two-year-old mother lose weight safely while finding the energy to keep up with a vanload of active teenagers and younger children? How does she get her woefully out-of-shape husband back in to the gym and help her mother overcome the painful bouts with arthritis and an embarrassing overactive bladder?
Most mothers know better than to take these questions to their local HMO or their busy family physician. Though moms may not have a wall filled with medical degrees, they do run long on common sense—because they have to. Something inside tells them that none of the small health “miracles” they hope for will come from a pill or a bottle—or from a man or woman in a white lab coat.
Philosophy of Conventional Medicine
Conventional medicine sends its troops into battle against disease armed with surgery, pharmaceuticals, and invasive therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation. Anything outside the ironclad realm of a knife, a pill, or an X-ray machine is considered voodoo or worse. The genuine desire to maintain health is simply beyond the scope of this “take two-tablets-and-call-me-in-the-morning” philosophy.
Though maintenance of health is mentioned often in the world of alternative medicine, the practical function of defining and preserving genuine good health is beyond the reach of most conventional medical doctors because of their consuming focus on medications and surgical approaches to treating disease. Most medical doctors totally exclude basic nutrition from their treatment plans. Indeed, this makes total sense because they have little educational background to do otherwise.
Thus, you’re on your own. I say that rhetorically, of course, but if you have a mindset of being in charge of your health, then prevention is key. Warding off disease and maintenance of health do not begin in the emergency room or intensive care ward of a hospital; they start with the lifestyle choices you make every day.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m thankful for the surgical expertise in the United States, but I’m convinced that if you follow the genuine biblical nutritional and lifestyle principles that make up the Maker’s Diet, then you will largely remove the need for most of the work done in surgical suites—or visit your local pharmacy as often. Instead, America’s surgeons can devote a lot more time and energy into their vital roles in trauma and emergency medicine for accidents and other special cases if millions like you take charge of your health.
Most physicians have little or no training in nutrition, so I wonder why many confidently tell their patients that their diet has nothing to do with their sickness—even patients like myself with severe bowel disorders! As a result, many people leave their physician’s office with a prescription and a nagging feeling that their symptoms are “all in my head.”
It’s not all in your head. It’s in how you act and how you live your life.
Priorities for Healthcare Are Changing
Ever since The Maker’s Diet was released, I’ve witnessed a growing pushback among millions of people whose lifestyle-related conditions and growing chronic health problems were not addressed by modern medicine. Even when presented for treatment, their conditions did not respond to conventional medical protocols. Feeling as if they were kicked to the curb by a sometimes arrogant and rigid medical system, these people have turned in greater and greater numbers to complementary and alternative healthcare.
Though conventional medicine has declared war on cancer, heart disease, and other killer diseases, it’s definitely losing these battles despite vast expenditures on research. Some might convincingly argue that conventional medicine—as it is currently practiced in the United States—is actually shooting itself (and us) in the foot.
One thing is for sure: Americans’ use of complementary and alternative medicine is not going away. According to a National Institutes for Health survey released in 2015, U.S. adults are using alternative medicine methods 38 percent of the time—a number that’s been growing slowly but steadily for decades. Typical therapies include acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, homeopathic treatments, massages, Pilates, naturopathy, and yoga classes.
Essentially, the shortcomings of conventional medicine have sent many adults looking for options, but let me candidly tell you that many of these alternative treatments—such as biofeedback, hypnosis, and Qi gong—are as suspect as their conventional counterparts. Care must be taken to ascertain that an alternative approach to health care is scientifically based and fundamentally sound, as I will discuss shortly.
My feeling on this whole matter about conventional and alternative medicine is that if you adopt the Maker’s Diet, you’ll enjoy a lot less chance of ever needing emergency or trauma medical services. Remember the great saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
But as I discovered during my battle with a supposedly incurable disease, once you step outside of the relatively predictable world of conventional medicine, you find yourself on a very unpredictable hamster wheel of alternative medicine. It’s virtually impossible to wade through the hundreds of miracle diets, pills, potions, and health programs out there—and I do mean “out there.”
Something inside us desperately longs to return to the health and active lifestyles we once enjoyed, which is why alternative therapies are so beguiling. Empty promises and flashy marketing campaigns aside, many of these alternative treatments are incredibly expensive, and some may actually endanger your health. I know from painful personal experience that people who are desperate to get well or to regain some measure of health grasp at every straw that offers hope. (Like being told by a well-meaning nutritionist to eat straw, which happened to me one time.)
Step-by-step programs offering inflated guarantees of success are the most perilous attractions. There is a tremendous temptation to plug in to any promising program that gives us an easy road map to follow. Everyone wants to believe testimonials from those who lost fifty pounds or a dozen inches off their waist or beat back diabetes and regained their health, but that’s not how it goes.
With the Maker’s Diet, I refuse to insult your intelligence with simplistic health maxims and ridiculous promises without explaining the functional basis for the health therapy and lifestyle changes you may choose to embrace after reading this book.
But before I have you examine the functional basis for the Maker’s Diet, I’m going to briefly analyze some of the more popular health diets available today. Perhaps you’ve tried some of these already. For this synopsis, I will have something to say about each of the following:
- Standard American diet (or “SAD”)
- vegetarian diet (the Genesis and Hallelujah diets)
- raw food diet
- anti-Candida diet
- balanced macronutrient ratios diet (the “Zone”)
- ketogenic or “low-carb” diet (Atkins’ and South Beach diets)
- food-combining diets
- blood-type diet
The Standard American Diet (SAD)
The “standard” American diet typically includes a doughnut or muffin with coffee and orange juice for breakfast followed by a midmorning bagel with cream cheese. Lunch is likely be a turkey sandwich with a bag of chips and a soft drink—or a hefty fast food burger with extra cheese, a large order of French fries, and a “super-sized” soft drink. The afternoon hours feature an “energy-boosting” candy bar from a vending machine chased with another soft drink. Dinner is invariably a meat-and-potatoes affair with a white roll and margarine, some canned green beans for the health-conscious, followed by Neapolitan ice cream for dessert.
I figure by now that you already know this diet amounts to a prescription for poor health at best and disaster at worst. Virtually any departure from this typical American diet will make you feel better. There is very good reason that I refer to the standard American diet by its acronym—SAD!
The Vegetarian Diet
Vegetarian diets rank as perhaps the oldest of all specialty diets. Some people turn to vegetarian diets because of religious or philosophical beliefs, while others shun meats for fear of heart disease or to avoid the supposedly “bad” saturated fats found in animal foods.
Vegetarianism has the appearance of a great lifestyle. But there are different kinds of vegetarians. To clarify terminology, while all vegetarians avoid meat, fish, and fowl, lacto-ovo vegetarians add dairy and eggs, and lacto-vegetarians say yes to dairy but no to eggs. Vegans, who have risen tremendously in numbers during the last decade, generally consider themselves animal rights activists because they won’t eat or use any animal products—no meat, no dairy, no honey, no leather, no silk, no cosmetics, and no soaps. Their motto is “never to eat or use anything that comes from something with a face.” (The reason they don’t eat honey is because honey is produced by bees.)
Variations of the vegetarian diet include the fruitarian diet (no definition needed).
Then there are the Hallelujah and Genesis diets, which are based on God’s early instructions to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to eat only grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, and vegetables (Genesis 1:29).
Summing up, pure vegetarianism plays into all the food phobias prevalent in our very phobic society. Furthermore, vegetarian apologists attribute virtually every problem of humanity to the consumption of meat, animal fat, and animal products.
The chief benefit of the vegetarian diet is that the focus on fruits and veggies and avoidance of junk food decreases the toxic burden on the body. Vegetarianism is of tremendous value as a short-term cleansing diet.
The purist vegan diet is totally unsuitable for a long-term diet, however, because it deprives the body of essential nutrients available only from meat and animal products. These nutritional deficiencies are nothing to sneeze at and pose potentially deadly consequences to long-term health. Stephen Byrnes, Ph.D., N.D., the author of Diet & Heart Disease and Digestion Made Simple, published an in-depth article entitled “The Myths of Vegetarianism” in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. This article is the primary source for the following information about vegetarianism.
The goal of Dr. Byrnes was not to bash vegetarians but to correct the myth that vegetarianism is somehow a healthier way to live than going through life consuming meat or animal products, which vegans believe is a prescription for sickness and death. Proponents of vegetarianism justify this claim with a number of secondary myths that are widely cited but totally unsupported by scientific evidence. They include the following:
Myth: Meat consumption contributes to famine and depletes the earth’s natural resources. The myth behind the myth is the simplistic idea that the solution to world hunger is for people to become vegetarians. Based on the claim that livestock dominate agricultural land that could be used to raise grains to feed the world’s starving masses, the fact is two-thirds of the earth’s landmass is unsuitable for farming but easily provides food for grazing animals.
To the charge that animals are fed grain that could be more efficiently used to feed the world’s starving masses, Byrnes points out that two-thirds of the plants and plant products fed to animals are unsuitable for human consumption. Because animals and the plants are renewable resources, neither are in danger of depletion.
People do need to eat an abundance of plant products for good health, but the problem has never been a shortage of these foods. Rather, it’s the equitable distribution as well as widespread poverty that’s the complication. Even the Population Reference Bureau attributes the world hunger problem to poverty, not eating meat, and does not consider mass vegetarianism to be a solution to world hunger.
Myth: Vitamin B12—a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells—can be obtained from plant sources. This may be the most dangerous myth of all. Vegans who do not supplement their diets with vitamin B12 will eventually succumb to anemia—a potentially fatal condition. According to Byrnes, several studies indicate most, if not all vegans, have impaired B12 metabolism and low vitamin B12 concentrations.
Vegans simply do not get this vitamin from their diet because it can only be found in animal products like eggs, fish, red meat, and organ meats. Besides anemia, a deficiency in vitamin B12 can also cause fatigue and neurological disorders. Vitamin B12 is essential for cell division, energy, and the formation of red blood cells.
Many vegetarians believe they get vitamin B12 from eating tempeh (fermented soybean cake), spirulina (a type of algae), and brewer’s yeast, but that’s not really the case. Though these foods contain compounds called B12 analogs, these compounds cannot be metabolized by the body.
Some researchers believe that spirulina, although a generally healthy food, actually depletes vitamin B12 because the B12 analogs compete with vitamin B12 and inhibit the metabolism of the vitamin. Vitamin B12 is produced by fermenting bacteria in the large intestine, as vegans claim, but it must have “intrinsic factor” from the stomach to be absorbed, which makes this fermentation byproduct unusable by the body.
Thus, the only reliable sources for vitamin B12 are meat and fish and, to a lesser degree, dairy products.
Myth: Our needs for vitamin D can be met by sunlight. It’s true that the body, in particular the skin, catalyzes the conversion of cholesterol into vitamin D, which manages calcium in bones and helps cells communicate properly. This conversion, however, only occurs in the presence of relatively rare UV-B rays, which are present only at certain times of the day, at certain latitudes, and at certain times of the year. Even then, depending on one’s skin color, it would take as long as two full hours of continual sunning to get 200–400 IUs of vitamin D. Recent research indicates adults need even higher amounts of this vitamin.
And you can only soak up rays if there’s sunlight. I was reminded of that when our family moved from the Sunshine State—Florida—to our Missouri ranchland in 2013. From Thanksgiving to Easter, we didn’t see the sun very much, and when we did, those rays didn’t feel very warm. Much of the northern half of the country has gray skies all winter long, so relying on sunlight is a fool’s errand for at least half the year.
As for using supplementation, a limited number of plant foods contain a form of vitamin D called D2, but clinicians have reported disappointing results using D2 to treat conditions such as rickets, which are related to a vitamin D deficiency. Concerns about vitamin D deficiencies and rickets in vegetarians and vegans always exist because the full complex of this vital nutrient is only found in animal fats.
Myth: The body’s needs for vitamin A can be entirely obtained from plant foods. This vitamin is all-important to the human diet because it allows the body to use proteins and minerals, enhances the immune system, fights infection, and ensures proper vision and reproduction. Unfortunately for vegetarians and vegans, the true form of vitamin A, or retinol, is found only in animal fats and organs such as the liver. The body can convert beta carotene from plants into vitamin A if bile salts are available, but bile secretion in the body is stimulated by the consumption of fat.
Even then, the conversion isn’t very efficient. Butter and full-fat dairy foods from pastured cows are rich sources of vitamin A, as is cod liver oil.
Myth: Eating meat causes osteoporosis, kidney disease, heart disease, and cancer. This claim does not reconcile with historical fact and anthropological research, contrary to what you may have heard. All of the diseases mentioned became much more widespread in the 20th century, whereas people—and long-lived people at that—have been eating meat and animal fat for thousands of years. The truth is that recent studies demonstrate that vegan and vegetarian diets predispose women to osteoporosis because of the lack of protein from meat and calcium from dairy products.
As for kidney disease, meat contains complete proteins and vitamin D, both of which help maintain pH balance in the bloodstream. Meats that God has provided—beef, fish, and lamb—are good sources of magnesium and B6, which help limit the risk of kidney stones. Nothing in nutritional science supports the claim that eating meat causes cardiovascular problems. The French eat large amounts of meat with cream sauces and enjoy low rates of heart disease. The same is true in Greece.
The claim that eating meat causes cancer is based on a flawed study by Dr. Ernst Wynder in the 1970s, who said there was a link between animal fat intake and colon cancer. The “animal fats” turned out to be vegetable fats. Historically, studies of meat-eating peoples—including the people of the Bible—show they had very little incidence of cancer.
Myth: Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol cause heart disease, atherosclerosis, and/or cancer—and low-fat, low-cholesterol diets are healthier for people. This claim is rooted in the flawed “liquid lipids” hypothesis has been used to promote vegetarianism as the best insurance against heart disease.
The theory that saturated fats and cholesterol clog arteries has been effectively disproved by a number of highly respected scientists from many nations. Studies have shown that arterial plaque is primarily composed of unsaturated fats, particularly polyunsaturated ones, and not the saturated fat of animals, palm or coconut. The real culprit is trans fatty acids in such supposedly “healthy” foods as margarine, vegetable shortening, and foods made with them. A Swedish study confirmed previous findings linking vegetable oil intake with higher breast cancer rates.
The Framington Heart Study, often cited as “proof ” of this myth, actually found that residents of Framington, Massachusetts, who ate more saturated fats, cholesterol, and calories had the lowest serum cholesterol levels! Vegetarian diets do not protect against heart disease or atherosclerosis. Recent studies have shown vegetarians to have higher homocysteine levels in their blood. (Homocysteine is a known cause of heart disease.)
Myth: Vegetarians live longer and have more energy and endurance than meat-eaters. One English vegetarian guidebook claimed that vegetarians “can expect to live nine years longer than meat-eaters.” A witty commentator called this so-called life expansion “indulging in a bit of wishful thinking.”
A comprehensive study of heart disease by Russell Smith, Ph.D., showed that death rates actually decreased as animal product consumption increased among some study groups. The longest-lived peoples on earth have all been meat-eaters, and the anthropological data from primitive societies do not support the contention that vegetarians live longer than meat-eaters.
Myth: Consumption of meat and saturated fat has increased in the twentieth century, with a corresponding increase in heart disease and cancer. The hard statistics say the opposite. Butter consumption dropped by more than two-thirds over the last century, but the incidence of heart disease and cancer skyrocketed. Explain that one. And while we’re at it, beef consumption has risen, but meat-eating societies have lived virtually free of cancer and heart disease for centuries, so this cannot be a sole factor.
What has kept pace with the rise of heart disease and cancer is our consumption of trans-fatty acids, packaged foods, processed vegetable oils, carbohydrates, and refined sugar—items virtually unavailable to primitive societies of long-lived meat-eaters. I think you know where the blame should land.
Myth: Soy products are adequate substitutes for meat and dairy products. In Asia, soy products are never used as a primary food. They are used as condiments or side dishes in traditionally fermented forms. Unfermented soybeans and soy products are high in phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that carries minerals out of the body.
Vegetarians are known for their frequent mineral deficiencies; the high phytate content of grain and legume-based diets is to blame. Processed soy products are rich in trypsin inhibitors, which inhibit protein digestion. Some recent research indicates that soy’s phytoestrogens (or isoflavones) could be causative factors in breast cancer, penile birth defects, infantile leukemia, and depressed thyroid function. They have caused infertility in every animal species studied so far as well.
Myth: The human body is not designed for meat consumption. Human physiology clearly refutes this false claim. The stomach’s production of hydrochloric acid is unique to meat-eaters—and activates protein-splitting enzymes. This is not something found in herbivores.
Then there is the human pancreas, which produces a full range of digestive enzymes for handling both animal and vegetable foods. Our very physiology, including our dental structure, demonstrates we are “mixed feeders” or omnivores.
Myth: Animal products contain numerous harmful toxins. Dr. Byrnes comments, “If meat, fish, and eggs do indeed generate cancerous ‘ptyloamines,’ it is very strange that people have not been dying in droves from cancer for the past thousand years.” It also seems strange to me that our Creator would recommend such foods in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, or that Jesus and the disciples would eat them, thereby validating them.
Commercially raised or farmed meat and animal sources may have some harmful contaminants in them (as do commercially farmed plant foods), but this can be avoided by consuming grass-fed organic meats, free-range eggs, and organic dairy products free of man-made chemical toxins.
Myth: Eating meat or animal products is less “spiritual” than eating only plant foods. I’m satisfied to know that Abraham prepared a calf for three angelic visitors. I’m glad to know that Isaac, Jacob, David, and Moses all ate meat, and Jesus partook of meat at the Last Supper, sharing fish with the disciples.
Most vegetarians are really “grain-etarians,” “sugar-tarians,” or “starch-etarians.” The excessive consumption of carbohydrates can drive up insulin levels and jeopardize overall health. Health problems typically associated with vegetarianism include anemia, pallor, listlessness, and poor resistance to infection.
The Raw Food Vegan Diet
Raw food advocates never cook food before eating it, believing this weakens the potency of vitamins and minerals, destroys enzymes, and possibly introduces toxins. (One version of the raw food diet suggests eating raw meat as well as raw fruits and vegetables.)
Their premise is that cooking destroys food enzymes that help with digestion. By preserving these enzymes, we can digest food properly and assimilate nutrients.
The raw food diet shares all the advantages of the vegetarian diet, which are earned by eating plenty of organic fruits, vegetables, and nuts—foods rich in the antioxidants (including vitamins C, E, and beta carotene) that prevent free radicals from damaging body tissue.
The raw food diet also shares all the drawbacks of the vegetarian diet. The raw food diet is notoriously lacking in quality protein, unless raw animal foods are included. This diet is very difficult to stay on and can be problematic with today’s tainted food supply and lack of minerals, vitamins (most notably vitamins A, D, and B12), and essential fatty acids obtainable only from animal foods and/or animal fat.
Some raw food advocates supplement their raw vegetarian diet with raw animal products such as unpasteurized dairy products, raw eggs, uncooked meats, poultry, and fish. This combination offers many benefits, but they may be outweighed by the risk of raw food contamination due to parasites. In addition, some foods are easier to digest when cooked; people with gastrointestinal illnesses simply cannot tolerate a predominantly raw food diet.
Humans lack the enzyme cellulase, which is necessary for digesting plant fibers. In addition, undesirable intestinal microbes can ferment undigested sugar and fiber, which may produce gas, inflammation, and severe pain in certain individuals. I believe a healthy diet contains a combination of raw and cooked foods with plenty of raw foods. Those in seasonal climates will usually be better off consuming more cooked foods in the winter and more raw foods in the summer.
The Anti-Candida (Anti-Yeast) Diet
Many women are drawn to the anti-yeast diet because of chronic battles with Candida in the form of vaginal yeast infections and a myriad of other health problems often attributed to systemic Candida infections. Candidiasis, or chronic yeast overgrowth, is a disease caused by a yeast fungus, Candida albicans.
This yeast often breeds in the throat, mouth, digestive tract, and vaginal tract as well as on the skin. This same yeast, however, has valuable functions in the digestive tract as long as it’s kept in check by other more beneficial microorganisms in the intestine. Once it grows out of control, this seemingly harmless yeast turns into an aggressive fungus that can cause serious intestinal problems and infections of the vagina, mouth, and throat. (The latter two are known as “thrush.”)
In its most serious form, the Candida fungus grows into and through the walls of the intestine, allowing food particles, toxic waste, and yeast waste products to seep into the bloodstream. This serious condition is called leaky gut syndrome. Many cases of Candida occur after taking antibiotics that kill all bacteria in the gut. Candida microbes, resistant to antibiotics, remain active and take over when the friendly bacteria that would normally keep them in check die out.
The anti-Candida diet is an attempt to starve the Candida fungus by eliminating sugar in every form, including foods and beverages that contain sugar, plus fresh fruit and fruit juices because Candida yeast feeds on sugars. Foods fermented with vinegar such as soy sauce, beer, vinegar, sauerkraut, and pickles are also avoided as they may cause an exacerbation of the condition.
Naturally fermented foods using probiotic cultures are highly recommended in the fight against Candida. Avoiding these foods also lowers carbohydrate consumption, which can help people balance blood sugar and hormones and may also aid in weight management.
The standard medical community does not recognize candidiasis as a condition. It may also be diagnosed much too often among alternative medicine practitioners, who seem to readily blame yeast overgrowth for symptoms when the root cause is the lack of balance in the gut flora and immune system that keeps Candida albicans in check. Anti-Candida diets can be very difficult to follow, and they exclude many healthy foods, including fruit and honey.
Following the Maker’s Diet and adding probiotic supplements, especially SBOs, are extremely effective against Candida and other fungi, working to create a healthy balance of flora.
Balanced Macronutrient Ratios Diet (“the Zone”)
The balanced macronutrient ratios diet advocates eating macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) in the ratio of 40 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat. Promoters claim this diet will help you lose weight, live longer, and lower the risk of heart disease.
Dr. Barry Sears, a biochemist, created the Zone diet, which he promoted in his popular books while sounding the alarm about the danger of carbohydrate overconsumption. His goal has been to produce a more balanced biochemical state in the body by reducing carbohydrate intake to 40 percent while increasing protein intake to 30 percent. The Zone diet focuses on two blood-sugar hormones—insulin (the fat-storing hormone) and glucagon (the fat-releasing hormone)—and on a group of short-acting bioactive chemicals known as eicosanoids, which promote inflammation.
Balancing macronutrient ratios is a great improvement over the high-carb, low-fat diet. This philosophy leads to more balanced blood sugar levels, a reduction in inflammation, and weight loss as well.
The Zone diet fails to address the quality of the food you eat. There is also a noticeable shortage of the fat-soluble vitamins A and D in this diet. Dr. Sears strongly endorses soy protein isolates, which new research suggests can be highly allergenic and estrogenic; these isolates can be problematic for men and certain women as well. Soy is an inferior protein source containing high levels of phytic acid. (Exceptions are naturally fermented forms of soy.)
My recommendation? Follow the Maker’s Diet, which is packed with super nutrition, healthy carbohydrate intake, and the highest quality protein and fat from sources such as organically raised meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and fermented dairy products. As we will discuss, this diet lowers insulin and inflammation levels naturally, thus reducing the levels of “bad” eicosanoids in the body, while also promoting healthy weight levels and reducing inflammation.
The Low-Carb Diet
When The Maker’s Diet came out in 2004, the most popular diets were the low-carb diets. You remember them, right? They were diets like Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, the South Beach Diet, Protein Power, and Sugar Busters.
The Atkins’ Diet was the biggest and received the most publicity, although the South Beach Diet had its fans. Its popularity increased when medical studies acknowledged the diet’s effectiveness as a weight-loss program.
All of these diets call for eating large amounts of protein and small amounts of carbohydrates—very small. What many people didn’t know is that these low-carb diets essentially mimic fasting or starvation by reducing carbohydrate intake to a level that induces a physical state called ketosis, in which body metabolism speeds up and hunger urges are suppressed. Starved of glucose from carbohydrates, the body resorts to burning ketones, or the chemicals the body produces from fat. The keto diet, which aims to do this very thing, has become popular in the last couple of years with those looking for quick, dramatic weight loss and to improve their blood sugar levels.
With the combination of hunger suppression, consuming fewer calories, and burning fat reserves, it must be stated that people on low-carb diets lose weight. Some promoters even claim that you can eat all the fat you want and still lose weight, which obviously sounds attractive. The body can tolerate the low-carb diet without substantial harm for certain periods of time. Under the supervision of a knowledgeable physician, a low-carb diet can be used to manage a host of illnesses, including obesity, GI disorders, childhood epilepsy, and certain types of brain tumors.
The popular versions of the low-carb diet cater to the current tastes and whims without discrimination about food choices. This makes low-carb diets really high-fat diets, not high-protein programs. The dietary suggestions for these regimens often make it very difficult to maintain a healthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Some of the recommended foods are terribly unhealthy, according to the biblical dietary guidelines as incorporated in the Maker’s Diet. For instance, the late Dr. Robert C. Atkins suggested that dieters treat themselves to a heaping helping of pork rinds, calling them “the zero-carbohydrate consolation prize for corn or potato chip addicts.” Bacon is another staple in low-carb diets, and many of the low-carb diets advocate the consumption of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose, which may pose significant health risks.
The Food-Combining and Acid/Alkaline Diets
If Adam and Eve sat down in the garden for a hearty “food-combining” meal,you would see them carefully separate certain foods from others.
Many advocates believe that alkaline-forming foods are essential because humankind evolved from the alkaline environment of the ocean. Even aside from its non-biblical origins, the problem with the food-combining diet is that most of its suppositions are not based on scientific fact or historical evidence. No empirical evidence suggests that the body has trouble digesting certain foods when eaten in combination.
The acid-alkaline diet, which divides food into alkaline-forming and acid-forming foods, is the first cousin variation of the food-combining diet. This type of diet sets a goal of eating 80 percent alkaline-forming foods and 20 percent acid-forming foods.
Because most people tend to be overly acidic, both of these diets can be beneficial for those switching from a primarily junk-food diet. After learning about the food-combining diet years ago, I never eat melon with any other food, in accordance with food-combining adage that goes like this: “Melon—eat it alone or leave it alone.”
Many people experience improved digestion by avoiding certain combinations of foods. If you notice certain food combinations are tough on your gut, it’s best to avoid them. For the average person, however, most healthy foods eaten in combination are just fine and have been for thousands of years.
People on acid-alkaline and food-combining diets experience all the same challenges as those on vegetarian diets. Due to the lack of animal foods, they run the risk of long-term nutrient deficiencies.
The Blood Type Diet
I call the blood type diet an evolution-based diet because its promoters believe our food requirements “evolved” with mankind over 40 million years since prehistoric times in essentially four “flavors” that conveniently correspond with the body’s blood types—O, A, B, or AB.
This is a diet philosophy popularized in the late 1990s by Peter D’Adamo, N.D., in his best-selling book Eat Right for Your Type. He maintains that modern people with type O blood are descended from the earliest humans, who were physically active and ate a diet composed mostly of the meat of large herbivorous mammals, but with little or no grain. Under such a scenario, I suppose it makes sense that today’s “modern cavemen” with type O blood also require large amounts of meat and lots of exercise.
Type As descended from agrarian humans who were more docile, thrived on vegetables and fruit, and avoided meat and dairy products. Type Bs descended from nomadic herders and thrive on dairy products while requiring only moderate exercise. According to D’Adamo, Type ABs did not handle meat well, so they should eat fish, grains, and soy-based foods.
Proponents of the blood-type diet claim that lectins—or specialized proteins in foods such as cereals and beans—are incompatible with certain blood types, causing many ailments such as kidney failure, arthrosclerosis, and food allergies.
The diet’s virtues appear to be those of a low-calorie, healthy diet. For people who typically eat junk food, adopting the blood type diet will be an improvement, allowing them to take in fewer calories, exercise more, naturally lose weight, and feel better.
Aside from being unbiblical, this diet was viewed as a fad by the scientific community and many nutritionists in alternative circles back in its heyday. Its thesis remains unproven and without solid anthropological evidence.
New Age Programs
Once you depart from the solid foundation of biblical, historical, and commonsense nutrition, you enter the no-man’s-land of New Age programs, unusual therapies, and odd diagnostic contraptions. Let the buyer beware!
You will find motivated and sincere people who claim each of these programs worked for them. I tried many of them during my desperate search for health, so I’m familiar with the territory, but nothing restored my health except the biblically grounded and scientifically proven foods of the Maker’s Diet.
I know that desperate times require desperate measures, but before you commit to an alternative, looks-good-to-me diet from the bestseller list, take a chance on the historically correct and life-giving principles of the Maker’s Diet. In the years since the original release of The Maker’s Diet, I’ve been able to help thousands of others overcome serious health problems, turning their tragedy into triumph.
In the next chapter, you will meet several of these people who tell their dramatic success stories. Consider their seemingly hopeless health crises, and then share their surprise and joy in discovering the commonsense biblical diet that turned their lives around.
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