What would Jesus eat?

Published by Manila Bulletin, January 27, 2015

“Don’t focus on me; focus on Jesus” — Pope Francis

His Holiness may have left our country but these words will remain in my heart forever. Being reminded to put Jesus in the center of our lives, it is my desire to encourage everyone to reflect on all aspects of their lives including health.

We often call on Jesus for help when we have financial and relationship problems. We ask for healing when we are sick. But when it comes to losing weight we often resort to “unhealthy quick fixes” that are detrimental to our wellbeing.

Losing weight is not bad. In fact, it will not only make you look great but also decrease your risk of developing chronic diseases. well1

Perhaps you have tried everything to bring your weight down but your efforts were futile. Frustrating, isn’t it? You may have asked these questions many times before: “I have done everything. What else should I do to achieve my goal?” or “I have spent so much on weight loss products and services. What have I missed?”

Let me ask you this question. Have you ever prayed to Jesus and asked for His help in making you lose weight? You see, for almost 13 years of being a dietitian consultant, I have met many people struggling with their weights. I, myself was not exempted from this when I had thyroid problems and I could personally vouch for the effectiveness of a weight management program when prayers are included.

Quoting with permission, award-winning actress Eugene Domingo who went through a weight loss journey herself and is an advocate of holistic approach to weight management recently said to me: “May faith and prayers din ang pagiging health conscious. [Being health conscious involves faith and prayers.]”

If you have decided to include Jesus in your wellness journey, wouldn’t it make sense to also know and adapt the way He eats?

Based on biblical principles and scientific researches, author of the book What Would Jesus Eat? Don Colbert, MD likened Jesus’ diet to that of the Mediterranean Diet we know of today.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the Mediterranean Diet is heart-healthy and is 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.

Will it help you lose weight? Yes and here’s how and why.

Plant based foods and whole grains are mostly consumed in this type of diet. It is important to choose grains that are not refined. Black, brown and red rice have more fiber than white rice. Whole wheat or multigrain bread also has a higher fiber content than white bread. Whole grain pasta, corn, potato, sweet potato, vegetables, fruits, and legumes are great sources of energy, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Fish, seafood, poultry, and eggs are very good protein sources and when eaten in moderation will help decrease fat intake. Protein will also help build muscles which will make your body more efficient in burning calories.

Yogurt is rich in calcium and also contains probiotics which can enhance immune system, promote gut health, and aid in weight loss.

Unsalted and unsweetened nuts are good sources of unsaturated fats which are heart-friendly. Since nuts are high in fat, portion control should be observed. Do not exceed more than 1/2 cup per day.

This diet also uses small amounts of olive oil instead of butter which helps in controlling cholesterol and facilitating bowel movement.

Pork, beef, and other red meats are eaten sparingly only on special occasions to lower intake of cholesterol and saturated fats.

Sweets are also eaten in small amounts and only during special occasions to decrease sugar intake. Instead, fruits are eaten for dessert.

Herbs and spices are commonly used to add flavor in cooking instead of salt and sugar.

One serving of red wine (four to five ounces) is also included. However, there is no reason to start drinking if you don’t take alcohol.

As you go on with your weight loss journey, may you consider Jesus as your guide and allow Him to help you adapt a healthier lifestyle.