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What Would Jesus Eat?: The Ultimate Program for Eating Well, Feeling Great, and Living Longer, written by Don Colbert M.D., explores the life of Jesus and takes a comprehensive look at foods mentioned in the Bible.
Colbert says “If you truly want to follow Jesus in every area of your life, you cannot ignore your eating habits”. He outlines a program based on natural foods and Jewish dietary traditions that will not only improve your health but will also help you to examine the spiritual aspects of your diet.
The basic concept of the diet is that we shouldn’t consume foods that were not a part of the diet that Jesus would have eaten.
Jesus Diet Basics
Colbert explains that Jesus ate a Mediterranean-style diet based on wholesome, unprocessed foods in accordance with ancient Jewish dietary laws.
Based on his research he concluded that the diet of Jesus would have included fish, whole wheat bread, olives, figs, dates and red wine. Fish was widely available and was probably eaten on a daily basis, while red meat would have been consumed only occasionally, perhaps once a month.
Foods that are forbidden in the Bible, such as pork, are to be avoided, as are all processed foods including refined white flour and sugar.
What Would Jesus Eat is not a diet in the traditional sense but rather involves making a change in the way you approach your eating habits. In addition to adjusting your dietary pattern you are also encouraged to tune into the reasons behind your usual food choices.
If you don’t think you are ready to implement the entire diet plan Colbert recommends that you start by changing just one thing at a time. For example, replace soda with water, or start cooking with extra-virgin olive oil instead of butter.
Fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, olives, figs, dates, red wine, olive oil.
Sample Diet Plan
4 oz fresh-squeezed fruit juice or a small piece of fruit
Did Jesus Exercise?
Jesus spent a large part of his days walking and this is the recommended form of exercise. Dieters are encouraged to engage in walking every day.
Costs and Expenses
What Would Jesus Eat?: The Ultimate Program for Eating Well, Feeling Great, and Living Longer retails at $14.99.
- Will appeal to dieters who find strength and motivation in spirituality.
- Mediterranean diets are well supported in the scientific research as being health-promoting.
- Looks at diet from the unique perspective of ancient Jewish laws and customs.
- Allows intake of wine in moderation.
- No special foods required.
- Not specifically targeted towards weight loss.
- Will probably not appeal to readers who do not follow the Christian faith.
- Some readers may be offended by some of the assumptions in the book due to different interpretations of the Bible.
A Back to Basics Diet
What Would Jesus Eat will appeal to dieters who are able to find inspiration to change their lifestyle by connecting to their faith. In particular the use of prayer before eating a meal can help to increase awareness of food choices and reduce the likelihood of overindulgence.
Although the exact composition of the diet of Jesus is debatable, The Jesus Diet offers dieters a ‘back to basics’ approach that is nutritionally balanced and demonstrated in the scientific literature to support successful weight management as well as to promote general good health.
By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
- Esposito, K., Marfella, R., Ciotola, M., Di Palo, C., Giugliano, F., Giugliano, G., … Giugliano, D. (2004). Effect of a Mediterranean-style diet on endothelial dysfunction and markers of vascular inflammation in the metabolic syndrome: a randomized trial. Jama, 292(12), 1440-1446. link
- Knoops, K. T., de Groot, L. C., Kromhout, D., Perrin, A. E., Moreiras-Varela, O., Menotti, A., Van Staveren, W. A. Mediterranean diet, lifestyle factors, and 10-year mortality in elderly European men and women: the HALE project. Jama, 292(12), 1433-1439. link
Last Reviewed: January 10, 2017