As a believer, I greatly value the Word of God. I do not take lightly the commands, and guidance found in those pages. When someone says “this is the way” or “this is what the Bible teaches” then we should examine that closely and test it to see if it’s true. Unfortunately far too many people just accept the word of another person without any critical thinking.
The Hallelujah diet claims to be the biblically mandated way of eating. I would like to make note here: they do not claim it is “a way of eating” but rather the “only” God approved way of eating. After spending time researching this diet, I was left disappointed with what I found. I found alot of half-truths, plenty of faulty logical thinking, confusion of correlation and causality, and even a blatant disregard for scriptural teachings! If you are going to claim that your painting is an authentic Monet, than it better hold up to scrutiny. In the same way if you are claiming that your diet, is the one and only “God approved” way of eating- based on the bible- then it should pass any test with flying colors!
The hallelujah diet (THD) has a packet they put out called biblical nutrition 101. They break down different food choices into chapters. So lets take a look at a few of those:
Vegetables and Fruit
THD states that God created fruits and vegetables for us. They claim we are supposed to eat ONLY live fruits and veggies for nutrition. This philosophy is based on Genesis 1:29. I don’t disagree that in the Garden of Eden we ate a vegetarian diet. Every other animal on the face of the earth also ate a vegetarian diet (Genesis 1:30). If you look around the animal kingdom now- you can easily see that is no longer true! Now plant’s bit back! There are anti-nutrient properties in vegetation, grains and beans. Some of these can be neutralized by cooking the food. Even the THD diet recognizes that you can’t get the nutrients you need from the whole food.
The THD diet acknowledges that at least 65% of the nutrients found in vegetables and fruits are lost through the digestion of them in their whole raw state. They explain that dependant on the health of your gut, you could be absorbing as little as 1% of the nutrients. Their answer? Juicing! Don’t you remember the story about Adam having to take the juicer in to be repaired cause Eve shoved to many apples down it at once?. Yeah- I don’t either. So we are supposed to believe that God, in His ultimate wisdom and power- created the earth from nothing: but didn’t think to create a digestive system that could pull more than 35% of the nutrients out of the only food they were allowed to eat? Nor did He have the forethought to give them a solution (like a juicer)?
What about if you don’t have a juicer? Well THD has an answer for that! They sell several dried juice supplements. So basically- to eat the way God (supposedly) wants you to, you have to eat the food He created- PLUS buy the tools man made, PLUS buy the food THD made. This is sounding less and less like a biblical diet now, and more and more like a man-made adaption. The point of the juicer, according to the THD, is to preserve the live enzymes, while eliminating the fiber. Too much fiber is not healthy for your system (a point on which we agree!). While live enzymes in your diet are a wonderful goal; a better source of live enzymes would be lacto fermented foods. Now those foods are superfoods!
THD says you need a juicer now, but not in the Garden of Eden, because man was healthier, and the world was better, and everything was organic. Hmmm, so before, when God commanded this lifestyle of eating, there were different circumstances. But now, circumstances have changed, so we need to add a bunch of stuff to make it work? Isn’t that possibly the reason why our the diet was commanded to change after the flood?
THD uses alot of circular reasoning, and poor logic to back up their all vegan, mostly raw diet. One example of this is found in their observation of nature. They use the deer’s vegetarian diet, and lack of weight issues as proof positive that we should also be vegetarian. Problem is, you could easily use that same reasoning to look at the cow- after all they eat a vegetarian diet just like the deer. Anyone reading this have goals of looking like a cow? Or how about a tiger? Sleek and strong, fast, cunning- and…….. a meat eater! If only it were as easy as picking an animal whose beauty we appreciate, and then imitating that diet!
THD claims that animal products are the number one cause of all human health issues. This section of their information packet is full of errors. They claim that one of the biggest reason meat is an issue is because it lacks fiber. Wait! Earlier- fiber was evil- and needed to be removed from our vegetables- now a lack of it is the reason meat is bad???? THD presents complete misinformation, blaming heart attacks on cholesterol, and fat- saying it clogs arteries. They claim that protein is fuel for cancer (while not saying anything about sugar feeding cancer). In actuality: The National Cancer Institute states that: “Eating too little protein and calories is the most common nutrition problem facing many cancer patients.” THD uses “the china study” as the basis for many of their claims. This study has HUGE errors in it, and has been debunked many times. They also continue to spread lies by claiming that Dr. Atkins died of a heart attack. He did not. He slipped on ice, and hit his head. The resulting head trauma lead to other complications, and ultimately his death. As if added as an afterthought, THD adds a single statement at the end of this section claiming that pastured meats are the same as industrial meats. This is a complete lie. Just like what we eat impacts our health- the diet of animals impacts their health. A steer raised on grass (which is its normal diet) is much healthier, and had more nutrients, in comparison to a steer finished on grains in an industrial feedlot. We get the nutritional benefit of those animals spending a lifetime eating the living greenery of the earth. That’s why pastured meat vs feedlot meat is so important.
Personally I have issue anytime someone uses one scripture to back up a point, at the exclusion of all other passages. THD uses the genesis model of eating, and ignores all other parts of the bible. Genesis 9:3 says “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.” Soit is clear that we are now to look at meat as being equal to previously allowed foods- ”even as the green herbs”. In Genesis 18:8, the Lord comes down and visits with Abraham. During that visit it is recorded that God Himself- ate butter, meat, and raw milk. God was the one who controlled what was written in His Word. So we know that since it’s in there, He wanted us to see that He gave His stamp of approval to these food sources. He commanded His priest to eat meat on at least 7 different occasions in the old testament. We can also see in the new testament a similar approach to food. It is recorded that Jesus himself, ate fish and lamb, and on many occasions fed others meat, encouraged the catching of fish for food, and even cooked it. Does it even make sense to claim that God wants us to only eat vegetables when He himself ate and encouraged the eating of meat?
Grains and Sugars and Salt
I appreciated this quote by THD “This (eating refined grains) leads to overeating! Sadly, this has produced a nation of overfed, undernourished, predominantly overweight people! (Note: Remember, farmers use grain to increase the weight of their animals.)” I applaud THD’s desire to get away from the Standard American Diet. Full of refined processed chemicals and junk- no one could find health eating that way. It is unfortunate that they have taken the approach of throwing the baby out with the bath water. An interesting side note- they discourage the use of anything cooked in the beginning, saying that the food needs to be able to still grow before we put it in our mouths, and then allow cooked vegan dishes at the end. They also encourage only the simplest of cooked grains- but then list recipes for bread on their website.
THD confuses correlation with causation. Health is relative. Compared to the individual dying of cancer, the person with a horrible case of the flu is healthier. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is a recipe for illness. Making any changes, away from processed food, will result in improved health- but not necessarily optimal health. They site stories of improved health, such as getting off medicines, and no longer needing insulin. THD claims this is from not eating meat, and following THD. In reality it is because they are no longer eating SAD! It’s not meat and saturated fats that are the problem, it’s the processed foods, chemicals, fake foods, and hydrogenated fats! Removing those from the diet will improve health, but only to an extent. You can’t just remove bad foods- you have to add healing nutrients back in. THD says “ when we place these highly concentrated, high quality, incredibly dense nutrients into our body, the body has the building materials needed to produce a cell that is superior to the one it is replacing, as our bodies’ cells die and replace at the rate of approximately 300 million per minute.” It’s a shame they have been fooled into thinking that vegetables and fruits can offer the same dense nutrients as grassfed meats and fats!
THD “looks good” in light of our obsession with vegetarian eating. Somehow eating meat has become a sign of a lower level in terms of both mental and spiritual development. Our world has equated vegetarian, and vegan eating with being a better person and on a higher plane. A vegetarian is no more righteous than one who chooses to eat meat. Romans 14:2 says “One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only”. They claim that Daniel was proof of the superiority of eating vegetables. Did they read the same story I did? Daniel eating only vegetables and drinking only water, and then ending up healthy was……a MIRACLE! In fact the commander was fearful for his life, that if Daniel did as he planned, he would look sickly at the end. Daniel and the commander both understood the need for meat and fat as part of the diet.
THD closes with this:
My friend reading these closing words, we are living in a world that has many voices crying out to us saying, “This is the way!” But the Bible says in I John 4:1,“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
I agree. Let us “try the spirits (THD), whether they are of God”, using the only appropriate standard: the Word of God. 1 Timothy 4:1-3 says “ Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” (emphasis mine)
THD claims to be pulling the diet straight from the bible- yet skips over tons of passages, and adds cooked food. If eating the garden of Eden way was all that was necessary, then why add a cooked dinner? It is NOT a biblically accurate diet. It is one man’s opinion about food that cannot be defended by using either science or the bible as it’s foundation!