Monday, September 22, 2008

Does the Word of Widsom Support a Low-Carb Lifestyle?

I'm a deeply religious person who believes in modern revelation. One book of modern scripture that I read and believe in is The Doctrine and Covenants. Section 89 of The Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) is commonly known as the Word of Wisdom.

The Word of Wisdom is God’s law of health. As I began my low-carbohydrate lifestyle, I was concerned about whether or not a low-carb lifestyle is supported by the Word of Widsom. Verses 12, 13 and 15 of section 89 specifically gave me pause.

They state:
12) Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;

13) And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

15) And these [beasts] hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.

As part of my Sabbath reading, I decided to find out more about the proper use of meat and what its role should be in my diet.

Reading D&C 89:13, I looked down to footnote a). It led me to D&C 59:16-20.

16) Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;

17) Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;

18) Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;

19) Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.

20) And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.

I liked how verse 19 mentioned smell. I may not be able to eat as much bread as I used to, but I can still enjoy the smell of it baking. And because reducing my carbohydrate intake has brought me many benefits including the gladdening of my heart, I think that my new lifestyle fits in nicely with the Word of Wisdom and other teachings in The Doctrine and Covenants.

I found that D&C 49:18-19 also provided further support for my increased consumption of meats and proteins. (I found these verses as footnote a) of D&C 89:15.)

18) And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God;

19) For, behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance.

I've found it helpful to remind myself of what it says in D&C 89:3. The Word of Wisdom is "Given for a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints." To me that means that it was given with individual saints in mind. That includes me and others like me who have difficulty metabolizing carbohydrates.

I can keep the principles outlined in the Word of Wisdom and still live a low-carb lifestyle. I can eat plenty of vegetables and fruits (limiting those that cause spikes in my blood sugar) and keep my meat consumption from becoming excessive. Eggs, cheese, milk and yogurt all contain protein and contribute to a healthy carb controlled lifestyle and also are in keeping with the Word of Widsom.

Best of all, I can feel the Lord's blessings as I choose to eat differently. I don't need to feel deprived. When I focus on gratitude to the Lord for providing me with delicious and plentiful foods to eat, I can better see His hand in my life. The health benefits I'm gaining then become yet another blessing and gift I receive from keeping the Lord's commandments.


Suko said...

Interesting way to stay inspired!

Christie, have you read The Maker's Diet by Jordan S. Rubin? This biblically based health plan is definitely "food for thought" (sorry, couldn't resist).

Christie said...

Sue, I haven't read the book, but I did Google it. It looks interesting, but seeing the supplement bottles turned me off a bit. I like to rely on whole foods whenever possible.

Suko said...

Nutrition obtained through whole foods does seem to be the best way. We don't even know if our bodies absorb the vitamins and minerals in supplements.

Flashlight Girl said...

You've answered some questions that had been turning around in my head, but I hadn't made the time to study out. Thanks!

Heidi A. said...

Great post!
I love Pres. Bensons instruction on eating things 'in their most natural state'. Science is finally catching up on some of the things that the Lord has taught us all along.

Brigham Young (and Ben Franklin)taught that we eat too fast so we don't really appreciate nor savor what we have.

Thanks for reminding us of the smells and the joy that can come from the wonderful whole foods we have.

We've thoroughly enjoyed peaches this past week as well as plums (from my Grandma's old tree) and fresh carrots from the garden (my favorite.)

Thanks for the inspiration!
You are a great example as you walk along hand-in-hand with 'little one' each morning on the way to school!

Tigersue said...

I am so glad I found your blog. I believe in low carbing, and I found my answer in the Word of Wisdom. I am not so good at it now. If you would like, check my profile and you will see a link to a low carb blog my sister and I started. I think we would love your input as well!