I have a lot of compassion for Christians trying to figure out how to be healthy and having to choose from the onslaught of nutrition myths given. Most of these nutrition myths that dominate social media bring people into bondage and, other than being potentially damaging to physical health, this is my biggest concern. A large percentage of nutrition messages needlessly tell us to eliminate, restrict, make up for, and feel bad about certain foods, ingredients, or eating styles. I want you to be completely freed from this terrible way of relating to food.
Christians practice discernment and are lovers of truth. Unfortunately, I find that many are duped into easily accepting nutrition myths. I don’t mean to imply that Christians are more duped by false nutrition messages; in fact, I don’t suspect they are. But I do see a general tendency in the church to believe “new and shiny” nutrition claims instead of the evidence-based information we can rely on.
I have been pondering this for some time, so I offer what I think underlies the problem. My intention is not for condemning or judging those who have no way of knowing nutrition truth from nutrition myth. It is simply to coax Christians to reconsider relying on nutrition claims found through social media and evaluate why they are drawn to them.
How People are Duped by Nutrition Myths
The first and most obvious reason Christians can be duped by nutrition myths is that these are shoved in front of their eyes at every turn. It seems that most people fall for this, and why wouldn’t they? They aren’t supposed to know the ins and outs of nutrition science.
I mean, you have a full life that doesn’t leave room for learning the details of cellular physiology and nutrition science. You must depend upon other people to provide this information to you. In a capitalist society, much like within the body of Christ, no one person can do every task so we each depend upon others to contribute their part of the whole.
Unfortunately, there are would-be online influencers who spout nutrition info with the same amount of knowledge on the topic as the general population. And these people speak with authority, although they shouldn’t. Therefore, these posts get attention…so they will continue to exist.
In other words, Christians can be duped by false nutrition messages simply because that’s all they see every single day. There is no real reason they would question them, just like non-Christians. On that note, if you are looking for reliable nutrition help go to Registered Dietitians, the only food and nutrition experts.
They Wouldn’t Say it if it Wasn’t True
Christians are not of this world. They don’t think like the world, speak like the world, or hate like the world. They also do not deceive and lie like the world (hopefully!) – not even to gain popularity or profit. Therefore, it can be easy for Christians to forget that there are people who have no problem stating falsehoods (or even blatant lies) to benefit their bottom line.
The Christian might expect bold (or even outrageous) claims to be true. It is truly unfathomable to many believers that people of the world would knowingly publish information that is untrue – or worse yet, dangerous. Yet, Jesus did tell us to be “wise as serpents” about evil schemes while we ourselves are being as “harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16).
As unfortunate as this reality is, we must be alert that there are, in fact, people willing to deceive. We simply cannot take all bold statements as honest attempts at giving information or helping people.
Science is Evil
This one’s going to be tough to get through, but it really should be addressed.
Many Christians misunderstand what true science is. This is because the word “science” has been so abused and redefined to basically mean “new ways to disprove God and His Word.” Ironically, it always does the exact opposite!
Yet this common misunderstanding leaves Christians prone to deny anything called “science” or supported by public agencies that base their health recommendations on scientific research.
The association of “science” to any thought process makes it feel evil to the believer because worldly “science” is attached to thought processes that often aren’t godly (think evolution).
Science feels evil to many believers.
Picture this logical argument as a flow chart. This is just a simple example of the connections a Christian might make:
This is called a logical fallacy.
Rest assured that real science is just man’s attempt to discover what God has done in creating an orderly world, whether or not the scientist recognizes that fact.
In the area of nutrition, we are able to observe nutrient interactions in the human body with great detail. It’s not perfect, it’s not complete, and it’s not infallible. Nevertheless, it does produce a time-tested body of evidence that is far more reliable than individual, unfounded claims and experiences. Nutrition research science is what differentiates healthy nutrition from nutrition myths.
Yet many Christians determine to trust the claims of individual lay voices over time-tested evidence-based nutrition science because it seems too worldly to believe the latter. And I have found that these beliefs are held onto with a pretty tight grip.
Bible Labels Given to Nutrition Myths
The Daniel Plan. The Bible Diet. Ezekiel Bread. The Maker’s Diet. What Would Jesus Eat?
Will there be no end to crafting man-made eating plans and slapping biblical terms or names onto them? Most of these are just restrictive diet plans that go mining for individual passages or words to support a modern-day weight loss program and market them to Christians. The ideas and methods really have very little to do with the intent of the Scriptures.
This is called proof texting and is a flippant abuse of the Bible, so yeah…it irks me.
You are Not Alone
Certainly, it is not expected that you will be able to easily recognize nutrition myths. It is so challenging to discern between true and false nutrition information that you are seeing. I don’t envy you, but I am here for you.
Get the real nutrition help you need as part of your journey toward an unobsessed, healthy relationship with food and your body in the Satisfied! online program. To find out more, get your free Kickstarter Plan call. Together, we will determine what options best suit you, your goals, and your ongoing growth in Christ!