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What Would Jesus Eat? The Ultimate Program for Eating Well, Feeling Great, and Living Longer

Book Review

What Would Jesus Eat? The Ultimate Program for Eating Well, Feeling Great, and Living Longer
By Don Colbert, MD
Thomas Nelson (2005)
Reviewed by Dee Sandquist, MS, RD, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson


The author proposes if you truly want to follow Jesus in every area of your life, you cannot ignore your eating habits. This requires commitment to change by:

  • Choosing unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods.
  • Avoiding foods that have been processed or refined (with added sugar, fat, salt, chemical preservatives or other additives).
  • Choosing foods that are in their natural states such as fresh, organic foods and water.

Diet Plan

The author's overall diet plan consists of three small, balanced meals a day with smaller snacks. Lunch is the most elaborate meal of the day and should be followed with time to relax. The book also recommends eating an early, light dinner and then taking a walk. Recommendations for snacks are fruit with unsweetened yogurt or cheese. The author recommends keeping special foods for special occasions.

Nutritional Pros and Cons

While many of the nutritional tips presented in this book are healthful, it also suggests avoiding certain foods (or additives and preservatives) even though there is no scientific evidence to prove that these foods hold any danger for you in moderation.

The author challenges the reader to look at why we choose to eat what we do and to ask ourselves, "Would Jesus eat this?" Jesus did not eat processed, high-sugar, high-fat, high-salt or low-fiber foods. He ate a standard Mediterranean-style diet of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, fish, kosher meat and some dairy products. For dessert, the author writes, Jesus consumed a variety of fruits such as grapes, figs, raisins, apples, apricots and nuts.

Parts of the book are clearly not fact-based, such as the author's assertion that pork is full of toxins. Although the author makes a distinction between grass-fed cattle in Jesus' time and today's beef coming from feedlots, he does not acknowledge that pork has evolved into a lean meat. Nonetheless, the author follows science-based recommendations to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. He also writes an informative section on spices, including the histories, uses and health benefits of coriander, hyssop, mint and parsley.

Bottom Line

Most consumers will find the information presented in this book to be easy to understand. While the nutritional information presented is not necessarily harmful, the Academy does not support telling people to completely avoid any one food item or food group.

January 2007