Amidst a flurry of dietary plans, weight loss pills and extreme workouts the health industry has certainly been a topic of intense scrutiny. However, there is one food regimen that yields practical benefits for anyone trying to eat a healthier diet–kosher. As one would rightfully assume kosher foods were originally a unique cuisine specific to the Jewish community, but as a 2012 study demonstrated, only “15% of kosher food shoppers were doing so in order to conform to religious dietary rules,” (Barrow). It is important to note that being kosher isn’t a type or style of food like Italian or Mexican. It’s more of the preparation process and routine of inspection that makes food kosher. However, the kosher diet does exclude some types of victuals in order to maximize a healthy lifestyle.
In order for a food product to be considered kosher it has to endure various processes and tests to make sure it is completely healthy. Interestingly enough, even the people who perform various job duties associated with food, such as butchers, have to be of pious character and well trained in the Jewish law. What differentiates kosher foods from non-kosher foods begins with the types of animals and the manner in which they are slaughtered and brought into the market place. The animal (meat), is thoroughly inspected for any sickness or broken bones which may cause infections or other diseases in the animal, making it unsafe to consume according to Jewish law. In fact, kosher inspections “reject about three times more than what the USDA does” (Allen), making it safer and healthier than standard practices.
One of the most notable health benefits of eating kosher foods is that no unspecified contaminates ever enter the food being consumed. Special regulations and procedures make certain that insects and bugs do not find their way into “vegetables, fruits, and grains prior to packing” (Weil). Food allergies are another concern for people who eat kosher foods. When a food is said to be kosher then strict regulations are put into place making sure that the production of different types of foods are separated in different facilities, confirming that no mixture or accidental combining of products ever occurs. This is especially important for those who are allergic to items such as shell fish, which often end up being a byproduct in some packaged foods.
Certain types of seafood are also forbidden in kosher law. Crab, Lobster, and shrimp, often known as “bottom feeders” are prohibited do to the fact that they can contain certain pollutants like Mercury which can harmful to humans. On the other hand, salmon and other types of healthy fish are allowed and can be quite beneficial to your diet—being low in fat and high in protein and nutrients.
The science behind kosher foods is quite simple and efficient; the entire food process from beginning to end is in higher echelon of standards. These standards slow the process down and allow for more exact and precise methods of examination of the food we put in our bodies. This process can help to eliminate risk from products containing dangerous hormones that get transferred from meat products to our bodies, and can also eliminate many risks associated with items such as various types of seafood that may contain toxic pollutants.
Switching to a kosher diet doesn’t have to be a dramatic change. Simply limiting or eliminating the foods the kosher diet forbids (i.e. any meat that comes from a pig), can be a good first step in attaining a healthier diet. And if you’d like to adopt the kosher diet, buying foods with the kosher seal of improvement is a must and can get you on the right track to healthy eating.
1. Barrow, Karen. “More People Choosing Kosher For Health”. The New York Times. Published April 13, 2010. Web. Retrieved 1/13/2015. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/13/more-people-choosing-kosher-for-health/
2. Allen, Jane. “Turning to Kosher Cuts”. Los Angeles Times. Published February 2, 2014. Web. Retrieved 1/13/2015. http://articles.latimes.com/2004/feb/02/health/he-kosher2
3. Weil, Andrew. “Are Kosher Foods Better For You” Dr. Weil.com. Published February 27, 2012. Web. Retrieved 1/13/2015. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401072/Are-Kosher-Foods-Better-For-You.html
4. Braun, David. “How-to Eat Kosher and Maintain a Healthy diet”. Web. Retrieved 1/13/2015. https://studentaffairs.duke.edu/sites/default/files/u7/sh_kosherhealthy.pdf