October 1997: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 3

Eat And Drink Moderately

Surely, He does not love the gluttons. (7:31)

During Ramadan, we are to glorify God for guiding us and we are to express our appreciation to Him. It is a time to devote our thoughts ever more closely to God for our soul’s growth and development in order to become more worthy of the salvation for which we each hope and pray.

O you who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you, that you may attain salvation. (2:183)

Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days. God wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify God for guiding you, and to show your appreciation. (2:185)

God brought you out of your mothers’ bellies knowing nothing, and He gave you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brains that you may be appreciative. (16:78)

The start of Ramadan is also an excellent and appropriate time to consider the verse of the title of this article. God certainly anticipates our weaknesses where food is concerned, doesn’t He? How do we connect this verse to our daily lives? To our families and communities?

He has provided us with our bodies, complete with senses, for use in this temporary life on earth. Our bodies give us visibility so that we are able to physically see one another. These bodies need good care and nurturing in order to serve us well (Or, if you prefer, call it upkeep and preventive maintenance!) Our bodies are biodegradable structures with very complex internal functions. Their maintenance calls for a balanced amount of food and

exercise in order to function at their best. This maintenance is our individual, personal responsibility, no one else’s. We can certainly consider this gift from God as a test He gives us. Do we honor and respect Him enough to take proper care of this gift?

Any imbalance of diet or exercise, even excess, can result in the malfunction, or breakdown of one or more vital body systems. We call these breakdowns “disease” disease. A great number of these diseases come from food imbalances, hence the old saying that “we are what we eat.” Food supplies our bodies with the necessary nutrients for maintaining and repairing bodily tissues. Also important is the kind of food and drink we consume, how much of it, and when.

Let us look at some specifics: overweight adults are two to three times more likely to have hypertension (high blood pressure) from the excessive intake of food or drink containing sodium (salt, canned or preserved foods, or MSG). The hypertension can lead to stroke or serious heart disease. Excessive intake of fats and fatty fried foods lead to gall bladder and heart disease. So will adding sweets to all that sooner! And in that regard, let us not forget the nasty promise of diabetes for those who put on weight from eating those wrong foods. Furthermore, fatty tissue in the throat area decreases the size of the airway when we are lying down, causing potentially serious breathing difficulties. Obesity is an important cause of cancer of the lining of the uterus. It also increases the risk for cancers of the color, kidney and gall bladder. All by itself, it can shorten our lives. And not enough fiber in the diet can cause diverticulosis and increase the risk of colon cancer. Taking in more food than we need can be harmful throughout life. All this because we have ignored God’s mandate to “eat and drink moderately”! Do you see

that God tests us with these body-gifts from Him?

Yet even moderate amounts of weight loss can prevent these diseases. It can help hypertensive patients lower their risk for stroke. It can decrease the amount of the “bad” LDL cholesterol that clogs our arteries, or weight loss with exercise may raise the level of the “good” HDL cholesterol that cleans out our cardiovascular system. Our energy levels and strength increase noticeably after beginning a weight loss diet and starting to exercise. We walk more easily and tire less quickly.

Now consider the stress of even one of those serious diseases on the individual and their family and relationships: possible loss of job and income, strained finances and perhaps even bankruptcy, loss of time from school if a child, and maybe a lifetime of physical limitations. Perhaps even death, and the devastation that causes our loved ones. Also consider the necessary dependence upon medicines and the disruption of that expense on the family budget.

We can see all around us the impact poor health has had upon communities; more and more hospitals being built to serve more and more doctors, more and more incredibly expensive drugs (as the ones previously used no longer work), new professions emerging to provide additional care in the increasingly overloaded system (nurse practitioners and physician assistants), and soaring health care costs.

We know, from countless scientific studies, that our bodies have certain basic nutritional requirements for healthy maintenance. This comes down to a diet low in fat, with moderate protein, and high in fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. God encourages us to enjoy his provisions, using our brains and understanding, and to

Continued on page 4