Kosher foods carry along with them several benefits. People who follow a strict kosher diet tend to be healthier than those who eat random foods that are not kosher. Cholesterol levels are typically much lower in Kosher foods. One of the main reasons for this is because kosher guidelines do not allow meat and dairy to mix. The implication of this is that no cheeseburgers, pizza, lasagna or any other foods that combine meat and cheese are permitted. Consequently, this cuts out about 90% of what people would normally eat at a fast-food restaurant. When mixed, the body cannot break meat and cheese down as quickly as it can when it is eaten separately. Therefore, these protein and fat-rich substances stay in your body longer and cause higher cholesterol levels or other common health-related problems that are seen in society.
Another reason that a kosher diet is healthier is that it limits pork consumption. This “other white meat” has many more allergens than other types of meat. Most people who eat pork might even be unaware that it contains these allergens, but their body suffers allergic or hypersensitivity reactions as a result.
How Kosher Foods are Prepared
Not only are kosher foods generally better for your health, but they are also prepared differently. The animals that are used for meat, as an example, are killed according to certain rules and guidelines. The animal cannot know that it is about ready to be killed and the death must be immediate and painless.
The main reason for these killing guidelines is not far-fetched; Animals, like humans, release hormones, chemicals in the body in response to fear or fright. For humans, adrenaline is released throughout our body to help us deal with the potentially dangerous situation. Likewise, animals also release hormones at the first sign of danger. These hormones remain in the meat after the animal is killed. This can be injurious to the person who ingests these hormones.
With the kosher procedure, though, the animals do not have the chance to release this hormone because they do not feel a sense of fear. Not only is this beneficial to your health, you might also feel better about eating kosher meats because of the humane treatment the animals receive before they are slaughtered.
How to Find Kosher Foods
Strictly adhering to a kosher diet is not difficult as long as you know the right thing to look for. It might seem challenging at first especially when you see people eating anything they crave for. However, being consistent with a kosher diet is often easier than following all these fad diets that promise a “quick fix”. The most demanding part will probably be finding kosher meats, but some of the larger grocery stores will have kosher options and alternatives or you might be able to find a local Jewish market if you live near a big city. The following basic guidelines will be of great help to you when looking for acceptable foods that meet kosher standards:
- Foods that are Off-Limits
All pork products are a “no-no” according to kosher guidelines but run away from any kind of reptile, insect, or small mammal. For example, rabbits would not be kosher because they are small mammals.
- Get accustomed to Kosher Food Rules
This step will likely take the most research and study. Once you are familiar with the basic laws that govern a kosher diet, it will be much easier to find foods that you can eat. For example, according to the Book of Leviticus, animals that have cloven hooves and chew their own cud are acceptable. Land mammals with none of the qualities though are forbidden. Sheep, cattle, deer, bison, and goats are all in line with the guidelines of acceptable animals if they are killed in the right way; a painless and immediate death.
- Look for Kosher Food Symbols on the Products
Your local grocery store will have several kosher items available. In fact, at one point in time or the other, you may have even bought some kosher foods unknown to you. If you are looking for kosher products, you have to pay attention to the details. Look for a symbol on the packaging that contains a “U” with a circle around it. It can also be a “K” with a circle around it, but a “K” that stands alone is not necessarily kosher.
- Consult a Jewish Authority
These laws were compiled thousands of years ago and when they were put together, some animals around in regions of the world were not there. This is one of the problems of trying to find acceptable kosher items. The buffalo, for instance, has become a popular menu item in recent years. However, it was not around when the Jewish people first listed the acceptable animals. If you are unsure, you can try to find a local rabbi for a consult. On the other hand, the website, Oukosher.org, is also a great resource for the latest information.
- Remove the Blood
Even after the animal is killed, there are still instructions for preparing it before it can be consumed. All of the blood must be removed from the meat before it can be eaten. You can either choose to drain the blood out or broil it out.
Compare and Understand the Details
Some of the kosher diet principles are for the purpose of spirituality and Orthodox Jewish regulations rather than for the sake of health. For illustrate this, kosher law states that you can only consume grape products made by Jewish people. There is also a law that states that utensils that have come in contact with a non-kosher product cannot touch a kosher product because it has become unclean. This might seem strict, but it is designed to teach discipline. It is not necessary, however, to uphold guidelines such as these if you are merely using the diet to improve your health.
Kosher foods are often misunderstood because people do not usually take the time to find out about their essence. If you told the average person that you follow a kosher diet, they may look at you curiously or even think that you are a fanatic because of the stereotype that exists. However, following kosher guidelines has many health and psychological benefits that you can take advantage of. Isn’t it amazing that people who lived thousands of years before our contemporary technology were able to realize that certain foods and combinations were bad for their bodies and were to be avoided at all costs? If you can familiarize yourself with some of the basic principles of a kosher diet, you can likely follow it closely to improve your health and self-discipline.
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