Word of Wisdom - Experiment

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dande48
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Word of Wisdom - Experiment

Post by dande48 » 04 Apr 2018, 07:41

TLDR; Due to a personal experiment over the past week, I wonder if the Word of Wisdom should be viewed more as a "work in progress" rather than a commandment or inspired recommendation.


This past week I've been doing a bit of an experiment, relating to the WoW, I thought you might find interesting. For the record, I'm not taking drugs (even prescription), and don't drink coffee or alcohol, and probably never will. This is regarding the dietary suggestions of the WoW. I'm doing the exact opposite, and have no intention of stopping.

The WoW states to eat meat sparingly (except fish, which it doesn't mention). It also states grain, especially Wheat, is the staff of life, and that all grain is good. Also, all fruit of the vine is good. For the record, it says nothing about refined sugar (surprising), or vegetables. What I'm doing is the "Keto Diet". For those of you who aren't aware, the premise is this:

The body has two methods of turning food into energy; Glycolysis and Ketosis. When most people eat, they take in mostly carbs, a decent amount of fat, and some protein. The body, wanting to conserve energy, first relies on Glycolysis, which breaks down the carbs into energy. It packs away the fat, since it is the most dense in energy. When a body depending on Glycolysis gets low on carbs, the body gets low on energy, and complains that it's hungry. So we eat more carbs and fat... and we get fat as a result. However, when we fully deplete our carb reserves, our body kicks into Ketosis, which is the process our bodies use to turn fat into energy. Studies of fasting show the results of this; You are ravenously hungry and tired for the first 1-3 days... and then you don't feel hunger for the next 2-3 weeks. While calorie restriction (carbs) shows a decreased metabolism, those who fast long term maintain both their metabolism and energy levels.

The Keto Diet takes a similar approach. Carbs are highly restricted, down to 5-10% of your caloric intake. Fat accounts for 70-75% of your caloric intake. The rest comes from protein. It forces your body to maintain Ketosis for energy, and cuts down on Glycolysis entirely. It's almost the EXACT opposite of the word of wisdom. No grains of any kind. No fruit, unless we're counting avocados, tomatoes, and the occasional handful of berries. It's all meat, oil, butter, cheese, nuts and low carb veggies (spinach, broccoli, peppers, onions). Bacon is good, bread is bad.

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For the first day or two, it SUCKED. I had a massive headache, I couldn't sleep well. I felt gross and shaky.That's carb withdrawal for you. But after that, I've been feeling wonderful. I snack less. I feel more clear headed and in control. I have more energy. One of the greatest symptoms of being in Ketosis is being able to "Run and not be weary, walk and not faint". It's the depletion of carbs that long-distance runners describe as "hitting a wall", and Ketosis is what gives them their second wind. It's been a very positive experience so far, despite being almost explicitly against the Word of Wisdom. I've also dropped 7 lbs or so already (though much of it is probably water weight).


Disclaimer: I'm not making a dieting recommendation for anyone. I am no doctor or nutrition expert. This is not a one-size-fits-all solution. I make no promises on its short term/long term effectiveness (unlike the WoW). All I'm saying is, after that first hump, I felt pretty great!
Last edited by dande48 on 04 Apr 2018, 08:19, edited 1 time in total.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

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AmyJ
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Re: Word of Wisdom - Experiment

Post by AmyJ » 04 Apr 2018, 08:02

Sounds interesting. I have heard similar things from people in my ward who have done this.

I think in part, the focus on grains was something that Joseph Smith and the society at the time could understand. Since they were farmers primarily, understanding how to balance their lives food-wise so they ate what was available makes sense.

It might boil down to the inspiration being "Thou shalt be mindful of the consequences of what thou eats" with Joseph Smith translating that into what we see got written down.

I read/heard someplace that the "Mormon Tea" brewed in the Mid-West contained substances even more potent then coffee or tea it was designed to replace.

Roadrunner
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Re: Word of Wisdom - Experiment

Post by Roadrunner » 04 Apr 2018, 08:29

Hello Dande,
Yes I agree that the WoW is a work in progress, probably like much of the rest of the church, but I do think the WoW is generally a good recommendation- it's how we enforce it that I have a problem with. It seems like science finds one thing is good, then 20 years later it's bad, and it takes a while for health professionals to reach consensus. But gradually it seems they do reach consensus. Smoking is bad. Exercise is good. Alcohol is not good. There are nuances on the margins.

I'm genuinely glad the ketosis diet is working for you. As you stated, I too believe that everybody is different and that we each have to find what works for us. My experience is "eat mostly plants" is good advice.

Most of my family struggles with weight and I've seen many people try the keto diet and it looks difficult to me. About 8 years ago I traveled a lot for work temporarily, worked long hours, and gained 30 pounds in 3 months. To lose it I basically went vegetarian and started exercising. I also started running and between the exercise and the "near" vegetarian diet, both of which I've kept doing for 8 years, I've kept myself at a healthy weight.

Best wishes in your experiment, I'd love to hear how it turns out.
RR

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Beefster
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Re: Word of Wisdom - Experiment

Post by Beefster » 04 Apr 2018, 08:37

I feel the WoW is wrong just as much as it is right.

People at the time were quite aware that alcohol was unhealthy in excess, especially the more potent drinks.

The WoW happened to be right about tobacco, well ahead of its time.

Coffee? Tea? I dunno. Tea seems to have a lot of health benefits and coffee appears to be a much healthier source of caffeine than soda or energy drinks. Coffee is a carcinogen according to California, but everything is a carcinogen there. Over-dependence on caffeine is probably not a good thing anyway. I'll call this a toss-up, though some might argue this point is incorrect.

Fruits and vegetables are good for you? I'd say that's common sense, even for its time.

But the whole wheat thing? I wouldn't say it's all that accurate. It's not that wheat is bad for you; it's that your body doesn't register carbs in quite the same way as it does fat/protein and so you tend to be able to eat more calories worth of bread than you can of steak. And then gluten tends to be a problem for a select part of the population. If the church came out of China instead of the US, it would have probably said the same thing about rice.

One thing was correct well ahead of its time. Another seems to be mostly incorrect. Everything else was either neutral or pretty well understood at the time.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

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mom3
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Re: Word of Wisdom - Experiment

Post by mom3 » 04 Apr 2018, 08:49

I like how the Adventist Faith has addressed their WoW changes. They are/were very old testament style in their health code. No meats, no coffee, no alcohol, etc. Other than meat we were neck and neck in devotion. Though they didn't have TR to hold it over people, they did toe the line with it.

A few years ago, at their general conference, they loosened their grip on specifics, and turned the conversation to moderation. They still deeply desire members to abstain or lightly partake, but they realized they had converts, mixed faith families, etc. So they went for the spirit of the law. It seems to work well. Old timers are still practicing what they have faith in, while new members or younger congregants get a bit more lenience. As I understand it from my devout friends, over time the more lenient crowd just naturally finds it's way to the more long standing letter of the law. Kind of like your diet, they grow into the limitations.

*I have always found it interesting that both churches, which began in 1830, by revelation/inspiration had such similar health codes. To me that says something about 1830's that we can't totally grasp.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Roadrunner
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Re: Word of Wisdom - Experiment

Post by Roadrunner » 04 Apr 2018, 09:02

Beefster wrote:
04 Apr 2018, 08:37
Coffee? Tea? I dunno.

Fruits and vegetables are good for you? I'd say that's common sense, even for its time.
I'd say that Coffee and Tea may not actually be part of the WoW. I'd also contend that veggies and fruits as we think of them today were luxuries in the 1840s. For example people would get an orange or a few strawberries only on special occasions in New England because they were so expensive for the masses. On a related not during my mission in the 1990s to a tropical country that grows lots of fruits, the average person there couldn't buy fruit because most was sent to the US where it was sold at much higher prices.

Back to the OP. Probably lots of reasons to rethink the WoW. What Mom3 said makes sense.

JAC
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Re: Word of Wisdom - Experiment

Post by JAC » 06 Apr 2018, 08:15

The WOW has created cognitive dissonance in my wife because she has a condition where eating grains causes ulcers in her colon. If she followed the diet outlined in the WOW she would be in bad shape.

She eats a lot a meat and vegetables, but absolutely no grains.

She is an uber TBM, and has expressed confusion as to why God would give such awful dietary advice.

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Beefster
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Re: Word of Wisdom - Experiment

Post by Beefster » 06 Apr 2018, 16:21

Individual adaptation is a thing, but there seems to be a semi-widespread consensus (if you could call it that - it might just be a fad) that grains are actually not all that good for you. They're just cheap and were plentiful in the 19th century. Point is, there are a lot of diets that work well for some but not others, with low-fat diets tending to be the least effective for losing weight and reducing cholesterol levels. (mostly because the fat tends to get replaced by sugar- something much worse for you because our bodies were not evolved to process it in the quantities we find today)

I suspect people losing weight on diets has more to do with the mentality of dieting making you more conscientious of what you eat rather than the food actually eaten.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

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dande48
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Re: Word of Wisdom - Experiment

Post by dande48 » 07 Apr 2018, 08:17

JAC wrote:
06 Apr 2018, 08:15
She is an uber TBM, and has expressed confusion as to why God would give such awful dietary advice.
I've wondered this too. If God was trying to protect us from the "evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days", I am appauled that he did not mention refined sugar (white sugar, corn syrup, etc). Because we have STRONG scientific evidence that it is more addictive than many hard-core drugs. It is nowadays placed in absolutely EVERYTHING, because it's addictive. We know it strongly interferes with cognitive processes. And we know it leads to obesity.

I honestly think a person would be 100x healthier for replacing soda with green tea, than green tea with soda. It is not "caffine" that makes soda so awful. It's the obscene amount of sugar.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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Beefster
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Re: Word of Wisdom - Experiment

Post by Beefster » 07 Apr 2018, 09:58

I think the same can be said about replacing coke/mountain dew with coffee. More caffeine, but way less sugar. Even if you drink diet soda, the artificial sweeteners are in some ways worse than real sugar and there is still something to be said about the carbonation.

My boss drinks over 2 liters of diet coke every day and I shudder thinking what that is doing to his body. He's not a member, so he drinks coffee too, but I have my bets on which is going to kill him faster.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

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