Kosher diet is of the Jews. But many non-Jews also consume the diet due to its clean and nutritious claims. How true are these claims about the diet?
What is Kosher diet?
Kosher diet is a diet of the Jews. It is their staple. But the Kosher certification agency, Orthodox Union claims that nearly 12 million in the USA opt for Kosher products in supermarkets and grocery stores. The annual sales of these products in the USA cross USD 12 billion. These figures speak of the high demand of these products despite the fact that only 5 million American adults are Jews. And only few of these eat Kosher foods.
Mindy Haar is the chair of interdisciplinary health sciences at New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, New York. She opines:
“Some consumers perceive the products to be cleaner or more wholesome,”
These foods are those that adhere to Jewish laws. Mindy explains:
“The word kosher is Hebrew and literally means ‘fit or proper,’”
“Those who follow these laws believe that they were given by God in the Torah-Bible with details and clarifications added by rabbinical leaders in the first to fourth centuries.”
The laws in Judaism related to this diet are extensive. It includes:
-No mixing of meat and milk. Do not consume them together. Mindy elaborates:
“One must wait a certain number of hours after eating meat before dairy is consumed,”
“Depending on custom, this can be anywhere from three to six hours.”
-Only seafoods with fins and scales are kosher. Therefore, shellfish is not kosher.
-Pork is prohibited. All animals for foods must chew the cud and possess cloven feet.
-Beef and poultry eating is OK. But a trained butcher should properly slaughter the animal and drain it of blood.
-It should be salted meat to remove blood
-Wine is okay provided it is made under supervision and by a Jew. Mindy adds:
“Due to sacramental significance, grape products must be supervised from start to finish,”
-One can only consume kosher-certified cheese.
Kosher diet also includes kosher way of making. Mindy states:
“Separate ovens, utensils, sinks, and cutting boards are used in preparing kosher food,”
Is this diet healthy?
Diet experts feel that it is not a diet in the true sense of the word. The environmental health specialist working with Balance One Supplements in Dalton, Georgia, Trista Best says:
“Because it is not a diet in the typical sense, it is not thought of as being healthy or unhealthy,”
It is a religious diet. A report from Mintel showed that more than half of the people who opt for kosher food purchases do so for health reasons. This diet does eliminate unhealthy foods. And one cannot have meat and milk together. Thus foods with high saturated fats are not eaten together but are eaten separately.
But not all kosher foods are healthy. Some come in packages and may have additives. Some are processed foods and therefore unhealthy. Excluding meat and milk might be useful for people with food sensitivities.
Therefore, the bottom line is that kosher foods are not necessarily healthy. They are a way of living. And this way of living and eating is a religious one. There are no studies on it to prove that they are cleaner or healthier.