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Health Devotional


You're Not a Grazing Machine

Saturday, October 24, 2020
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I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Ps. 139:14, NIV.

Not even the most sophisticated electronic computer can come close to matching the "machine" God made when He created human beings. But we've pretty well disregarded His instruction manual about how to maintain optimal performance. Instead we put into our bodies whatever tastes good, whenever we feel like it. And we've turned ourselves into grazing machines. Like cows, we munch a little here and a little there. In fact, studies estimate that most people get approximately 30 percent of their food each day through snacking.

What's wrong with snacking? Dr. John A. Scharffenberg, health consultant to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, gives five reasons not to snack:
First, demineralization of the teeth occurs for two hours after eating, then remineralization takes place. So continual eating increases the risk of tooth decay.
Second, blood triglycerides (fats) go up when we eat. The blood fats increase the stickiness of the platelets and red blood cells, increasing the risk of a clot being formed that could result in a heart attack.
Third, blood sugar rises as we eat, which stimulates a need for insulin. Continual stimulation causes hyperinsulinemia, and this increases the risk of heart attack.
Fourth, when we eat two or three large meals, we burn about 40 calories more per day than the same amount of food eaten in six to eight smaller meals, which has implications for weight management.
And finally, we face an increased risk of developing ulcers, since grazing generates more frequent gastric juice production.
Maybe it's time to go back to the instruction manual. Here's what God inspired Ellen White to say about snacking. "Regularity in eating is very important for health of body and serenity of mind. Never should a morsel of food pass the lips between meals" (Counsels on Health, p. 118).

That's pretty strong, isn't it? I don't know about you, but it makes me feel a little guilty about the way I've treated God's marvelous machine. I think it's time to quit acting like a cow. Quit grazing, and start following God's instruction manual.

What changes should I make to more closely follow God's instruction manual for my body?

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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