Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rule #1 for GOOD HEALTH

The single, most basic rule for good health boils down to this: Eat when you're hungry and drink when you're thirsty.

The corollary to this rule is - do not eat or drink if you're not hungry or thirsty.

The single, major cause of illness is abuse of this golden rule. People get sick because they eat and drink too much. There are, of course, many other rules for good health, but none of those compare with this one in importance and predominance.

Here's a question for you. If given a choice between nutritious food and non-nutritious food, which is best for your body? The answer may surprise you. The Kitsur Shulchan Aruch (who bases his laws on the Rambam) tells you quite clearly, that a small amount of harmful food is better for the body that a big amount of nutritious food!

People who survived Auschwitz [as did my mother, a"h] or other concentration camps [as did my father, a"h] could easily attest to this fact. They survived on potato peels from the garbage or bits of hard, moldy bread, and some water. Ironically, upon liberation from these camps, many freed inmates died after their liberation when they consumed the meat their liberators generously offered them. My mother had traded her meat for a loaf of bread.

So important is this rule of good health that the Rambam actually makes it a law - forbidding one to ingest more than 75% of the amount that will bring to satiation.

A wise person, says the Rambam, eats only enough as to sustain him. Because overeating or satiation is poisonous, plain and simple. The fat person cannot hope to live as long as a skinny person.

The healthy man will eat on an empty stomach. The unhealthy one's habit is to eat when prior food hasn't yet drained from the stomach.

As for the reason, the mechanism - why a full stomach robs you of good health - we'll discuss in a later post. Some of the pertinent physiology you can find here.

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