Some of the proscriptions against common foods may surprise you....

1) Bacon Cheeseburger

Spiritually Incorrect

Though high in animal fats, subtract the bun and this meal is nutritionally acceptable on "The Zone" and Atkins diets. But the meat-dairy combo (beef and cheese) and pork (bacon) make this a kosher no-no. Pork is also considered haram

(forbidden) by Muslims. Beef is similarly forbidden in India, but you can enjoy a Maharajah Mac made from mutton there.

2) Rice

Both Spiritually Correct and Nutritionally Incorrect

A dietary staple

in Asian cultures, rice has rich religious symbolism but is frowned upon by "The Zone" and Atkins diets as a "high glycemic index" carbohydrate, meaning it converts to sugar fast, spiking insulin levels in the blood and creating only temporary energy.

3) Lentils

Spiritually Correct

A foundation of Indian (Hindu) cooking, lentils are praised as spiritually correct while also being a "low glycemic index" carbohydrate

(formerly known as a slow-burn or long-burn carbo), which converts to sugar more slowly, providing stable, long-term energy.

4) Soy-Based Protein Bar

Both Spiritually Correct and Nutritionally Incorrect

While there are no religious restrictions against soy--it is, in fact, a good source of protein--soybeans are often genetically engineered, and the bars are made from highly processed soy as well as sugar and preservatives.

5) Paella

Both Spiritually Incorrect and Nutritionally Correct

This traditional Spanish dish includes shellfish and pork, kosher no-nos. Pork is also considered haram

by Muslims, though this dish is considered nutritionally balanced on the Ornish diet.

6) Red Wine

Nutritionally Correct

Studies have shown that red wine in moderation can prevent heart disease, but as an intoxicant it is considered haram

by Muslims and similarly forbidden by Mormons.

7) Carrot Crudité With Hummus

Spiritually Correct

Though a spiritually correct snack, the carrots and chick peas make this a "high glycemic index" appetizer. Barry Sears and Drs. Atkins and Ornish would prescribe raw broccoli, red peppers, and homemade pesto dipping sauce, featuring "low glycemic index" veggies and monounsurated heart-healthy olive oil.

8) Fresh Fruit Salad of oranges, strawberries, melon, bananas, mango, and pineapple

Spiritually Correct

Feast on this if you're on the Ornish diet, but if you're on "The Zone" or Atkins diets, you'll have to pick out the mango and bananas. No religious restrictions.

9) Green Tea (and others teas like Earl Grey)

Nutritionally Incorrect

Caffeine is a no-no on many diets, and The Mormon Health Code prohibits tea and coffee.

Scorecard If you answered correctly in the following ranges, you are: 0-3 A food novice 4-6 An advanced student of life whose appetite has been whetted for spiritual nourishment 7-8 Enlightened about food
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