Many of us are always on the hunt for the latest diets and health trends. Every day we fuel our bodies with foods that give us energy through the day. When I first changed my eating habits, I turned to respectable athletes and fitness gurus to guide me through my journey. It is not until recently that I realized the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the Qur’an were some of the best guides for healthy eating. We often turn to Islam as a spiritual guide, but it can be much more that that, subhan’Allah.
In Surat Al A’raf , Verse 31, Allah says:
وَڪُلُواْ وَٱشۡرَبُواْ وَلَا تُسۡرِفُوٓاْۚ
which translates to, “Eat and drink, but be not excessive.”
Portion control is really connected to this verse. Sometimes we eat with our eyes, especially when a triple brownie sundae is staring at us or when we are fasting a long hot day in Ramadan, and mama makes your favorite dish. My biggest problem is portion control. It’s so freaking hard. Before I start eating, I take a deep breath, say bismillah, and tell myself to stop when I am full. I am more motivated to eat moderately knowing that it’s in the Qur’an.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also advised us on the amount of food we should consume. A Hadith states that a man heard him say we should fill up our stomachs with “one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.” This is a great guide for people who have trouble imagining how much they should be eating. From my perspective, maybe waddling out of a restaurant isn’t the best idea, or having to unbutton our pants because we simply ate too much isn’t something to brag about (don’t judge me).
Another verse in the Quran references the the type of foods we should be consuming. In Surat Al-Baqarah it states, “Eat of what is lawful and wholesome on the earth” (Verse 168).
Eating God-given treats is a great way to eat. I think it is important to remember balance also. It’s hard to avoid fast or processed foods, they are everywhere. All we can do is try our best. I typically follow the 80/20 rule where I eat 80 percent healthy, and 20 percent hot Cheetos (lol jk)… but you know what I mean.
Another verse in Surat Al Baqarah that is connected to how we eat is Ayat 172: “Oh people of faith, eat from the pure provisions we have given to you,” which refers to the quality of food we should consume.
As far as organic goes, it can get expensive. I always tell my friends to concentrate on making better food choices, then they can move on to buying organic. Trader Joe’s has very reasonable prices when it comes to organic grocery items.
Islam is a beautiful religion, and it can guide us in many avenues. Changing the way we eat can’t happen overnight, but small efforts can lead up to big changes. It’s not always easy to say no to unhealthy options, but starting our day off with the intention to be amazing and healthy is the first step to success.