Debunking Paul Ruben's Maker's Diet

By: John Reinhold, BS, MA, MBA

Some Good Points:

  • Encourages increased dietary fiber from whole food sources not processed foods.
  • Encourages people to eat animals that are not factory raised and subjected to heavy amounts of antibiotics and growth hormones. 
  • Encourages Rest
  • Recognizes the damage caused by hydrogenated oils or Trans fats.
  • Recognizes the need to eliminate refined sugar from our diet.
  • Recognizes we are created in God’s image and we need a relationship with Him.

Some Bad Points:

  • Draws conclusions about fat and cholesterol from outliers not from a solid core of research. (see below for more details)
  • He encourages people to eat too many calories from animal sources. (see below for more details)
  • Conveys a weak understanding of exercise.
  • Has outdated understanding of the body’s essential nutrients (macro and micro) and where they come from. (see below for more details)
  • His plan may encourage common American disease processes.  
  • Not enough calories from plant sources.
  • You’ll spend a lot of money maintaining this lifestyle of organic fair and supplements. You could easily spend hundreds of dollars a month taking his supplements.
  • Heavily promotes the use homeostatic soil organisms and other supplements. I could only find short marketing statements about studies that supposedly investigated his product. There were no citations or full reports available at this site http://www.miracleii-4u.com/hsos-clinical-studies.htm . I could not find any other writing about “homeostatic soil organisms.” The word homeostatic seems to be a marketing buzz word. The research supporting his claims may be available; however, I could not find it. Try to find and review the research before spending money on any supplement.
  • Various websites have highlighted the Governments request for Him to stop making unfounded claims with respect to his products. Go to here for more details: http://www.veen.com/jeff/archives/000554.html & FTC complaint and consent agreement
  • You should also be aware of Dr. Ruben’s credentials. People can learn a lot from unaccredited programs. Even many accredited health programs fail to teach the link between lifestyle, disease, and the potential of lifestyle change to affect disease processes. His credentials combined with his understanding of health make me concerned for the people who follow his advice.
  • His NMD (naturopathic medical doctor) is from the Peoples University of the Americas School, a non-accredited school with no campus.
  • His Ph.D. is from the Academy of Natural Therapies, a non-accredited correspondence school that the State of Hawaii ordered to close.
  • His CNC (Certified Nutritional Consultant) comes from the American Association of Nutritional Consultants, whose only requirement for “professional member” status has been payment of a $50 or $60 fee.
  • This information is from: http://www.veen.com/jeff/archives/000554.html

Here Are A Few Critical Issues Exposed In More Detail.

Fat ?

On page 133 Dr. Ruben says saturated fat and dietary cholesterol are good for you and not linked to coronary heart disease. He references a heart surgeon who studied 1700 patients and a few other random studies. In one section he promotes Sally Fallon’s message, “at least 50% of dietary fat we consume should be saturated…”

The link between saturated fat and cholesterol to western diseases like strokes, heart disease, and many cancers is stronger than lung cancer and smoking.  This has been demonstrated in hundreds of animal and human studies. There are more than 3,500 scientific studies, involving more than 15,000 research scientists, reporting a relationship between the consumption of meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products with heart disease, cancer, kidney failure, constipation, gallstones, diverticulosis, and hemorrhoids, just to name a few.  

Occasionally someone will produce a study like Dr. Ruben cites, however, these should be closely scrutinized. It doesn’t surprise me that a heart surgeon studying 1,700 westerners can’t find a correlation between cholesterol and heart disease. You can’t study westerners to find cholesterol ranges that are protective. Western cholesterol ranges are far too high. Most heart attacks in the US occur between a cholesterol of 175 to 225. The average American has a cholesterol of 209. Our standardized guidelines tell us to have a cholesterol under 200. Even if your cholesterol is 195 you’re right where the majority of heart attacks occur. You have to study cultures who have substantially lower cholesterol, like Asians. To understand this better read “The China Study” book by T. Colin Campbell (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1932100385/104-3110098-8791156?v=glance&n=283155 ). The conclusions Dr. Ruben draws are misinformed at best.

If you look at the mounds of research completed by Dr. Ornish and peers on reversing heart disease by eliminating animal products from one’s diet you begin to understand the dangerous link. Dr. Ornish published landmark research proving Heart Disease is reversible through lifestyle modifications.  Dr. Ornish removed nearly all the fat and cholesterol from one group and left the other group on the American Heart Association, “Heart Healthy Diet,” The American Heart Association advocated a diet of less than 30% of calories from fat and less than 300 mg of cholesterol. “The Makers” diet resembles the American Heart Association diet with some Levitical laws applied. The group eating the American Heart Association diet had their arteries narrow, heart disease progressed. The group eating the Ornish diet had heart disease reverse. Not only did the Ornish group reverse heart disease but nearly all of the people who were incapacitated due to chest pain (angina) reported a 90% reduction in pain within weeks. That means they resumed activities of daily living because the diet changed their life. This has been replicated over and over again. We don’t need any more studies to prove we can reverse heart disease by greatly restricting fat and greatly restricting or eliminating cholesterol from our diet. If you read this and think it doesn’t apply because the study was completed on people with heart disease consider this: When battlefield casualties were examined during the Korean and Vietnam wars, American soldiers had significant atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) at only 18 to 20 years of age. I submit our countries health issues are far worse than they were back in the Vietnam and Korean War era. 65% or our country is overweight or obese and we are experiencing more heart disease and cancer than ever before.

Protein ?

On page 131 Dr. Ruben presents outdate and false information, “Animal protein is our only complete protein source, providing all eight essential amino acids.”  Also, “Properly prepared seeds, legumes, and cereal grains represent the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom, but they – along with other plant sources are low in additional protein components, which is why many vegetarians emphasize eating from variety of vegetable sources.”

Some people believe that only animal products contain all the essential amino acids and that plant proteins are incomplete. False. They were taught that animal protein is superior to plant protein. False. They accept the outdated notion that plant protein must be mixed and matched in some complicated way that takes the planning of a nuclear physicist for a vegetarian diet to be adequate. False. How does a rhinoceros, gorilla, giraffe, or elephant become so big eating only vegetables? Animals do not make amino acids from thin air; all the amino acids originally came from plants. Even the nonessential amino acids that are fabricated by the body are just the basic amino acids that are modified slightly in some way by the body.

Exercise

Jordan S. Rubin, in The Maker’s Diet, names aerobic exercise in his list of 27 things you can do to get sick.  It is true that the immune system is negatively impacted for a short period of time following lengthy, intense aerobic activity, such as in running a marathon, for example.  It is also true that intense, prolonged exercise can increase oxidative stress (via oxygen free radicals) which, if not countered by antioxidants, can negatively impact health.  To stop there, however, is to be misled.  Aerobic exercise has wonderful benefits, including a longer, disability-free life expectancy. 

Research at the Cooper Institute in Dallas shows that aerobic exercise in the form of walking 2 brisk miles per day, 5 days per week extends life expectancy by 6 years; aerobic exercise in the form of jogging 2 miles per day, 5 days per week at a ten minute mile pace, increases life expectancy by 9 years.  Cooper research also showed that, for men in their 50s, there was approximately a 4 times greater all-cause death rate among the never fit group as compared with those who began to exercise regularly, and an 8 times greater all-cause death rate when compared with those labeled “always fit.” 

What Does Scripture Say? 

Dr. Rubin says follow dietary Levitical laws.

We say: One could build a case from Scripture as to the wisdom in following a plant-based diet.  "The LORD God made every tree grow that was pleasant to the sight and good for food." The death of animals apparently did not occur till God provided animal skins as a covering for Adam's and Eve's nakedness.  In the 6th century BC, Daniel, on behalf of himself and his friends, petitioned the king's steward to be allowed to put aside the king's delicacies and instead to consume vegetables and water.  "And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter than all the young men who ate the portion of the king's delicacies."  From a biblical perspective, however, it is not that certain foods are forbidden.  In the New Covenant, dietary restrictions regarding the eating of animals were lifted, although the point of the text quoted here is not diet, but the inclusion of Gentiles in the plan of salvation.  Peter had a vision of "all kinds of four-footed animals . . . and birds of the air," He heard a voice that said, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." Peter protested, saying he had never eaten anything "common or unclean." He was told, "What God has cleansed you must not call common."  The question is not whether a particular food is permitted, but rather whether it is wise to consume certain types of foods - especially with the frequency and in the large meal portions characteristic of western nations.   

We know that excellent health is not a function of diet alone.   A vital and growing relationship with God, strong relationships and intimacy with the special people of our lives, regular exercise, meaningful work that is consistent with our talents and passions, a clear conscience and the ability to manage stress effectively are a few of a long list of things that positively impact our health.  These are all things we encourage our members to pursue.

Conclusion:

Dr. Ruben’s book is sprinkled with some good points, however, he errors in too many fundamental areas. While his plan, like Dr. Atkins, may produce weight loss or other beneficial effects to some degree, it is by no means a guide to optimal health. This is not a plan that will reverse heart disease or type 2 diabetes or address the issues our country struggles with the most. His personal recover from Ulcerative Colitis is impressive and commendable. I think it’s also commendable that he spent time studying nutritional issues to heal him self even if he arrives at wrong conclusions and was credentialed from non-accredited sources.

Below is our department’s position on nutrition. I think it’s much more appropriate both nutritionally and biblically.

 

CCM Health Initiatives Position Statement on Nutrition

The CCM Health Initiatives Department provides educational resources for helping our members 1 reverse or reduce the effects of already present disease, 2 reduce their risk for major disease, and 3 achieve optimal cognitive/physical/emotional function.   We believe that God calls us to be good stewards/managers of all that He has placed in our care, including our bodies.   By taking proper care of my body

  • I honor the Creator-God whom I serve. 
  • I reduce my risk for major disease, eliminating the corresponding medical costs, and allowing me to direct funds that would be spent on diagnosis and treatment of disease to worthwhile missions and to other needs. 
  • I increase my chances for a longer, disability-free life - through which I can better serve God in every area of life: spiritual, relational, sexual, vocational and recreative. 

Proper nutrition is critical for a long, healthy, disability free, productive life.  Our position on nutrition is based upon our understanding of current evidence from the research, viewed from a biblical perspective.  We want our views to be free from the influence of special interest groups, and to rise above the confusing array of information available to us through the popular media.  

Today we see a range of opinions as to what constitutes a healthy diet.  The Adkins followers and other advocates of a low carbohydrate diet allow for heavy consumption of high protein and high fat animal products; the Cooper Clinic and Institute in Dallas advocates a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy oils, but also allows for lean meats and low fat dairy, while steering clear of refined foods, fatty foods and hydrogenated oils; the lacto-ovo-vegetarians do not eat meat, but allow consumption of eggs and dairy products.  The vegan is on a plant-based diet only, avoiding all animal products, but is advised to take a B-12 supplement.   

We believe that a diet consisting primarily of plant-based products – including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy oils and legumes - is a wise choice for healthy people, and that an entirely plant-based diet may be a necessity for some others, such as those with advancing heart disease, or those who wish to reverse type-2 diabetes.  Moderate changes in the typical American diet have been found to be insufficient when it comes to reducing risk for, or for reversing, major disease.  People with heart disease in the Dr. Dean Ornish studies who were on a plant-based diet (10% fat and no cholesterol) experienced a reversal of their condition.   One participant, in one year's time, reversed a 77% blockage to 59%, increasing blood flow through that artery by 270%.   In the Ornish study and in several other studies, the amount of blockage increased in the coronary arteries of heart patients who were on the "low fat" diet advocated by the American Heart Association - a diet that included lean red meat, chicken with the skin removed, fish, and no more than 3 eggs per week.  

We realize that many people are not going to become vegans (100% plant-based), or even lacto-ovovegetarians (plant-based plus eggs and dairy, but no meat).   We try to meet people where they are - an ad hominem approach - as we share with our members what we are learning from the research.  We at CCM advocate that people move as far as they can toward a richly diversified plant-based diet, especially those who are obese, and those who are high risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer. 

We have arrived at our present position because 1 we have witnessed disease reversal and reduction or elimination of risk indicators in our members who have, through the encouragement of our Restore program or after attending a Lifestyle Center or Seminar, moved toward or to a plant-based diet; 2 worldwide, nation-by-nation, there is a very high correlation between the levels of consumption of animal products, and heart disease and cancer;  and 3 a diet consisting primarily or exclusively of plant-based foods is supported by studies such as the 25 year Okinawa study, Dr. Dean Ornish's work on reversing heart disease, and the China Study. 

What does Scripture say?   Our world is not the world as God first created it:

We live in a cursed world. According to Genesis, not only was there a curse placed on man, but also on the Earth. As a result there is disease and decay that takes place in our bodies and in what is produced in the earth (plants ,animals etc.)  There are also those things that are the by-products of man’s own greed and selfishness that harm us (e.g., toxins dumped into rivers and other types of pollutants buried in the earth) These things find their way into our plant and animal life which, in turn, find their way into us.

“We have been redeemed; we are being saved and we will be saved. There will be a time when our redemption is totally complete – a time when we will have new bodies that are free of disease and sin.  (The Rev. Jerry Lawrence, Pastor and CCM Controller)

One could build a case from Scripture as to the wisdom in following a plant-based diet.  "The LORD God made every tree grow that was pleasant to the sight and good for food." The death of animals apparently did not occur till God provided animal skins as a covering for Adam's and Eve's nakedness.  In the 6th century BC, Daniel, on behalf of himself and his friends, petitioned the king's steward to be allowed to put aside the king's delicacies and instead to consume vegetables and water.  "And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter than all the young men who ate the portion of the king's delicacies."  From a biblical perspective, however, it is not that certain foods are forbidden.  In the New Covenant, dietary restrictions regarding the eating of animals were lifted, although the point of the text quoted here is not diet, but the inclusion of Gentiles in the plan of salvation.  Peter had a vision of "all kinds of four-footed animals . . . and birds of the air," He heard a voice that said, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." Peter protested, saying he had never eaten anything "common or unclean." He was told, "What God has cleansed you must not call common."   The question is not whether a particular food is permitted, but rather whether it is wise to consume certain types of foods - especially with the frequency and in the large meal portions characteristic of western nations.    

We know that excellent health is not a function of diet alone.   A vital and growing relationship with God, strong relationships and intimacy with the special people of our lives, regular exercise, meaningful work that is consistent with our talents and passions, a clear conscience and the ability to manage stress effectively are a few of a long list of things that positively impact our health.  These are all things we encourage our members to pursue.

 

Become a Member of Christian Care Ministry and explore the benefits of Medi-Share!