Book Review: “God’s Diet” by Dorothy Gault

Dorothy Gault has a plan to take the complexity out of diet planning. Her diet includes no counting, no nutrition panel reading, no exchanges, no dozens of rules to remember.

In fact, there’s only one rule: “If God didn’t make it, don’t eat it.”

On the surface, God’s Diet is simple, straightforward, easy. Until you start asking the big question: What hasn’t God made?

Theologically speaking, it’s hard to come up with something God hasn’t made. I can only think of one: evil. And the idea of eating evil is pretty ridiculous, if you ask me.

So what does Gault mean when she talks about what God did or didn’t make?

Turns out, what God didn’t make is flour and sugar. (Who’d have thought?) So what’s off limits is anything with flour and sugar in it. Anything else, you can eat whole hog.

At least, that’s how Gault makes it sound, though she later backtracks to say that high-fat, high-sodium, high “legal”-sugar foods should be eaten in moderation.

This diet rubbed me wrong in several ways.

The first thing I didn’t like about it was that it violated one of my most sacred food rules: Food is not a moral issue.

There’s no such thing as a “good food” and a “bad food”. Food is morally neutral (sort of like money–you know the verse about the love of money being the root of all kinds of evils?) Turning food into a moral issue binds one to a law we have been set free from in Christ. It creates condemnation where no condemnation need be and false self-righteousness where righteousness is not.

Gault speaks in direct opposition to this “food rule” of mine.

“When we eat something sinful, we need to know that it is sinful. Once again, if God didn’t make it, it must be sinful.”

Errnt. Strike one.

Secondly, the theology in this book is terrible. Gault can’t decide whether she’s a creationist or an evolutionist, constantly switching between the two depending on which provides better “support” for her diet.

She really makes no case for why God didn’t make flour and sugar-and completely ignores the many instances in which bread is made by or commanded by God.

God commanded the eating of unleavened bread, manna was used to prepare bread (with no indication of it being wrong). Jesus multiplied loaves and taught His disciples to pray “Give us this day our daily bread.” What’s more, Jesus said that He Himself was bread from heaven, and commanded His disciples to take and eat the bread that symbolized His body. If flour is indeed sinful, would Jesus have done this? Would He have told His disciples to pray: “Give us this day our daily sinfulness…and lead us not into temptation”? Would Jesus have said “I am the sinfulness from heaven”? Would Jesus have commanded His disciples “Take and sin…do this in remembrance of Me?”

Clearly this diet has everything to do with ideology and nothing at all to do with Christianity, despite the author’s references to God and the garden of Eden.

Errnt. Strike two.

Finally, Gault’s vilification of flour, specifically, has little if any scientific support.

Gault claims that flour is bad for us because it has been processed; while unprocessed grain is good for us because it is in the form in which God made it. She uses a child eating corn and ending up with drawers full of corn as an example of how corn in it’s natural state is fundamentally different from corn flour (also known as cornmeal).

In its natural state, Gault tells us, grain is indigestible. In its processed state (when ground as flour), it is digestible and therefore bad.

Come again?

Since when is something being digestible a bad thing? And even if it is, Gault mistakes visibility with reality.

The truth is that just because Gault cannot see the corn kernels in the poop after eating cornmeal does not mean that the cornmeal was fully digested.

The same fiber that is indigestible in corn is still indigestible in cornmeal. It’s just ground so you can’t see it when it comes out in the feces.

Now it’s true that some forms of processing do make chemical changes to food products–but the making of flour is not one of them. The only difference between whole grain flour and the grain itself is the size of the particles. The only difference between how the two are digested is time We don’t have to chew the flour as long, don’t have to mechanically churn it in our stomachs as long–but the starch is the same starch and the fiber the same fiber.

There is no evidence that whole grain flour and unprocessed whole grains are fundamentally different.

Errnt. Strike three.

She’s out, and so is this diet.

Rating: 0 stars
Category: Diet
Synopsis:Gault proposes a “simple” but nutritionally and theologically unsound diet based on one rule: “If God didn’t make it, don’t eat it.”
Recommendation: Don’t read it. Don’t believe it. Don’t promote this sort of thinking. It’s wrong.

7 thoughts on “Book Review: “God’s Diet” by Dorothy Gault”

  1. Great review! Many people make food an “idol” and tend to be over weight (mostly due to inactivity and large portions). We try to eat good wholesome foods, nothing from a box if possible. Like you said food is not a moral issue and this diet sounds like “legalism”…?

  2. The first paragraph sounded great — I know I’ve been needing to track the food I eat if I am going to make any progress, but it is sooo tedious, this sounded good — until I read on.

    How do people like this get published?!

    Thanks for the great review.

  3. I love your Errnts. ;D That’s awesome.

    The book does sound like it has a good premise but I’m rather anti-rigid rules when it comes to food and I don’t think you can say what foods are sinful and which are not. Certainly we can make wise choices and we are supposed to care for our bodies. But making M&M’s a moral issue seems a bit off!

  4. P.S. My favorite “diet” is Elisabeth Elliot’s:

    1. Take whatever you want and put it on your plate.
    2. Draw a line down the middle of everything and eat half of it.
    3. Throw the rest away. After a few days you learn to take less and eat less.


  5. Great review! I do think that the point she was probably making about grain was the distinction between insoluble and soluble fiber, though it’s just a guess.

    Still, I don’t see how God would’ve requested sacrifices of fine flour if he considered flour a no-no. Very odd logic there.

    The perspective that whatever God didn’t make is disallowed strikes me the same as the folks who say God didn’t ordain any but a few specific musical instruments, so modern worship music is sinful. Meh.


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