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Pastor preaches Paleo diet principles for weight loss and health

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Pastor Bill Hybels is concerned about the expanding waistlines of the nation. And even though weight loss and dieting are not topics included in typical church sermons, he believes that it's time to address the physical along with the spiritual. In that spirit, he has adapted the Paleo diet, which he feels is the best solution for replacing the Standard American Diet (SAD), reported Christian Today on Aug. 20.

In his new book "Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul," Hybels discusses different ways to enhance health. Topics include how to go from "exhausted to energized" and use the Paleo diet as a model.

Eliminating all processed food, Paleo diets also eliminate grains and dairy. Followers eat vegetables, meat, nuts and fruit.

The Apostle Paul says in one of his writings, 'Glorify God with your body.' Christ-followers, leaders or non-leaders, who are destroying their bodies by little activity, poor diet, lack of rest, and nobody talks about it, nobody thinks there's a discipleship issue here," said Hybels.

So just how serious is the obesity crisis in the nation? Based on an American Journal of Preventive Medicine study, almost half of the American population will be obese by 2030.

And while Hybels has faith that his advice to follow the Paleo low carb diet is appropriate, some registered dietitians are expressing concern that those without formal nutrition education are dishing out weight loss advice. A TV host who also has been publicizing his Paleo practices, for example, is attracting criticism in Australia, reported the Guardian on Aug. 21.

TV star Peter Evans co-hosts a show called "My Kitchen Rules." He also participated in the Paleo Way Live Australian Tour in July.

"To make blanket statements and give recommendations for people’s health is questionable," said dietitian Susie Burrell. "Every single person is different and we are not saying they should not eat less-refined food and sugar, but to say don’t eat grains and all sugar is bad ... These blanket statements are the problem."

Many dietitians have expressed concern about the Paleo diet's elimination of all grains and dairy. Targeting Evans, dietitian Karen Inge suggested, "I think he should take a look at centenarians and he’ll find that most have been eating dairy and grains all their life."

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