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Kosher Diet

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Kosher Diet and Weight Loss

Planning a healthy kosher diet should not present any great difficulty. Similar to other weight loss diet plans, as long as you reduce calories appropriately, eat plenty of fruits/vegetables, reduce your intake of saturated fat, and take enough exercise, you will lose weight in a healthy way. However, any kosher diet must conform to the special dietary rules of Judaism.

What is the Meaning of Kosher?

Kosher, a Yiddish word derived from the Hebrew word \"kasher\" (keser/kaser) meaning \"fit\" or \"proper\". In a dietary context, kosher describes foods that meet the requirements of Jewish dietary laws (Kashrut). Non-kosher food is called \"treifah\" or \"treif\".

Jewish Diet Law

The basic diet laws of kashrut are found in the Torah\'s Book of Leviticus, amplified in the oral law (the Mishnah and the Talmud) and codified by rabbinical authorities. Kosher diet interpretations by rabbis continues in Jewish communities around the world.

The Basic Kosher Diet Rules

At the very least, any kosher weight loss diet must be in conformity with the following:

  • Meat and dairy foods are to kept completely separate. So meats and dairy foods, may not be eaten at the same meal. Also the dishes and utensils used in the preparation of these foods must be kept separate.

  • Derivatives of meat or dairy must also be kept separate. For example, most cheese contains rennet, a meat-based coagulant. This mixture of meat and dairy is non-kosher. For the same reason, dairy products like ice cream and yogurt which contain gelatin (derived from animal bones) are not kosher.

  • \"Pareve\" foods (containing neither meat nor dairy products) like vegetables, fruit and soy products may be consumed with either milk or meat products. However, fruits or foods from a tree may not be eaten until the tree is over three years old.

  • Kosher animal food must not come from animals, birds or fish prohibited in Leviticus 11 or Deuteronomy 14. For example, pork and rabbit are not kosher, neither is any fish without scales and fins, such as shellfish. Beef, lamb, veal, chicken, turkey and duck are kosher.

  • All animals must be slaughtered by a certified kosher butcher (shochet), according to a kasrut ritual known as \"shehitah\". Rabbinical authorities have stated that any unnecessary suffering by the animal can render otherwise kosher meat traife, although the Jewish slaughtering method remains controversial.

  • Meats and poultry must be salted with special kosher salt (\"kashering salt\") containing more absorbent crystals, to remove as much blood as possible.

Kosher Certified Weight Loss Diet Foods

If you are an orthodox Jew or keep a kosher table, your Kosher diet should contain only foods identified as kosher by the presence of a \"hechsher\" or \"hechsherim\" (plural). A hechsher is a symbol that indicates that the food has been certified as kosher by a rabbinical authority usually a rabbinic organization.

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