What Are the Benefits of Eating Kosher?

Sarah Sullins

Eating kosher foods is beneficial because it can lead to a healthier lifestyle. In moderation, it can help lower cholesterol, improve the digestive system, and reduce allergens in food. This type of food is also considered a humane diet, as Jewish law dictates careful slaughter practices.

Matzo meal is made from ground matzo bread.
Matzo meal is made from ground matzo bread.

Kosher food is part of the Jewish dietary law that states what observant Jews are able to eat. It places restrictions on the types of food eaten and the way those foods are prepared. While eating kosher may be difficult for some, the health benefits of doing so can be great.

Turkey is kosher.
Turkey is kosher.

One of the biggest potential health benefits to eating kosher is a reduction in cholesterol. This is possible due to the fact that kosher guidelines prevent anyone from eating both meat and dairy together. Eliminating this combination means that most high cholesterol food such as pizza, cheeseburgers, and lasagna are excluded from the diet.

Cows and other cloven-hoofed, cud-chewing animals are kosher.
Cows and other cloven-hoofed, cud-chewing animals are kosher.

Separating meat and cheese can naturally help consumers to eat more healthfully. Those who are diligent about keeping kosher will likely find little to purchase at a fast food restaurant, for instance. Frequently, individuals who keep kosher eat a wide variety of vegetarian meals, reducing their meat consumption. Digestion is also improved when dairy and meat are not consumed together, which can reduce bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort.

Cheeseburgers and other caloric foods that combine dairy and meat are not kosher.
Cheeseburgers and other caloric foods that combine dairy and meat are not kosher.

Although it is uncommon, some individuals suffer from allergic reactions to pork or the chemicals used in the preparation of pork. More commonly, some people experience severe allergic reactions to shellfish. The kosher diet prohibits the consumption of pork and shellfish, making so consumers of kosher foods do not have to worry about allergic reactions to these foods.

Pigs are not considered kosher.
Pigs are not considered kosher.

When animals are raised for kosher meals, they are carefully and quickly killed and drained of blood. This is thought to help prevent some of the fear and pain experienced during traditional slaughter. This type of slaughter is called shechita, and is usually done by slitting the animal’s throat in one movement with a very sharp knife. Even animals that were raised according to kosher customs cannot be considered kosher unless they were slaughtered using shechita. Animals that die from natural causes or are killed by other animals cannot be used in kosher foods.

Another benefit to eating kosher is due to the quality of kosher items. Animals are not approved for consumption unless it is verified that they do not have any illnesses or lesions. Fruits and vegetable are inspected thoroughly for bugs and worms, because the presence of certain insects may render the product unsuitable as kosher. In general, it is believed that food that is kosher certified has undergone a more rigorous evaluation before becoming commercially available, so it may be healthier.

Fruits and vegetables are considered parve in a kosher kitchen.
Fruits and vegetables are considered parve in a kosher kitchen.

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Discussion Comments

Lostnfound

Kosher foods, especially meats, are also less likely to have preservatives in them, since the preservatives may not be kosher. Of course, it's possible to eat an unhealthy diet no matter what. Some who eat a kosher diet may be big fans of liverwurst, for example, which is not the healthiest meat in the world.

I always buy kosher hot dogs, like Hebrew National, because I know they are all meat, and do not have by-products, because that would not be kosher. I think they taste better, too.

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