We know that kosher foods are good for spiritual health, but does the Torah discuss which foods are good for our physical health (especially for weight loss)?

  • Does Torah recommend weight loss altogether?
    – shmosel
    Feb 19 at 20:10
  • 2
    @shmosel Only for people for whom it would benefit their health to do so. For others it might recommend weight gain.
    – Double AA
    Feb 19 at 20:22
  • @shmosel apparently yes: youtube.com/watch?v=LhV14Coe68o
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Feb 19 at 20:23
  • Miguel I recommend this book: amazon.co.uk/Feldheim-Life-Transforming-Revised-David-Zulberg/…
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Feb 19 at 20:23
  • @shmosel If many rabbi's consider the Talmud to be part of Torah then maybe. Although I'll admit it's obviously not part of the chumash. This might branch off into a discussion about the semantics of the word "Torah".
    – Miguel
    Feb 20 at 6:19

1 Answer 1


The pshat of this Gemarra is certainly not considered normative halacha, so it's worth looking at the commentaries and speaking to a rabbi and probably a nutritionist, but the Babylonian Talmud says in Tractate Shabbat, p. 140b,

"וְאָמַר רַב חִסְדָּא׃ בַּר בֵּי רַב [דְּלָא נְפִישָׁא לֵיהּ רִיפְתָּא] — לָא לֵיכוֹל יַרְקָא, מִשּׁוּם דְּגָרֵיר. וְאָמַר רַב חִסְדָּא׃ אֲנָא לָא בַּעֲנִיּוּתִי אֲכַלִי יַרְקָא, וְלָא בְּעַתִּירוּתִי אֲכַלִי יַרְקָא. בַּעֲנִיּוּתִי — מִשּׁוּם דְּגָרֵיר. בְּעַתִּירוּתִי — דְּאָמֵינָא׃ הֵיכָא דְּעָיֵיל יַרְקָא, לֵיעוּל בִּשְׂרָא וְכַוְורֵי."

"And Rav Ḥisda further said: A student of a Torah academy who does not have much bread should not eat a vegetable, because it whets the appetite. And Rav Ḥisda said: I neither ate a vegetable in my state of poverty, nor did I eat a vegetable in my state of wealth. In my poverty, I did not eat a vegetable because it whets the appetite. In my wealth, I did not eat a vegetable because I said: Where a vegetable enters, let meat and fish enter instead."

The suggestion is that vegetables 'stimulate the appetite' and should be avoided. I suppose in modern terms Rav Chisda is suggesting a kind of modified Paleo diet.


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