What is Kosher diet: Know its rules, foods and more


The Kosher diet is based on traditional Jewish laws and restrict the consumption of certain types of food. Read on to know more.

The Kosher diet is based on the traditional Jewish law and expects those following it to abide by their strict dietary standards. The Kosher diet is very strict when it comes to the right pairing of food. It doesnโ€™t allow for one to eat meat and dairy products together. The diet also has restrictions regarding the way the food is cooked and the way it should be eaten.

As for processed foods, they need to have a โ€˜Kosher certificationโ€™ to be allowed for consumption. For many Jews, this diet has a lot to do with their religious beliefs, more than just following it as a weight loss or healthcare regime. Health Shots got in touch with dietician Kejal Shah who sheds light on what is allowed on the kosher diet, and the other rules to follow.

What is the Kosher diet?

The word Kosher means fit or proper, and it refers to the food that the rules of Jewish law allow you to eat. A kosher diet is a set of dietary rules and guidelines followed by people of the Jewish faith. โ€œThe rules and regulations of the Kosher diet are based on the laws of Kashrut in the Torah. Therefore, Kosher diet foods include restrictions on certain types of animals and food combinations. The diet rules also regulate how food is prepared and consumed,โ€ says Shah. Some key elements of the kosher diet include only eating certain types of meat that have been properly slaughtered and prepared, avoiding mixing dairy and meat products, and following specific guidelines for kosher certification on processed foods.

What can you eat on the Kosher diet?

Wondering what makes foods kosher? On the kosher diet, individuals are permitted to eat foods that meet the dietary laws outlined in Jewish tradition. Some examples of foods that are generally considered kosher include:

  • Animals that both chew their cud and have split hooves, such as cows, sheep, and goats
  • Poultry that have been properly slaughtered according to kosher laws, such as chicken and turkey
  • Fish that have fins and scales, such as salmon, tuna, and trout
  • Fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes
  • Dairy products that come from kosher animals and are not mixed with meat products

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What can you not eat on the kosher diet?

On a Kosher diet,ย  certain types of foodsย  are prohibited or considered non-kosher. What foods arenโ€™t Kosher? Some examples of foods that are generally not allowed on a kosher diet include:

  • Pork and its by-products
  • Shellfish and other seafood without fins and scales
  • Birds of prey, such as eagles and vultures
  • Insects and other creepy-crawly creatures
  • Mixing dairy and meat products in the same meal or cooking utensils
A supermarket cart
On the Kosher diet, processed food with Kosher diet certification can only be consumed. Image courtesy: Freepik

How do you pair foods on the kosher diet?

On a Kosher diet, there are specific rules and guidelines for pairing and combining different types of foods. Some key principles for pairing foods on a kosher diet include:

1. Separation of dairy and meat products

One of the fundamental rules of kosher dietary laws is the separation of dairy and meat products. This means that dairy and meat cannot be cooked or consumed together in the same meal. Additionally, kosher kitchens typically have separate sets of utensils, cookware, and serving dishes for dairy and meat products to avoid cross-contamination.

2. Parve foods

Parve, or pareve, refers to foods that are neither dairy nor meat and do not contain any dairy or meat derivatives. These foods are considered neutral and can be eaten with either dairy or meat products. Common parve foods include fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes.

3. Fish and dairy

According to kosher dietary laws, fish is considered neutral and can be eaten with dairy or parve foods, but not with meat products. This allows for more flexibility in meal planning and pairing options.

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Overall, the key to pairing foods on a kosher diet is to follow the rules of kashrut and ensure that dairy, meat, and parve foods are kept separate and not mixed in the same meal or cooking process. This helps maintain the sanctity and integrity of the kosher diet.

What is kosher diet certification?

Kosher diet certification is a verification process by kosher certifying agencies to ensure that food products meet Jewish dietary laws. Food producers undergo inspections to receive a certification symbol, known as a hechsher, indicating that the product is kosher-approved. Consumers look for these symbols to verify that the food aligns with their dietary restrictions and religious practices.

Candles on a candle stand
The Kosher diet is based on traditional Jewish traditions. Image courtesy: Freepik

What to remember while doing the kosher diet?

When following a kosher diet, there are several important points to remember to ensure that you are adhering to the dietary laws of kashrut. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Choose kosher-approved animals for meat and fish with fins and scales.
  • Ensure meat and poultry are slaughtered and prepared according to kosher laws.
  • Keep dairy and meat products separate and use designated utensils and cookware.
  • Look for kosher certification symbols on packaged foods.
  • Avoid prohibited foods like pork, shellfish, and certain birds.
  • Respect othersโ€™ dietary restrictions and follow kosher guidelines when sharing meals.

Sample meal options for those on the kosher diet

1. Grilled salmon with quinoa and roasted vegetables
2. Chickpea stir-fry over brown rice
3. Falafel platter with hummus, tabbouleh, and pita bread
4. Vegetable stir-fry with tofu over quinoa
5. Grilled chicken with a side of steamed broccoli and sweet potato
6. Lentil soup with a mixed green salad and whole grain bread



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