यजन्तेसात्त्विकादेवान्यक्षरक्षांसिराजसाः। yajante saatvika devaan yaksharakshaansi raajasaah ।
प्रेतान्भूतगणांश्चान्ये यजन्तेतामसाजनाः॥ pretaanbhootaganaamschaanye yajante taamasa janaah ॥ (Gita 17/4)
Men with Sattvika disposition (anthakarana) worship gods; those of a Rajasikaa temperament worship demigods and demons; while others, who are men of a Taamasika disposition, worship the spirits of the dead and groups of ghosts. (Gita 17/4)
From this, it establishes that men have three types of faiths and mental constitutions - Saatvik, Raajas, and Taamas. Aa saatvik god is dear to a Saatvik person; demigods and demons are dear to a Raajasik person, and spirits and ghosts are dear to a Taamasik person.
God says - Food is of three kinds, but while elaborating on the kinds of foods, He does not say which of the foods are good. Rather He shows which foods are dear to Saatvik, Raajasik and Taamasik people. Here a question arises that ‘why did He do so?’ The answer to this is ‘Arjuna asked about the disposition of those who left the ordinance of the scriptures and with faith worshiped the Lord.’ To this God, says in Gita 17/3 ‒
सत्त्वानुरूपासर्वस्य श्रद्धा भवति भारत। श्रद्धामयोऽयंपुरुषोयोयच्छद्धःसएवसः॥
The faith of all men conforms to their inner disposition (antahkarna). Faith constitutes a man. Therefore, whatever is the nature of his faith, that alone is his firm position.
Man can be known by his activities related to worship and his faith. Faith is according to his inner disposition. Therefore, three kinds of foods will be appealing to him. He who does not do any form of prayer or worship, his firm position can be known by his food habits. Even if person does not pray, but surely he will be eating food. From this itself, one can get to know a man’s firm position. Therefore God talks about foods ‒ ‘आहारस्त्वपिसर्वस्यत्रिविधोभवतिप्रियः Along with the food, God has mentioned the word ‘प्रिय’ ‘dear’. The reason for using the word ‘प्रिय’ (Dear), is that, whatever food is pleasing and dear to a man, so becomes his nature, and as is his nature, so is his faith, his firm position, and so forth are the kind of foods that are dear to him.