For more than 125 years, Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) have advocated a vegetarian dietary lifestyle because of their belief in the wholistic nature of man. Whatever is done in eating or drinking ought to honour and glorify God. The use of any food or substance that has been demonstrated as harmful is dishonouring to God, shows lack of respect for the body, and is a disservice to humankind. The recommended lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet which includes generous use of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereal, legumes, nuts, low-fat milk and low fat milk products satisfies this principle. It is suggested that dairy products should be unripened and eggs should be used sparingly. In addition to advocating the avoidance of all meat, fish and fowl (especially beef, shellfish and pork), coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco products should be excluded.
In the 1960’s, Loma Linda University, in cooperation with the National Cancer Institute, began to study the health of SDAs. Later, in the 1970’s and ’80’s, data on the Adventist lifestyle was collected and analysed under contract with the National Institute of Health and the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute.
Adventists, in general, have 50% less risk of heart disease, certain types of cancers, strokes, and diabetes.
More specifically, recent data suggests that vegetarian men under 40 can expect to live 8.9 years longer and women 7.5 years longer than the general population. Being more specific, Adventist vegetarian men live 3.6 years longer than Adventists who eat meat do.
Core health teachings
In order to become a member of the Adventist church, a person agrees to refrain from smoking, alcohol, drugs and ‘unclean’ foods as defined in the Bible. But there are also other broader principles which are not compulsory but highly recommended to enable a complete, balanced, effective, economical and scientifically-validated healthy lifestyle. These have come to be known as “Natures Eight Remedies
Nutrition – a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet Contact Sanitarium Nutrition Education Service or free call 1800 673 392
Water -6-8 glasses daily
Temperance – abstaining from harmful things – drugs, alcohol, tea, coffee, coke … ; Using what is good in moderation.
Air – fresh, not smoke polluted
Rest – nightly and weekly. The Sabbath day off each week is great.
Trust in God – the perfect antidote for worry
Strategies to stop Smoking
State your choice: “I choose not to smoke”. If you waver – will I, won’t I, will I, won’t I, you probably will
Relax: Begin rhythmic deep breathing when the craving strikes. This will help you relax and give your decision making apparatus plenty of oxygen.
Drink plenty of water and fruit juice. Beware of beverages containing caffeine and alcohol. Will power is soluble in Alcohol.
Think of the benefits you will get from quitting – self image, financial, family, health …
Ask for Divine help – “God, I choose not to smoke, God help me not to have this cigarette.
Call a friend for their support
Delay: put the smoke off for a minute, 2 minutes …
Adventist Vegetarian Dietary Lifestyle
With respect to diet, the Adventist church advocates a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet as being the most healthful. This includes the generous use of fresh fruits, vegetables, wholegrain breads & cereals, legumes and nuts. In addition, low fat varieties of milk and dairy products are preferred and it is suggested that eggs and other foods high in cholesterol & saturated fat be limited to less than 3 per week
Position Statement on the Vegetarian Dietary Lifestyle, General Conference Nutrition Council, 1995..