By: Nikki Nies
While studying for my RD exam, I’ve come across and have been quizzed on various ethnic cultures and dietary restrictions. As you have seen, I’ve read more about dietary practices during the Lenten season and have delved further into what Kosher really means. Up until now, I’ve had a pretty good idea about what those dietary practices entailed, but the diet of Seventh Day Adventist is foreign to me. Do you feel the same way? Not quite sure what Seventh Day Adventist means?
Join me in the fun of learning all the details now! While the Seventh Day Adventist church promotes autonomy, the relationships in the church are meant to call one another higher, to live as positive examples of God’s love and devotion. In regards to diet and health, this means:
- Gluttony and excess are to limited
- The key to wellness is balance and temperance
- Limit alcohol, tobacco and mind altering drugs, which can affect clear minds and wise choices
- It’s believed a well balanced vegetarian diet that emphasizes legumes, whole grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables and sources of vitamin B12 will promote optimal health
- Like the MyPlate guidelines, Adventists are advised to limit processed foods, sugar, sugar substitutes and food additives.
To remind you, a vegetarian diet has more benefits than the costs of the abstinence of meat. A vegetarian diet continues to provide evidence of lower risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes,obesity and/or high blood pressure.
Being vegetarian isn’t a requirement to be part of the Seventh Day Adventist church, yet many of the church go beyond the vegetarian diet,either eating raw foods or vegan. One of its founders, ellen White’s vision for the Seventh Day Adventist included eight principles for a healthy lifestyle: fresh air, sunshine, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, nutrition, water and trust in a divine power. The second part of the White’s vision included the establishment and devotion of health reform, health education and treating the ill in a new way.
As you can see, Seventh Day Adventist’s dietary practices are very similar to those of vegetarians, if not more strict. I’m proud to see the founder, White’s vision and principles for the church have been upheld since inception in the 1860s. For any of you that are practicing Seventh Day Adventist’s are there any key practices that I’ve missed? What personal practices do you follow in your daily life?