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What Is the Seventh Day Adventist Diet?

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on November 13, 2021

The Seventh-day Adventist diet is a diet plan promoted by members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It's a mostly plant-based diet that avoids caffeine, alcohol, and other substances that they consider unclean or harmful.

Benefits of the Seventh-day Adventist Diet

The Seventh-day Adventist community has been studied for 60 years as part of the Adventist Health Study. The community in Loma Linda, CA is one of the five places on earth where people consistently live to be over 100 years old. These places are called Blue Zones.

Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda outlive the average American by 10 years. They also are less likely to develop:

How the Seventh-day Adventist Diet Works

The Seventh-day Adventists believe God calls them to take care of their health. They don't have a strict diet plan but believe in the following principles:

  • Balance and moderation are the keys to wellness
  • Too much of anything, even something good, can be harmful to your health
  • Pure water, fresh air, and sunlight are healthy
  • Exercise helps clear your mind
  • You should avoid alcohol, tobacco, and mind-altering substances
  • A well-balanced vegetarian diet promotes health
  • Legumes, whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables, along with a source of vitamin B12 promote health
  • You should not eat unclean foods listed in the Bible

What You Can Eat on the Seventh-day Adventist Diet

Legumes. These include beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas. They're high in protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Eating 1 cup of legumes daily has been associated with:

Whole grains. They're higher in fiber than refined grains. A diet high in whole grains is linked to lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Whole grains include:

  • Brown rice
  • Barley
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet

Nuts. Eating nuts as part of a healthy diet can cut your risk of having a heart attack in half if you're in a high-risk group. Nuts are high in calories, so you need to limit your portion size. They can:

  • Lower your bad cholesterol (LDL)
  • Ease inflammation linked to heart disease
  • Lower your odds of blood clots
  • Help keep the lining in your arteries healthy

Fruits and vegetables. Eat a variety of these every day to get the most benefits. They have plant chemicals that can lower your chances of conditions:

Foods to Avoid on the Seventh-day Adventist Diet

Seventh-day Adventist diet guidelines avoid the following: 

Show Sources

SOURCES:

American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine: "Blue Zones."

Harvard Health Blog: "Love those legumes!"

LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH: "Adventist Mortality Study."

MAYO CLINIC: "Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health," "Whole grains: Hearty options for a healthy diet."

The Nutrition Source: "Vegetables and Fruits."

Seventh-day Adventist Church: "Health."

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