Ellen G White and Medical Evangelism

Ellen G White played a central role in the development and leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

In 1844, as a 17 year old, she claimed to have the first vision where she saw the Advent people travelling to the City of God. Over her lifetime God gave her approximately 2,000 visions and dreams. Ellen G White's 1863 Health Reform Vision in Otsego, Michigan, is the most relevant vision to the discussion on the influences on nutrition and how the current Dietary Guidelines became vegetarian.

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The Health Reform Vision

“The health and lifespan advantages of the Seventh-day Adventist Church have been traced to the way they live and eat. Since the 1800s, Seventh-day Adventists have practiced eight secrets of health that reduce their risk of heart disease and cancer . . . the two leading causes of premature death. By keeping these two killers at bay, Seventh-day Adventists enjoy greater health and a longer life than the general population. . . . The scientific confirmation has just been available in recent years, so how did they know before the scientists? From a woman named Ellen G. White. This visionary said God did not want people to suffer unnecessary illness and death and He inspired her to tell people how they could enjoy maximum wellness. Ellen G. White wrote with amazing simplicity and accuracy what has since been proved to be the best formula for health and longevity.” Searching for the Fountain of Youth

Modern Research Confirms Health Principals is a fascinating summary of Ellen G White's Health Reform views with links that show her nineteenth-century writings have been validated by research that may have been biased to prove that a Seventh-day Adventist Vegetarian Lifestyle promotes health, longevity and spiritual well-being.

Beginning with the Original Diet from the Garden of Eden describing; "grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator". It is noted that "The affirming research is voluminous and growing yearly".

On the health benefits of physical activity and sunlight Ellen G White wrote; "Exercise directly affects the circulation of the blood. Contrary to conventional medicine in the nineteenth century, exercise is vital to recovery from most diseases as well as to the prevention of disease". In other words Exercise is Medicine.

She also wrote about the importance of dietary fibre.


Ellen White’s emphasis on grains as an essential component of an adequate diet has been unequivocally validated in recent research. "Grains such as wheat, rice, oats, barley, and the foods made from them constitute the base of healthful diets as illustrated in the Food Guide Pyramid."

In 1866 Ellen G White demonised red meat referred to it as 'Flesh foods' noting that “the liability to take disease is increased tenfold by meat eating. Further, in 1869 she said that “meat should not be placed before our children.”

The American Cancer Society Guidelines on Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer Prevention, 1996.

Interestingly, the American Cancer Society's four basic guidelines follow Ellen G White's teachings closely ...

  1. Choose most of the foods you eat from plant sources. Eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Eat other foods from plant sources, such as breads, cereals, grain products, rice, pasta, or beans several times each day.
  2. Limit your intake of high-fat foods, particularly from animal sources. Choose foods low in fat. Limit consumption of meats, especially high-fat meats.
  3. Be physically active: Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Be at least moderately active for 30 minutes or more on most days of the week. Stay within your healthy weight range.
  4. Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages, if you drink at all.203

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