Plant-Based Diet vs Flesh-Based Diet

“And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for you have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Exodus 16:3

“And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?” Numbers 11:4

“And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.” Psalm 78:18

The human body requires daily nutrients to function properly and to fight diseases. Without these nutrients, the body will be more prone to diseases, both minor and major. The proper amount of nutrients needed vary by gender and age. However, the type of nutrients needed, remain the same. There are 6 nutrients that are required for good health.

These nutrients are carbohydrates, water, vitamins, minerals, protein, and fat. Carbohydrates fuel both the muscles and the brain, water carries waste and nutrients to our cells and is used to control our body temperature. Water cleanses our bodies and allows toxins to be flushed out (did you know that water first thing in the morning also prevents a heart attack?). Vitamins and minerals help to form collagen, provides antioxidants, helps with vision development/cellular growth and regular maintenance. Proteins are needed to both build and repair tissues throughout the body. Lastly, fat helps your body to absorb vitamins, fills your fat cells and insulates your body to keep you warm.

You may be wondering what are the best food sources to receive these nutrients. Some say plant foods and others believe that only a animal based diet can give them optimal health. Let’s explore and weigh the risks and benefits to both diets.

“By departing from the plan divinely appointed for their diet, the Israelites suffered great loss. They desired a flesh diet, and they reaped its results. They did not reach God’s ideal of character or fulfill His purpose. The Lord “gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.” They valued the earthly above the spiritual, and the sacred preeminence which was His purpose for them they did not attain.” 1White, E. G. (1905). The Ministry of Healing. Flesh as Food (pp. 311-312). Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association.

“The Lord plainly told His people that every blessing would come to them if they would keep His commandments, and be a peculiar people. He warned them through Moses in the wilderness, specifying that health would be the reward of obedience. The state of the mind has largely to do with the health of the body, and especially with the health of the digestive organs. As a general thing, the Lord did not provide His people with flesh meat in the desert, because He knew that the use of this diet would create disease and insubordination. In order to modify the disposition, and bring the higher powers of the mind into active exercise, He removed from them the flesh of dead animals. He gave them angels’ food, manna from heaven.”2White, E. G. (1898). Ellen G. White Estate. Manuscript 38, Silver Spring.

“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted…..and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Corinthians 10:6;11

“Flesh was never the best food; but its use is now doubly objectionable, since disease in animals is so rapidly increasing. Those who use flesh foods little know what they are eating. Often if they could see the animals when living and know the quality of the meat they eat, they would turn from it with loathing. People are continually eating flesh that is filled with tuberculous and cancerous germs. Tuberculosis, cancer, and other fatal diseases are thus communicated.”3White, E. G. (1905). The Ministry of Healing. Reasons for Discarding Flesh Foods (p. 313). Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association.

In a 2016 study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, it was found that after following more than 130,000 people for 36 years, those who switched from animal protein to a plant based protein, cut their risks for early death. The research also showed that 10% of animal protein was associated with 8% of cardiovascular death. During this study, there were more than 36,000 deaths, with 13,000 being from cancer, 9,000 from cardiovascular disease, and 14,000 from other causes. It was later determined that people should consider eating more plant proteins than animal proteins.

Further evidence also shows that a higher fat (animal based diet) diet raises estrogen levels, while a plant based diet keeps estrogen levels at a balanced level. When eating an animal based diet, your body will not get rid of extra estrogen that is needed. However, when on a plant based diet, you receive the necessary fiber that allows your body to rid itself of any extra estrogen. When your body naturally rids itself of extra estrogen, your risk of cancer becomes low. In the Landmark China Study, it was noted that “human studies also support this carcinogenic (cancerous) effect of animal protein, even at usual levels of consumption. No chemical carcinogen is nearly so important in causing human cancer as animal protein.”

“Is it not time that all should aim to dispense with flesh foods? How can those who are seeking to become pure, refined, and holy, that they may have the companionship of heavenly angels, continue to use as food anything that has so harmful an effect on soul and body?”4White, E. G. (1905). The Ministry of Healing. Reasons for Discarding Flesh Foods (p. 317). Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association.

“Those who claim to believe the truth are to guard carefully the powers of body and mind, so that God and His cause will not be in any way dishonored by their words or actions. The habits and practices are to be brought into subjection to the will of God. We are to give careful attention to our diet. It has been clearly presented to me that God’s people are to take a firm stand against meat-eating. Would God for thirty years give His people the message that if they desire to have pure blood and clear minds, they must give up the use of flesh-meat if He did not want them to heed this message? By the use of flesh-meats the animal nature is strengthened and the spiritual nature weakened.”5White, E. G. (1926). Testimony Studies on Diets and Food. File 48, 1902 (p. 65). Loma Linda, CA: College of Medical Evangelists.

A study in 2007 of more than 35,000 women published in the British Journal of Cancer found that women who ate the most meat had the highest risk of developing breast cancer. While a German study found that the cancer risks for those who eat a plant based diet, were less than half of those in the general public.

Another study at Harvard University and American Society For Nutrition, also showed that consuming dairy would put an individual at high risk for cardiovascular disease. “These results suggest that dairy fat is not an optimal type of fat in our diets. Although one can enjoy moderate amounts of full-fat dairy such as cheese, A HEALTHY DIET PATTERN TENDS TO BE PLANT-BASED and low in saturated fat,” said Frank Hu, senior author of the study.

Eating a plant based diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and even minor illnesses such as a cold. Plant foods also help to heal, they provide the necessary nutrients to both heal and prevent disease. While on the other hand, an animal based diet has been proven to cause sickness, disease, and even death.

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Genobia Simpson

Genobia Simpson

Genobia is a wife and mother, and her duty has always been in the kitchen. But now, as the Lord has given her a greater understanding of what it means to live a healthy lifestyle, she is able to supply nutritious meals and natural remedies (when necessary) for her family. She now has a great passion to share this wonderful truth with others who may not know where to start, how to prepare simple plant-based recipes, how to avoid sickness/diseases, and how to apply natural remedies.

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Words of Life

Sickness of the mind prevails everywhere. Nine tenths of the diseases from which men suffer have their foundation here. Perhaps some living home trouble is, like a canker, eating to the very soul and weakening the life forces. Remorse for sin sometimes undermines the constitution and unbalances the mind.

— Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 443