Counsels on Diet and Food
Part I--Sugar

MS 93, 1901 
525. Sugar is not good for the stomach. It causes fermentation, and this clouds the brain and brings peevishness into the disposition.

(1905) M.H. 302 
526. Far too much sugar is ordinarily used in food. Cakes, sweet puddings, pastries, jellies, jams, are active causes of indigestion. Especially harmful are the custards and puddings in which milk, eggs, and sugar are the chief ingredients. The free use of milk and sugar taken together should be avoided. [SEE MILK AND SUGAR--533, 536] [USE ONLY A LITTLE IN FRUIT CANNING--476] [A LITTLE SUGAR PERMISSIBLE--550]

(1870) 2T 369, 370 
527. Sugar clogs the system. It hinders the working of the living machine. 

There was one case in Montcalm County, Michigan, to which I will refer. The individual was a noble man. He stood six feet, and was of fine appearance. I was called to visit him in his sickness. I had previously conversed with him in regard to his manner of living. "I do not like the looks of your eyes," said I. He was eating large quantities of sugar. I asked him why he did this. He said that he had left off meat, and did not know what would supply its place as well as sugar. His food did not satisfy him, simply because his wife did not know how to cook.

Some of you send your daughters, who have nearly grown to womanhood, to school to learn the sciences before they know how to cook, when this should be made of the first importance. Here was a woman who did not know how to cook; she had not learned how to prepare healthful food. The wife and mother was deficient in this important branch of education; and as the result, poorly cooked food not being 

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sufficient to sustain the demands of the system, sugar was eaten immoderately, which brought on a diseased condition of the entire system. This man's life was sacrificed unnecessarily to bad cooking.

When I went to see the sick man, I tired to tell them as well as I could how to manage, and soon he began slowly to improve. But he imprudently exercised his strength when not able, ate a small amount not of the right quality, and was taken down again. This time there was no help for him. His system appeared to be a living mass of corruption. He died a victim to poor cooking. He tried to make sugar supply the place of good cooking, and it only made matters worse.  I frequently sit down to the tables of the brethren and sisters, and see that they use a great amount of milk and sugar. These clog the system, irritate the digestive organs, and affect the brain. Anything that hinders the active motion of the living machinery, affects the brain very directly. And from the light given me, sugar, when largely used, is more injurious than meat. These changes should be made cautiously, and the subject should be treated in a manner not calculated to disgust and prejudice those whom we would teach and help. [SWEET BREADS AND CRACKERS--410, 507, 508]

R. & H., Jan. 7, 1902 
528. We should not be prevailed upon to take anything into the mouth that will bring the body into an unhealthy condition, no matter how much we like it. Why?--Because we are God's property. You have a crown to win, a heaven to gain, and a hell to shun. Then for Christ's sake, I ask you, Will you have the light shine before you in clear and distinct rays, and then turn away from it and say, "I love this, and I love that'? God calls upon every one of you to begin to plan, to cooperate with God in His great care and love, to elevate, ennoble, and sanctify the whole soul, body, and spirit, that we may be workers together with God. . . . 

It is better to let sweet things alone. Let alone those sweet dessert dishes that are placed on the table. You do not need them. You want a clear mind to think after God's order. [SEE PART III-PIE, CAKE, PASTRY, AND PUDDINGS] [CANDY NOT TO BE GIVEN INFANTS--346]

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Sale of Knickknacks on the Campground

Letter 25a, 1889 
529. Years ago I had a testimony of reproof for the managers in our camp meetings bringing upon the ground and selling to our people cheese and other hurtful things, and presenting candies for sale when I was labouring to instruct the young and old to put the money they had expended for candy in the missionary box and thus teach their children self-denial.

MS 87, 1908 
530. Light has been given me in regard to the foods provided at our camp meetings. Foods are sometimes brought onto the campground which are not in keeping with the principles of health reform.

If we are to walk in the light God has given us, we must educate our people, old and young, to dispense with these foods that are eaten merely for the indulgence of appetite. Our children should be taught to deny themselves of such unnecessary things as candies, gum, ice cream, and other knickknacks, that they may put the money saved by their self-denial into the self-denial box, of which there should be one in every home. By this means large and small sums would be saved for the cause of God.

Not a few of our people need instruction in regard to the principles of health reform. There are various confections that have been invented by manufacturers of health foods, and recommended as perfectly harmless; but I have a different testimony to bear concerning them. They are not truly healthful, and their use should not be encouraged. We need to keep more strictly to a simple diet of fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables.

Let not foods or confectionery be brought upon our campground that will counterwork the light given our people on health reform. Let us not gloss over the temptation to indulge appetite, by saying that the money received from the sale of such things is to be used to meet the expenses of a good work. All such temptation to self-indulgence should be firmly resisted. Let us not persuade ourselves to 

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do that which is unprofitable to the individual under the pretext that good will come of it. Let us individually learn what it means to be self-denying, yet healthful, active missionaries.

Sugar in Ellen G. White's Diet

Letter 5, 1870 
531. Everything is plain yet wholesome because it is not merely thrown together in a haphazard manner. We have no sugar on our table. Our sauce which is our dependence is apples, baked or stewed, sweetened as is required before being put upon the table. 

Letter 1, 1873 
532. We have always used a little milk and some sugar. This we have never denounced, either in our writings or in our preaching. We believe cattle will become so much diseased that these things will yet be discarded, but the time has not yet come for sugar and milk to be wholly abolished from our tables.

Part II--Milk and Sugar

(1870) 2T 368, 369 
533. Now in regard to milk and sugar: I know of persons who have become frightened at the health reform, and said they would have nothing to do with it, because it has spoken against a free use of these things. Changes should be made with great care; and we should move cautiously and wisely. We want to take that course which will recommend itself to the intelligent men and women of the land. Large quantities of milk and sugar eaten together are injurious. They impart impurities to the system. Animals from which milk is obtained are not always healthy. They may be diseased. A cow may be apparently well in the morning and die before night. Then she was diseased in the morning, and her milk was diseased, but you did not know it. The animal creation is diseased. Flesh meats are diseased. Could we know that animals were in perfect health, I would recommend that people eat flesh meats sooner than large quantities of milk and sugar. It would

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not do the injury that milk and sugar do. Sugar clogs the system. It hinders the working of the living machine.

(1870) 2T 370 
534. I frequently sit down to the tables of the brethren and sisters, and see that they use a great amounts of milk and sugar. These clog the system, irritate the digestive organs, and affect the brain. [FOR CONTEXT SEE 527]

[C.T.B.H. 57] (1890) C.H. 154 
535. Some use milk and a large amount of sugar on mush, thinking that they are carrying out health reform. But the sugar and milk combined are liable to cause fermentation in the stomach, and are thus harmful.

(1905) M.H. 302 
536. Especially harmful are the custards and puddings in which milk, eggs, and sugar are the chief ingredients. The free use of milk and sugar taken together should be avoided. [ICE CREAM--530, 540] [CAKE EATEN WITH MILK OR CREAM--552]

Part III--Pie, Cake, Pastry, Puddings

[SPEC. TEST. ON EDUCATION, OCTOBER, 1893] F.E. 227 
537. The desserts which take so much time to prepare, are, many of them, detrimental to health. 

A Temptation to Overindulgence

Letter 73a, 1896 
538. At too many tables, when the stomach has received all that it requires to properly carry on its work of nourishing the system, another course, consisting of pies, puddings, and highly flavoured sauces, is placed upon the table. . . . Many, though they have already eaten enough, will overstep the bounds, and eat the tempting dessert, which, however, proves anything but good for them. . . . If the extras which are provided for dessert were dispensed with altogether, it would be a blessing.

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(1864) Sp. Gifts IV, 130 
539. Because it is the fashion, in harmony with morbid appetite, rich cake, pies, and puddings, and every hurtful thing, are crowded into the stomach. The table must be loaded down with a variety, or the depraved appetite cannot be satisfied. In the morning, these slaves to appetite often have impure breath, and a furred tongue. They do not enjoy health, and wonder why they suffer with pains, headaches, and various ills.

(1865) H. to L., ch. 1, p. 53 
540. The human family have indulged an increasing desire for rich food, until it has become a fashion to crowd all the delicacies possible into the stomach. Especially at parties of pleasure is the appetite indulged with but little restraint. Rich dinners and late suppers are partaken of, consisting of highly seasoned meats with rich gravies, rich cakes, pies, ice cream, etc. 

(1865) H. to L., ch. 1, p. 54 
541. Because it is fashion, many who are poor and dependent upon their daily labour, will be to the expense of preparing different kinds of rich cakes, preserves, pies, and a variety of fashionable food for visitors, which only injure those who partake of them; when, at the same time, they need the amount thus expended, to purchase clothing for themselves and children. This time occupied in cooking food to gratify the taste at the expense of the stomach, should be devoted to the moral and religious instruction of their children. [FOR CONTEXT SEE 128] [RICH FOODS CREATE DESIRE FOR STIMULANTS--203]

Not a Part of a Healthful, Nourishing Diet

Y.I., May 31, 1894 
542. Many understand how to make different kinds of cakes, but cake is not the best food to be placed upon the table. Sweet cakes, sweet puddings, and custards will disorder the digestive organs; and why should we tempt those who surround the table by placing such articles before them? 

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(1870) 2T 400 
543. Flesh meats and rich cakes and pies prepared with spices of any kind, are not the most healthful and nourishing diet.

Letter 91, 1898 
544. The desserts that are taken in the form of custards are liable to do more harm than good. Fruit, if it can be obtained, is the best article of food.

(1905) M.H. 302 
545. Far too much sugar is ordinarily used in food. Cakes, sweet puddings, pastries, jellies, jams, are active causes of indigestion. Especially harmful are the custards and puddings in which milk, eggs, and sugar are the chief ingredients. The free use of milk and sugar taken together should be avoided.

Letter 135, 1902 
546. Let those who advocate health reform strive earnestly to make it all that they claim it is. Let them discard everything detrimental to health. Use simple, wholesome food. Fruit is excellent, and saves much cooking. Discard rich pastries, cakes, desserts, and other dishes prepared to tempt the appetite. Eat fewer kinds of food at one meal, and eat with thanksgiving.

Simple Desserts Not Forbidden

Letter 17, 1895 
547. Plain, simple pie may serve as dessert, but when one eats two or three pieces merely to gratify an inordinate appetite, he unfits himself for the service of God. Some, after partaking largely of other food, will take dessert, not because they need it, but because it tastes good. If they are asked to take a second piece, the temptation is too great to be resisted, and two or three pieces of pie are added to the load placed upon the already overworked stomach. He who will do this has never educated himself to practice self-denial. The victim of appetite is so wedded to his own way that he cannot see the injury he is doing to himself.

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548. Then, when she needed extra clothing and extra food, and that of a simple yet nutritious quality, it was not allowed her. Her system craved material to convert into blood; but he would not provide it. A moderate amount of milk and sugar, a little salt, white bread raised with yeast for a change, graham flour prepared in a variety of ways by other hands than her, plain cake with raisins, rice pudding with raisins, prunes, and figs, occasionally, and many other dishes I might mention, would have answered the demand of appetite.

Letter 127, 1904 
549. The food placed before the patients should be such as to make a favourable impression on them. Eggs can be prepared in a variety of ways. Lemon pie should not be forbidden. [LEMON PIE USED BY E. G. WHITE--APPENDIX 1:22]

Letter 53, 1898 
550. The dessert should be placed on the table and served with the rest of the food; for often, after the stomach has been given all it should have, the dessert is brought on, and is just that much too much.

For Clear Minds and Strong Bodies

Letter 10, 1891 
551. I wish we were all health reformers. I am opposed to the use of pastries. These mixtures are unhealthful; no one can have good digestive powers and a clear brain who will eat largely of sweet cookies and cream cake and all kinds of pies, and partake of a great variety of food at one meal. When we do this, and then take cold, the whole system is so clogged and enfeebled that it has no power of resistance, no strength to combat disease. I would prefer a meat diet to the sweet cakes and pastries so generally used. 

Letter 142, 1900 
552. Let health reformers remember that they may do harm by publishing recipes which do not recommend health reform. Great care is to be shown in furnishing recipes for 

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custards and pastry. If for dessert sweet cake is eaten with milk or cream, fermentation will be created in the stomach, and then the weak points of the human organism will tell the story. The brain will be affected by the disturbance in the stomach. This may be easily cured if people will study from cause to effect, cutting out of their diet that which injures the digestive organs and causes pain in the head. By unwise eating, men and women are unfitted for the work they might do without injury to themselves if they would eat simply.

(1871) 2T 602 
553. I am convinced that none need to make themselves sick preparing for camp meeting, if they observe the laws of health in their cooking. If they make no cake or pies, but cook simple graham bread, and depend on fruit, canned or dried, they need not get sick in preparing for the meeting, and they need not be sick while at the meeting.

R. & H., Jan. 7, 1902 
554. It is better to let sweet things alone. Let alone those sweet dessert dishes that are placed on the table. You do not need them. You want a clear mind to think after God's order. We should now come into line with health reform principles. [CAKES, PIES, ICES, SERVED AT RICH DINNERS AND LATE SUPPERS --233] [PREPARATIONS FOR FASHIONABLE GATHERINGS--128] [EDUCATING THE APPETITE TO ACCEPT A PLAIN DIET--245] [FASTING A HELP IN OVERCOMING PERVERTED APPETITE--312] [THOUGH MINCE PIES, SPICES, ETC., ARE DISCARDED, FOOD SHOULD BE PREPARED WITH CARE--389] [CAKES OR PIES NOT TO BE INCLUDED IN PREPARATIONS FOR CAMP MEETING--57, 74] [RICH FOOD AND DESSERTS NOT SERVED IN WHITE HOME--APPENDIX 1:4, 13] [THE LESS CONDIMENTS AND DESSERTS, THE BETTER--193] [RICH DESSERTS SERVED WITH VEGETABLES--722] [RICH PASTRY DERANGES THE STOMACH AND EXCITES THE NERVES --356] [DETRIMENTAL EFFECTS OF DESSERTS IN DIET OF CHILDREN--288, 350, 355, 360] [RICH FOOD NOT BEST FOR SEDENTARY WORKERS--225] [MAKING A COVENANT WITH GOD TO DISCONTINUE THE USE OF RICH FOODS--41]