GC Nutrition Council

The General Conference Nutrition Council (GCNC) is a group of qualified nutritionists and health ministry leaders who provide expertise to advise the church on nutrition and health-related matters. If you or your church have a nutrition-related question for which you cannot find an answer to, you are welcome to submit it to the GCNC for careful consideration and response.



Coconut Oil–A Miracle Food?

In western countries and those countries influenced by western eating habits, coconut oil has recently risen to superfood status. Coconut oil has invaded our supermarkets, with barely a food or drink category untouched. Various claims have been made for different coconut products, such as coconut milk, virgin coconut oil, and coconut cream.


Detox Diets

Detox diets, cleansing diets, and other procedures that claim to remove toxins from the body have become popular in recent decades. Celebrity doctors, media personalities, and next-door neighbors promote the idea that specialized combinations of juices, herbs, and supplements can help people lose weight and treat a wide range of conditions without the use of drugs. Such claims appeal to a growing number of people who prefer a natural approach to healing, including some Seventh-day Adventists.


Non-dairy Beverages

While acceptable taste is an important consideration in selecting a non-dairy beverage, the nutritional value should be more important. One should select a fortified brand that contains at least 20-30 percent of the U.S. RDA for calcium, riboflavin, and vitamin B12 values which are similar to the nutritional profile of dairy milk. For those who live in northern latitudes (in which winter sunlight is too weak for vitamin D synthesis) a non-dairy beverage should be chosen that is fortified with vitamin D.


Paleo Diets / Low Carb High Fat Diets

The Paleo Diet (PD) is a trendy weight loss diet that’s popular in magazines, diet books, websites and cookbooks. It is also known as the Stone Age, Paleolithic or hunter-gatherer diet. The PD is essentially a low carbohydrate, high fat diet, similar to the low carb Atkins Diet of a few years ago.


Planning Fellowship Meals

Fellowship dinners provide an opportunity for church members to share ideas of good nutrition, strengthen friendships, and celebrate God’s goodness. Even in the days of Israel there was a coming together for feasting and socializing… What better way for family, friends, and visitors to relax together in a spiritual setting than by choosing to fellowship together through sharing a vegetarian meal.


Review of the China Study

In 1905 Ellen White described the diet our Creator chose for us as a balanced plant-based diet including foods such as grains, fruit and vegetables, and nuts (1). Such a diet provides physical and mental vigor and endurance. She also recognized that such a diet may need to be adjusted according to the season, the climate, occupation, individual tolerance, and what foods are locally available (2). The General Conference Nutrition Council (GCNC) therefore recommends the consumption of a balanced vegetarian diet consisting of a rich variety of plant-based foods.


Safety of Soy: Myths and Facts

Despite the fear mongering about soy via the internet, there is overwhelming scientific evidence that soy foods can be part of a healthy balanced diet. Soy foods have anti-inflammatory properties and they lower LDL cholesterol levels, blood pressure levels in hypertensives, and also reduce the risk of some cancers. They improve kidney function and reduce menopausal symptoms. Important evidence shows that starting children early on soy foods, especially girls, is beneficial.


Vegetarian Diets

For over 150 years Adventists have advocated a vegetarian diet for good health. The original diet given to us by the Creator was a vegetarian diet consisting of various plant foods. Scientific evidence accumulated over the past half century has shown conclusively that a well-balanced vegetarian diet is not only nutritionally adequate but also conveys health benefits. Many chronic diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and obesity) can be either prevented or managed by following a vegetarian diet


Vitamin B12 for the Vegetarian

Why is vitamin B12 important to our health? Why do vegetarians need to supplement their diet with B12? Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient, required for DNA synthesis (and ultimately cell division), maturation of red blood cells, and the synthesis of myelin sheaths around nerves in the body. Sources of vitamin B12: