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Allan's TIME > Spirituality > Health > Plant-Centered Diet

Some Thoughts on A Healthy Diet:
The Plant-Centered Alternative

by David W. Allan

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Dear friends

Given that my wife and I have both enjoyed some remarkable healings and blessings of health and strength in our lives, we have felt to share. We have learned a great deal in these healing processes and have had some significant personal spiritual experiences. We desire that you, our friend, also enjoy a full measure of the blessings of health (spiritual as well as physical) in your life.

We have had many people comment that my wife and I look more healthy following our mission to the Ivory Coast (Oct. ‘97 - Feb. 1999) than before, and have asked how we did it. This was no small task since the Ivorian disease rate and the unbelievable number and variety of deaths are twice the rate of the international average.

We could not have so served some years ago as we both had significant health problems ourselves. Some 15 years ago, my wife was bed-ridden and in intense pain with arthritis. I have had serious arteriosclerosis and prostate problems. We have both enjoyed the healing powers of the Lord, for which we are extremely grateful, and we have come to feel that the Word of Wisdom is pure gold -- revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1833 (Doctrine & Covenants, Section 89). Following the principles of health outlined therein has in large measure been the reason for our healing, and we now feel our immunity systems are strong and are able to ward off much of the disease, which was all around us while serving our mission.

We were appalled at the tobacco industry and their tactics which we saw while serving in Africa. They ought to be exposed to the four winds. As most of us have witnessed, some decades ago — before it was the "in thing" for women to smoke, that industry saw a way to double their profits. They, through advertising, made it popular for women to smoke. We know the results!

Recently, legislation in the USA has attempted to reverse the smoking trend. As a result, cigarette sales have been dropping in the States, but averaged across the world, they are increasing. The tobacco industry has found a new market — third world countries -- mainly Africa. They go to the schools and give out free cigarettes, and sponsor free movies. If a child will "light up," they will give him or her a reward on the spot — a bottle of coke or something generally desirable. Their average sales are now increasing significantly. We saw an alarming increase in tobacco usage during our year and a half in Africa. We knew many who wanted to quit and couldn’t. Studies in the States have shown that tobacco may be more addicting than heroin.

My heart cries out as the creeping, seditious tobacco industry encroaches its ugly tentacles on these wonderful, but gullible people. How well the Lord has warned us: "In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation--" (D&C 89:4)

As bad as this seems, Satan has slid an even more seditious and destructive tactic into the lives of the American people, which has happened to most without them even knowing it. Maybe we are even more gullible than the Africans. I was a victim of this sedition also. By training, I am an atomic clock physicist, and using the scientific method has been part of my discipline for a multiplicity of years. For me, the greatest experiment in recent time was conducted by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Spring of 1820, when he showed us how to add the spiritual dimension to our five senses to find and discern the truth. In the last few years, I have used all six senses in analyzing this very cleverly orchestrated Satanic activity. I have found many surprises in this study, and it has been a very enlightening and worth while experience; hence, another reason for writing this document.

When the revelation known as the Word of Wisdom was given in 1833, many doubted the varsity of its tenants, as they were not in agreement with current thinking regarding health practices. Now, essentially every verse has been proven valid. We have in this revelation the strongest secular evidence of the divine calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

I like to divide the Word of Wisdom into four sections: 1) WHY it was given; 2) the DON’Ts; 3) the DOs; and 4) the PROMISES. The first surprise is that across the American population, more people are dying as a result of not living the DOs than from imbibing the DON’Ts. This is especially true for members of our Church. The DON’Ts, which most LDS follow, say not to imbibe tobacco products, nor alcohol, nor tea, nor coffee. The DOs prescribe a plant centered diet. The American diet is meat and dairy centered, and the consumption of meat and dairy in Utah is about 30% above the national average. The American consumption has more than doubled over this century and a whole set of accompanying diseases have increased in proportion across our population as a result — most of them fatal. Because of a meat and dairy centered diet, Americas have about twice as much protein in their diet above what is needed with very serious long-term consequences. (Ref Dr. Michael Klaper, video, "A Diet for all Reasons"- can be ordered on the net.)

The common killing diseases, which are directly traceable to arteriosclerosis include, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, as well as liver and kidney failures. Four fairly recent studies have shown that this high protein consumption is the reason for osteoporosis being at epidemic proportions in America. The excess protein causes an acidic leaching of the calcium out of the bones regardless of how much calcium one ingests. So the "drink your milk and get you calcium" works backwards. The blacks in Africa are 98% lactose intolerant, and we see them following the example of America with numerous milk products having been introduced. Americans are about 20% lactose intolerant — having adapted over the years. The body was not designed to digest lactose and the majority of the world’s population can’t. Cow’s milk, and the products made from it, are surprisingly a poison to the human system; whereas, mother’s milk is ambrosia to an infant, and it digests perfectly in most cases.

One of the best pieces of news for me in regard to recent studies was learned over the last two decades, and that is that arteriosclerosis is reversible. There are several books on the subject now; see for example Reversing Heart Disease by Julian M. Whitaker, M.D. It covers medically documented reasons, exercise, vitamins and minerals and provides receipts and is applicable for reversing any arteriosclerotic related illnesses--an excellent book. But a simple plant centered, Word of Wisdom, diet will do it. My wife and I have been on a plant based diet for nearly four and a-half years now, and the changes in our bodies have been wonderful. I know we would not have been able to serve the mission in Africa, if we hadn’t learned and lived the full depth of this marvelous revelation. We know, of course, from the scriptures that eating meat is not wrong. Here we are talking about balance and degree. We have gone off of meat and dairy for cleansing purposes, and because of a spiritual validation that this was right for us personally.

Looking back, we now know that the recommended use of meat and dairy everyday on the food charts in our schools was encouraged by the America Cattleman’s Association, and the American Dairyman’s Association with ulterior motives. These food charts promoted by the US education system have found there way into our suggested foods and into our welfare manuals. One of the biggest revenue makers for the power and gain, conspiratorial set, is from banking and financing all aspects of putting meat and dairy on our plates. Satan knows what these things do to us, and we for the most part don't. Hence, he has a very subtle, undetected way, of bringing more early death and misery, uncountable suffering from cancer and the large set of arteriosclerotic diseases (heart attacks, strokes, arthritis, diabetes, etc.). At the same time, the coffers of the power and gain community are filled and refilled at our expense. No thank you! I see Satan subtly and successfully inflicting suffering all around me, and my heart grieves. My sincere prayer is that the above truths may be made known and that we will not rationalize bad behavior and eating habits based on false traditions which Satan has sadistically and carefully filtered into the American life style and is filtering into the world community as well.

Fortunately, now, with the studies stacking up so conclusively for the benefits of a plant based diet, food charts and diet recommendations are being revisited and revised. In 1995, our oldest son, Sterling, was involved with a project at the University of Arizona at Tucson which revealed the significantly increased probability of carcinogenic run-away in the DNA replication process when it takes place in a more acidic environment. Interestingly, meat and dairy products are, on the average, acid forming foods in the body, while a plant-based diet moves the body to a basic or alkaline state of being. Not only are meat and dairy consumption the main contributors to our biggest killer in America -- arteriosclerotic diseases -- but also to the big "C," causing cancer in a large number of cases (see Robbins, DIET FOR A NEW AMERICA). For example, prostate cancer -- the biggest cancer killer of men in America -- is 1,300% more likely in the U.S. than in the Philippines, which correlates directly with meat and dairy consumption. The numbers are even more extreme for breast cancer, which is almost a non-existent disease in Thailand.

Again, a plant based diet tends to move the body’s chemical pH factor toward basic. In other words, a Word of Wisdom diet can greatly decrease the probability of cancer — exactly the findings across the world population for many different kinds of cancer. During a May 1999 BYU forum given by Professor Kim O-Neil, he stated the conclusion that 60% of cancer could be avoided by following the Word of Wisdom, and he mentioned both meat and dairy as part of that which needs to be greatly reduced from our diets. My own personal data base indicates that it may be more than 80%.

I was born and raised on a farm in Mapleton, UT -- milking cows. My diet was meat and dairy centered, and I was taught to drink my milk and to eat meat to get my protein. Because of my prostate problem, the correlation of my diet with this problem became apparent. Very similar correlations have been shown for other kinds of cancer. I have done a simple linear regression analysis on all of the charts available to me, and, interestingly, they all intersect at about 20 grams (0.7 ounces) of fat consumption per day, which reminds one of the word "sparingly" in Section 89:12. The fat consumption in the USA is over 140 grams per day. Consumption of fat makes us fat, and this 700% consumption of fat above need is in large measure the reason for so many obese people. I have lost several pounds, in the places I wanted to, since cutting meat and dairy from my diet. I feel great, and love to eat. I am most fortunate to probably have one of the best vegetarian cooks as my wife. One can get all the fat and protein one needs from a plant based diet without getting any cholesterol.

A plant based diet has zero cholesterol in it, and the body needs to ingest zero. It manufactures all that it needs. Many times our church writers have cited the Daniel diet in support of the Word of Wisdom — knowing the great wisdom given to Daniel — a totally plant based diet. This is one of the greatest of promises of the Word of Wisdom: if we will be obedient to these teachings and keep the commandments, we "shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint." (D&C 89:19-20)

I have a theory that I think is important, but I don’t have the data to prove it. I have the evidence in my own life along with some external evidence. The brain is about 2% of our body weight, yet it uses about 20% of the circulatory oxygen . Of course, arteriosclerosis affects the whole circulation system, plugging it up. This plugging triggers a wide variety of serious side-effects, ranging from memory loss to impotency. You can imagine what it does in the tiny capillaries in the brain with 10 times the amount of blood flowing through it as compared to the average across the rest of the body. I believe that a significant cause of memory loss happens as the synapse process in the brain is impeded by being starved of oxygen -- especially in the near-term memory as we see occur in our older folks. I have seen a significant improvement in my ability to remember and to deal with complex issues in the last few years for which, again, I am extremely grateful to the Lord for this marvelous revelation. For our mission to Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, we had to learn French -- a significant challenge for two sixty-two-year-old people.

In January 1996, our oldest son, Sterling, told us of a gentleman, Thomas Rodgers, who had been pulled back from death having been given some new insights regarding the Word of Wisdom. I felt impressed to hear his story. In his experience when going through the veil of death, he was met by the Savior and was instructed in a profound way. His near-death experience in June of '91 was brought on by his dietary habits. He was a dairy farmer. He made a most remarkable recovery following the guidelines given. During the summer of 1995, at age 55, he ran a marathon. He was also instructed to share his message. Thousands have heard his story and have chosen to follow a plant-centered diet. These people have seen wonderful changes that have occurred in their lives. His subsequent studies have also shown that the bodies pH level is very important and that avoiding meat and dairy products is one of the best ways to bring proper balance. Some worry about acids in fruits and vegetables, but these along with all of the rest obtainable in a plant based diet bring about the desired balance and the greatly reduced risk of all kinds of diseases by strengthening the bodies immunity system. Fresh and raw are best. Fruit juices are marvelous cleansers and immunity system builders.

That dairy products are culprits was a surprise to me. Studies have shown that they are major contributors to arteriosclerosis as well as meat. My wife loved cheese, and I was a great fan of yogurt and ice cream. When one feels so good, you loose the desire for that which makes you feel bad.

Again, I have come to know that this revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith is pure gold. For me there are three major benefits. First, you feel so much better. Second, your immunity system is working to continually ward off diseases (and this was extremely important in Africa given the unbelievable number and variety of diseases existing there). Third and most important for me, we can only lay claim on ALL the promised blessings the Lord extends by following ALL the guidelines given. This my wife and I are striving to do and we have felt an incredible outpouring of blessings from the Lord as a result. If we only live half (the DON’TS, for example), why should we expect all of the blessings promised. My wife and I have had very good health for our age and given the large number of diseases, we truly feel the Destroying Angel pass us by and we thank the Lord daily.

A few other statistics you might find interesting. For every minute a person smokes, he or she takes about 8 minutes off of his or her life; for every minute a person eats meat, he or she takes about 12 minutes off of his or her life. About half of the water in the United States is used to put meat and dairy on our plates. The earth is about 10 times more efficient in its ability to provide a plant based diet versus a meat and dairy based diet. Knowing these things, we see an excellent opportunity to extend our love towards all of our neighbors throughout the world by cutting most, if not all, the meat and dairy from our diets. By so conserving and showing respect for our environment, we also show increased love for the Lord, as well as our neighbor.

Because of a Joseph like dream I had a few years ago, I felt impressed to write a special pamphlet, entitled What’s on My Plate? Does it affect My Body, Mind and Spirit?. I believe you, like me, will be enlightened by the several new findings. I have checked its accuracy with several experts in terms of the data it uses. I had a chance to visit with several physicians while we were learning French for two months at the Senior Missionary Training Center, and found general agreement and some were very appreciative of the new data. The 89th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants is also enclosed for ready reference.

There is a real nice book by Dr. Kenneth Johnson, Mormon Wisdom and Health; A Doctrinal Analysis of the Word of Wisdom. He, for example, has read the enclosed pamphlet and not only agrees with its content but was pleased to see the information being made available. A front cover feature story for the Church News, a few years ago, was about a patriarch from the Bonneville Stake. The story’s main point was his health at advanced years and how well he followed the Word of Wisdom. I have visited with him personally. His life story is fascinating and consistent with the information herein. He also really liked the pamphlet. Some interesting quotes on this subject — taken from a cross section of a few famous people — is also attached.

Sincerely your friend,

David W. Allan


In his experience when going through the veil of death, Thomas Rodgers claims that he was met by the Savior and was instructed in a profound way. His death-and-back experience in June of '91 was brought on by terrible dietary habits. He was a dairy farmer. He made a most remarkable recovery following the guidelines given. During the summer of 1995, at age 55, he ran a marathon. He was also instructed to share his message. Thousands have heard his story and have chosen to follow a plant-centered diet. These people have seen wonderful changes that have occurred in their lives.

return to: Health, Diet, and Compassionate Eating Habits (Index)

See also:

How What's on My Plate Affects Body, Mind and Spirit
Related Quotes from Famous People
Mormon Word of Wisdom (Doctrine and Covenants 89)
D&C 89 Chiasm (poetic arrangement of text highlights important meanings)


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