Hay diet leads to weight loss, improves one’s health and even keeps health conditions such as asthma and diabetes at bay. Read on to know what constitutes this diet, followed by the benefits as well as drawbacks of the same.
Hay diet, also known as the food combining diet, was first introduced by Dr. William Howard Hay in the year 1911. According to him, the main reason why people have health problems is the wrong kind of chemical conditions in the body. When there are chemical imbalances in the body, a person suffers from acidity, which lowers the body’s alkaline reserve. This leads to a condition known as toxemia. Hay diet was introduced to prevent this condition from developing so that the body can maintain an appropriate chemical balance.
The following is a list of a few important dos and don’ts that need to be considered when selecting this diet.
- Most of the diet of a person should be made up of vegetables, fruits and salads.
- Foods which give the body proteins, fats and starches, should be eaten in lesser quantities.
- Sugar and starch containing foods should not be combined with either proteins or acidic fruits, in the same meal.
- There should be a difference of at least four hours in between meals that contain proteins and starch.
- Milk should not be taken along with any meal.
- Refined and processed foods should be completely eliminated from the diet.
Dr. William Howard Hay divided foods into three lists or categories. According to him, a person following a hay diet plan should follow three basic principles. Here are the three lists of food, followed by the three principles of this diet.
- Neutral Foods
- Olive oil
According to Dr Hay, foods in list A lead to acid formation in the body. Foods in list B are alkaline in nature and foods in list C are acidic in nature. The first principle is never to combine foods in the list A and C, whether in a meal or when preparing any recipes. Secondly, combining of foods in list A and B is completely healthy. Thirdly, combining of foods in list B and C is healthy too.
Now that we have provided the list of foods that need to be included in this diet, let’s take a look at some of the major benefits of this diet.
- As hay diet emphasizes on eating more of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and adding fiber to one’s diet, following it religiously helps in weight loss.
- It is considered beneficial for people suffering from chest infections and allergies, including asthma.
- It makes the digestion better and cures digestion related problems such as constipation and gas.
- Since it improves the overall health of a person, the risk of diseases such as gallstones, diabetes and even heart diseases is minimized.
Although hay diet is known for its health enhancement properties, yet it is not without some flaws of its own. One of its major drawbacks is that it puts a restriction on consuming certain food groups in one meal only. Such restrictions may cause vitamin or nutrient deficiencies in a person following this diet. Another drawback is that it is incomplete, i.e. there is no mention of the serving size or portions of foods that should be consumed.
In spite of its drawbacks, hay diet can be followed by anybody who wants to add vitality to his life. Even if the weight loss does not happen or it does not help in conditions such as asthma or diabetes, as its followers claim, it will definitely do a lot of good to the overall health of the person.