Occasionally, more and more diets appear and become a trend right away. Some may have a few benefits for the body, but the majority is usually express diets that help people lose weight fast, without offering any nutritional education. The important thing is to learn to follow a balanced diet which will offer benefits to your overall health and in the long run, too. The result of most express diets is the rapid weight loss and the rapid return either to the weight that the person originally had, or to even more. Another common result of these diets is a lack of vitamins and minerals that can eventually lead to other health problems.
But shall we see what the Ayurvedic diet is and if it has any health benefits? So, I heard about this diet and, of course, I wondered what it is, how it appeared and who follows it. Does it have any benefits or is it just another fad?
So, it seems that this diet has been known for several centuries and comes from India. It belongs to holistic medicine and the word Ayurveda itself is a combination of the words “life” and “knowledge”. You can find its entire translation also as "the science of life". It is a diet that is mostly followed by people who are looking for alternative therapies or who practice yoga.
Theoretically, every person should consume foods based on their dosha - which is essentially the form of energy that diffuses into his/her body and that concerns his/her physical and mental characteristics, as well as his/her body type, of course.
I certainly cannot say if a person can choose the diet he will follow from the form of energy, but I can say some of the pros that one can keep from this diet. So, it's a nutrition type that aims to teach us:
1. to consume more fruits and vegetables and less meat,
2. to reduce alcohol consumption,
3. to reduce the consumption of desserts and foods that are rich in fat and especially in saturated-trans fats, processed sugar, and salt as well,
4. to learn to cook recipes at home and not to use any ready-made and processed ingredients,
5. to eat our meal slowly and to be focused on it, without watching anything on our TV or mobile phone!
Moreover, it seems that it is a diet that helps in weight loss and that has -as its main goal- the improvement of wellness and health, as well as the mental balance of a person. It is definitely positive that it does not promote rapid weight loss but holistic health of body and mind, including and suggesting, of course, physical activity!
Now, shall we see which are the cons of this diet?
1. By consuming foods based on our body type and on ΄΄dosha΄΄, we may eventually exclude several foods from our diet that is not needed to.
2. This diet recommends that the biggest meal of the day should be lunch. This may not be helpful for many people in their daily lives, especially people who work in an office. Moreover, avoiding eating dinner 3 or more hours before bed may not be helpful to many people and that -of course- can lead to very strong feelings of hunger and ultimately prevent many people from continuing such a diet.
3. If one chooses to consume the foods that he/she should, based on one's dosha, there may be a high probability of error. Doshas are divided into 3 categories: Vata-air, pitta-fire, Kapha-water and earth. A person can belong to 2 or even all 3 categories. The point is, it is difficult for someone to figure that out on his/her own, without the direction of a specialist, and it is very likely that, in addition to excluding food, he/she will end up not making the right combinations.
4. It is certainly a diet that cannot be followed by many people as a lifestyle and in the long run.
So, what do you think? Have you heard of this diet before? It is certainly very positive that it aims at the wellness and health of the body, and not just at weight loss. I believe that, from the moment scientific research is done on this diet, it is something we can be informed about. Now, whether we should follow it or not, we can be informed by the experts and the health scientist who advises us and knows our medical history.
This article was written in collaboration with the scientific advisor-sports nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr, INDI.
The website akispetretzikis.com offers as a service a variety of articles, based on scientific sources. All the articles are provided as general information and no text should be used as a substitute for advice from a physician or another health scientist, regardless of the date it has been published.