Sattvic Diet

Definition - What does Sattvic Diet mean?

The Sattvic diet, also called the Yogic diet, is a way of eating in which individuals choose to consume foods with sattvic characteristics or qualities.

In yogic philosophy, sattva (a Sanskrit word which means "pure") is the one of the three gunas (or principles of nature) that reflect purity, energy, life and prana. Sattvic foods are thought to be life-giving to both the body and mind. Therefore, the Sattvic diet is thought to help make a yoga practice more complete by nourishing the whole person.

Yogapedia explains Sattvic Diet

A Sattvic diet follows Ayurvedic principles, often completely forbidding meat and meat products, though it may embrace the consumption of fish and eggs. Such a diet includes many life-giving fruits and vegetables. This eating philosophy also includes high-quality organic dairy products from humanely treated cows; however, the inclusion of dairy is controversial and some practitioners forgo it altogether.

Sattvic foods are often light and freshly prepared, and the cook aims to prepare just enough for that one meal in order to avoid leftovers or waste. A Sattvic diet does not include processed and refined foods, and forbids consumption of foods that have been created through processes that are harmful to people, animals or the environment.

A traditional Sattvic diet includes the following:

  • Organic dairy (sometimes avoided by choice)
  • Nuts, seeds and legumes
  • Plant-based oils
  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Natural, unprocessed sweeteners (raw honey, molasses, raw sugar, etc.)
  • Mild spices and herbs
  • Supplemental, vegetarian proteins
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