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Hay Diet

Hay Diet

Combine foods according to their pH level for balanced health.

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The Hay Diet, developed by William Howard Hay in the 1920s, is a kind of lifestyle eating plan in which foods are eaten in accordance to their alkalinity, acidity or neutrality levels.

Similar to other nutrition programs proposed by Edgar Cayce and D.C. Jarvis, The Hay Diet uses the notion of food-combining to achieve a balanced state of health and most notably a balanced pH level. Having too much acidity in the diet is believed to incite certain negative health conditions while having a balanced pH is needed for the body to acquire acid-alkaline homeostasis.

This eating plan is not designed to bring about weight loss, although some may experience a drop in weight if it's followed correctly. It is often followed by those who suffer from arthritis, gall stones, constipation, indigestion and autoimmune disorders.

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  • Promotes a natural and whole-foods diet
  • Style of eating may have certain health benefits such as increased bone mass
  • Very little harm can be done by following this kind of diet
  • A diet rich in vegetables and fruit is associated with numerous health benefits
  • Lacks supportive scientific proof
  • May be hard to follow

According to the Hay Diet, all foods are acid-producing, alkaline-producing or neutral. Alkaline foods are carbohydrate-rich starches like rice, pasta, potatoes and grains. Acid foods are proteins like meat, poultry, dairy and fish.

There are five basic dietary principles of The Hay Diet. These five guidelines are:

  • Carbohydrate, proteins and acid-containing fruits cannot be consumed at the same time
  • Vegetables and fruit should comprise the mainstay of your diet
  • Proteins, starches and fats should be consumed in very small quantities
  • Sugar and refined foods are to be avoided
  • Four to four-and-a-half hours should lapse between each meal

On the Hay Diet, three meals a day are consumed, one of which is an all-alkaline meal, another meal is comprised of protein in addition to vegetables and fruit, and the third meal contains starchy foods, vegetables and fruit.


There are no exercise guidelines given.


The Hay Diet is a food-combining nutrition program in which the basic tenet is to consume a diet that maintains the pH balance of your body. Although this diet is not supported by the medical community, there have a been a few studies that have shown limited health benefits.

Popular among those who suffer from indigestion, constipation or autoimmune disorder, The Hay Diet may take a bit to get used to but in general, it is a healthy diet in which the bulk of calories come from vegetables and fruit.

If you are interested in learning more about The Hay Diet, talk to a registered dietitian about its benefits and potential drawbacks.

Common Misspellings

the hey diet, hey diet, hays diet, food-combining diet, acid diet, alkaline diet

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(Page 1 of 1, 2 total comments)



posted Dec 1st, 2016 5:14 pm



This artical has brougth to my attention something I have read several times in the past and have been trying to locate and example or a menu of how to have a complete meal or prepare one that will put my acid refux to rest. I am 63 years old and want to enjoy retirement with out the constant worry of acid reflux or constipation at home and when we travel.

posted Mar 31st, 2010 12:05 pm


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