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Hay diet

Developed by New York physician William Howard Hay in the 1920s, the Hay Diet is based on the principle of separating food groups into alkaline, acidic and neutral.

The Hay Diet proposes that acid foods should not be combined with the alkaline ones. Acid foods are proteins such as meat, fish, dairy, while alkaline foods are carbohydrates such as rice, grains and potatoes.

Diet meal plans in this programme therefore aim to separate out these foods into separate meals.

Pros : Hay diet

  • The Hay Diet can reverse conditions such as constipation, indigestion and arthritis in some individuals
  • The diet meal plans focus on fresh, natural ingredients
  • Some asthma and allergy sufferers find relief
  • It can stimulate weight loss

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Publications : Hay diet

Nutritionist Kathryn Marsden provides a combination of advice and easy recipes based no Dr Hay's famous diet plan reviews.

Marsden offers devised four weeks of easy recipes that include three meals a day, divided into the three categories of starch, protein and alkaline meals. The recipes can either be followed day by day or mixed and matched.

The book also includes useful health tips and simple explanations as well as ideas for menu planning.

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Example recipes : Hay diet


  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium aubergine, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
  • 1 lb courgettes, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced into rings
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and sliced into rings
  • 1 lb large tomatoes, skinned and thickly sliced
  • 1 dessertspoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 dessertspoon fresh chopped marjoram
  • 1 glass white wine
  • salt and pepper

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Verdict : Hay diet

A diet plan review reveals that this program has no proven scientific basis, and a peer-reviewed randomized clinical trial found no benefit from the diet in terms of weight loss.

However, many adherents wear by it, both for its ability to help them lose weight, and also improved health.