The 80/10/10 diet: healthy diet or dangerous fad?

The 80/10/10 Diet has gained popularity in the last decade or so.

This diet of low-fat raw foods promises to help you discover a sustainable lifestyle that leads to weight loss, better health and disease prevention.

Some people who follow him comment on the great physical changes they feel, while critics condemn the diet as unsustainable and unnecessarily restrictive.

So, the 80/10/10 Diet really works, and is it really safe to try? This article explains everything you need to know about the 80/10/10 diet.

What is the 80/10/10 diet?

The 80/10/10 Diet is a raw, low-fat vegan diet, developed by Dr. Douglas Graham, raw food specialist, retired chiropractor and former athlete.

It is also sometimes referred to as 811, 811rv or LFRV (raw low-fat vegan).

The diet is based on the idea that the optimal diet should provide at least 80% of the calories from carbohydrates, with no more than 10% of the calories of the proteins and 10% of the fats.

Unlike many popular diets, the 80/10/10 Diet has no time limit.

Instead, it is promoted as a long-term solution to increase longevity and reduce obesity and disease.

Summary: The 80/10/10 diet is a raw vegan diet, low in fat that consists mainly of raw fruits and tender greens and green leaves. It is promoted as a long-term solution for obesity and disease.

Why Raw?

The 80/10/10 diet is based on the idea that humans are not omnivores by nature, but frugivores, or animals that prefer to eat fruit.

He proposes that his digestive system is designed physiologically to digest tender and leafy fruits and vegetables.

It suggests that although humans can tolerate other types of food, those foods are not optimal.

In nature, a diet naturally based on tender fruits and vegetables would provide approximately 80% of the calories from carbohydrates and no more than 10% of the calories from proteins and fats. This is what the distribution of nutrients 80/10/10 is based on.

It is believed that raw fruits and tender, leafy vegetables contain all the nutrients that humans need, in the optimal proportions your body needs.

It is believed that cooking damages the nutrients that are naturally found in food, so they are nutritionally inferior to raw foods.

It is also alleged that cooking produces toxic compounds that are believed to cause various diseases, such as cancer, arthritis, hypothyroidism and chronic fatigue.

In contrast, raw foods are presented as detoxifying, easier to digest and more conducive to weight loss and optimal health.

Summary: The 80/10/10 diet promotes the consumption of raw foods because cooked foods are considered nutritionally inferior, toxic and harmful to the human body.

What to eat in the diet 10/8/10

The rules surrounding the 80/10/10 Diet are relatively simple.

Dieters are encouraged to focus on eating raw and low-fat foods.

The Diet 80/10/10, above all, promotes the consumption of fruits and vegetables of low fat content, raw and not processed.

Fruits not sweet

  • The tomatoes

  • Cucumbers

  • Peppers

  • Okra

  • Eggplant

  • Zucchini

  • Other pumpkins

Sweet fruits

This diet does not restrict the intake of sweet fruit, and all types are technically permissible. Here are some examples.

  • The apples

  • Bananas

  • Mangoes

  • Berries

Soft greens

This category includes soft greens, such as:

  • Lettuce

  • Spinach

  • Green leafy vegetables

You can also consume other types of vegetables, such as cabbage, celery, broccoli and cauliflower. However, they are considered to be more difficult to digest, so they should not compensate for most of the diet.

Greasy fruit

The diet recommends limiting them to less than 10% of total calories.

  • Avocados

  • Durian fruit

  • Ackee

  • olives

  • Nuts and seeds

Summary: To achieve the 80/10/10 diet proportion, it is recommended that 90-97% of your calories come from sweet and non-sweet fruits, 2-6% from green leafy vegetables and 0-8% from other vegetables, fruits fats, nuts. and seeds.

What to avoid in the diet

People who follow this diet should avoid cooked foods, high in fat and high in protein. The 80/10/10 Diet discourages its followers from eating the following:

  • Meat and sea food: Including red meats, chicken, fish and other marine animals.

  • Eggs: Including the eggs of all birds and any product that contains them.

  • Dairy products: Including milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream.

  • Processed fats: Including butter, margarine, vegetable oil and nut oils.

  • Cooked, dehydrated and processed foods: This eliminates most grains, starchy vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, dried fruits, baked goods and junk food.

  • Taste enhancers: This eliminates foods that contain added sugars, artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, sodium caseinate, natural flavorings or spices.

  • Certain drinks: Including alcohol, coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks. Fruit and vegetable smoothies or water are the preferred drinks in this diet.

Summary: The 80/10/10 Diet recommends avoiding processed or high-protein foods, fats and foods. These include meat, eggs and dairy products.

What are the benefits?

The 80/10/10 diet is touted to provide a wide variety of health benefits. However, only a few are supported by science.

Medical statement

The 80/10/10 diet aims to provide several health benefits.

For starters, its high carbohydrate content supposedly helps prevent eating disorders, avoids food cravings and improves symptoms, such as lethargy and weakness.

On the other hand, it is said that its low content of proteins and fats offers protection against cancer, diabetes, organ failure, weak bones and heart disease.

In addition, the diet recommends against cooked foods with the aim of preventing chronic fatigue, hypothyroidism and arthritis.

Other alleged benefits of the 80/10/10 diet include weight loss, clearer breasts, easier breathing, better sleep, clearer skin, greater mental clarity and a longer and healthier life in general.

Benefits supported by science

Despite the wide variety of benefits that the Diet is said to produce 80/10/10, only a few are really supported by science.

Despite the wide variety of benefits that the Diet is said to produce 80/10/10, only a few are really supported by science.

The biggest advantage of the diet is that it encourages its followers to eat raw fruits and vegetables.

The research constantly links a greater consumption of fruits and vegetables, as part of a balanced diet, with a lower risk of diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, dementia and certain types of cancer (1, 2, 3. 4. 5).

There is also evidence that diets that provide less than 10% of total calories from fat can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels (6, 7, 8, 9, 10).

Several studies also report that vegan diets, in general, can help lower the risk of heart disease, reduce blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 78%. % (11, 12, 13, 14). , fifteen).

In addition, several high-quality studies report that low-fat vegan diets are particularly effective in losing weight (6, 8, 10, 16, 17).

However, although there is scientific evidence to support some aspects of the 80/10/10 Diet, it should be noted that no solid scientific evidence can be found to support the benefits related to the consumption of nutrients in this particular proportion.

There is also no strong scientific evidence to support the remaining list of alleged health benefits.

Summary: Some aspects of the 80/10/10 diet can help you lose weight and decrease the risk of certain diseases. However, many health benefits are exaggerated and lack solid scientific evidence.

What are the main drawbacks?

The 80/10/10 diet has several potential drawbacks.

High volumes of food

The 80/10/10 diet promotes a very high intake of carbohydrates and a limited intake of proteins and fats.

Let's say your body requires 2,000 calories per day, on average.

You will need to eat about 6 pounds (3.3 kg) of fruit, 4 pounds (1.8 kg) of vegetables and two tablespoons of nuts each day to meet your needs.

This volume of food is larger than most people are used to. Those who struggle to eat such large volumes of food may have difficulty meeting their daily calorie and nutrient requirements.

Low in protein and in fat intake

The 80/10/10 diet recommends limiting your protein and fat intake to 10% of total calories each.

Although there is scientific evidence to support the benefits of a low-fat diet, there is currently limited evidence to support the 10% cut-off point.

This is because studies generally compare low-fat diets with the high-fat American diet, which generally provides more than 30% of the calories from fat.

Even if it is shown that a very low-fat diet is healthier than the standard American diet, that does not mean that a moderate-fat diet is not healthy.

There is little evidence that consuming less than 10% of the calories from fat is more beneficial than consuming a 15% or 20% fat diet, for example.

In addition, there is no solid evidence that you will achieve health benefits if you restrict both of them Proteins and fats at less than 10% of total calories.

While these low levels of protein and fat may theoretically be enough to satisfy basic biological needs, there are several advantages to consuming more than the minimum daily amount of protein your body needs.

For example, adding a little more protein to meals can help prevent hunger, reduce cravings and promote bone health. A little extra protein can also help preserve muscle mass, especially during a period of weight loss (18, 19, 20, 21).

Similarly, a little extra dietary fat can also fight hunger (22).

In addition, dietary fats help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins more easily and are required to keep your skin, hair and brain healthy. Therefore, restricting them too severely can become worrying (23).

Insufficient vitamin B12

Another great criticism of the 80/10/10 diet is that it can limit the intake of certain nutrients, including vitamin B12.

Several studies show that while anyone can have low levels of vitamin B12, vegetarians and vegans, especially those who do not take supplements, have an increased risk of deficiency (24, 25, 26).

Vitamin B12 plays important roles in the metabolism of proteins, the formation of red blood cells that carry oxygen and the health of your nervous system (27).

Very little vitamin B12 can cause anemia, nervous system damage, infertility, bone disease and heart disease (27, 28, 29).

The 80/10/10 diet assumes that humans already produce sufficient amounts of vitamin B12 on their own and can obtain the rest of organically grown products. However, no scientific evidence could be found to support these claims.

Therefore, anyone thinking of trying this diet should consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement. The current recommended daily intake is 2.4 mcg per day (27).

Insufficient iodine

Iodine is another nutrient of concern in the Diet 10/8/10. Dr. Graham recommends avoiding salt. This includes iodized salt and seaweed, two good sources of iodine.

People who follow vegan diets tend to have blood iodine levels 50% lower than vegetarians. Avoiding these two sources of iodine can put the followers of the 80/10/10 Diet at greater risk of iodine deficiency (30, 31).

Iodine is crucial for the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland, which controls your metabolism. Therefore, an insufficient dietary intake can cause low energy levels, dry skin, tingling of the hands and feet, lack of memory, depression and even weight gain (32).

Summary: The 80/10/10 diet provides insufficient amounts of certain nutrients. It also requires a large intake of food, which can be difficult.

Other drawbacks of this diet

In addition to the nutrient deficiencies mentioned above, this diet has several other drawbacks.

Exaggerates the negative effects of cooked foods and spices.

The 80/10/10 Diet recommends that followers minimize their consumption of herbs and spices.

The rationale is that these ingredients supposedly irritate the intestine, increase the production of mucus and supply toxins to the nervous system.

However, there is no solid scientific evidence to support this belief. In fact, there is much evidence to the contrary.

Scientific research supports the use of spices for health and has demonstrated the antidiabetic effects of cinnamon, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric and the increased properties of garlic immunity (33, 34, 35).

Unfairly demonizes cooked foods

The diet also presents cooked foods as nutritionally inferior, toxic and causing many diseases.

It is true that cooking can reduce the nutrient content of certain foods. However, different cooking methods have different effects on nutrient loss.

The best general technique to minimize the loss of nutrients seems to be to cook food for short periods at low temperatures with a minimum of water.

That said, there is no solid scientific evidence to support the belief that all cooked foods are toxic to your body or increase the risk of disease.

In fact, certain cooked foods can be nutritious and healthy. For example, research shows that regular consumption of legumes can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by 9 to 18% (36).

In addition, some foods are more nutritious than raw foods. For example, cooking increases the availability of nutrients in asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and carrots (37, 38, 39).

It is not sustainable in the long term

Another potential disadvantage of the 80/10/10 Diet is that it can be difficult to follow in the long term. For example, you may have difficulty finding suitable food options in restaurants or other social situations.

In addition, the diet restricts the amount of proteins and fats that you can eat.

While the 80/10/10 Diet is probably high in fiber, it contains very little protein, which can lead to an increased sense of hunger in certain people. This can make it harder to maintain this long-term diet (40).

It is largely based on pseudoscience

The 80/10/10 diet makes several other claims that are not supported by science.

For example, no solid scientific evidence could be found to support the claim that all types of cooked foods, regardless of the cooking method, increase the risk of disease.

Other unsubstantiated claims include those that surround gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

The 80/10/10 diet states that gluten is highly addictive and can lead to serious neurological disorders. However, no scientific evidence supports this claim.

Finally, Diet 80/10/10 makes frequent reference to the idea that certain foods "acidify" the body and, therefore, promote the disease.

This concept, popular among proponents of the alkaline diet, is based on the idea that certain foods can acidify the blood by lowering its pH level. In turn, it is believed that this "acidification" is harmful to the bones and increases the risk of cancer.

However, this concept is not supported by science. In fact, several studies show that the foods you eat have a very limited effect on the pH of your blood (41, 42, 43).

This is because the human body is designed to closely regulate the pH of your blood, keeping it always slightly alkaline.

In addition, research does not support the idea that "acidifying" diets increase the risk of cancer or are harmful to bones (42, 44).

For a more in-depth review of the myth of the alkaline diet, read this article.

Summary: The 80/10/10 diet is based on pseudoscience and exaggerates the negative effects of certain nutrients or foods. Nor is it likely to be sustainable over time.

You should try it?

The 80/10/10 diet promotes the intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and healthy seeds.

However, it is also too restrictive, not based on science and is likely to restrict the intake of important nutrients.

In general, this diet may make it difficult for you to meet your nutritional needs, so you should avoid it.

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