If you listen to reggae, chances are high that you’ve already heard of the term ‘Ital’. In Jamaican, ‘Ital’ means pure. By association, you can expect the Ital diet to be pure and somewhat revolutionary.
Is it really? Is there anything about this diet that is different from other plans? Is it any good?
The Ital diet followed by the Rasfatarians is in keeping with their personal philosophy of intense prayer and meditation. So, it’s not just a weight loss plan, but a part of a complete way of life.
The Rafatarians believe in their oneness with nature. The ital in Ital Diet comes from the word ‘vital’ and the diet aims to increase the internal energy or ‘Livity’ that is inherent in every person. So, the basic criterion for food choices is Livity. In the Ital Diet, any food that enhances livity is allowed while those foodstuffs that drain this inherent energy are abandoned.
A movement that places such emphasis on the natural goodness of things is obviously going to be strictly vegetarian. It seems that every animal product is inherently negative to Livity and should be avoided. To the Rastafarians, the body of each and every organism is a temple and therefore not to be eaten. The Ital diet is almost vegan. For example, milk is ‘white blood’ and therefore not allowed. Coffee and caffeinated drinks are taboo. All processed foods are off the list. To some, this diet plan may seem extreme because even something as essential as table salt is taboo because it is processed.
If you thought that a vegetarian diet is boring, think again because the Ital diet includes a variety of herbs, spices and exotic fruits and vegetables.
So, what does the Ital diet permit? Soya, whole grains, whole meal bread, walnuts, sunflower, hempseed and flaxseed along with most fruits and vegetables find their way into the stomach.
The Ital diet encourages the consumption of whole, organic food and emphasizes sound living habits. There is a ban order on alcohol and tobacco. Interestingly though, marijuana is allowed because it is natural!
The Ital diet review
The Jamaicans or Rastas took to this diet as a way of reaching a state of mind that allows intense concentration. It is obvious that the foods chosen would be natural, easy on the stomach and non-habit forming. A true blue Ital diet even disallows the use of foods that have been sprayed with insecticides or grown with artificial fertilizers.
- Fresh, wholesome foods are encouraged
- Processed foods are taboo
- The intake of sodium is discouraged
- Against the consumption of alcohol, caffeinated drinks and smoking cigarettes
- Not a diet but encourages a lifestyle change
- May be too extreme for those who enjoy non-vegetarian food
- Makes use of exotic fruits and vegetables that may only be found in the Caribbean
- No emphasis on exercise
- Endorses and even encourages the use of Cannabis
- Not a structured plan
The Ital diet is not a strict diet that lays down exact guidelines on what may and may not be eaten. Instead, it is a way of life that may be somewhat loosely interpreted by followers. The greatest strength of this diet is that it disapproves the use of processed and artificial foods, one of the root causes of obesity in the modern times.
However, some of its principles are a little skewed. For instance, the use of cannabis is encouraged. The importance of exercise is ignored. This diet can facilitate weight loss but most people might find it difficult to stick to it for long.
So, if the Ital Diet recommended? You should use it if you agree with its philosophy. If not, then another plan will work better for you.