The Graham Diet was invented by Presbyterian Minister Sylvester Graham in 1829. This diet was based on the idea that consuming alcohol and meats strongly contributes to the lust and sexual indulgences which were considered by Rev. Graham to be extremely sinful and unhealthy. His ideas were considered very novice at the time. For example, he advised to drink only pure water, to not wear corsets, to sleep with the windows open and on a hard bed, and to eat vegetables and fruits but no meats, alcohol, bread made from refined white flour, spices or sweets. He even invented his own bread – Graham bread – made from whole wheat flour.
The Graham Diet allows eating fresh vegetables and fruit, whole wheat and grains, nuts and legumes. Occasional use of eggs, milk and cheese is allowed as well, but these products should be very fresh, which is hard to achieve unless you have cows and chickens or access to an organic farm nearby. In modern times it brings the Graham Diet closer to a vegan diet.
Who may want to follow the Graham Diet?
Those Who Share Rev. Graham’s Beliefs
Since the whole idea behind the Graham Diet is based on a strong belief in religious works, it will be beneficial for those who share the faith Rev. Graham had. He thought that sexual desires, lust and masturbation were the cause of many diseases, from blindness to cholera. According to him, a strict vegetarian diet, abstinence from alcohol and spices, and keeping the body deprived of luxuries such as a soft bed and warm room were the cure for unhealthy and overindulgent sexual desires.
For those who share these views, the Graham Diet may be helpful because it will reinforce their faith and keep them believing in doing the right thing for their souls, minds and bodies. This group of people will benefit from the Graham Diet the most.
Those Who Want a Vegetarian Lifestyle
Since the Graham Diet is a vegetarian diet, it can be recommended to those who believe in benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. However, restriction on the alcohol may not be seen as beneficial since it is known that alcohol in moderation is good for the cardiovascular health and also has some anti-cancer benefits.
Those Who Want to Lose Weight
The Graham Diet may also help in losing weight initially, because allowed foods have fewer calories and are generally healthier than the usual Western diet. However, it is necessary to remember to use healthy oils such as olive oil and to make sure that the diet provides the body with enough protein, either from supplements or from legumes and nuts. It is also beneficial to complement the Graham Diet with a good solid exercise program in order to lose weight.
The Graham Diet was forgotten for many years after death of Rev. Graham in 1851. No scientific proof was found in his statements concerning connection of sexual desires and illness. The Graham Diet is based on the beliefs of Rev. Graham and will have most effect on those who share those beliefs.