A holistic health and nutrition guru based in India, Manthena Satyanarayana Raju recommends an alternative medicine-based approached for weight loss. At its core, Manthena Satyanarayana Raju's diet is a restrictive plant-based diet that bans sodium, oil and sugar and emphasizes hydration. It's a big departure from the average American diet, so you should consult your doctor before incorporating Manthena Satyanarayana Raju's diet into your routine. You may need to adapt the plan to fit a more flexible lifestyle and to meet your essential nutrient needs.
The Manthena Satyanarayana Raju Diet Basics
Manthena Satyanarayana Raju's diet revolves around plant-based foods, including rice, curries, groundnuts, sprouted greens, vegetables, coconut and phulkas -- unleavened bread made from flour and water. A typical day on Manthena Satyanarayana Raju's diet starts with a vegetable juice, followed by lentils, sprouts, groundnuts and coconut for breakfast. For lunch, you might have a two to three phulkas with brown rice and curry; then enjoy coconut water or juice in the evening before dinner. For dinner, you might eat a few phulkas with a raw salad or enjoy vegetables and rice.
Basing your diet around plant-based foods offers some health benefits; people who follow vegetarian diets tend to weigh less than meat-eaters, have lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease, explains Harvard Medical School. However, a relatively restricted plant-based diet can also increase your risk of certain deficiencies, including omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B-12. You may also find it hard to get bone-building calcium, as well as iron, which is required for healthy immunity and oxygen circulation. And while some foods in Manthena Satyanarayana Raju's diet -- like lentils -- offer dietary protein, you'll miss out on many protein-rich foods, including tofu, tempeh and nuts, along with dairy, eggs, lean meat and fish. You'll likely find it very difficult to get all the protein you need from lentils, which may make it difficult to retain muscle mass and maintain your immune system.
The MOSS-Free Rule
Manthena Satyanarayana Raju's diet has a "MOSS-free" rule, which means you need to cut out masala -- a spice mixture commonly used in curries and Indian cooking -- oil, sugar and salt. Most Americans actually consume too much sugar and salt, so cutting down on your intake can offer health benefits. Sugar, for example, comes loaded with "empty" calories, and cutting out sugary foods can help with weight control and lower your risk of heart disease. Oil is high in calories, which could contribute to weight gain, and several fatty foods -- like fast food -- increase your risk of chronic diseases. Excess sodium contributes to cardiovascular disease and can also negatively affect your bones and kidneys, so limiting your intake can benefit your health.
However, cutting out sodium and oil entirely can have some negative health effects. You need sodium -- 1,500 milligrams per day -- to help control your body's fluid levels, and a small amount of salt daily protects you from low blood pressure. Certain types of oil -- like omega-3 fatty acids in fish or in flaxseed or walnut oils -- are essential for heart health and brain function, and you need a small amount of fat in your meals to absorb certain nutrients, including vitamins A, D, E and K. If you follow Manthena Satyanarayana Raju's diet to the letter, and cut all salt and fat from your diet, you might experience side effects.
A Heavy Emphasis on Hydration
Manthena Satyanarayana Raju's diet places a heavy emphasis on hydration. You'll drink large quantities of water throughout the day on the diet -- starting with 34 to 50 ounces of water when you first wake up. Manthena Satyanarayana Raju recommends drinking up to 5 litres of water -- 170 ounces -- throughout the day, as well as drinking other fluids, like coconut water or vegetable juice, during the day.
While hydration is important for good health, you don't necessarily need to drink so much fluid throughout the day. In general, you need at least 64 ounces of fluid daily for hydration, plus 16 ounces for each pound of water weight lost during exercise, according to the University of Arizona. And while a healthy person's kidneys can process up to 15 liters of water per day -- assuming you're drinking it gradually throughout the day -- drinking large amounts of water might cause problems for some people, including those with kidney disease.
Consult your doctor before you dramatically up your fluid intake; she can give you personalized water intake recommendations so you'll stay hydrated safely.
Additional Guidelines and Considerations
Manthena Satyanarayana Raju's diet also calls for a fast once a week or once every two weeks; during this time, you'll drink a beverage made from honey and lime juice, with fruit for dinner if you're hungry. While the fast is designed to rebalance imbalances in your lifestyle, it might also leave you feeling deprived and hungry, especially when you're making the shift from a diet high in processed foods to the plant-based diet Raju recommends. Highly limited diets that don't allow for much variation to suit individual tastes also count as fad diets, according to the University of Kentucky. These can be unsustainable in the long-term, so it's difficult to see positive results.
If you're interested in following a Manthena Satyanarayana Raju-inspired diet, consult a nutrition professional. She can help incorporate aspects of the diet into a healthy personalized meal plan that will meet your nutritional needs as well as suit your food preferences to help keep you healthy for life.
- Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur: Manthena’s Natural Living Style - MNLS The TEN Daily Steps
- Manthena Satyanarayana Raju: Natural Life Style
- Harvard Health Publications: Is a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet for You?
- Colorado State University: Sodium in the Diet
- Harvard School of Public Health: Added Sugar in the Diet
- University of Arizona: Water and Hydration
- Go Ask Alice: Is it Possible to Drink too Much Water?
- University of Kentucky: Fad Diets