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  1. Academy of the Sierras
  2. Anopsology
  3. Atkins Nutritional Approach
  4. Best Bet Diet
  5. Blood type diet
  6. BRAT diet
  7. Buddhist cuisine
  8. Cabbage soup diet
  9. Calorie restriction
  10. Calorie Restriction Society
  11. Carbwiser
  12. Detox diet
  13. Diabetic diet
  14. Diet
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  19. Dietitian
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  21. Duke Diet and Fitness Center
  22. Fasting
  23. Fatfield Diet
  24. Fit for Life
  25. Food faddism
  26. Food Separation Diet
  27. F-plan
  28. Freeganism
  29. French Women Don't Get Fat
  30. Fruitarianism
  31. Gerson diet
  32. Gluten-free beer
  33. Gluten-free, casein-free diet
  34. Gluten-free diet
  35. Graham Diet
  36. Grapefruit diet
  37. Hechsher
  38. High protein diet
  39. Horace Fletcher
  40. Hunza diet
  41. Indigenous Australian food groups
  42. Inedia
  43. Islamic dietary laws
  44. Israeli Army diet
  45. Ital
  46. Juice fasting
  47. Kashrut
  48. Ketogenic diet
  49. Kosher foods
  50. Lacto vegetarianism
  51. Leptoprin
  52. List of diets
  53. Living foods diet
  54. Low-carbohydrate diet
  55. Macrobiotic diet
  56. Mediterranean diet
  57. Metabolic typing
  58. Montignac diet
  59. Natural Foods Diet
  60. Negative calorie diet
  61. No-Grain Diet
  62. Okinawa diet
  63. Ornish Diet
  64. Paleolithic diet
  65. Pectarianism
  66. Plant-based diet
  67. pollo vegetarianism
  68. Polymeal
  69. Ralstonism
  70. Rice Diet
  71. Sardine diet
  72. Slim Fast
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  74. Solon diet
  75. Sonoma diet
  76. South Beach diet
  77. Sunlight diet
  78. Taboo food and drink
  79. Taoist diet
  80. The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life
  81. The Cambridge Diet
  82. The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet
  83. The Diet Smart Plan
  84. The Fat Smash Diet
  85. The Hacker's Diet
  86. The Shangri-La Diet
  87. Traditional diet
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  89. Veganism
  90. Vegetarianism
  91. Very Low Calorie Diet
  92. Warrior Diet
  93. Water fasting
  94. Weight Watchers
  95. Yo-yo dieting


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Taoist diet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Some information in this article or section has not been verified and may not be reliable.
Please check for inaccuracies, and modify and cite sources as needed.

While there are many different historical and modern schools of Taoism, with different teachings on the subject, it is safe to say that many Taoists regard their diet as extremely important to their physical, mental and spiritual health in one way or another, especially where the amount of qi in the food is concerned.


Early Daoist diets were very different from present-day ones. While present-day Daoist diets call for eating lots of grains, ancient diets called for the eating of no grains at all. This was because the rotting of the grains in the intestines attracted demonic creatures known as the 'three worms.' These demons loved eating decaying matter in the intestines in the hope that they could kill the person and devour his corpse.[1] In fact, early Daoists advocated eliminating food from the diet altogether. An early Daoist text, the Taipingjing, suggests that people "live on air", and that is best to be satiated without eating solid food. In effect, it suggests that people eat non-corporeal food such as qi.[2]

Present Day

Basic Guidelines

A Taoist diet could focus on:

Increase intake of the following:

  • Whole grains and products made with them
  • Vegetables (ideally organic and seasonal)
  • Fruit (not tropical; dried fruit is very good, and only what is in season)
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Tofu and soy
  • Herbs (although herbal usage is normally carefully prescribed)
  • Tea

Decrease intake of the following:

  • Red meat (which can be difficult to digest)
  • Refined products (such as white sugar, flour, and bread)
  • Artificial additives/preservatives of any kind
  • Dairy products (such as cheese, yogurt and cream, with the exception of the milk of running animals, in the winter)
  • Cold drinks and foods (outside consumption in the summer months)

Everyday Meals

For regular eating Daoists believe in eating a frugal diet that is based primarily on cereals. Meals are served in order of seniority, with the elders being served first, and the youngest last. Every three, five, ten or fifteen days, some families will also observe a periodic vegetarian feast.[3]


The regular diet is enhanced by the frequency of festivals which take place at least every ten to fifteen days. Each festival was associated with a certain kind of food. For example, the New Year’s festival’s special food is rice cake. During the Dragon Boat festival, it is steamed dumplings and glutinous rice packed in bamboo leaves, and during the Mid-Autumn Festival the special food is mooncakes. These festivals also give Daoists the opportunity to eat far more than their diet usually proscribes. Rich food such as meat and wine is also a part of these festivals.[4]


Some Taoists practice herbalism in their diets. Many believe that using different herbs in their food can help increase the positive energy in their bodies, and that by mixing two herbs with opposite effects they can decrease the negative energy and increase the positive energy (see Yin and Yang).


Since the Taoist diet typically involves reduced consumption of meat and dairy products, some critics have noted that adherents of the diet are at risk for deficiencies of vital nutrients, including iron (from red meat), calcium (from dairy), and vitamin B12. These deficiencies can be addressed by consuming other organic forms of the nutrients or by taking supplements, though some Taoists schools of thought discourage supplements and medication.

Some critics of the diet have also dismissed the diet as superstition, holding that there is little scientific benefit to the purported balance of "life energy" (qi). However, while qi remains a primarily metaphysical concept, some health benefit may be achieved by reducing consumption of animal products high in fat and cholesterol.


  • Chang Ming Diet Sheet can be found here: [1]Chang Ming Diet
  • Discussion forum including basic principles and recipes on Taoist Diet here: [2]Taoist Diet discussion forum.
  • Kohn, Livia. The Taoist Experience: An Anthology. Albany: SUNY, 1993.
  • Saso, Michael R., A Taoist Cookbook: With Meditations Taken from the Laozi Daode Jing, Tuttle, 1994. (ISBN 0-8048-3037-1)
  • Schipper, Kristofer. The Taoist Body. Berkeley: University of California, 1993.
  • The Tao of Long Life by Chee Soo published by Seahorse Books 2006.
  • Welch, Holmes and Anna Seidel, eds.Facets of Taoism: Essays in Chinese Religion. New Haven: Yale University, 1979.


  • Roasted Vegetable Pasta
  • Kiwi and Asian Pear in Lemon Sauce
  • Tri-colored Autumn Rice Balls


  1. ^ Kohn (1993), p. 149.
  2. ^ Welch and Seidel (1979), p. 42.
  3. ^ Schipper (1993), p. 31.
  4. ^ Schipper (1993), p. 31.
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