Mucusless Diet: A Comprehensive Guide For Beginners
The mucusless diet healing system was created by Arnold Ehret. Unlike many diets, this one comes as more of a lifestyle change. The goal of the diet is to remove mucus and “cure” any health ailments you may have. This diet made an enormous contribution to Naturopathy.
It boasts a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables that will heal your body from any health problem you have. It also includes the act of short and long-term fasting to accelerate the healing. The fasting is mandatory and the diet advocates for short and long fasts.
Ehret’s diet has largely been a controversy mainly because of his beliefs on health and race. The medical community has demonized the diet and often refers to it as a “fad”. However, dieters have flocked to it because of the promise it will help them lose weight and cure any ailments they have.
How does it work? Is it safe? Where do I get started? We answer all of this and more in this comprehensive guide.
What is a Mucusless Diet?
Mucus is a natural function of the body. It expels foreign substances. However, when you make too much, it can potentially cause health issues. Arnold Ehret took this idea after being diagnosed with Bright’s disease. He had symptoms of overproduction of mucus and albumin.
He started to study medicine, physiology, naturopathy, and vegetarianism. He experimented with different diets with little success until combining short fasts with a fruit diet. Over time, he began to have more energy and felt better.
He started completing longer fasts and stuck to what he termed a “mucusless diet” and was cured of his ailments. He wrote about his discoveries and gave lectures on what he found.
Arnold Ehret’s main philosophy was that diseases come from a mucus-filled system. His belief stems that from childhood, you have undigested and unnatural food substances that accumulate. He believes that if you remove these substances, you’ll have more vitality. His Formula of Life: V = P – O or Vitality Equals Power Minus Obstruction. This concept bases itself on the idea that human illness derives from obstructions in the body. He thought that what you ate mattered and if it was a mucus-forming food, you would become ill.
His theory states that overeating and eating the wrong foods cause disease. He believes fruits and leafy vegetables are “perfect” foods. They are all you need to remain in optimal health. He devised a mucus-free diet for others who would like to follow his path.
People often jump straight into diets and fail because they try to make changes too quickly. For this reason, Ehret advises against making sudden changes too quickly. He believes if you transition too quickly, this will cause an excessive release of toxins. Your body won’t eliminate them efficiently.
Ehret recommends you start with two meals per day that are based mostly on fresh fruit and vegetables. You can choose to eat them raw or cooked and add raw nuts. Ehret believes that fasting helps attain a healthy immune system. He recommends dieters start his program with a two to a three-day fast.
He even recommends dieters do fasts for up to forty days or longer once they have gone through a full transition. The first meals of the day should start as late as possible. This extends the daily nighttime fast.
Where to Start
Gradually begin a transition into the diet. Start by purchasing enemas and natural herb laxatives for the fasting process. Dieters should begin to fast with shorter times while still eating mucusless foods. If you make the change into fasting too soon, it can cause even a healthy person to get sick.
The goal is to remove toxins from the body. You don’t want to make yourself sick in the process. To make the transition easier. Slowly eliminate each of the ones on the avoid list. Some mucusless foods may cause upset. To combat this, you will remove which ones you think is the issue and see how you feel. If you feel well, you will know that the food causes an insensitivity and keep it out of your diet.
When it’s time to start the fast, Ehret recommends you take a laxative or use an enema to clean out the bowels. During the fast, fasters should spend as much time outdoors as they can. Those that feel weak and tired can spend time resting. However, those that feel okay need to exercise.
Ehret associated miserable feelings during a fast with an obstruction and lack of elimination. He writes that fasters typically feel stronger on day 20 than the first week. He cites this as proof that a person’s vitality doesn’t depend on food but on removing obstructions.
When removing obstructions, fasters might feel like their health worsens because they feel weak, restless, and suffer from bad dreams. Ehret believes this is a sign of waste and poisons passing through the brain. Ehret advises enemas for those with these symptoms or break the fast if symptoms were too difficult. However, if you break the fast, don’t eat fruits.
Ehret doesn’t believe in water-based fasts. His fasts include fruit, vegetables, vegetable juices, and lemon juice. He does have some limitations. You don’t drink more than two to three quarts of liquid per day. He believes the more liquid you drink, the less aggressive the fast works.
He does advocate for fruit juices in short fasts because they rid mucus and waste quickly. However, you will want to avoid them for long fasts because they don’t stimulate bowel movements. This leaves toxins in circulation and irritates your organs.
Ehret praised short 24 hour fasts for more serious diseases and health conditions. He believes performing short fasts help execute longer ones. Before someone conducts a short fast, Ehret advises a faster to eat a One Meal a Day Plan, No Breakfast Plan, Transitional Diet, or the Mucusless Diet.
The One Meal a Day Plan and the No Breakfast Plan typically begins with the first meal of the day around 3-4 pm. Ehret recommends those that don’t have familiarity with fasts to start with these plans to transition. He believes no one should eat before 10 am and shouldn’t eat anything but fruits.
Originally, Ehret was a big fan of fasting for up to 40 days or more. However, as he grew older, he began to favor short fasts of 1-5 days. He would begin with a No Breakfast Plan, then a 24 hour fast and work up to the 5 days. He would eat the mucusless diet between his fasts on days 1 to 4.
How Long to Fast?
According to Ehret, fasts last until you’re healed or dead. He had no set time frame when a fast ended or how long a person may need one. He gives guidelines on when to end the fast if your conditions change too quickly. When you notice obstructions are too great, you will have to break the fast to neutralize the poisons
Break the Fast
According to Ehret, when a fast is performed correctly, you can avoid adverse health complications. The first meal following a fast must have a laxative effect and not a nourishing one. Why? A meal that easily travels through the body helps carry the mucus and poison through the intestines until it exits. Ehret states that he spends more time on the toilet after a long fast than in bed.
Most fasters tend to choose both raw and cooked starchless vegetables. If you don’t experience any discomfort, you can eat more to produce a bowel movement. Ehret recommends vegetables over fruit because they’re better at helping to remove waste.
Foods You Can Eat
Foods you should consume
You want to eat foods that build up strength in the body and remove the mucus from your system. You don’t want to continue eating foods that potentially made you sick in the first place. The foods listed below are the only foods you should consume. We will list them by category.
- Berries (all)
- Melons (all)
- Oranges (all)
- Grapes/raisins (all, mainly focus on red)
- Green leafy veggies (all)
- Green peas
- Sweet potatoes
Beans (Mildly Mucus-Forming)
Beans may or may not be present in your diet. When you introduce them, if they give you issues, stop consuming them. During fasts, eliminate them completely.
Nuts and Seeds (Mildly Mucus-Forming)
Nuts are another food that you may or may not consume. Some people limit them to special occasions and others have no sensitivities.
- Cayenne – Cayenne might take some time to swallow at first. Ideally, you want to take at least one teaspoon three times per day. Some find it easier to take with cold water. Remember, you always want to start gradually. Try a quarter teaspoon for a few days until you’re up to the three teaspoons per day level.
Cayenne pepper has many health benefits because of the compound capsaicin. Capsaicin increases your body heat, which boosts your metabolism to burn more calories. It also may help to aid in digestion, reduce cancer, reduce blood pressure, and treat pain.
- Dulse Flakes
- Celery salt
- Kelp – Brown kelp has been a medieval medication that was used to treat goiter. Believed to be the cause of an enlarged thyroid, iodine is essential for It has a high concentration of iodine. Kelp may aid in weight loss too. Studies show it stops the gut from absorbing fat. Studies on brown kelp suggest it may reduce blood glucose levels.
For most people, two or more kelp capsules will keep your body in tip-top shape. It acts as preventive nutrition. Those that suspect or have a thyroid issue are recommended to take anywhere from five to ten capsules per day.
Salt lovers can use the kelp capsules as a replacement and use them on salads or foods where they want that extra flavor.
Raw Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar – You might have heard of combining this in your hot tea for weight loss or when you have a sore throat. It’s also a major part of the mucusless diet. Each day, you want to take a tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of vinegar.
Mix it with warm water until the honey dissolves. Sip on this mixture three times per day until you reach three tablespoons. Make sure you don’t use regular vinegar or distilled vinegar for this mixture. It doesn’t have the same beneficial properties that apple cider vinegar has. The same goes for honey. Processed honey loses much of its benefits. Stick with raw antioxidants. Raw honey also contains antibacterial and antifungal properties known to kill certain viruses. Raw honey has been found to aid digestion issues because it’s a prebiotic and contains phytonutrients.
Studies on apple cider vinegar use and diabetics have found that it improves insulin sensitivity when consuming high-carb meals. It has been shown to improve insulin function and lower blood sugar levels after each meal. Another study found it reduces fasting blood sugar levels too. In weight loss studies, apple cider vinegar reduces belly fat, and caloric intake because it leaves participants feeling full. Animal studies suggest it can lower cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.
Molasses – You can’t consume any kind of molasses. It must be either blackstrap molasses or sorghum. Molasses contain a high mineral content. It has iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, potassium, and manganese.
Wheat Germ Oil – Wheat Germ Oil has become more popular in recent years because of the scientific studies that gave it credence. It has been shown to help with lowering cholesterol levels, strengthens the immune system, improves blood pressure, and is the most valuable source of vitamin E.
Regenerative Foods – You’ll tend to notice you receive more satisfaction from the foods recommended than your former diet. Those that are overweight will lose weight and reach their “normal weight”. Underweight people will gain after they expel mucus from the body.
Some people might have concerns over removing meat and the typical manners of getting protein. However, you will get protein through other means like nuts, vegetables, and some fruits.
Foods You Should Avoid
Just like there are foods you need to consume, there are some you should avoid at all costs.
Salt – Regardless of the diet you follow, salt is almost always off-limits. Those that are heavy with salt will have a harder time with this. One way to curb your salt cravings is to use coarsely ground pepper, herbs, and kelp. Salt can cause a host of issues. High sodium diets are linked to hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.
Black pepper has a high nutritional value when in its natural state but becomes an irritant when cooked. Salts made from a vegetable or potassium base like Dr. Jenson’s or Dr. Bronner’s are safe to use sparingly.
Pepper when uncooked is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies show that black pepper reduces blood sugar levels and cholesterol. Small studies have found it to improve gut health and reduce appetite. In animal studies, pepper was shown to improve brain function for those with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. If you must use pepper, use it raw only.
Eggs – Eggs should be avoided at all costs. They contain high amounts of mucus and will sabotage your cleanse. Studies on eggs have found some negatives. One study conducted recently found it to raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk for heart disease. British studies have found egg consumption to increase diabetes risk by 60%. Eggs are linked with cancers like colon, rectal, and prostate.
Sugar – Sugar products of all kinds must be eliminated. The only approved sugar substances are raw honey, sorghum molasses, or blackstrap molasses. Sugar has been linked with high blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease. Sugar isn’t a dietary requirement, so there’s no medical need to have it in your diet.
Meat – Never consume any red meat. You can sparingly eat white fish or young chicken that wasn’t processed. The chicken couldn’t have been fed commercial food, formaldehyde, or any anti-spoilage injections. At most, only consume fish and chicken once per week. Commercial meats have been linked with various diseases. Studies have found they can increase the risk for heart disease, cancers, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dairy – Don’t consume any dairy products. Butter, cheese, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, and more are off-limits. They’re the highest mucus-forming substances. They’re also high in cholesterol. Substitutes for butter or margarine include hardened vegetable oils like olive oil or avocado oil. Over time, you’ll train your taste buds to crave oil on salads and other foods as opposed to butter or dressings.
Dairy has been linked to many health problems. Dairy can increase the risk for heart disease and high cholesterol. Recent research has linked the high-fat content and hormones in dairy to breast cancer. It may contribute to problems with the skin and stomach upset too.
Flour – Flour in its natural state doesn’t contain mucus but it changes once it’s heated or baked. It becomes inorganic or dead and is no longer considered a food. Depending on the type of flour you use, you may cause health problems for yourself. For example, white flour has been linked to weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, cancer, heart disease, and cognitive impairment. Wheat flour may raise cholesterol levels, raise blood pressure, and may cause inflammation.
Sample Meal Plan
Remember not to eat before noon. Try to only consume fresh fruit if necessary but begin with your cayenne, wheat germ, and honey with apple cider vinegar mixtures. If you’re still hungry after some time, then you can eat low-heated whole-grain cereal.
You will have to prepare this cereal ahead of time as it needs time to soak in water for up to 20 hours. Then, heat it in a stainless-steel boiler and heat it no more than 135-degrees. You can add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg for more flavor.
For lunch, eat a tossed salad with mixed veggies and leafy greens. You can make it as large as you want. Preferably use olive oil to dress it or use a homemade olive oil dressing with apple cider vinegar, herbs, and black pepper. Alternatively, you can make an avocado dressing or whatever dressing you can make but avoid any store-bought dressings.
Juices, dried fruits, and nuts are also acceptable lunch foods unless you have certain conditions like cancer. Regardless of your health condition, you must consume at least five to six vegetables per day and two of them must be leafy green.
Remember not to drink liquids during a meal until a half-hour later.
Dinner is typically the heaviest meal you will have of the day. You can swap that for breakfast or lunch though. Those that want a warm meal can start with a cup of vegetable broth or potassium broth. Then, have a salad with steamed veggies cooked at low heat. Avoid cooking with aluminum and opt for Pyrex or stainless steel instead.
Tips for Mucusless Diet
Many people might find it difficult to eat this way. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult. These tips can help you to transition into the diet. One of the best tips but might not make you happy, only your wallet, is to stop eating out. You don’t have to stop and can choose salads at conventional restaurants, vegan, or vegetarian options. If you do stop, it will avoid temptations and help you save money.
Choose your favorite vegetable and dive in. Whatever meal you make, include your favorite. Why? It will prompt you to want to eat it and enjoy it while you do. For some, it’s hard to transition a diet from junk to healthy. If you can find that one food that will inspire you, it will make things a lot easier.
Buy that juicer. You possibly already own a blender. This will work but if you can afford to upgrade, do it. The juice from these fruits will taste even better. You won’t have to worry about pulps for some fruits like oranges. Plus, you will use the juicer quite a lot during your journey on the Mucusless Diet.
It’s not recommended, but including a processed vegan or vegetarian option here or there isn’t the end of the world. You can’t rely on it or make it a staple in your diet though. For example, say you want to go out with friends and want to eat something other than a salad; a soy or veggie burger is a solid option. Over time, the transition to fully mucusless will become easier once you don’t feel so restricted.
Many can’t imagine giving up dairy, cheese, or bacon. When you begin the diet and cut out these foods, you’ll start to have cravings. These cravings can last for a few months. Don’t get discouraged or give up! Your cravings will start to dissipate, and you’ll crave healthier foods because your tastebuds change. Some followers of the diet recommend enemas to clear the body of toxins and remove your cravings faster.
The Mucusless Diet is heavy on fruits, juicing, and vegetables. Diets high in fruit can sometimes cause health issues. Dieters report problems with their teeth after starting the diet. Others mention feeling fatigued. Fatigue can occur on this diet because of fasting.
The low number of calories in fruit and vegetables will cause that. You must remember to eat more of these foods to reach a healthy caloric intake. Consider your fasts and exercise. You may need to eat even more than you would with a standard diet to avoid hunger and tiredness.
The detox stage can cause discomfort at the start. Many people come from a Standard American Diet that’s filled with fried foods, fat, grease, processed, and meat-heavy. This diet cuts all that out. You might experience difficulties like mood swings, cravings, and headaches (if you’re a big soda or coffee drinker).
Pros and Cons
- Doesn’t require people to jump straight into the diet/make gradual changes
- Beneficial for those with digestive issues
- Works well as a short detox
- Restricts many unhealthy foods
- Excludes a wide variety of healthy proteins and fats
- Includes too little calories (if a person doesn’t consume large amounts of the food daily)
- Recommends long fasts which may be unsafe for those with health conditions
- Initial diet that’s still followed today is from 1922
Criticisms of the Diet
The main problem dieticians and nutritionists have with the diet is the lack of data surrounding it. The diet is mainly a belief system by Ehret. His beliefs contained no scientific backing. If the diet were to come out in today’s world, people wouldn’t believe it.
The diet contains claims by Ehret like
- White blood cells are mucus in the blood. He believed this is what caused health problems.
- Ehret thought that the lungs pumped blood into the body and the heart was simply a valve.
- Mental illness was caused by the gas that presses on the brain from a poor diet.
- Fasting will cure psychosis.
- Rice causes leprosy.
- Dandruff is mucus in a dried state.
- If you are mucus-free, you won’t sweat.
- Nocturnal emissions stop once you begin a mucusless diet.
- STIs are caused by a poor diet.
- The white race is caused by a mucus-clogged system of white blood cells.
- Mucusless-free blood sends electromagnetic radiation through the hair.
As you can see, many of his beliefs are not only wrong but highly controversial. However, that hasn’t stopped people from trying the diet themselves. They may choose to start with an elimination version of the diet and add foods slowly back in. Others go full force with the diet and claim it’s helped with digestive problems.
Health experts disagree with many points of the diet. The naturopathic community doesn’t necessarily share his beliefs about race, the lungs pumping blood, or rice causing leprosy. They do agree that a mucusless diet has benefits.
Ehret’s diet was a turning point for naturopathic medicine. His personal experiences and patient cases expanded his knowledge and perfected guidelines for the diet. Now, the diet has resurfaced and follows many of the same principles that he developed.
The diet considers the way most people eat to be toxic. Fats, fried foods, processed food, oils, most meats, and dairy can cause harm to the body. The diet states if you cut these foods out and cleanse the body, your health ailments will begin to clear up. The Mucusless Diet heavily advocates intermittent fasts and fasting in general. Ehret spent a large portion of the diet fasting and was a fan of them even coupled with exercise.
When you first start the diet, it can get difficult. When you’re used to eating a certain way but have to change, it might cause some upset. The Mucusless Diet does restrict foods that do have scientific backing they cause issues like dairy. It advocates more healthy options like fruits and vegetables.
Unlike most conventional diets, you can transition into the diet. However, the quicker you make changes, the faster you’ll see results. People do often report feeling better within the first week or two of starting the diet. Should you try it? That’s up to you, we can only present what we know. Before you begin any diet and exercise program, speak with a doctor. This is especially true if you have major health conditions.