The SOS-Free, Plant-Based Diet Is All About Reducing Salt, Oil And Sugar

Here's what you can get out of it.

Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash

When it comes to diets, we know better than most how conflicting information can be. The proverbial pendulum swings between meat-heavy to plant-based, from high fat to low fat and everything in between. We’ve contemplated keto, peganism (yup, that’s a fully-fledged thing), intuitive eating and more, so when we heard about the SOS-free vegan diet, we can’t be blamed for raising an eyebrow or two.

SOS-free stands for salt, oil and sugar free, and it’s being tooted as one of the most healing diets for weight loss and the treatment of disease thanks to its anti-inflammatory, gut-lovin’ capabilities.

Of course everyone is different, and we’ve learned by now that what works for one person will unleash body havoc for another. So with that in mind, here’s what you need to know about the SOS-free life:

It doesn’t cut out all SOS

The name of the diet could be construed as slightly misleading, as you don’t have to cut out salt, oil and sugar per se—you just gotta nix them in their isolated forms. That means no addition of the ingredients in their whole form; because salt is isolated sodium, oil is isolated fat, and sugar is of course isolated sugar.

Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash

The rationale is that because plenty of veggies and legumes are naturally rich in healthy sodium, nuts and seeds, avocado and coconut are naturally rich in healthy fat, and fruits and starchy veggies are naturally rich in fructose which our bodies of course need for energy—that if we consume a rich, balanced diet of wholefoods then our bodies naturally receive the necessary amounts of sodium, fats, and sugars that we need in order to thrive.

SOS is hella addictive

Some of the philosophy behind the SOS-free lifestyle is that salt, oil and sugar are the main culprits of ingredients that make us seriously overeat, because they dull our taste buds and we don’t end up tasting the real foods, or really have any clue that we’re satiated at all. This means that we simply end up eating way more than necessary because the flavours are addictive. Dubbed the “pleasure trap”, eating salt, oil and sugar frequently leads to unhealthy excess—like all those times you’ve accidentally wound up eating an entire tub of cookies or packet of salty chips.

It reduces risk of disease

This article by UC Davis claims that “the SOS triumvirate is considered a contributor factor in a variety of ailments—from cancer to cardiovascular disease to obesity.” Too much salt is linked to high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and heart disease. Too much sugar leads to obesity and obesity-related diseases, and oil presents similar health risks.

It tastes the bomb

So it might sound pretty restrictive, but the SOS-free diet can be super varied and delicious. Turns out that getting fructose from fruit, salt from veggies and oil from nuts and seeds doesn’t have to be remotely bland. Brownies, anyone?

Yup, you heard right. Wellness blogger Jordan Younger from The Balanced Blonde recently turned to the lifestyle as part of a healing protocol for chronic illness, and has already whipped up recipes for french fries and plant-based nacho cheese dip and fudge brownies, while SOS-free vegan fennel and bean burgers from Raw Till Whenever sound like the plant-based burger to end all plant-based burgers.

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