The Hallelujah Diet is a plant-based diet that’s mainly focused on raw fruits and vegetables and based on a passage from the Bible.
It encourages the intake of whole foods and proprietary supplements to restore the body’s self-healing mechanisms and claims to reverse over 170 diseases.
While the diet is highly restrictive and calls for significant lifestyle changes, the program provides educational tools and resources that are intended to help you get started and maintain the diet in the long term.
This article reviews the Hallelujah Diet and tells you whether it works for weight loss.
Diet review scorecard
- Overall score: 2.25
- Weight loss: 4
- Healthy eating: 2
- Sustainability: 2
- Whole body health: 2
- Nutrition quality: 1.5
- Evidence-based: 2
BOTTOM LINE: The Hallelujah Diet is a biblical raw-food diet that promises to improve your health and revert disease. However, it relies heavily on supplements, is very restrictive, and some of its claims are not supported by science.
The Hallelujah Diet was developed by Pastor George M. Malkmus after receiving a cancer diagnosis, which led him to look for a biblical and natural way to let his body heal itself.
The diet is based on a passage from the Bible — Genesis 1:29 — which states: “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.’”
The passage implies a focus on plant-based rather than animal-based foods.
Thus, the Hallelujah diet replaces processed, refined, and animal-based foods with organic, clean, raw plant-based foods — mainly fruits and vegetables.
It comprises a four-step plant-based diet and supplement kits meant to cleanse your body from toxins that make you sick.
In addition to the program’s supplements, the diet provides natural juices, organic protein bars, exercise programs, webinars, and recipes as part of its educational resources.
What’s more, the diet offers the Hallelujah Recovery Diet and Rescue Plans for people with cancer, arthritis, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Alzheimer’s, and heart and autoimmune diseases.
Rescue plans are intended to help your immune system reach maximum healing power.
Furthermore, there’s a Perfect Cleanse plan, a fasting program that involves a 5-day cleanse, during which you solely consume 6 of their supplements, that’s to be done monthly for 3 months.
The Hallelujah diet promises to recharge your immune system to allow for the reversal of diseases.
The Hallelujah diet is a primarily raw plant-based diet that replaces processed, refined, and animal-based foods with raw plant-based foods and supplements.
The Hallelujah diet consists of consuming 85% raw plant-based foods and 15% cooked plant-based foods.
Additionally, the program’s supplement kits are intended to help fill nutritional gaps to improve your health.
The diet is divided into a four-step plan:
- Step 1. The first step consists of consuming primarily raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
- Step 2. This step replaces meat, dairy, and refined carbs, sugar, and salt products — all of which are referred to as toxic foods — with healthier plant-based alternatives.
- Step 3. This third phase calls for juicing and consuming the program’s BarleyMax supplement, an organic, unheated juice powder, to enhance nutrient absorption.
- Step 4. The last step is supplementation, which is intended to provide vitamin B12, vitamin D3, iodine, selenium, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to avoid deficiencies.
The diet offers multiple supplement kits that vary depending on your health status. You may choose to start with the Get Started Kit, which includes the BarleyMax and fiber cleanse.
Alternatively, you may opt for the Immune Booster or Detox kits, or purchase supplements individually, including probiotics, vitamins and minerals, superfoods, protein powders, and menopause-focused options.
You may take an online quiz on the program’s website, which the company claims can evaluate your health and tell you which supplement kit would be best for you.
The Hallelujah diet comprises 85% raw plant-based foods and 15% cooked plant-based foods, as well as a supplement kit. It’s broken down into four steps to help you transition to its suggested way of eating.
The Hallelujah diet eliminates all processed and animal-based meals. Because the diet encourages a higher intake of raw foods, it divides food into three categories — raw foods, cooked foods, and foods to avoid.
These foods should comprise 85% of your daily intake:
- Vegetables: all raw vegetables
- Fruit: fresh and unsulphured organic dried fruit; fruits are limited to no more than 15% of your daily food intake
- Grains: raw muesli, soaked oats, dehydrated crackers, and dehydrated granola
- Beans: peas, sprouted lentils, green beans, sprouted garbanzos, and sprouted mung beans
- Protein-rich meat alternatives: chia seeds, hemp seeds, and sprouted beans are listed as protein-rich plant foods
- Nuts and seeds: walnuts, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, raw almonds, raw almond butter, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and tahini (sparingly)
- Oils and fats: virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, Udo’s Oil (a vegetarian omega-3 oil blend), flaxseed oil, and avocados
- Dairy: dairy alternatives only, including fresh almond milk, creamy banana milk, and frozen bananas, strawberry, or blueberry as “fruit creams”
- Beverages: distilled water, the diet’s juice powders, and freshly extracted vegetable juices; fruit juices high in natural sugars should be kept to a minimum
- Seasonings: fresh or dehydrated herbs, garlic, sweet onions, parsley, and salt-free seasonings
- Soups: raw, chilled soups made by blending vegetables and fruits
- Sweets: fruit smoothies, raw fruit pies with nut or date crusts, date-nut squares, etc.
Though not all foods in this category are cooked, they’re generally more processed than foods in the raw foods section and should only comprise 15% of your daily intake.
To ensure you don’t surpass this limit, the diet encourages you to fill up on raw foods first at all meals, then add cooked foods at one meal.
- Vegetables: any steamed or wok-cooked fresh or frozen vegetables, baked white, yellow, or sweet potatoes, squash, etc.
- Fruit: cooked and unsweetened frozen fruits
- Grains: whole grain cereals, pasta, bread, millet, brown rice, etc.
- Beans: lima, navy, adzuki, lentil, black, kidney, organic soy, pinto, and white
- Protein-rich meat alternatives: mushrooms, cooked beans, and grains, etc.
- Nuts and seeds: cashew and almonds that have been heat-treated for retail but not roasted or salted
- Oils and fats: vegan mayonnaise made from cold-pressed oils
- Dairy: nondairy and packaged cheese, almond milk, cashew cream, hemp milk, and rice milk (sparingly)
- Beverages: cereal-based coffee-like beverages, caffeine-free herbal teas, and bottled organic juices
- Seasonings: same as raw options
- Soups: soups made from scratch without fat, dairy, meat, or refined table salt
- Sweets: agave, raw honey, stevia, unsulphured molasses, sorghum, carob, maple syrup, palm sugar (all sparingly)
Foods to avoid
These foods should be removed from your diet:
- Vegetables: all canned vegetables with added salt or preservatives and vegetables fried in oil
- Fruit: canned and sweetened fruits, nonorganic, and sulfured dried fruits
- Grains: refined, bleached flour products, most cold breakfast cereals, and white rice
- Beans: genetically modified soy
- Meats: beef, fish, pork, turkey, chicken, eggs, hamburgers, bacon, hot dogs sausage, bologna, etc.
- Nuts and seeds: all roasted or salted seeds and nuts
- Oils and fats: all lard, margarine, shortenings, and anything containing hydrogenated oils or trans fats
- Dairy: all milk, cheese, ice cream, whipped toppings, and nondairy creamers
- Beverages: alcohol, caffeinated teas, coffee, sports drinks, soda pop, etc. with preservatives, refined salt, sugar, and artificial sweeteners
- Seasonings: refined table salt and any seasonings containing it
- Soups: all canned, packaged, or creamed soups containing salt, meat, or dairy products
- Sweets: all refined white or brown sugar, artificial sweeteners, sugar syrups, chocolate, candy, gum, cookies, donuts, cakes, pies, etc.
The Hallelujah diet divides foods into raw, cooked, and those to avoid. To keep your cooked foods to a maximum of 15% of your daily intake, you should limit them to once a day.
Though the Hallelujah diet is not advertised as a weight loss program, its eating pattern creates a calorie deficit that likely leads to weight loss, if this is your goal.
Additionally, research suggests that vegan diets like the Hallelujah diet are an efficient weight loss strategy, as well as that vegans often have a lower body mass index (BMI) than vegetarians and meat-eaters (3, 4, 5, 6).
For example, one 6-month study in 50 adults with overweight showed that those following a vegan diet lost significantly more weight than those on vegetarian and omnivore diets (7).
Similarly, one 18-week study in 211 people determined that those on a low fat vegan diet experienced a 6-pound (2.9-kg) weight reduction, compared with no weight loss in the control group (9).
Aside from the lower fat intake, this study also attributed the weight loss to an increased fiber intake, which leads to feelings of fullness.
Furthermore, evidence suggests that lower intakes of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are common among those following a vegan diet, may promote weight loss by reducing fat mass (10, 11, 12).
The Hallelujah diet may aid weight loss by increasing the intake of vegetables and plant-based protein sources, reducing fat intake, and eliminating processed and refined foods.
Aside from its weight loss effect, following a diet rich in fruits and vegetables like the Hallelujah diet may offer additional health benefits, such as protection from type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
May lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
Diets rich in vegetables lead to higher intakes of fiber and low glycemic index (GI) foods — foods that don’t spike your blood sugar levels — and lower intakes of fats, all of which are associated with a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes (6).
Moreover, the lower BMIs often observed among those following a vegan diet is another protective factor against type 2 diabetes, as it improves insulin sensitivity — or how your cells respond to insulin, the hormone needed to regulate blood sugar levels (6, 14).
One 22-week study in 99 adults with type 2 diabetes determined that 43% of those on a low fat vegan diet were able to reduce their diabetes medications, compared with 26% in the control group (15).
They also showed greater weight loss and lower glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) levels, an indicator of blood sugar levels over the last 3 months.
Similarly, a review that included 6 studies found that vegetarian diets were associated with a significantly greater reduction in HbA1c levels and lower fasting blood sugar levels, compared with non-vegetarian diets (16).
May lower risk factors for heart disease
As a vegan diet, the Hallelujah diet may successfully lower risk factors for heart disease.
First, its high vegetable intake significantly increases fiber and antioxidant consumption, which are associated with lower blood triglycerides, total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and body weight (17, 18, 19).
Aside from the high fiber intake, the diet eliminates processed foods, which are high in sodium, and alcohol, two risk factors for high blood pressure (20).
One 7-day study in 1,615 people found that even after such a short period, a vegan diet may lower the risk of heart disease by 27% by reducing the previously mentioned risk factors (21).
The Hallelujah diet is high in nutrient-rich foods that protect against common diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Although the Hallelujah diet may lower the risk of disease, it comes with some drawbacks.
May increase your risk of nutrient deficiency
Vegan diets are naturally low in vitamin B12. Although limited plant foods like mushrooms do contain very small amounts of this nutrient, the only reliable sources of vitamin B12 are animal-based foods or supplements.
Vitamin B12 plays many critical roles in the body, and a deficiency is a risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases, which are those that cause your brain and nerves to deteriorate (24).
Vegan diets are also often low in calcium, which may lead to low bone mineral density and increase your risk of fractures.
In fact, a recent 2020 study that included data from over 54,000 people found that compared with meat-eaters, vegans were at a higher risk of total, hip, leg, and vertebral fractures (25, 26, 27, 28).
Additionally, since the diet limits cooked foods consumption to once a day, it may lead to a low protein intake.
While well-planned vegan diets may provide sufficient amounts of protein from plant-based sources, they usually rely on high intakes of legumes and cereals to do so. However, this is not the case in the Hallelujah diet (28).
Relies heavily on proprietary supplements
Supplements are meant to enhance or add nutrients to your diet. However, it’s generally best to get your nutrients from food and not rely on supplements too heavily.
In fact, a recent study found that food-based nutrients were associated with a reduced risk of mortality, while excess nutrients from supplements could pose health hazards (29).
Also, though the program’s supplements are certified organic, vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free, it’s unclear whether supplements are manufactured in a facility that complies with current Good Manufacture Practices (cGMPs) set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The program also fails to mention whether the products undergo third-party quality testing, meaning that an external organization verifies a product’s purity, potency, dosage, and performance.
Lastly, since the supplements are needed to tackle the previously mentioned nutritional gaps, following the diet may become quite pricey.
For example, while the Get Starter Kit is listed at $49.95 a month, the Rescue Plans may cost up to $494.95.
In any case, it’s always best to talk to your health care provider before consuming any supplement.
Lacks scientific evidence
The diet makes some serious health statements regarding cleanses and the reversal of disease.
However, there’s no scientific evidence to support that this diet — nor its supplements — may cure cancer or clear up health issues.
While diets that emphasize eating more vegetables are sure to improve your overall health, there’s limited evidence that they improve cancer outcomes. Research only suggests that they may protect by reducing cancer risk (30, 31).
The same goes for the company’s supplement statements, which imply that they may eliminate health issues, including heart conditions, arthritis, diabetes, and allergies.
As for the diet’s intent to cleanse your body of toxins, research on cleanses or detox diets is limited, and the few available studies have flawed methodologies and small sample sizes (32).
Also, your body already has its own detox system, which identifies and eliminates toxic substances. Some major detoxification organs include the liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin (33).
The Hallelujah diet is highly restrictive and leaves no room for flexibility, making it difficult to sustain in the long term.
Research suggests that low calorie diets — regardless of whether they’re intentional or not — may affect both men and women in the long run.
Lastly, by classifying some foods as “toxic,” the diet may create an unhealthy relationship with food by vilifying certain foods.
The Hallelujah diet may lead to nutrient deficiencies and relies on costly supplements to avoid them. It’s also highly restrictive and lacks scientific evidence to support it.
The Hallelujah diet is a biblical plant-based diet comprising mainly raw fruits and vegetables that claims to recharge the immune system to reverse disease.
Given that it’s a vegan diet, it may aid weight loss and lower the risk of common diseases.
However, it may lead to nutrient deficiencies that are meant to be filled with proprietary supplement kits, which may not fulfill desirable quality standards and take a toll on your wallet.
If you want to give plant-based diets a try, there are less restrictive methods to do so that are more sustainable in the long run.