As explained in yogic diet, food, when consumed becomes threefold: the gross particles become excrement, the middling ones flesh and the fine ones the mind. By the purity of food one becomes purified in his inner nature; by the purification of his inner nature he verily gets memory of the Self; and by the attainment of the memory of the Self, all ties and attachments are severed.
Meat and fish of all types, including eggs: Fish, eggs, meat, salt, chillies and asafoetida are Rajasic foodstuffs. They excite passion. These foods lead to aggressiveness and irritability, and are often obtained in a way that harms another organism. Besides, eating meat is highly deleterious to health. It brings a host of ailments such as tape-worm, albuminuria and other diseases of the kidneys.
Processed and/or artificial foods, junk food, artificial sweeteners, soda: These are also categorized as Rajasic foods. By and large, these foods impart extra weight and fat to the body, thereby creating a feeling of uneasiness after eating, resulting in a lethargic disposition.
Animal fats, margarine: Try to opt for butter, ghee (clarified butter) and all good natural plant-based oils like sesame, olive and sunflower.
Fried foods: Sattvic foods (that are fresh, juicy, light, unctuous, nourishing, sweet, and tasty) become rajasic if they are fried in oil, overcooked, or treated with pungent and sour-tasting spices.
Canned foods, except naturally canned tomatoes and fruit: Processing of food which include irradiation, freezing and canning along with the additives and preservatives of all types should be avoided.
White flour, white sugar: Opt for Indian breads–parathas, puris, and rotis–but remember they become tamasic about eight hours after they are cooked.
Garlic, onions, spicy foods: Onions and garlic are blood purifiers. Ayurveda classifies onions as tamasic, but garlic, because of its medicinal qualities, is considered rajasic. Garlic is hot and unctuous. Excessive use can create dryness. Garlic increases longevity and produces muscular strength. It also increases semen and the glow of the skin and gives digestive power to the stomach. Garlic subdues excess wind (vata) and mucus (kapha).
Stale or overly cooked foods: Overcooked foods become tamasic. Leftover food is also tamasic. Food contains prana, and this pranic energy is lost in food that is overcooked, overripe, or old.
Microwaved foods: Cooking procedures involving microwave Ovens convert our system as a breeding ground for toxins.
Alcohol, tobacco, stimulants: In small amounts, liquor, wine, beer, coffee, and tea are rajasic. Taken in excess, liquor, wine, and beer (not tea and coffee) are tamasic. Drugs, such as marijuana, hashish, opium, cocaine, and heroin, are tamasic because they disturb body chemistry, dull consciousness, and obscure perception of reality.
If you avoid these foods while following a yoga diet and session you can improve your body, mind, and spirit. For maximum benefit, combine these dietary suggestions with asana (physical postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), and meditation.
A great way to get relief from over-eating is sitting in Rock Pose (on the heels). Sit is Rock Pose (Vajar Asan) for a few minutes after dinner. It is said that one can digest rocks in this posture.
For those who wish to maintain a meditative mind but also must live and work in the world, a diet consisting of sattvic and some rajasic foods is best. For those who practice demanding disciplines, like Kundalini Yoga or marital arts, rajasic foods are necessary, along with sattvic foods. For all these lifestyles, tamasic food is best avoided.