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 Sattva means the mode of goodness - as quoted in the Bhagavad Gita chapter 14. Text 11: 

“The manifestations of the mode of goodness can  be experienced when all the gates of the body are illuminated by knowledge.” (*1)

In addition I may add that Goodness transcends material nature and promotes actions performed with an increased conscience of peace and knowledge.

When a group of American Market Researcher invited me to explain what exactly a Sattvic Diet exactly entails, I had a little trouble getting through them and explain how different it is from any other vegan and vegetarian diet practice practiced in the US and Europe.  Basically I had to explain them the dimensions of a Sattvic Diet without having visualizing the typical format of Ashram food or the Ayurvedic properties of Kappa-Vata-Pitta. One of them interrupted me and asked: “Is it the greasy Indian food.”  After an hour of speaking, I realized that our brains have been so impregnated by wrong messages from advertizing and the media about what a healthy diet exactly contains.

Sattvic Diet is based on simple and conscious choices focused on the practice of Ahimsa (non-violence), while keeping Karmic consequences in mind to ones own Mind, Body and Spirit – and other living beings and the environment – basically the Universe. (As described by Ancient Taoism and Hinduism)

Basically, I would describe this mainly as a healthy vegan/vegetarian diet that is

A. Balanced in nutritional proportion:
    Macronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fats and minerals
   Micro nutrients such as vitamins

B. Includes all six tastes: 
     *sweet – salt – sour – bitter – astringent – pungent

All these tastes relates to particular nutrient required to nourish the body.  A craving for any of these tastes indicates that the body needs a particular type of nutrient.  Fast food has been enhanced by the tastes of sweet, salty and sour, leaving our daily dietary composition in an unbalanced proportion, leading to unhealthy consequences.

The Sattvic Diet is adopted by those who engage in spiritual practices that promotes peace and wellbeing.