The Raw Food diet is not a new diet fad, this goes way back to the 1800s when some people were experimenting with this diet and the effects on their health. From here a whole world of studies exploded into the effect of eating raw foods on our health.
The main idea of the Raw food diet is that the high temperature when cooking food destroys all the vitamins, natural enzymes and nutrients that help maintain a healthy immune system and prevent chronic disease.
Raw food diets can help with frequent headaches and allergies, and some claim the raw food diet can help with diabetes and arthritis.
By raw food we are referring to food that has Not been;
- exposed to any pesticides
- exposed to any herbicides
- genetically modified
The food can be heated but not beyond 46 degrees celsius. Most of these raw foods in this diet consist of plant based foods.
Raw animal products can be removed to make this a vegan raw diet if you wish, products such as;
- unpasteurized milk and cheeses
- raw eggs
- raw fish
- raw meats
Another variation of the raw food diet is to make this a low calorie diet, by sticking to a diet plan with a reduced caloric intake, whilst sticking to only raw foods.
high temperature when cooking food destroys all the vitamins, natural enzymes and nutrients
Raw Food Diet Main Components
The raw food diet usually requires an increased intake of the following foods;
- fresh fruit and vegetables
- seeds and nuts
- dried uncooked organic legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and beans
- cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
- freshly-squeezed vegetable and fruit juices
- green and herbal tea
- snacks based on dried fruits
Use blenders with some caution, as high speed blenders will also generate some heat that may affect the raw food’s nutritional value. When juicing go for a slow cold masticating juicer instead of a high speed centrifugal juicer, to keep the temperature down.
It is worth mentioning that many raw foods are also naturally gluten free.
Losing Weight on the Raw Food Diet
It is very likely that switching to a 75% raw food diet will help you lose weight within 6 to 9 months.
Eating beans, whole grains and vegetables makes you feel fuller for longer, so feeling hungry on the raw food diet is not something that you should expect. The Raw food diet keeps you feeling full, therefore your energy levels will be high and keeping up the exercise wont be an issue. Exercise is very important when it comes to weight loss and being healthy.
Drawbacks of the Raw Food Diet
There are a number of drawbacks like any other diet plan, some examples are;
- preparing meals can take considerably longer (blending, fermenting, juicing, can be time consuming and requires preparation)
- eating out at restaurants might be an issue as raw food selection is very limited
- your grocery bills may go up considerably especially seeing you would be buying organic foods
- is not recommended for those more vulnerable to the risk of food poisoning (from eating raw foods) such as pregnant women, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems and young children
Health benefits of the Raw Food Diet
The raw food diet has a large amount of fresh fruit and vegetables included, which are high in fiber, minerals and vitamins, and help control blood pressure.
This diet also has very little sodium, reducing your risk of getting osteoporosis, kidney disease and heart disease.
The raw food diet is also linked to weight loss as the foods included in this diet will very likely help you lose weight, and keeping a good weight helps prevent type 2 diabetes and helps you remain strong and healthy.
Taking vitamin supplements for iron, calcium and vitamin B12, when on a raw food diet which also excludes animal products, can ensure you take in all the beneficial vitamins your body requires.