The raw food diet plan is sometimes referred to as raw foodism or rawism. Basically, most raw-food dieters eat plant-based, organic foods that are not processed or cooked. Many raw food activists are vegans–meaning they eat no meat, poultry, eggs or dairy products. There are, however, some raw foodists who eat eggs and cheese made from unpasteurized or raw milk.
While the science behind the raw food diet is still being debated, most avid raw food followers insist that food eaten in its natural state promotes the best health. It boosts energy, boosts the immune system and helps people lose weight.
- Sprouted grains and legumes
- Sea vegetables like seaweed
- Most nuts
Raw foodists do not cook foods more than 118 degrees. They “maintain that heating foods above 118 degrees diminishes the quality by destroying natural enzymes and degrading proteins and nutrients while concentrating any pesticides they might contain,” says Susie Quick in the Natural Health article “Some Like it Raw.”
According to WebMD, raw food eaters use food dehydrators that do not exceed 115 to 118 degrees to dry out fruits and other foods for recipes. People considering going raw should be aware that the American Dietetic Association warns cooking food below 118 degrees many not “kill harmful, food-borne bacteria.”
In addition to being careful about harmful bacteria, raw food eaters who do not eat meat need to be sure to get enough vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron, omega 3s because these nutrients are mostly found in animal foods.
Raw Food Diet Drawbacks
Getting the about nutrients is important for vegan raw foodists. According to Quick a 2005 study published in The Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that raw food vegans suffered from lower bone mass compared to those who ate a more traditional diet.
Another caveat of the raw food diet is spending a lot more time in the kitchen preparing meals and spending money on special equipment for food preparation.
Benefits of Raw Food
The good news about the raw food diet plan is that a plant-based diet as opposed to meat-based diet helps people lose weight and live healthier, longer lives; however, people who want to go raw can still go semi-raw and still enjoy raw food weight loss by just eating half of their meals raw and eating the raw foods first.
Be sure to talk with your doctor first before changing your diet.
Quick, Susie. “Some Like it Raw.” Natural Health. Jul/Aug2006, Vol. 36 Issue 7 p35-44.
“Raw Food Diet.” WebMd.