By now it’s no secret that diet and lifestyle are major contributory factors to obesity and ill health in the United States and many other developed countries. Even our domestic pets are suffering more and more from weight gain and chronic degenerative diseases induced by feeding them a refined Western diet.
Lately, scientific experts are presenting more research that supports a raw food diet or whole-food plant-based diet to improve health and lose weight. “A raw food diet has been used successfully to banish allergies, arthritis, cardio-vascular problems, cancer, depression, type II diabetes and a panoply of other degenerative diseases. Problems associated with menstruation and menopause disappear. Excess weight also vanishes as if by magic,” according to Suz Evasdaughter in the Positive Health article “Raw Food, Longevity and Weight Loss.”
You don’t need to eat everything raw to reap health benefits. If you decide to follow a vegan raw food diet, you’ll only need to eat 50 percent of your diet raw to enjoy many of the health benefits including weight loss.
You don’t have to become a raw food zealot to enjoy the health and weight loss benefits of a raw food diet. Research shows that leucocytosis–an abnormal increase in white blood cell count because the body considers cooked food to be alien–affects the immune system. But people can prevent leucocytosis by eating just half of their meals raw, provided they eat the raw food first, says Evasdaughter.
Raw Food Weight Loss
A whole-foods plant-based raw diet is the best way to lose weight. Most of these foods are low in calories, nutrient dense and high in antioxidants and high in fiber making the diet the ultimate way to shed extra pounds. Moreover, dieters can pretty much eat as many whole grain plant based foods as they like without worrying about counting calories.
Foods to Avoid
Be sure to eliminate empty-calorie junk foods like white bread and other baked goods, candy, soda, and chips. These types of foods are full off fast-absorbing carbohydrates that spike blood sugar quickly. Because they’re so lacking in nutrients, they also leave you feeling fatigue and cravings for more junk food. Stay away from foods that contain any sugar in any form such as sucrose, glucose, fructose, dextrose, lactose, maltose and corn syrup. For more information about sugar, check out the article No Sugar Diet.
Avoid meat and dairy products. At the very least, eat them extremely sparingly. For more information and research about why you should avoid meat and dairy, check out Forks Over Spoons Diet.
Here are some tips to adjust to a raw food diet:
- Start eating more color. Instead of just sticking to freshly squeezed juices and salads, add more colorful raw foods to your diet like carrots and beets. Choose from an abundance of fruites
- Enjoy raw nuts. Just go easy because they tend to be high in fat.
- Vary the types of green salad greens, fruits and vegetables. As the seasons change, look for new, tasty food choices.
- Add spices and herbs to vegetables like edible flowers such as basil and chive blossoms, dandelion, tulips and lavender.
- Check out the cooking section at a local bookstore. There are several cookbooks for vegan and raw food recipes.
- As with any new diet, check with your doctor first and be sure to take it slow.
Evasdaughter, Suz. “Raw Food, Longevity and Weight Loss.” Positive Health. February2008, Issue 144, p30-33.
Williams, Erin Zimniewica. “Easy Ways to Go Raw.” Massage Magazine. October 2008, Issue 149, p96-97.
Whole-Foods Plant-Based Diets