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The Raw Food Diet:  Will It Work for You?

A relatively new food trend has appeared on the diet landscape.  It’s known as the raw food approach, and from California to Connecticut, the trend appears to be gaining strength.  The centerpiece of the diet is uncooked, highly nutritious foods.  The idea behind the diet is that a number of foods lose nutritional value when they are cooked.

For the most part, those who subscribe to the raw food diet eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.   Beverages consist of unpasteurized milk, water, juice, and tea, but the diet excludes beer and liquor.  It is a revolutionary way to eat, and many of those who use it say it keeps them thin and healthy.

However, while the raw diet is rich in some nutrients, it lacks others.  For instance, it tends to exclude such vitally important nutrients as protein, iron, and calcium.  Therefore, it may not be an appropriate diet over the long term.  Also, one disadvantage of the raw food diet is that the food tends to be loaded with pesticides.  Therefore, it might be best to consume only organic raw food. 

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Health Reasons

For health reasons, the diet is not recommended for children, women who are pregnant, people suffering from osteoporosis, and those who are anemic.  Critics of the diet also note that it can be extremely time-consuming trying to prepare food with all the chopping and blending that’s involved.  As a result, a raw food diet isn’t for everyone.

If you decide to turn to a raw food diet, you may have to have supplements to make up for the nutrients you are not getting.  These supplements include vitamin B12, zinc, copper, and chromium.   Also, since proteins from plants do not have as many amino acids as animal protein, you’ll have to consume a number of different raw foods in order to remain healthy.   

Some medical experts have suggested that a raw food diet is a good antidote to eating disorders.  This is because such food provides nutrition without creating fat.  Eating raw foods can give you a positive outlook on food in general, enabling you to combat psychological addictions to fatty and high-sugar foods.

Some supporters of the raw food diet believe that some raw foods are superior to others.  These experts recommend focusing on fruits and vegetables and eating only minimal amounts of nuts and seeds.  They also say that the fresher the food, the better.  In other words, the best raw foods come from your own garden rather than from a supermarket.

At this point, it might be helpful to say some additional words about proteins.  According to the World Health Organization, people need to consume five percent of their calories from protein.  Interestingly enough, five percent of the calories in fruit are derived from protein, while as much as half of the calories from vegetables are protein-based.  Beans and grains derive about a quarter of their calories from protein.   Backers of the raw food diet insist that raw foods provide a better source of protein than cooked foods, since the cooking process itself may make as much as half of all protein unusable.

Some medical experts see great benefits in the raw food diet.  In addition to enabling weight loss, the diet can ostensibly increase one’s metabolism, making calorie burning easier.  One’s immune system can become stronger, and the body may rid itself of harmful toxins while following the raw foods program.  The raw foods diet is also advertised as a stress reliever and a method for enhancing digestion.  The diet may enable you to balance your PH level and lessen your risk of heart disease.  Some dieters even claim that the raw food regimen improves the look of their skin.  Finally, the diet is seen as a healthy way of responding to hunger. If you decide to try the raw food diet, you should attempt to plan your meals in advance.  That way, you can assure yourself that you are receiving the maximum amount of nutrients.  Also, those who follow the diet recommend eating fruit early in the day in order to boost your energy level and improve your digestion.

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This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.
Since natural and/or dietary supplements are not FDA-approved they must be accompanied by a two-part disclaimer on the product label: that the statement has not been evaluated by FDA and that the product is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

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