Raw Food Diet
The raw food diet has been a popular choice among vegans and other progressive eaters for quite some time. But what’s the point of a raw diet? And is it right for you?
What is the Raw Food Diet?
The raw food diet is based on the idea that most foods (particularly fruits and vegetables) are the healthiest for your body when they’re uncooked. According to this trendy diet, the enzymes that help your body digest food and absorb all its nutrients are compromised when heated.
As a result, it’s believed that your body must work harder when it comes to digestion, making up for the lack of enzymes in your food. This can be hard on your digestive system.
Additionally, cooking food can reduce its nutritional value, as many vitamins and minerals are destroyed under heat. Healthy antioxidants like Vitamin C, for example, don’t fare well when cooked. But there are some exceptions to this rule. The best example is lycopene, an important cancer-fighting compound that is much higher in cooked tomatoes compared to raw ones.
From a weight loss and dieting perspective, there’s also the problem of changing fats under high temperatures. For example, health oils like olive oil can actually become hydrogenated under high heat, making them no healthier than butter.
Is a Raw Food Diet Right for Me?
Whether a raw food diet is right for really comes down to your lifestyle. This is a difficult diet if you have a busy lifestyle, as there’s a lot of prep work involved, and finding raw options on the go can be difficult.
There’s also the problem of protein. Aside from fish like salmon and tuna, raw meat options are not healthy. Many people on the raw food diet are vegan, not surprisingly, since most of what can be eaten raw is vegetables.
I think the approach that should be taken really comes down to balance. Rather than worrying about exclusively eating raw food, it may be more practical (and more effective, in terms of balance) to simply increase your intake of raw foods as much as possible, in order to reap more of their nutritional benefits. This has been my own approach. And I must say, on days where I eat more raw vegetables and fruits, my energy levels are noticeably higher. So there’s definitely something to it.
What Can I Eat on a Raw Food Diet?
There are a number of methods for preparing raw foods. Beans, for example, should be soaked and sprouted, while kale chips can be made using dehydrating techniques. A quick Google search will give you some great ideas.
As for raw food options, here are some to get you started:
- Sprouted Seeds
- Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds
- NOW Spirulina Powder
- Dried Fruits
- Whole Grains
The raw food diet actually allows foods to be heated slightly, but only to a very low temperature. As for ensuring adequate protein on a raw food diet, your best options are raw fish or the high quality Vega Sport Performance Protein.
Things like caffeine and sugar are generally avoided. Some vegetables, like potatoes, are also left out since they’re difficult to eat raw. But remember, you don’t need to restrict yourself completely! Integrating more raw food into your diet can be effective on its own!
Have any questions or feedback about my Raw Food Diet? Please leave a comment below…