The raw food diet, which is also known as the raw vegan diet, raw veganism, or the uncooked vegan diet, started in the 19th century. Tennis star Venus Williams was one of the celebrities and athletes that made this diet popular again.
This diet is a plant-based diet that consist of entirely, or mostly, raw food from plants. Roughly, 75 to 80% of the food that is consumed is raw, though there is no exact requirement. People who stick to a raw food regimen do not cook any of their food above 48°C. The diet also forbids processed foods.
There are different benefits that this diet can offer, besides just weight loss. Still this diet could have some drawbacks and risks.
The main components of the raw food diet
The main components of the raw food diet are fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains and beans.
Many who follow the raw food diet are vegan, but not all. Some raw food dieters will eat raw animal products like unpasteurized dairy foods, such as milk and cheeses, and raw eggs as well as some raw meats and fish.
Raw food dieters are big on blenders to create green smoothies and other healthy twists on uncooked food. Other tools of the trade include food processors, juicers, and dehydrators. Dehydrators can add some crispness to foods by using hot air, but not too hot, to help concentrate a food’s flavors. So, food can be warmed or heated slightly, as long as it’s under that low heat of 48°C.
One of the core principle of raw food dieting is that cooking breaks down some of a food’s vital nutrients and enzymes that helps in digestion. Another main belief is that raw has life energy, which cooking kills, and therefore it is also, called live food. But this is a pure spiritual belief, which lacks any scientific evidence.
The potential benefits of a raw food diet
One key benefits of the raw food diet is that this diet is low in calories and high in fiber. This combination help you feeling full, but it is also helpful for people trying to lose weight.
A raw food diet may also aids to reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes or avoid diabetes completely. Furthermore, this sort of diet can help protect against heart disease and high cholesterol levels. This diet that is low-sodium or low-salt helps ease blood pressure.
Some people have indicated that this sort of diet helped them sleep better, improve their skin, and a decreased of symptoms caused by food allergies. However, there are not any research that can sustain these sort of claims.
Key points to think about before starting a raw food diet
A raw food diet will radically limit the sort of foods that you can consume. Besides the limiting feeling of options, eating out might be a problem. This means that when you want to be social with your friends your choice of food at restaurants that are not vegan or raw diet friendly will make it difficult for you.
You also need to do a lot of preparation. This is not just making the food, but getting it. Also organic foods are more pricey and it will impact your budget. Additionally not all raw food ingredients will be available when and where you want them. Therefore, you will need to source the foods and might have to ship them from other parts of the country. Still, it also provides you a choice to grow some of the foods yourself. Thereby you can make sure that they are organic and you can save some more, if not saving the planet by being a bit more green.
This sort of diet will call for a blender. It can be costly to buy; then again, you will not need an oven or spend money on the cost of operating the oven.
There could be a risk that some of the foods you have are contaminated with salmonella or E. coli. The lack of enough cooking time could mean that these bacteria’s are not killed and you could develop food poisoning.
There are some vitamins and nutrients that people could lack if on a raw food diet. Vitamin B12 is one of them.
This might not be the diet for you, and it might have some drawbacks, then again, it does offer some benefits and it might be right for others. But before you do, speak to your doctor so your individual needs, health, and medical conditions can be check to see if this diet will be appropriate.