Raw: The Living Food Diet
Everywhere you turn there are diets that will fit almost any lifestyle. All diets have their claims to lose weight or look younger. Unfortunately many of these diets fail in delivering their claims. Most diets are no more than money making schemes that prey on people who want to lose weight or feel better. Other diets are too rigid or too expensive for the average person. The raw food diet is neither rigid nor overly expensive. However, with all the hype of “super foods” and the number of raw food “gurus”, is raw food diet a healthy alternative? or just another diet full of hype to sell products.
What is raw food diet?
The raw food diet is an eating plan that involves fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts that are not cooked. Eating raw foods in their natural form means retaining all the vital nutrients that the food is designed for. Raw foodists eat foods that are not heated above 120-degrees. Foods that are prepared under this temperature is still considered a ” raw ” food because the nutrients and enzymes have not been disturbed. Cooking food reduces the nutritional value of the vast majority of produce. Cooking also introduces chemicals that are not healthy for the body. Most often foods that are cooked are cooked with oils, fats and preservatives that are not only unhealthy but often they can be toxic to the body.
Benefits of raw foods
The raw food diet paves the way to allow the body to heal itself. The raw food diet contains significantly less trans fats and saturated fats as the typical Standard diet. Eating a raw food diet contains less sodium and more vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are vital for good health and vibrancy. Although few studies have been done to examine the long term benefits of a raw food diet, vegetarians alone tend to have a reduced risk of heart attacks and are less likely to be overweight. A study shows that people who ate a mostly raw plant based diet had a reduced risk of cancer such as bladder cancer. The reason is believed to be due to the fact that raw vegetables retain all of their nutritional value. Cooking reduces the nutritional value and can add harmful non-food chemicals and toxins.
The Drawbacks of a raw food diet
Many opponents point to the lack of Vitamin B12 in a raw plant based diet. However, it has also been found that people who eat a Standard Diet are more likely to suffer from B12 deficiencies. Opponents also will point out deficiencies in iron, calcium and zinc as a reason for not adopting a raw food diet. What is not mentioned is that people that adopt a raw food diet are more apt to know exactly what their body’s needs are and can make adjustments to meet those needs. The Recommended Daily Allowances that we see are inflated numbers based on a person who eats a high cholesterol diet and smokes. There are supplements that can be taken to adjust for an individuals needs.
One way that people make up for any deficiencies is purchasing plant-based superfood powders and supplements. While these can be beneficial and do have their place, they are not absolute necessities to living a healthy raw lifestyle. Through proper research and understanding of nutritional values of different plant foods, an individual can make better “natural” choices to their diet. The “super foods” business has become quite lucrative but the claims of nutritional superiority are often backed up with proven results.
The raw food diet will help a person lose weight, have more energy and live a more vibrant life. A person does not need to be full 100% raw in order to enjoy the many health benefit’s a raw food diet offers. The majority of people on a raw food diet eat 80% raw foods. Also, when adopting a raw food diet you take nothing away without replacing it with raw food nutrition. Instead of a sausage biscuit for breakfast, have a fruit smoothie. The raw food diet is all about adding in the good stuff and providing many choices.