What is the Raw Food Diet?

I just saw an article on CNN about a woman that lost 160 pounds on the Raw Food Diet. Many people ask me about this because the Raw Food Diet seems like a natural and safe way ot lose weight.

Raw food diets can be a great way to not only lose but also led a much healthier, natural lifestyle in general. Most raw food diets are plant-based, with at least 75% of the diet composed of raw food.

Food examples include living and raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, rolled or flaked grains, and seaweeds. Some adherents may also eat cooked grains and legumes, fresh fish and poultry. For the strict raw food diet, however, nothing should be heated over 116 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some raw food dieters can be classified as vegans as well.

What is the Raw Food Diet?Raw Food Diet Terms

Raw: a material that is in its natural, unprocessed form, e.g. a food that has not been cooked
Vegan: a person who ascribes to a philosophy and lifestyle the seeks to exclude the use of animals for food
Enzymes: biomolecules that catalyze, i.e. increase the rates of, chemical reactions
Legumes: the seedpod of a leguminous plant (such as peas or beans or lentils)
Unpasteurized: refers to a liquid that has no gone through the process of heating for the purpose of destroying bacteria, protozoa, molds, and yeast.
Organic: in reference to foods that are grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge, and that were processed without ionizing radiation or food additives.

Should you try the Raw Food Diet?

Good side advantages of the Raw Food Diet are numerous. This is a great lifestyle decision in a lot of ways

  • Raw food diets have proven to improve digestion as well as other general digestive disorders
  • Research supports that a diet of at least 75% raw foods can help prevent illness and cancer
  • A diet rich in traditional nutrient dense foods has been linked to greater overall dental health
  • Those who select a raw food diet often report losing and maintaining the loss by continuing the diet
  • Some research supports that a raw food diet increases the intake of antioxidants, thus slowing down premature aging
  • Skin complexion is often enhanced by the raw food diet
  • Those who chose a raw food diet often report an increase in energy and a general feeling of “well-being”
  • The heating of many foods can reduce both the vitamin and mineral content

Bad side of the Raw Food Diet

There are a few drawback of a Raw Food Diet.

  • The diet can be time consuming in the preparation of food and the need for shopping every couple of days
  • Those who chose a raw food diet often get stymied by the seeming lack of food variety
  • Some nutrients and vitamins are actually made more absorbable by the heating process – there is a calculated risk in eating unpasteurized dairy products.

So what is the scoop then? Should you switch to a raw food diet?

Well I am not sure that I can answer that question. Most people go on a short term diet and learn some new eating skills that the move to a new lifelong changed diet for them.

In the case of the Raw Food diet you would actually be changing your entire lifestyle to eat only natural uncooked foods. The decision is yours but for most people I think the upheaval in lifestyle is probably not worth the trouble for most.

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