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The Raw Food Diet
    Bryce Wylde, BSc, DHMHS, Homeopath
  • on Jan 30, 2019 |

Some of the fans of the raw food diet believe that cooking or heating food destroys its nutrients and natural enzymes that boost digestion and fight chronic diseases. They claim that a raw food diet can clear up allergies, headaches, boost immunity, memory, and improve arthritis and diabetes.

The foods that you eat on this diet are uncooked, unprocessed, and mostly organic foods such as, raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains. Some people eat unpasteurized dairy foods, raw eggs, meat and fish. Your food can be cold or even a little bit warm, as long as it doesn’t go above 118 degrees. You can also use food processors, blenders, and dehydrators to prepare food.

Eating out on this diet can be difficult as well as finding organic foods, you may need to go to specialty stores that have a wider selection rather than your local grocery store.

Some uncooked and unpasteurized foods have been linked to food borne illness. Make sure you wash your foods thoroughly and be very careful with foods like lettuce, unpasteurized juices, green onions, raspberries and sprouts. Due to the risk of food poisoning, the raw food diet is not recommended for seniors, pregnant women, children, people with weak immune systems, and people with chronic medical conditions.

This diet is ideal for people who have dietary restrictions, preferences, allergies, vegans, vegetarians and people who eat gluten free. Make sure that you are meeting your nutritional needs, speak to a dietitian if you are unsure.

Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables helps to control blood pressure, it is low in sodium so it may lower your risk of stroke, kidney disease, heart failure, stomach cancer, and osteoporosis. Weight loss is also a result of this diet which can help prevent type 2 diabetes.

Most people who eat raw foods exclude animal products, you may need to take supplements to make up for any nutrients you could be missing such as protein, vitamin B12, calcium and iron.

Contrary to the claims of many raw food fans, cooking does not destroy nutritious foods but instead makes some foods digestible. Cooking also boosts some nutrients, like beta-carotene and lycopene, and kills bacteria, which helps you avoid getting food poisoning.

A raw food diet is low in calories so eating this way can lead to weight loss. But the diet is a nutritionally inadequate and very restrictive plan that is hard to stay on for long-term. The risk of food poisoning from eating raw or undercooked foods outweighs the benefits of this plan. There are some nutrient-rich super foods that can’t be eaten raw, such as beans, whole grains, and lean proteins. If you are considering a raw diet, talk to your doctor before starting to make sure that the diet is right for you.