Does the Raw Food Diet Really Work?

Unveiling the “raw” myth

According to popular diet reviews, eating the raw food diet is a revolutionary way to eat. Many believe that it keeps them smart and healthy. The goal of the diet is on eating uncooked fruits and vegetables to lose weight quickly and effectively. These foods are low in calories and high in quality nutrients. It is believed that fruits and vegetables lose nutritional value when cooked so eating them raw seems an extremely good idea.

In addition to enabling weight loss, the raw food diet apparently increases one’s metabolism, making calorie burning and weight losing easier. Some experts have also suggested that a raw food diet is a good cure to eating disorders. Additionally, it can help make your immune system stronger, and helps the body rid itself of harmful toxins. It’s also mentioned in some diet reviews that eating raw foods improves the look of their skin.

Following are some important points that must be taken into consideration before you make your mind for this way of eating.

What is a raw food diet?

The raw food diet, (also referred to as ‘living foods’) consists of food that is uncooked and unprocessed. A food is essentially ‘raw’ if it is kept below 115 degrees Fahrenheit; the temperature above which enzymes are destroyed. It still contains important enzymes which assist in the digestion and absorption of food.

What does the raw food diet consist of?

Generally, it consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, sprouts, legumes and other organic foods that are in their original state and have not been processed. It also includes unpasteurized milk, water, juice, and tea.

So, is the raw food diet all good?

The most interesting yet strange thing about consuming raw food is that, despite of all the said benefits and advantages, there is still no scientific evidence to support the claimed benefits of raw feeding. For example, according to the FDA, health benefits claimed by raw milk advocates do not exist. Therefore, experts are divided on whether it is healthy as a prolonged diet.

Consuming raw food also increases risks of many other associated problems such as:

  • Increased risk of food poisoning
  • Food poisoning is a health risk for all people eating raw foods. According to a study, food poisoning attributed to contaminated raw produce has risen ten-fold since the seventies. Salad, lettuce, juice, melon, sprouts, and berries have been most frequently involved in outbreaks.

    • More chances of malnutrition
    • While the raw food diet is rich in some nutrients, it lacks others. For example, a raw vegan diet may be deficient in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron and zinc. Similarly, an important concern in a raw food diet is the lack of animal proteins. It is important to remember that one needs to get all the essential amino acids for proper growth which will not be possible with eating raw food diet alone.

      • Enhanced risk of chemical toxicity
      • Most of the fruits and vegetables are loaded with pesticides. So, it’s preferable to go for organic food materials to reduce the chances of side effects and to get the full benefits of the diet. Therefore, it might be best to consume only organic raw food.

        • Not suitable for everyone
        • A raw food diet, as a whole, is usually not recommended for children, women who are pregnant, people suffering from osteoporosis, and those who are anemic. There may not be enough vitamin B12, enough vitamin D and enough calories for a growing child on a totally raw vegan diet.

Finally, do remember that you can probably lose weight on the raw food diet, but how much is too much for you? That’s just another risk associated with eating raw food.

So think twice before you decide!

Source: Wikipedia – Raw foodism

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