What is a Raw Food Diet, and is it Right For You?

What is a raw food diet, and is it right for you? Well to begin, you should never start any diet without consulting your doctor. Only you and your doctor can determine if any diet is right for you. So,...

What is a raw food diet, and is it right for you? Well to begin, you should never start any diet without consulting your doctor. Only you and your doctor can determine if any diet is right for you.

So, what is a raw food diet? It is a diet that consists mainly of unprocessed, whole plant-based foods, preferably organic foods. The belief is that cooking food robs it of certain minerals, enzymes, and vitamins and that by following a raw food diet you will ultimately be healthier while looking and feeling better.

Few people follow a 100% raw food diet. Most people on a raw food diet get 75% or more of their daily dietary needs from plant-based foods that are never heated to more than 114 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius).

Most followers of raw food diets are vegans. They eat no animal products, including milk and cheese. Some followers are vegetarians who will eat animal products such as milk and cheese. Then there are also those will eat certain kinds of raw meat and fish as well as fruit and vegetables.

Raw Vegetable Wraps
Raw Vegetable Wraps

What are the pros of a raw food diet?

PRO: The followers report: weight loss, more energy, healthier & better looking skin, improved digestion and reduced risk of heart disease.

CON: You will need dietary supplements to guard against nutritional deficiencies such as omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, and vitamin B-12. Some people experience headaches, nausea, and cravings that can last for several days. This is due to their former diet of meats, processed sugar, and caffeine. So, it is a good idea to start out at about 50% raw food and work your way up.

There are some foods to beware of though: peas, kidney beans, parsnips, mushrooms, raw meat & fish, buckwheat, and milk products. For a full list of foods you should and should not eat on a raw food diet, consult your doctor or nutritionist.

Raw food doesn't have to mean just nibbling on veggies. Legumes can be soaked and sprouted to make a protein-rich supplement; nuts can be turned into nut butters, sauces or grain pilafs; seeds can be make into crackers or flatbreads. Approached with interest and curiosity, you'll find there are a surprising number of foods that can be made without using a lot of heat.

Food Processor
A Food Processor is Essential

Food preparation does take longer, but those who follow a raw food diet believe the benefits are worth it. Some of the equipment you will want to have for a raw food diet is: blender, dehydrator, juicer, food processor, large trays (to soak seeds, beans, and grains in), mandoline slicer and a grater to grate all those veggies. If you plan on warming any of your food you will also want a thermometer to keep temperatures below 114 degrees.

Another advantage. Since you are using organic and unprocessed food, a raw food diet is also good for people on a gluten free diet (a good book on gluten free is: Living and Eating Gluten Free by Alyce Feindel)

For information or to order equipment for your raw food diet, please contact us.