What’s with Raw Diets?

The word “diet” is less than appealing for most of us that are looking to shed a few pounds. That’s because most diets can be over complicated and tasteless. However, there are some nutrition regimens that focus on simple and tasty eating like the raw diet.

What Are Raw Diets?

The raw diet is about a healthy, Eco-friendly lifestyle, free of processed foods. The raw diet ideology has been around since the late 1800s. The thought is that raw foods have natural nutrients which are destroyed by the traditional cooking process. So, raw dieters use dehydrators and food processors and don’t heat anything over 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

The diet consists of roughly 80 percent of raw fruits and vegetables. Other foods that raw dieters eat include nuts, beans, seaweed, whole grains, herbs, sprouts, and seeds. This diet is mostly practiced by vegetarians or vegans since it focuses on plants and avoids most animal products. Although, there are some who will settle for “raw animal products” like unpasteurized milk and raw fish.

The Health Benefits of Raw Diets

Though this diet may seem extreme to some, it does have great health benefits. The diet is full of fiber and has protein, so you’ll stay full longer. It’s also low in fat and sugar which is beneficial for losing weight. Some raw foods are high in antioxidants which are good for the heart. This diet is also low in salt which is good for those with high blood pressure. And it also emphasizes the importance of eating organic which is better for the environment.

Although there are some benefits, this diet has sparked mix reviews among health experts. The ADA says that raw foods aren’t always better. Properly heating and cooking some foods, like tomatoes, make it easier for nutrients to be absorbed into the body. Proper heating also kills bacteria found in some foods. This diet can also be low in vitamin B12, calcium, iron, zinc, or omega-3 fatty acids which are found in animal products.

The Cons of Raw Diets

So, is this raw diet for you? Listed below are some cons.

  • Well, before you start cleaning out your fridge it’s best to talk with your doctor to find out if going on a raw diet will negatively affect your health (and pre-existing health issues).
  • Also, keep in mind that this diet can be expensive. Fresh fruits and vegetables (especially when organic) can cost a pretty penny.
  • Lastly, this diet is not recommended for children, pregnant women, or women who are breastfeeding (because of bacteria associated with uncooked foods and missing nutrients from a meatless diet).