Raw Food Diet
What Exactly is a Raw Food Diet?
A raw food diet usually refers to an uncooked vegan (no meat, fish, or dairy) diet, including nuts, seeds, and legumes.
When I first heard about a raw food diet, I probably reacted like most people do: YUCK! It seems so foreign, so cold, so bland, and “empty”. It is amazing to me that a life spent eating mostly cooked, processed foods can make me view foods that actually have living energy, as empty!
Many raw-foodists actually refer to raw food as a Live-Food diet. Why is this? By not heating foods over 116 degrees fahrenheit, important enzymes, and overall nutritional value is retained. By simply choosing to eat over 75% of your foods raw, you automatically increase the whole foods in your diet, and reduce processed foods. I believe it makes you more conscious of what you are putting in your body.
Although this way of eating seems extreme, we are the only animals on the planet that eat cooked food! What can be better than eating food in its natural (unprocessed) state?
Can a Raw Food Diet Cause Deficiencies?
There are many conflicting stories on the benefits of a raw food diet. Some people believe it is not sustainable due to vitamin deficiences. The reality is, deficiencies can occur on any diet. We truly have an abundance of food in the United States. But you can exist on a Standard American Diet (SAD) with no “nutrient” deficiencies per se, but still develop diseases from too many chemicals, poor fats, high calories, white sugar, and overly processed grains.
There must be a balance! I believe that eating a raw vegan diet is sustainable over the long term. It is important to do your research, and make sure you are eating a balanced diet. Simply eating raw is not a cure-all, as eating all cooked food is not necessarily damaging. The problem is that most cooked food in our diet is overly processed, non organic, and high fat, rather than whole cooked vegetables, legumes, and grains.
Being an all or nothing kind of person, I’ve chosen to go mostly raw to keep me on the healthiest path possible.