What is the Raw Diet?

Breakfast RadishesThe raw diet consists of natural, unprocessed foods that are not heated above 114 degrees Fahrenheit. Most raw “foodists” eat mainly plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, grains, legumes, as well as dried fruits. They believe that the raw foods provide energy-charged nutrients that are killed during cooking, mainly enzymes that not only fuel the body but can provide other astounding health benefits. The diet also focuses on foods that that are digested in a shorter time and “exit” the body quickly compared to meat-based meals. According to the experts, this doubles the body’s energy and lessens stress on the digestive system. There are several camps among raw foodists – some will consume raw fish and unpasteurized diary, while others believe in a vegan raw diet only.

Why People Eat Raw

Naturally, one of the benefits of a vegetable-rich, high-fiber raw diet is weight loss. Raw foodists claim to have increased energy, better skin, healthier teeth, more restful sleep, excellent digestion, and avoid the post-lunch afternoon crash. Raw might be the way to go for adults who want to lose weight and improve cardiovascular health, but nutritionists say that a raw diet can be low in nutrients that we need, including protein, vitamin B12, calcium, and iron.

Common Myths about the Raw Diet

The raw diet doesn’t fill you up – Switching over to a raw diet might take some getting used to, but many raw foodists say they feel full and satiated after a meal. I enjoy eating a raw lunch consisting of salad, fresh homemade dressing, nuts, and sprout that keeps me full until dinner time.

You have to eat only raw to get the benefits of the raw diet – Adding raw vegetables to your existing diet can add lots of fiber and substantially lower your daily calorie intake. I snack on raw veggies, enjoy a green salad with fresh lemon juice or home made dressing, or drink a fruit smoothie almost every day. Add one raw snack or side dish to start getting the benefits of vegetables and fruit right away.

Preparing raw meals is difficult – Fixing a raw snack or main course is a cinch. You might already have a few raw favorites in your meal planning repertoire and not even know it! Serve guacamole with raw veggie sticks or crisp endive leaves and you’ve got your first raw course. See the related recipes below to get more recipes ideas!

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