Celebrities such as Woody Harrelson, Demi Moore, Jason Mraz and Alicia Silverstone have embraced the raw foods diet in some form. A raw foods diet requires consuming uncooked and unprocessed plant foods and avoiding unhealthful and artificial ingredients. Individuals often choose to follow a raw foods diet to lose weight, increase energy, detoxify the body, prevent illness and improve overall health. The raw food diet goes along with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations by promoting the consumption of more fruits and vegetables and fewer saturated fat foods and processed foods high in sugar 4.
A typical raw food diet includes raw fruit, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds, seaweed and sprouted grains.include:
- A typical raw food diet includes raw fruit
- sprouted grains
While many meals remain simple such as a smoothie or salad, the tastes of most traditional food recipes can be made raw. 1"
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When you preserve the enzymes in raw foods, it becomes more easily digestible, according to Alissa Cohen in her book "Living on Live Food." When you eat a food that your body can easily digest, you expend less energy in the digestion process 1. Cooking also destroys a large percent of the nutrients in most foods. Raw plant foods are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In addition to taking in a high level of nutrients, the raw food diet also promotes weight-loss. Most plant foods are low in calories, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, all nutritional values that contribute to weight gain and health problems. Raw foodists also tout the importance of consuming alkaline foods. Most raw plant foods are alkaline-forming while processed foods and animal products are often acid-forming, creating an unhealthy pH in the human body, according to health author Robert O. Young.
- When you preserve the enzymes in raw foods, it becomes more easily digestible, according to Alissa Cohen in her book "Living on Live Food."
- Most raw plant foods are alkaline-forming while processed foods and animal products are often acid-forming, creating an unhealthy pH in the human body, according to health author Robert O.
Many people who read about the raw food diet believe that raw foodists must eat salads all day and fresh fruit. While some raw foodists do primarily eat salad and fruit, it is their choice. Others who follow a raw food lifestyle eat raw cacao chocolate cake, raw banana-cashew "ice cream" and dehydrated, raw pizza. Another common misconception is that the raw food diet is another fad diet that joins the likes of the Atkins diet and the grapefruit diet. While some choose to follow the raw food lifestyle to lose weight, many individuals consume a high percentage of raw foods for a variety of other reasons. They do not view it as a short-term diet, but a life-long eating choice.
- Many people who read about the raw food diet believe that raw foodists must eat salads all day and fresh fruit.
80/10/10 Raw Food Diet
If you are thinking about consuming only raw foods, research vitamin B-12 in the raw food diet. Opinions vary concerning vegan intake of B-12. While some raw foodists believe the human body synthesizes B-12 itself in the intestines, others choose to take a B-12 supplement or consume foods fortified with B-12. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend individuals on any diet consume a variety of food in order to take in all the essential nutrients 4.
- If you are thinking about consuming only raw foods, research vitamin B-12 in the raw food diet.
- While some raw foodists believe the human body synthesizes B-12 itself in the intestines, others choose to take a B-12 supplement or consume foods fortified with B-12.
Dr. Brian Clement from the Hippocrates Health Institute agrees that a diet high in raw fruits and vegetables is better than the standard American diet. However, other doctors do not believe an all-raw diet is necessary. If you choose to try the raw food diet, they stress the importance of thorough research into essential nutrient intake on the diet.
- Dr. Brian Clement from the Hippocrates Health Institute agrees that a diet high in raw fruits and vegetables is better than the standard American diet.
- However, other doctors do not believe an all-raw diet is necessary.
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- "Living on Live Food"; Alissa Cohen; 2005
- Yoga Journal: The Joy of Not Cooking
- Beyond Veg.com: Transcending Magical Thinking About the Properties of Raw Food
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Part B, Section 2: The Total Diet
- "Enzyme Nutrition"; Edward Howell
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevent Food Poisoning.
- National Eating Disorders Association. Orthorexia.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition.
- Ricker MA, Haas WC. Anti-Inflammatory Diet in Clinical Practice: A Review. Nutr Clin Pract. 2017;32(3):318-325. doi:10.1177/0884533617700353
- Koebnick C, Strassner C, Hoffmann I, Leitzmann C. Consequences of a long-term raw food diet on body weight and menstruation: results of a questionnaire survey. Ann Nutr Metab. 1999;43(2):69-79. doi:10.1159/000012770
- Woo KS, Kwok TC, Celermajer DS. Vegan diet, subnormal vitamin B-12 status and cardiovascular health. Nutrients. 2014;6(8):3259–3273. Published 2014 Aug 19. doi:10.3390/nu6083259
Katie Vann has shared her passion for fitness and nutrition by writing professionally since 2006. She is a certified personal trainer and holistic health enthusiast. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Wisconsin.