Even though the raw food (also known as “raw foodism” or “rawism”) diet is not new, it is gaining a great deal of popularity. Followers of the diet believe strongly in the claims that eating in this manner will lead to the best possible health. All of the recent attention may have you wondering: what is the raw food diet?
People who practice this type of diet are known as “raw foodists”. From having great skin, a lean body, and more energy to having better overall health with a lower risk of developing diseases, the claims of this diet are many. The diet must be followed to the letter in order to get those kind of benefits. Consuming food in its most natural form, unprocessed and uncooked, is the best way to follow the diet. You must be fully committed and have plenty of time to devote to this diet. Many hours a day are spent preparing food by chopping, blending, peeling, and dehyrdating.
The main component of the diet, usually about seventy-five percent, is made up of vegetables and fruits. Nuts, grains, seaweed, beans, and sprouts make up the remainder of the diet. While some cheeses made from raw milk or raw eggs are allowed on the diet, most animal products are not. Foods such as refined sugar, all forms of refined products, caffeine, and alcohol are not allowed.
Traditional cooking methods are not allowed on the raw food diet. The main “cooking device” used is a food dehydrator, not a stove or oven. Food dehydrators heat gently and use low amounts of heat, no more than 115 to 118 degrees, to dry the food. Raw foodists believe enzymes and vitamins necessary for digestion are destroyed when food is heated above 118 degrees.
Much more research is needed to support the claims of the raw food diet, however an early study concluded that consuming cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale on a regular basis may reduce the risk of developing cancer. These vegetables contain isothicyanates, which have been shown to modify protein in cancer cells. Isothicyanates are reduced through the cooking process, thus reducing the health properties. A second completed study regarding the raw food diet found that regular consumption of raw vegetables may in fact lower the risk of esophageal, laryngeal, oral, pharyngeal, and gastric cancers. Further studies have shown that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, as well as those that are vegan or vegetarian may lower cholesterol levels, and regulate blood glucose levels.
Be careful though, you should always contact your physician before starting this or any type of diet. You need to make sure all of your health needs are met, and the diet is safe. The raw food diet is not suitable for children or infants as it does not provide enough nutrition for development and growth.
If you don’t fancy a raw food diet then you might want to consider the Diet Solution Program instead.