Raw Food Diets

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

raw-food-dietsThere are a number of diet plans based on Raw Foods. Generally these diets are plant-based, and are comprised of at least 75% raw food. Apparently raw foods contain the enzymes that are thought to be removed during the cooking process.

Raw Food




A Raw Food diet is generally made up fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted seeds and grains, dried fruit and juices, rolled or flaked grains, herbs and spices. Some people add cooked grains and legumes, good quality fish and poultry (although a number “raw food-ers” are strict vegans).

Raw Food Benefits and Recipes

List of Raw Food Based Diets

12 Steps to Raw FoodsHelps readers to avoid the pitfalls of adjusting to a raw food diet as well as to maintain this way of eating as a long-term lifestyle.
28 Day Raw DetoxA cleansing program that is based on a raw vegan diet in combination with a variety of whole food nutritional supplements. It will appeal to anyone who wants to learn more about the raw food diet or get a kick-start on a healthy lifestyle weight loss program.
300 Raw Food RecipesRaw Food For Everyone is a recipe book containing a bountiful selection of recipes, a primer of raw food preparation methods, and a comprehensive guide to the ingredients that are used in raw food cuisine.
80 10 10 DietA raw food version of a low fat plant based diet, similar to that popularized by Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Doug McDougall.
Ani Phyo Raw Food AsiaA raw food cookbook offering readers a unique and tasty selection of Asian American Fusion recipes.
Beyond Broccoli: Vegan Raw Diet DeficienciesHighlights the potential problems with vegan and vegetarian diets, including the nutritional deficiencies that may arise when these diets are followed for an extensive period.
Crazy Sexy DietA low-fat, vegetarian – or better yet, vegan – program that emphasizes balancing your body’s pH by eating more lush whole foods, low-glycemic fruits, raw veggies, alkalizing green drinks, and super-powered green smoothies.
Drie’s Cancer DietA raw diet that is designed to help your body fight cancer.
Eating For BeautyRaw food advocate David Wolfe outlines his recommendations for a diet that will cleanse and nourish the body as well as increase beauty.
Eating In the RawWritten by supermodel Carol Alt who says that now in her late forties she claims that she is at the healthiest, slimmest and most energetic that she has ever been due to a raw food diet.
Fruitarian DietFruitarianism: The path to paradise is written by Anne Osborne who is a long term fruitarian. For eighteen years Obsorne has eaten only fruit and has also raised her two children on a fruit diet.
Gabriel MethodNot a strictly Raw Food Diet but has a strong raw food emphasis.
Going RawA practical guide to getting started eating raw and setting up a raw food kitchen.
Green Smoothie Recipes200 recipes and guidelines for making delicious raw green smoothies.
Hallelujah DietThe diet is fundamentally a vegan raw food diet. The basic guidelines of the diet are simple: consume 85% raw foods and 15% cooked foods.
Juice Lady: Turbo Juice DietA weight loss plan that emphasizes fresh vegetable juices and raw foods. This juice diet will appeal to dieters who are interested in improving their health and nutritional intake
Instinctive NutritionBased on eating raw foods that instinctively appeal to us. It can renew health and vitality, alleviate chronic illness and promote weight loss.
Lazy Raw Foodist’s GuideProvides readers with information to help them incorporate a nutritionally balanced raw food diet into a busy lifestyle. It also includes food selection, cleansing and detoxification, kitchen equipment and psychological factors associated with eating raw foods.
Live Food FactorReferred to as the encyclopedia of the raw food diet, outlines the theory and practice of eating a diet based on uncooked foods and highlights the variety of benefits.
Liver Cleansing DietThis liver detox diet is raw foods based.
Metabolism DietMostly raw or slightly cooked approach based on your metabolism type.
Mucusless DietFocuses on healing the body using only vegatables. Which can be consumed raw.
NeanderthinA Paleolithic diet based on what a caveman would eat which was basically raw food based.
Quantum EatingAn advanced level in the raw food lifestyle where you eat a 100% raw food diet with two meals a day that are taken in the first part of the day.
Raw Food CleanseAn introduction to the benefits of a raw food diet and includes a selection of cleanses ranging from 3 to 28 days.
Raw Food Detox DietWritten by nutritionist Natalia Rose as a guide to help those who wish to gradually transition into a raw food diet.
Raw Food For Real PeopleBy Chef Rod Rotundi, aims to demonstrate that preparing raw foods doesn’t have to be hard and a raw food diet can be a fun and delicious way to eat.
Raw Food RevolutionThis diet will help you to lose weight, gain energy and feel younger while feasting on foods that nourish your body and delight your senses.
The RemedySupa Nova introduces readers to the benefits of a healthy diet with an emphasis on a high intake of raw foods and green juices. It includes a five-day cleanse and a five-week program that allows for a gradual adjustment from a standard way of eating to a raw vegan diet.
Sunfood DietA raw vegan diet that contains a balanced intake of green vegetables, sweet fruits and plant-based fats. These foods make up 80% of the diet with the remaining 20% coming from other raw foods or any other foods that one feels is appropriate for them.
Your Natural DietSince the natural diet of human beings was composed of raw fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts and as such they advocate a diet composed entirely of raw plant foods.

Raw Food for Weight Loss

Weight loss is almost a certainty on this diet, due to it’s vast differences to the conventional Western diet. Calorie and carbohydrate intake are reduced leading to weight loss. It is hard to overeat on a diet due to the high water and fiber content – another reason why weight loss may occur.

This diet can be very challenging to follow, particularly from a social and shopping perspective. However cooking time can be reduced!

Protein can be low unless appropriate levels of legumes, nuts, and seeds are eaten.

Generally a good diet, but potentially difficult to sustain. Proponents of the diet claim the diet has anti-aging properties.

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Emma

    I’m confused. Everyone is saying to blend food but if it’s a truly raw diet you would not be able to do this. Also people are taking about the sugar content – so no bananas, strawberries etc are allowed. This leaves raw vegetables only and nuts if you physically get them yourself because if you buy them who’s to say someone hasn’t modified them?

    • http://www.everydiet.org ted

      You are allowed to blend raw foods, you just can’t cook anything. Blending doesn’t alter the chemistry of the food.

  • charlotte

    anyone have a recipe or two that you don’t mind sharing?

  • Hunter

    I want to be healthier. I am fourteen and 287 lbs. I want to lose 100 lbs. Does this diet work? and is it difficult?

    • mariay

      Hunter, this diet is challenging, but once you’ve been on it for a while, and the more greens you consume, you will find your cravings for the unhealthier foods start to go away. Try starting your day with a green smoothie (blend spinach or other greens with berries, fruit and a banana) and work your way up to other raw meals. You will see the benefits!! I add hemp seeds and sesame seeds to my smoothies to get more protein and calcium.

    • Kelli

      Hunter, adopting a raw food lifestyle rich in fresh vegetables, fruits/berries, sprouted nuts, and sprouted seeds is conducive to weight loss. Check out Angela Stokes-Monarch, who lost 160 lbs. and overcame food addiction (www.rawreform.com). Be sure to read about nutrition. Dr. Gabriel Cousens’ “Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine” is a good book. “The Sunfood Diet Success System” is regarded by many as the raw food bible. There are a lot of books and experts out there, many with different views. Yuri Elkaim has a lot of information on YouTube and a program called “Eating for Energy:”
      The single best investment I made was buying a Vitamix 5200 high-speed blender. Blendtec also makes a similar blender. These high-speed blenders allow you to make smoothies out of the most nutritious foods such as leafy greens, vegetables, berries, hemp seeds, etc. There are lots of blogs and sites about green smoothies. Google is a great place to start. Juicing is important for healing, but the blender is a good place to start. Costco has demos on the two blenders and the best deal can be found during these demos. Vitamix does sell refurbished models for less. I’ve recently lost about 20 lbs. by being more diligent in my high raw eating. It’s tough for a lot of people to go 100% raw at first. It may be an easier transition eliminating the most toxic foods like refined sugar, soda, any pre-packaged/processed food, fast food, dairy, wheat/flour, cured/processed meats, etc. Start adding fresh vegetables and fruits to your diet. YouTube and Google are good resources on how to go about the raw food lifestyle. If you are not ready to go hard-core into raw, maybe try being a vegan for a while, but make sure you eat whole foods and not processed food. There are a lot of junk food vegans out there living on bread and other refined foods. “The Engine 2 Diet” may be an easier transition than going raw suddenly.

  • Lisa

    I’ve been on a raw vegan diet now for 6 weeks and have lost 18 pounds. Grace, you don’t eat meat on a raw diet; the best way to look at it is like this: if you can eat the food raw, you can have it on the raw diet. The biggest difference between vegan and raw is that raw food is never served above approx. 118 degrees Farenheit, because heating the food above that kills off healthy enzymes within the food. Nuts and seeds can be soaked to make them easier to include in recipes. Our local raw food cafe serves an amazing raw cashew and coconut “cheese” cake. Simply divine. I’ve never felt better in my life, this is definitely my path forward.

  • grace

    couldn’t this diet be extremely unhealthy? i don’t know much about raw meat but i do know, if you eat it, it can make you very sick! for all the people looking for a diet, i would go for something a little healthier! i’m not even going to try it because it probably tastes gross and also isn’t good for you at all.

    • Mia

      You’ve got something wrong here. Eating raw means that you can eat raw anything that can be eaten that way. So meat is out of the question cause you can’t eat it raw. Raw means not heated over certain degrees. It means unpacked, unprocessed, unheated like an apple, a banana, raw almonds, sesame… Natures ingredients provide us with everything we need, nothing more nothing less. Raw eaters experience every good change you can imagine, from high energy to white glowing eyes, from a healthy skin to the solution to health problems. I urge you to searching for the truth about nutrition, starting with milk and meat. Then you’ll discover that not only they don’t give us the nutrients the industries are swaring, but they take life from us. The same goes with cooked food. Please search for it, when I started fixing my diet and then tried to taste (or smell) meat, sugar and other stuff again, only then did I realize how bad I treated my body all those years!

  • Alice

    I have found that the more healthy foods I add into my diet while reducing the intake of unhealthy choices, the less I desire the unhealthy choices. I allow myself to crave something, I buy it and eat it, but will notice that it becomes less “yummy” each time. Cooked food now tastes bland, like I’m trying to eat seasoned styrofoam (we’re broke, so the horrid feeling of having paid good money for seasoned styrofoam helps too). Sugar has an aftertaste of which I was previously unaware and I was ever so happy to start being irritated by it.

    I do many “transition foods” where the point is to eat the raw and good for me item, although there may be too much fruit or cane sugar involvement for it to be really on my ideal diet (low-glycemic raw like in the diabetes reversal documentary which has also been shown to reverse fibrocystic ovaries, so who knows what else it could reverse, I wouldn’t mind never getting sick again, that would be just fine).

    So one bunch of raw kale, one internet search for kale salad recipes to help me create one homemade jar of strawberry balsamic vinaigrette, and one hour later I’m on track with an incredibly tasty salad that makes me go back to the store for more kale!

  • Erika

    @Raven Lavender

    Please give me an example of a daily menu for you. I’m having a hard time feeling full after most raw meals…

    • mariah

      Raven, I tend to not eat three “meals” a day but rather smaller amounts whenever I am hungry. Try listening to your body and when it tells you you’re hungry, eat until you know its time to stop. This has worked so well for me!

  • Nancy Jo welch

    How can I maintain my weight (not lose) by eating raw on 2 meals a day? I am 68 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, and weigh 122 pounds.

    • anonymous

      you need to eat at least 3000 calories oer day.

  • Anon

    This was a very informative article. A raw food diet can truly help you lose weight by empowering your body with vitamins, minerals, enzyms and nutrients necessary to properly live a healthy lifestyle.

  • Raven Lavender

    @sam: the big key, as I’ve heard others mentioning this question on here, make sure you keep your fluids up, and eat plenty of fruits as well (this will really assist in keeping your blood sugar from falling) also, if you’re going completely raw, it doesn’t mean just uncooked. That also means no dressings on your salads. (Lemon mixed with a bit of vinegar is a very simple topper that gives just enough flavor to make it enjoyable rather than a task.) I grew up loving and eating mainly vegetables so I have never found any issue with this “crash diet”, but others complain of strong cravings for sugar binges. Sugar is a processed food and is not a part of the raw lifestyle!

  • sam

    I really want to give going raw a try. I’ve never done aything like this before, but I’ve been researching it for some time And I really do believe its the right direction for my life. I’m 19 ujust graduated high school Andd I have no job and really hoping for some advice that might be able to help me get started. Please?

  • Raven Lavender

    @miranda baked potatoes are not ok and neither is alcohol because for the most part it is a product that is changed in some way by implicating amounts of heat. @ehlysa if you can manage through the first couple of weeks without feeling the need to binge, and you do light to moderate exercise, it won’t take long at all. Give your body a week to adjust to the fact that it is being detoxed, before you start stepping on the scale. It takes a lot of diligence, but I was walking a mile everyday and sticking to this diet and in 2 weeks I had lost the 20lbs (3 if you count that first week I mentioned). Since you are no longer taking it a lot of calories or fat, your body will initially think it is being starved and will hoard every last calorie it can get its hands on. Once it recognizes it is being fed the same amount, just in healthier means, it will shed fast.

  • Laura-Jane the Rawtarian

    I am a raw vegan, and I find this article to actually be a pretty succinct article on raw food diets. I totally agree that it is probably the high water content and high levels of fibre that contribute to weight loss on raw food diets.

    I have personally lost quite a bit of weight on a 100% raw food diet, and I certainly did not count calories or watch my fat intake at all. I feel as healthy as ever and I know that I look so much better now, too.

    It can indeed be difficult in social situations, but it can also be a great conversation starter. :)

    All the best,
    Laura-Jane the Rawtarian

  • Laura-Jane

    I am a raw vegan, and I find this article to actually be a pretty succinct article on raw food diets. I totally agree that it is probably the high water content and high levels of fibre that contribute to weight loss on raw food diets.

    I have personally lost quite a bit of weight on a 100% raw food diet, and I certainly did not count calories or watch my fat intake at all. I feel as healthy as ever and I know that I look so much better now, too.

    It can indeed be difficult in social situations, but it can also be a great conversation starter. :)

    All the best,
    Laura-Jane

  • Chantal

    Dear Friends,

    I have two friends who have both cancer(kidney and stomach) and diabetes. PLEASE help me and give me ideas on what they can eat. Especially smoothies are hard to make without a sweet fruit. Which fruits should I use?

    God bless.

  • Natasha

    Can someone post some sample vegan meals please? I have severe IBS and need to eat more raw foods. Thanks.

  • Sandra

    Hi,
    I am 5ft, 9 inches tall, about 60 pounds overweight. I started the vegan diet last week, and I am shocked how it curbed my out of control eating binges. The problem that I am having is that my blood sugar drops too low at times. How can I keep my lood sugar level?
    Thank you for this website.
    Best regards,
    Sandra

  • Gay E.

    Two years on Raw Primal Diet is working for me!

    After years of getting very little help from Western Medicine (Western Medicine did not even openly aknowledge most of my Health problems); I spent 30+ years working with a wide variety of Diet/ Supplement/Natural Medicine approaches for an equally wide variety of Chronic Health Problems that started with a severe resistant Candida Infection at the age of 20. This persisted for 15 years before it was recognised as the cause of my Health Crashing in my early 30′s.

    Since then, after 20+ years of very concerted efforts and 100′s of Thousands of Dollars – I could no longer justify the expense.
    Three years ago, I started eating raw Juices in preparation for getting off all supplements. I found Weston A. Price Foundation and a source of Raw Milk which lead me to folks who have found the Primal Diet very helpful.

    I spent 6 months reading, informing myself and transitioning onto Primal Diet. Continued improvements kept me going. A workshop and consult with Aajonus Vonderplanitz 18 months ago gave me a Prescribed Primal Recovery Diet for my particular Health Problems.

    Over the past 2 years, maintaining 95% Primal Diet has made 10 X the difference to my health than any of the dozens of Diets/Pharmaceuticals/ Specialists/ Supplements/ Amino Acids/ TCM/ Herbs/ Homeopathics/ Acupuncture/ChiGong/PhysicalTherapy/Chiropractic/ Massage/Orthotics/ Meditation/Spiritual & Energy Work/Flower Essences etc that I have used.

    I am off 90% of the Supplements – and the severe Chronic Fatigue, Fibromayalgia, Sleep Problems, Joint Problems, Skin,Dehydration (hands/feet) and Pitting Oedema (claves), Hair, Stomach,Bowels, Adrenals, Thyroid, Liver, Gall Bladder, Heart Palpitations etc etc have shown 75% improvement.

    Yes it does take time and trouble to make the Fresh Raw Food and to take that Lunch Bag out the door with me – but the results are worth it. And we have saved enough $$$ on Supplements that we have been finally able to manage a car loan.

    One does need help to get the right combination of foods. This is a whole new ball game for most of us -and takes time to adjust till it works.

    Aajonus has been excellent. Gabrielle Cousins and David Wolfe appear to also help people make astounding recoveries and have incredible knowlege on the healing properties of all things Vegan ( though personally – I experienced the most improvement after introducing raw meat – so find their low blows to the worst forms of meat production unfair to ethically minded omnivors like myself). I have found the Raw Paleo Forum and Raw Paleo Diet Sites very helpful when I have questions on raw nutritional info and recipes.

    I eat out occasioally for social congeniality etc – but my body works so much better on raw. I was on cooked food as my health deteriorated . . . so go figure!! :-)

  • shameega

    i have a blowted stomach and would really like to get rid of it but i a coke junkie. hw do i get rid of my tummy

    • Anthony

      Get off your ass and get some exercise. Quit drinking so much coke and other sugsar richdrinks.

  • Becky

    Mary, I don’t think it would be a good idea for your body type. It sounds like you are already very petite. I had a friend try this and she was about your size. It did work but she also wasn’t getting enough nutrients and fainted a lot.Or would constantly be light-headed

  • Mary

    I am new to the raw food diet as prescribed by Natalie Rose in ‘the raw foods detox diet’.

    * I am wondering what kind of raw grains or starches are out there. I don’t want to simply eat nuts for dinner because I feel they are addictive (but important)

    *Does anyone know how this would work for a 20 yr old 5’2” 115 lbs girl. Would my body even lose anything?

    I am waiting for the results to happen but I am optimistic. Overall, the diet feels very freeing

  • ali

    Hello, I am a vegan and just yesterday I decided that I would start transitioning into the raw food diet. I have been vegetarian my whole life, and have never really been overweight but not as healthy as I would like to be. I reckon it will be hard to stick to because cooked food is everywhere! But reading all of these positive comments make me feel like its well worth it. I will definitely try this!

  • www.purefoodlife.com

    I have found that eating a raw vegan diet has helped ease the mental stress of eating disorders because you become more connected with the food you eat and your body’s functions. you also feel better about what you are eating!

  • ehylsa

    i am about to start this! wish me luck. also how long will it take to lose 20 pounds on this diet?
    thanks!

  • miranda

    was wondering if you are allowed to have any alcohol if you eat only raw foods. love my red wine also are baked potatoes ok?

  • Zoe

    I have a friend who went on raw food for 8 months- besides losing a ton of weight (he was very overweight before) I could swear his skin looks 10 yrs younger. I totally want to- but the food although it says reduces cooking time actually takes MUCH longer to prepare. u can spend 3 hrs a day making food- and if it’s going to be organic- can also cost a lot.

  • Springtime

    Out of all the diets I’ve tried, I have had better success on this diet. I have been transitioning to the raw food slowly for the past couple of months and noticed a tremendous difference in energy levels, low blood sugar, lower cholesterol, normal blood pressure, clearer skin, just to name a few. Talk to your doctor, join support groups on and offline, research which plan works for you! What works for you may not work for someone else.

  • Susan

    I have been following the Blood Type Diet (type O) for 2 months now and feel great but think the Raw Foods Diet may be the missing piece to those pesky last 10 pounds I’ve been trying to shed for 20 years.
    Any other Blood Type dieters out there with wisdom to share with one going to the Raw Foods Diet?

  • steph

    why would you put your phone number? haha i’m going to call you! no i’m joking but man raw food gives you energy!! wooooooo I think something non raw everynow and then is ok too though just so you can eat out or something like avo tacos with chips y salsa! and soy or rice milk smoothies with raw fruit you know? it takes alot of commitment to go alll raw 90% is good enough for me you will lose weight quick on this diet and feel great it just gets kinda tough if you don’t eat enough calories umm eat nuts sprout some chickpeas and make raw hummus for raw veggies and make guacamole for raw veggies vitamins are easy to get if you get a VARIETY of foods and calories can get up there when you use nut butters and oils and avocado!! if your ok with raw meat you could get plenty of nutrition and unless you have your own animals you can’t get raw dairy

  • amanda

    hi i’m 21yrs old and live in ky. i want to try this lifestyle but don’t have much support could some one be my txt buddy or something? my number is 859 652 0297 thanx!