Raw Food Diets

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

raw-food-dietsRaw Food Diets describe a number of diet plans based on eating 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.

What Exactly is 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.

As the name implies, none of the food is cooked. It can be warmed but not at high temperatures as to destroy vital nutrients. (Although this is debatable.)

The goal is to eat foods closest to their “living state” as possible.

Some people add cooked grains and legumes, good quality fish and poultry (although a number “raw food-ers” are strict vegans).

Raw Food for Weight Loss

Weight loss is almost a certainty on this diet, due to its vast differences to the conventional Western diet. Calorie and carbohydrate intake are reduced leading to weight loss.

It is also 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 nutritionally good diet, but potentially difficult to sustain. Proponents of the diet claim the raw food diet diet has anti-aging properties.

Popular 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.
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.

Going Raw Tips

If you decide to begin a raw food diet, we recommend following one of the plans mentioned above or take time doing a lot of research on the internet.

There are many great recipes available, which mimic many cooked dishes you may be accustomed to. This will help during the difficult transitional period.

Also you may want to transition into the raw food diet by starting out 50% raw and 50% cooked. This can make the whole process way less overwhelming and increase your chances for success.

    References:

  • Koebnick, C., Garcia, A. L., Dagnelie, P. C., Strassner, C., Lindemans, J., Katz, N., … & Hoffmann, I. (2005). Long-term consumption of a raw food diet is associated with favorable serum LDL cholesterol and triglycerides but also with elevated plasma homocysteine and low serum HDL cholesterol in humans. The Journal of nutrition, 135(10), 2372-2378. link
  • Garcia, A. L., Koebnick, C., Dagnelie, P. C., Strassner, C., Elmadfa, I., Katz, N., … & Hoffmann, I. (2008). Long-term strict raw food diet is associated with favourable plasma β-carotene and low plasma lycopene concentrations in Germans. British journal of nutrition, 99(06), 1293-1300. link
  • Murphy, E. W., Criner, P. E., & Gray, B. C. (1975). Comparisons of methods for calculating retentions of nutrients in cooked foods. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 23(6), 1153-1157. link
 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: December 24, 2014. Disclaimer
Free Newsletter

Don't miss out on the latest diets!

Join now - it's free.