Before beginning any type of new diet, it is essential to understand how they work and what the benefits are to following it. If you’ve researched the different diets out there, you have likely come across the raw food diet. At the Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center, we’ve put together some information on this diet to help you understand the pros and cons before changing your diet.
This diet involves eating mostly raw fruits, grains, and vegetables. The idea behind this diet is that heating your food causes you to lose out the digestion-boosting, disease-fighting nutrients and enzymes because the heat from cooking kills these essential nutrients and other beneficial factors.
Some supporters of the raw food diet also think that cooking food can lead to making the food toxic to eat. Many of them say that by eating a raw diet, you can clear up allergies and headaches, improve conditions like diabetes and arthritis, and even improve your memory and immunity.
When you choose to follow the raw foods diet, you can expect to eat mostly unprocessed, uncooked, mainly organic foods. This includes:
Other foods may include raw eggs, meat, and fish as well as unpasteurized dairy products. For this diet, food should be eaten cold or a little bit warm, not to exceed 188 degrees. Foods can be prepared with food processors, blenders, and dehydrators. Packaged food and meals are prohibited, and exercise is not required with this diet.
With this diet, it may be tricky to eat out, and if you choose to utilize more organic foods, you may need to grocery shop at specialty stores which will have a more extensive selection compared to your local grocer. This can put a burden on your budget with the extra expense of organic food and appliance such a food processor.
Also, keep in mind that food preparation for this diet can be time-consuming such as learning how to blend and dehydrate food or sprouting seed and germinating nuts.
Some foods that are uncooked or unpasteurized can carry food-borne illness, so it is crucial that you wash your hands thoroughly when handling raw food items such as green onions, raspberries, lettuces, and unpasteurized juices.
Because of the risk of poisoning, this diet should be avoided by young children, seniors, pregnant women and those with weak immune systems or conditions such as kidney disease.
The short answer is yes. Most of the foods you are eating on this diet are low in fat, sodium, and calories and are also high in fiber. Studies have shown people on the raw diet lost a significant amount of weight. This diet also provides a variety of nutritional benefits with food high in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and phytochemicals that help fight disease.
Like with any diet there are some cons to following the raw food diet. The raw food diet can be difficult for most people to follow. Because of the foods involved and restricted, you won’t receive adequate nutrients such as iron, calcium, protein, and more.
Another drawback is some foods may be challenging to digest when eaten uncooked. Contrary to the theory behind the raw food diet, there is no science-backed evidence that a raw food diet can prevent disease. Also, keep in mind that cooking some foods makes it easier for our bodies to digest, kills bacteria, and can boost nutrients like lycopene, but it does not make it toxic.
It is best to consult with your doctor and our nutrition experts at our Washington fitness center before starting a new diet.
With a state-of-the-art fitness center in Washington, you can add exercise to your wellness plan with our training classes as well as group classes. In addition to our fitness classes, we also offer nutritional guidance and support programs conducted by our register dieticians to help you get the best results!
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you reach your wellness goals!