Definition of the Raw Food Diet
This dietary trend involves the consumption of purely raw food on the premise that cooking actually eliminates most of the important nutrients in the food.
Originally developed in the 1800s, the raw food diet is now gaining more and more popularity in the mainstream society. This food trend is also called raw foodism and comprises of only raw pure foods that can include a purely plant-based diet.
Why is the Raw Diet Popular?
The popularity of the raw diet is based on how nutritious the raw diet practitioners view their diet. According to enthusiasts of this food trend, the lack of cooking or processing of foods protect the natural enzymes and nutrients that are beneficial to health.
With more people becoming conscious of the impact of what we consume in terms of weight, health, happiness and even fertility, the diet is becoming more common.
Furthermore, the concerns about the effect of genetically modified foods and processed products have also increased the popularity of this diet scheme.
While some consider it a fad or a passing trend, it cannot be discounted as a viable diet lifestyle given its long history among the eating public. The lifestyle is popular mostly due to the health benefits that raw food fans.
Nutritional Facts about Raw Food
To understand the nutritional value of raw food, then it is a good idea to identify the foods that are recommended for a raw diet as well as the foods that one should avoid.
Foods that are acceptable in this diet include vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits and grains. You can also consume fish, meat and dairy if you want to with the only condition being that these food products remain uncooked and unprocessed.
All foods consumed in the raw diet must be in their purest form so that growth enhancers such as pesticides and fertilizers can disqualify a certain food from this diet.
The food must not have been tampered with or affected by the inclusion of chemicals or synthetic additives.
Foods to avoid
This means that some of the foods to avoid in a raw diet include baked goods, ketchup, mustard, trans fats, canola oil, chips, and even alcohol.
Raw food dieters can also enjoy meat and fish as long as it is kept uncooked where recipes for meals such as tartare and sushi are popular if they do not include any cooked elements.
They can even eat raw eggs if they really want to adhere to the basic tenets of the diet trend.
In terms of nutritional value, cooking can destroy important antioxidants, enzymes and even affect the levels of vitamins and protein in certain foods.
The nutritional value of different ingredients is considered to be much higher in these raw foods than is expected.
How to Prepare a Raw Food Diet
There are many ways of preparing food that do not include the cooking of different ingredients.
Raw food can be described as foods that have never been subjected to temperatures above 48 degrees Celsius.
The popular preparation modes for the raw food diet can include juicing, curing, soaking, blending or even fermenting.
These are the most common methods of consuming the largely plant based diet which includes vegetables and fruits that can be manipulated in these ways.
Differences between Vegetarian, Vegan and Raw Diet
While the raw food diet is also called ‘raw veganism’, there are clear differences between the terms vegetarian, vegan and raw diet.
Vegetarians are individuals who only consume plant-based products with the option of consuming dairy products and eggs.
Vegans are persons who avoid all animal sourced ingredients and foods.
The primary difference between vegetarian, vegan and the raw diet is that there are no restrictions in the raw diet that prevent individuals from consuming meat products. For both vegan and vegetarian, consuming meat whether cooked or uncooked is completely out of the question. On the other hand, the raw diet has no such limitations with the only concern being the mode preparation of these food products.
Positive Effects of Raw Food
There is a myriad of positive effects of raw food in an individual’s health. By following a raw diet that mostly consists of plant-based material, then individuals are likely to be much healthier due to the high fiber and low calorie/ cholesterol levels of meals. The most obvious benefit is weight loss and weight management.
Medical evidence shows that raw food diets help in improving digestion as well as being great energy sources. Some diseases are also prevented or managed with this diet including heart diseases, cancers and even liver functions.
These positive effects on the health of an individual are great motivators for anyone intending to adopt this dietary lifestyle.
There are cosmetic benefits due to the diet such as clear skin, taking care of hormonal imbalances as well as less nutritional deficiency.
Clearly, these positive effects of the raw food diet influence the health and well-being of the practitioner.
The diet can also impact individuals facing high blood pressure and Parkinson’s disease to limit the symptoms of their conditions. The long list of health benefits is obvious and well documented.
Summary of Raw Food Diet
It is evident that the raw food diet will only continue to become more popular in the society. The diet is minimally labor intensive, has numerous health benefits and is simple to adhere to. Raw food could be the future to a much healthier future for us all.