The Pros and Cons of Raw Foodism

The Pros and Cons of Raw Foodism

Nature truly does provide us with the nutrients our body requires to thrive. In your effort to return to a holistic lifestyle, you may be considering a raw food diet. With the average grocery store selling predominantly processed foods, even those who eat 3 full meals a day may be nutrient-deprived. Here are a few things you should know before you get started.

What Is Raw Foodism?

Raw food diets are often confused with vegan diets, but the two are drastically different. Raw food diets only allow for unprocessed foods that have not been cooked beyond 120 degrees. The goal of the low heat setting is to retain more of the food’s naturally occurring nutrients—which are greatly reduced when cooked at high temperatures.

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There Are Two Types of Raw Food Diets

Most who go “raw” eat a fully vegan diet, but some raw diets include a low percentage of meat, dairy, fish, and eggs. Maintaining a diet with a low-percentage of animal protein provides a more diverse range of nutrients for those whose bodies respond best to animal protein.

If you’re wondering how you can start a raw food diet, the video below gives you top 10 tips on how to get started.

The Benefits of Raw Foodism

Going raw isn’t as bland or limiting as it sounds, and goes well beyond eating raw vegetables. You can still enjoy appetizers, snacks, chips, soups, desserts, and protein-rich main courses. You can even eat grains; you just have to learn how to sprout them first. After a week of your new diet, you will begin to see and feel the benefits—such as:

  • Improved digestion
  • Decreased inflammation and swelling
  • Increased energy
  • Clearer skin
  • Improved heart, liver, and organ function
  • Return to a healthy and natural weight
  • And more!

The Downside of Going Raw

Making the transition to a raw food diet will require you to make a fairly substantial upfront investment. This might include a juicer, blender, food processor, or food dehydrator. You will also need to restock your kitchen with raw condiments, cooking oils, herbs, and spices that will bring out the full flavor or your raw recipes. Once you get the hang of cooking, you won’t realize that what you are eating is “raw.” If you go fully vegan, you might miss some of your favorite meat and dairy products.

Conclusion

Variety really is the spice of life, and any consistent healthy change you make to your diet will pay off in a positive way. Anyone who wishes to try raw foodism should do so gradually and opt for 50-70% raw food instead of going 100% raw. That way you can still enjoy your favorite cooked foods, animal products—and even the occasional processed comfort food.

Princila

Princila earned a Doctor of Medicine degree in 2006 and worked as a general practitioner for nearly two years before moving to Saudi Arabia. Her passion for writing took its toll, and she ended up switching careers to work in the medical publishing industry. She also has a passion for healthy food, which prompted her to take several online courses in nutrition and health offered by Wageningen University. Are you into research? You can connect with Princila on ResearchGate or LinkedIn. Visit our About page for details.

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15 Responses

  1. Valneta says:

    Thank you for the info. I tried incorporating raw in my diet ant i did lose weight. I got tired of it and missed the feeling of warm food in my belly. However, I will consider you advice to go50/70% raw.
    Thamy will allow me to make a small change without losing out on the warmth that i crave in my meals. I am in the process of losing weight. i think this may accelerate my weight loss.

  2. Becka says:

    I enjoyed what you had to say and was amazed at how close a comparison there is to Nutritarianism and Raw Foodism. But not exactly the same. I could have used a little more information on exactly how this type of diet effects overall health. And what kinds of “effects” can someone expects to experience, while making a change to eating this way? Depending on what they are changing from of course.

  3. Vinnie Prasad says:

    Raw food diets don’t seem so confronting as i previously thought. After reading your article made me think if i should give a raw food diet a try before blowing it off completely.

    I can see how the up front cost to starting a raw food diet can hurt the wallet but i liked how you concluded the article by saying we can opt for a 50 to 70% raw food instead of going the whole 100%.

    On a raw food diet how much food can i eat as most vegetables are very low in calories?

    • Princila says:

      Hi Vinnie and thanks for visiting. Actually, it’s not about how much food you should eat but about what your body needs. As you probably already know, men need approximately 2,500Kcal per day. If you don’t eat enough, your body is certainly going to feel it and you’ll experience the typical symptoms of hypoglycemia, such as dizziness, lethargy, etc. There is evidence that people who eat several times daily and stay within the required calorie range (for their age and gender) are able to maintain their weight. It’s totally OK to eat up to 5 times daily so long as you eat a healthy meal and stay within the required calorie range. I hope this helps.

  4. rebecca cosmidou says:

    Hi, Princila!
    I really didn’t know that there is a discrimination between raw food diet and vegan diet! I am trying to eat as much row food as possible! I eat many salads and fruits and sometimes raw vegetables, as carrots and cucumbers! But i am not sure that it would be easy for me to follow such diet for 70% since i am in cancer treatment at the moment and i am always hungry! Are there any recipes that you could suggest me to try or do you know where i could look for some answers about?
    Best wishes,
    Rebecca!

    • Princila says:

      Hi Rebecca and thanks for visiting. In general, I wouldn’t advise a cancer patient to follow this diet. A balanced and healthy diet is essential and in the days that I used to practice medicine, I usually recommended recipes proposed by the American Cancer Society. I think they still have the ‘Stay healthy’ tab on their website, if I’m right. Take care of yourself. I know it can be very tough (this is even an understatement) when you have cancer and are on treatment.

  5. rebecca cosmidou says:

    Hi, Princila!
    I really didn’t know that there is a discrimination between raw food diet and vegan diet! I am trying to eat as much row food as possible! I eat many salads and fruits and sometimes raw vegetables, as carrots and cucumbers! But i am not sure that it would be easy for me to follow such diet for 70% since i am in cancer treatment at the moment and i am always hungry! Are there any recipes that you could suggest me to try or do you know where i could look for some answers about?
    Best wishes,
    Rebecca!

  6. Jackie says:

    I know people who have tried a raw food diet. Some thrive others don’t. Here’s the reason. Everyone has a different constitution. People with a lot of heat or fire in their constitution seem to do much better taking a raw diet. However, those that lack internal heat will have a difficult time digesting it. Also, summer season is a better time of year to take a raw food diet (because the natural warmth of sun actually helps us digest better). I would not recommend taking a raw diet in the winter if one inherently lacks heat in their constitution.

  7. Simon says:

    Great post.

    I knew that raw food is healthy, but I didn’t know it has anti-inflammatory properties. I enjoy fresh salads regularly, with some raw, sliced meat. Unfortunately those French steaks, that come either blue or whatever they call them are not my cup of tea.

    What about smoked meat btw? It’s not cooked beyond 120 degrees.

    • Princila says:

      Hi Simon,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. 

      Actually, there two types of smoking: cold and hot. In cold smoking, a temperature of 90 degrees or less is used over a long time. In hot smoking, meat is smoked at temperatures of up to 225 degrees.

      Contrary to cold smoking, meat cooked by hot smoking is fully cooked to the temperature recommended by the USFDA.

  8. Sylvain says:

    Thanks for your great post. I’ve heard about Raw food for a diet and i knew it was actually good to loose some weight. Very interesting. Have you tried fresh raw vegetable for breakfast, i heard it was also good ?

    Sylvain

    • Princila says:

      Hi Sylvain,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

      For someone who has tried several diets, yes, I have tried raw vegetables for breakfast. Although vegetables are healthy, I couldn’t eat vegetables consistently for a month, preferring instead to have a typical healthy Western breakfast, including avocado toast, omelettes, baked eggs, and green tea.

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