Raw Food Diet and Weight Loss

It is believed that if food is heated to over 116 deg. F enzymes which assist in digestion and absorption of the food are destroyed. Raw food diet is based on the use of uncooked and unprocessed plant food such as fresh vegetables, fruits, seed, sprouts, grains, nuts, dried fruits, etc.

To derive the full benefit of raw food diet our diet must comprise at least 75 % of the raw and living components.

Raw food is low on saturated fats and components of hydrogenated oils as compared to the conventional diet. It has low sodium content and is richer in magnesium, folate and potassium. It has higher fiber content and it contains phytochemicals which are health promoting plant chemicals.

Raw food diet has less fat, less calories.Raw food has many benefits. It improves digestion and improves skin appearance. It gives increased energy and it reduces risk of heart diseases, diabetes and cancer. It can lead to healthy weight loss.

What can you eat in Raw Food Diet

Use organic and unprocessed items such as fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, seeds, fruits. Grains, nuts, legumes, dried fruits, seaweed are permitted. Purified water and young cocoanut milk are also permitted.

What cooking techniques can be used

Food should not be heated to 116 deg. F; such high temperature heating destroys the enzymes and the beneficial properties of raw food. Sprouting of beans, seeds and grains make them easier on digestion at the same time providing their flavor and variety. Similarly you can soak nuts and dried fruits. Juicing of fruits and vegetables as well as blending with other items will add variety to diet. You can use dehydrated food also.

Precautions

Raw food diet is basically very healthy but some people who have been previously used to diets rich in meat, caffeine or sugar may have mild but harmless reactions when they start on raw food diet. They may experience nausea, headaches or cravings for a few days. Raw food diet is not suitable for pregnant or nursing women or children. It is not suitable for anemic persons and persons suffering from osteoporosis.

Raw food diet may be found to be deficient in proteins, calories, vitamins B12. It may be deficient in certain minerals such as calcium and iron. You may consult your physician for suitable supplements.

Criticism of Raw Food Diet

Apart fro nutritional deficiencies of raw food diet, critics are against the basic premise about the foot being unsuitable if heated to over 116 deg F because of destruction of enzymes. Critics argue our bodies do use their own enzymes and are not dependent on enzymes from the raw food.

It is also argued that raw food diet may not be suitable for people in colder climate.

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