The raw food diet is a simple way to detox your body and shed those stubborn extra kilos. By consuming only foods in their natural, uncooked state, you'll be getting more nutrients and enzymes, which can help improve your digestion and support your overall health
The raw food diet is a way of eating that involves consuming only food in its natural, uncooked state. This means eating more fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and less processed and cooked food. This diet is said to offer numerous benefits, including increased energy, improved digestion, and weight loss. But is it safe?
The raw food diet has been around since the 19th century. The idea behind this diet is that cooking food destroys the nutrients and enzymes it contains, which can lead to a range of health problems. On the other hand, by eating foods in their natural state, supporters of this diet claim the body gets more nutrients and enzymes. That helps improve digestion, boost energy levels, and enhance overall health.
There are different variations of the raw food diet, including the 80/10/10 diet, which involves eating 80% carbohydrates, 10% protein, and 10% fat. Another variation is the raw vegan diet, which involves consuming only plant-based foods in their natural, uncooked state. While the raw food diet is often associated with veganism, some people on this diet do consume raw animal products like raw milk or raw eggs.
What the raw food diet is all about and the science behind it
The raw food diet is rooted in the notion that cooking food destroys its nutritional value. Cooking exposes food to high temperatures, which can denature proteins and destroy enzymes. This could lead to problems like poor digestion, reduced nutrient absorption, and inflammation. The raw food diet builds on the idea that eating food in its natural, uncooked state provides more nutrients and enzymes.
One study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that people on a raw food diet had higher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of inflammation compared to people on a regular cooked food diet. Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that people on a raw food diet had lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides compared to people on a cooked food diet. Do note that the study also noted lower HDL, the good cholesterol.
More research is needed to fully understand the benefits of a raw food diet, but these studies suggest that it may offer some real health benefits. For instance, cooking food reduces the amount of vitamin C and E available in the food for absorption. On the other hand, eating only a raw food diet inevitably brings back an old problem-vitamin B12 deficiency. Interestingly, cooking increases the amount of antioxidants that the body absorbs from food.
Understanding Macronutrients in the Raw Food Diet
The raw food diet is often associated with veganism, which means that it has more carbohydrates than fats and proteins. When following this diet, it's important to focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods that provide you with a balance of all three macronutrients.
How the Raw Food Diet Helps with Weight Loss
One of the main benefits of the raw food diet is weight loss. This is because the diet is typically lower in calories than a typical modern diet. The lack of cooking means we see a significant drop in calorie intake. Fewer calories consumed inevitably translate to weight loss. Additionally, the raw food diet is high in fiber, which can help keep you full for longer.
Studies indicate that individuals on a raw food diet have a lower body mass index (BMI) compared to people on a cooked food diet. One factor to keep in mind is that one study also associated weight loss with "the difficulty to ensure an adequate supply of energy in a raw food diet." The participants had to eat a larger quantity of the food to achieve normal levels of energy.
Another study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism found that people on a raw vegan diet lost more weight and body fat compared to people on a conventional diet. People on a raw food diet have less body fat in general.
How to Follow the Raw Food Diet
Common Mistakes to Avoid While on the Raw Food Diet
How to Track Your Progress in Weight Loss
If you're following the raw food diet for weight loss, it's important to track your progress. One way of doing this is tracking your calorie intake and ensuring that you're taking in the required number of calories. The raw food diet requires that we eat a lot of uncooked food, and one can fall short if one isn’t diligent. Another way is to track your weight and body measurements over time.
Top Tips to Manage hunger and cravings while on the raw food diet
This diet is typically lower in calories than a modern diet, so you may find that you're hungry more often. Since you're not consuming processed and cooked foods, you may experience cravings for these types of foods. It's important to focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods that provide you with a balance of all three macronutrients to keep you full and satiated. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day. This helps quell hunger during the day.
The raw food diet is a simple way to detox your body and shed those stubborn extra kilos. By consuming only foods in their natural, uncooked state, you'll be getting more nutrients and enzymes, which can help improve your digestion and support your overall health. On the flip side, the lack of cooking means you’re more vulnerable to foodborne diseases. If you're going to embrace the raw food diet, focus on nutrient-dense foods that provide a balance of nutrients. With the tips we’ve discussed here, you’ll be able to incorporate the raw food diet into your lifestyle.