The raw food diet (aka living raw food diet) is becoming increasingly popular among health-conscious individuals. Many celebrities follow this diet and attribute their good health and enviable physiques to eating this way.
Those who follow the raw food diet do so because raw foods contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals and live enzymes (enzymes aid digestion and nutrient absorption and are not, for the most part, present in cooked foods). Eating a raw food diet can be an excellent strategy for losing weight, reducing symptoms of acute or chronic illness, and gaining energy. That being said, my reason for writing this raw food diet review is to state that I do not believe following a 100% raw food diet long-term is a good plan for everyone.
Most “raw foodists” follow a raw food vegan diet, prefering to eat no animal foods and to eat only foods that are raw/living/never cooked over 115-120°F. (altering foods by culturing/fermented and very low heat “cooking” in a dehydrator set at this temperature is therefore ok).
Because more and more people are interested in raw foods, the availability of items that make following the raw food diet enjoyable is constantly expanding; most natural food stores carry a variety of raw energy bars, protein powders, crackers, cookies, and cereals, as well as supplements designed to meet the needs of those who are raw vegans. My only problem with it is that there are a few raw food diet dangers; unless you are very careful, if you eat this way long-term, you are possibly at risk of developing serious nutritional deficiencies.
Some people who say they “eat raw” are not vegan, though; they eat some raw milk and other raw dairy products, raw free-range eggs, as well as some raw fish or low-temperature cooked wild grass-fed meat. The purpose of eating like this is to stick with the high enzymatic content raw diet for the most part, but to take care of vitamin and mineral needs that are potentially not met when following a vegan diet (ex. vitamin B12 and vitamin D). I personally would not go completely raw vegan- I would want to cover my nutritional bases and include small amounts of these types of animal foods in my diet. Some people refer to this type of diet as “high raw”- meaning a high/mostly, but not exclusively, raw diet, and I give eating this way a raw food diet review “thumbs up”.
While I do not think the raw food diet is for everyone, I think it is definitely worth trying on some level to see how your body responds. For many individuals, eating raw is the key to looking and feeling great.
Even if you have no interest in ever being any type of raw foodist, though, it is definitely desirable to increase the amount of raw food in your diet. Raw fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients and fiber than their cooked counterparts and help to promote health in numerous ways. Sprouted nut/seeds and grains are very healthy, as well.
I personally eat lots and lots of raw fruits and veggies, as well as live fermented foods and beverages and soaked and sprouted nuts, seeds, and grains (but I do eat cooked foods, too).
I try to eat mainly raw foods for 2-3 weeks every spring as part of a cleanse/detox that leaves me feeling healthy and refreshed.