THE REALITY OF A RAW FOODS DIET

THE REALITY OF A RAW FOODS DIET

A raw foods diet is a hot trend in eating, without the kitchen even getting warm. Foods are either eaten raw or prepared using methods where the heat goes no higher than 116′ F. Raw foodists say that higher cooking temperatures destroy the enzymes in foods, making the body work harder to digest them.
What it is. A raw foods diet is also vegan, consisting mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables (ideally organic), along with nuts, seeds, and sprouted beans. Refined sugars, meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products are avoided. Nothing is cooked. Beverages run from juices and purified water to sun tea (brewed by sunlight) and even wine. Not cooking may sound easy, but going raw can be challenging and labor intensive.
To venture beyond eating fresh produce, nuts, and salads, your kitchen may need a juicer / blender or food processor, dehydrator, sprouter to grow your own, and spiralizer to slice vegetables thinly. Ground nuts serve as flour, while vegetable ribbons become pasta. The diet includes both raw foods, meaning fruits and vegetables in their uncooked state, and “living” foods, which are fermented or cultured with good bacteria, dehydrated, or sprouted.
Health claims. Raw food enthusiasts typically lose weight and report having more energy, thinking clearer, feeling better overall, and getting sick less. There’s limited scientific evidence to support these claims.
Mv take. A low-fat, high-fiber diet may fall short in calcium, iron, zinc, omega-3s, and vitamins D and B-12. The argument that raw foods preserve enzyme content is, frankly, nuts. The enzymes in food are destroyed by stomach acid as thoroughly as by cooking. Also, there is nothing unhealthy about cooked foods:
Cooking is one of the greatest inventions for improving health and longevity. Some nutrients like lycopene in tomatoes are more available to the body from cooked foods. Cooking also destroys natural toxins in mushrooms, beans, and other vegetables. The raw foods restaurants I’ve visited use nuts immoderately, and most dishes require far more work to make than I’m willing to do at home.


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