Is the Raw Food Diet Right for You?

The raw food diet, also known as rawism, is a meal plan that is comprised of foods that are organic, all natural, and uncooked. The diet is made up of mostly raw fruits and raw vegetables, but also includes plant proteins, such as raw nuts and beans, as well as whole grains. Most raw foodists are vegan. Advocates of the lifestyle swear by its health benefits, but it has caused some controversy among medical professionals because it lacks important nutrients. For some individuals, eating raw provides them with a healthy lifestyle, but the raw food diet is not for everyone.

The food on the raw food diet is high in fiber and very low in fat and sugar. If you have struggled with obesity prior to the raw food diet, the food plan can result in losing weight quickly and experiencing increased energy. This can enable you to stay fit and healthy. Supporters of this diet believe it improves the immune system and the body's ability to fight other diseases as well. The diet avoids cooked food because this can eliminate enzymes, vitamins and minerals that are healthy. Cooking food also releases toxins that have been linked to cancer and heart disease. Though this diet doesn't involve cooking, there are other methods of preparation you can use on the raw food diet. You can use a food dehydrator to make dried fruit, vegetable chips, and crackers, among other foods. Germination and blending are other methods that you may use to prepare food.

Despite the benefits, there are some downfalls to the raw food diet. The diet can be dangerous if you include meat or eggs in your diet because uncooked meat can cause food poisoning. Dehydrating food doesn't always kill bacteria, so this is a concern for raw foodists. Like cooking food, sometimes dehydrating food can also destroy nutrients. There could already be important nutrients missing from the raw food diet. It can be low in B12, Vitamin D, and iron. According to several studies, it can also cause anemia and amenorrhea in women due to the low fat content.

Rawism can work for some people. There are certain groups of people who should not attempt the raw food diet, however. The ADA has warned against putting children on this diet. It doesn't contain the nutrients, vitamins and minerals they need for healthy growth. It can cause complications if you are elderly, pregnant or have other serious medical conditions. This can also be a dangerous diet if you are underweight because the raw food diet tends to be low in calories. The diet is free of caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar, so if you feel like you can't live without these products you would not succeed on this diet.

If you do decide to pursue the raw food diet, there are aspects of it you need to be aware of. You should eat enough soy products and other protein sources that don't come from plants because protein from plants is not digested as well as animal and soy proteins. However, increased protein can also contribute to bone loss, so it may be necessary to increase calcium intakes as well. Soy products provide both a complete protein, as well as calcium. You may also want to consider taking supplements for nutrients the diet may be lacking, such as Omega-3 fatty acids and B12. You shouldn't attempt to change your diet all at once. It needs to be a gradual process in order for the transition to be healthy.

The raw food diet is certainly not impossible, but it is a life-changing decision. If you are considering the diet, you should be under the care of medical professionals to ensure that you have the proper nutrients you need to be healthy. Education on healthy eating habits is also essential. By following healthy meal plans and nutrition guidelines, the raw food diet can be a healthy lifestyle choice.

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