yoga instructor recommended that I start a raw food diet. Currently,
I eat well balanced meals and snacks, but I would like to
increase the quality of my health. Is there a true benefit to eating only raw
of an extreme raw food approach, there's not much science to back up the
foodists believe that cooking food greatly decreases its nutrient content and
destroys plant enzymes that enhance how efficiently you digest and absorb food.
Although there are many "raw" variations out there and no one set of
rules to follow, raw food diets are typically vegan diets (strict vegetarian
diets) that include only uncooked food or food warmed to a temperature that
does not exceed 115°F — so they include lots of raw produce, sprouted grains
and beans, nuts and seeds. Some individuals choose to include raw dairy
products and/or animal proteins, like fish. Most raw foodists do not eat a 100% raw
diet — they aim for at least 70-80% of their diet to come from raw sources.
there's no hard evidence that eating only raw foods instead of cooked offers a
nutritional advantage. While it's true that some nutrients can be destroyed
during heating (like B and C vitamins), other nutrients, such as lycopene and
beta carotene, are actually more readily absorbed from cooked foods. As
for the plant
enzymes — they are quickly deactivated and broken down
by digestive enzymes (produced by our own bodies to efficiently absorb
nutrients) and acids in the stomach and intestines whether
food is cooked or raw.
that the raw food movement advocates eating more whole, unprocessed, plant
foods, including fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds. That part is great!
But on a practical note, a raw food diet can be extremely difficult to
follow and limiting — especially when it comes to dining out at
restaurants, eating with friends, etc.
line: I encourage you to eat more nutrient-rich plant foods (fruit,
veggies, lentils, beans, etc) — in any form, both raw and cooked!
If you do
decide to go all raw,
it's worth your while to meet once or twice with a registered dietitian to
ensure you're meeting your nutritional requirements.