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What Is the Raw Food Diet - Plus, How to Start it!

By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
What Is the Raw Food Diet - Plus, How to Start it!

The Raw Food Diet is gaining in popularity and is a good way to detoxify your body and help you lose weight while being environmentally conscious. It is a new diet concept that involves only eating natural, uncooked foods; all products that have been processed, cooked or altered by humans should be cut out of our diet.

At OneHowTo we show you the guidelines that will teach you what the Raw Food Diet is and how to do it, as it's a new way of eating healthy and managing to lose 6 kilos in only one month.

You may also be interested in: How to Do the Okinawa Diet

Understanding the Raw Food Diet

The Raw Food Diet is based on the principle that our diet should only be made up of natural, unprocessed and unaltered foods. Some raw foodies argue that cooking your food alters its nutrient content and adds toxicity. Therefore, the main concept of this diet is to avoid cooked or processed food and only eat products in their natural form. It is important to make sure that you ingest enough proteins from fruit and vegetables while on the diet or consider taking supplements.

Another basic principle of the Raw Food Diet is that all the foods you eat must be organic, natural and prepared by you: forget about prepared or packaged products. The aim of the Raw Food Diet is not to lose weight but rather to eliminate processed food from your system to enjoy a natural and healthy diet.

What Is the Raw Food Diet - Plus, How to Start it! - Understanding the Raw Food Diet

Characteristics of the Raw Food Diet

The Raw Food Diet is not an easy diet to follow. The main things consumed in this diet are raw, organic fruits and vegetables, raw, unprocessed nuts and seeds. Many followers of this diet follow a vegan version, but some followers will eat raw meat, raw fish, raw eggs and and unpasteurized milk. Eating out can be tricky as almost all dishes in restaurants contain at least one cooked or processed element. There is, however, an increasing interest in this way of eating, and thus, an increasing amount of raw food restaurants, offering delicious dishes that strictly follow the Raw Food Diet. There are also a lot of raw food cook books that offer diverse and tasty ways to enjoy raw food.

What Is the Raw Food Diet - Plus, How to Start it! - Characteristics of the Raw Food Diet

Foods forbidden in the Raw Food Diet

Foods forbidden in the Raw Food Diet are:

  • All cooked foods and processed foods
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • Legumes
  • Vegetables such as cauliflower, carrot, cucumber and aubergine.
  • Coffee (because it is roasted)
  • Packaged tea (also roasted), etc..

Also forbidden are all non-organic products. Organic products are free of pesticides, genetic modification and other chemicals, meaning that they are completely natural.

Benefits of the Raw Food Diet

Although not much research has been made on this type of diet, there is no doubt that, if followed properly, the Raw Food Diet is very healthy. Processed foods have been proven to be significantly bad for your health, and are completely eliminated in this diet.

Also, certain studies have shown that cooking meat produces toxins that are carcinogens. Moreover, microwaving foods has been shown to reduce the antioxidants in the food, and boiling food has been shown to decrease the vitamin and mineral content. Fot these reasons and more, eating food in its most natural, unaltered form is arguably the best way.

In addition to health reasons, the Raw Food Diet is good for the environment. Large industrial farms and food processing plants produce a lot of pollution and waste, as they use a lot of energy and chemicals that get absorbed into the environment. Also, as most raw foodists cut out meat from their diet, they do not support the ill treatment of animals.

Disadvantages of the Raw Food Diet

As previously mentioned, the Raw Food Diet is not an easy diet to follow, because it has many restrictions. Also, as cooked food is easier to digest, the diet may cause some indigestion at the beginning. Another disadvantage of the Raw Food Diet is the increased probability of food poisoning. Drinking and eating unpasteuried dairy products increases the chance of ingesting something that will make you sick. The same is true about eating raw meat and fish. It is important to always choose products of very good quality and that are very fresh to avoid food poisoning.

Finally, another disadvantage of this diet is that, especially if following the vegan version of the diet, it requires more work to ensure that you obtain adequate amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, like iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

What Is the Raw Food Diet - Plus, How to Start it! - Disadvantages of the Raw Food Diet

Example of a Raw Food menu

Eating a Raw Food Diet requires a lot of creativity and an open mind, but there are plenty of ways to prepare a delicious and healthy raw menu. We have put together a sample menu:

Breakfast: Oatmeal, fruits and coconut water

Lunch: Smoothie with fresh fruit and non pasteurized milk, mixed salad

Dinner: Spaghetti made from julienned squash and marinara sauce

What Is the Raw Food Diet - Plus, How to Start it! - Example of a Raw Food menu

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