Raw Food Diet and Weight Loss
The Paleolithic Raw Food Diet
A raw food diet is based on the use of uncooked and unprocessed plant food such as fresh vegetables, fruits, seed, sprouts, grains, nuts, dried fruits, etc.
It is believed that if food is heated to over 116 degrees enzymes which assist in digestion and absorption of the food are destroyed.
To derive the full benefit of a raw food diet, your diet must comprise at least 75 % of the raw and living components.
A raw food is...
- Low in saturated fats and components of hydrogenated oils as compared to the conventional diet.
- Low in sodium content.
- Rich in magnesium, folate and potassium.
- Higher fiber content.
- Contains phytochemicals (health promoting plant chemicals).
- Lower in fat and less calories.
Raw food has many benefits. It improves digestion and skin appearance. It gives increased energy and it reduces risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It can lead to healthy weight loss.
What can you eat?
A raw food diet uses organic and unprocessed items such as fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, seeds, fruits, grains, nuts, legumes, dried fruits and seaweed. Purified water and young coconut milk are also permitted.
What cooking techniques can be used?
Sprouting of beans, seeds and grains make them easier on digestion at the same time provide flavor and variety. Similarly you can soak nuts and dried fruits. Juicing of fruits and vegetables as well as blending with other items will add variety to a raw food diet. You can use dehydrated food also.
A raw food diet is basically very healthy but some people who have been previously used to diets rich in meat, caffeine or sugar may have mild but harmless reactions when they start on raw food diet. They may experience nausea, headaches or cravings for a few days. Raw food diet is not suitable for pregnant or nursing women or children. It is not suitable for anemic persons and persons suffering from osteoporosis.
A raw food diet may be found to be deficient in proteins, calories, vitamins B12. It may be deficient in certain minerals such as calcium and iron. You may consult your physician for suitable supplements.
Criticism of the Raw Food Diet
Consider trying these paleo approved food swaps.
Apart from nutritional deficiencies of a raw food diet, critics are against the basic premise about the food being unsuitable if heated to over 116 degrees because of destruction of enzymes. Critics argue our bodies do use their own enzymes and are not dependent on enzymes from the raw food. It is also argued that a raw food diet may not be suitable for people in a colder climate.