The term “raw food diet” refers to a variety of diets. The raw vegan diet and the raw foodie diet are two more names for the same thing. Only the raw food diet will be used to represent all three in this essay. While they vary in various ways, they are all founded on the concept of consuming mostly raw foods. Vegetables, fruits, raw nuts, and seeds are all included. Some versions tolerate grains, dry beans, and legumes if they have been soaked or sprouted.
Basic Claims about the Raw Food Diet
All raw food diets make some intriguing, though unsubstantiated, claims. That isn’t to indicate that one of the statements is correct. The raw food diet will cause you to lose a lot of weight. Other advantages are claimed by proponents of the raw food diet. There are three primary assertions stated in total.
1. Raw foods are more nutritious than prepared foods. 2. Cooked food is less nutritious than raw food. 3. Raw food is both safe and long-lasting.
Let’s look at each of these allegations individually.
Raw Food Diet: It’s Healthier to Eat Raw Food Than Cooked Food
The current evidence largely refutes this assertion. There are just a few research that back up the promise of better health. The great majority of people don’t. Some data indicate that blood lipids are lower, with HDL (good cholesterol) values that are exceptionally low. This resulted in critically low vitamin B12 levels. According to other research, eating a raw food diet causes considerable dental enamel degradation. Raw food diet adherents were shown to have reduced body fat and weight, according to studies. This resulted in bone density decrease, which was linked to a low body fat percentage. These investigations also revealed a low calorie and protein consumption. A lack of calcium in the diet was blamed for the bone loss. Protein isn’t easy to come by with the raw food diet, however.
Overall, the research suggests that following a raw food diet for an extended period of time is damaging to one’s health. Clearly, the dangers are present and dangerous.
Raw Food Is Nutritious: Raw Food Is Nutritious Compared to Cooked Food
There are a few discrete claims inside this broader claim. A handful of these seem realistic. One of them sounds like a hallucinogenic experience. Cooking, according to one theory, kills nutrients. This is just partially correct. Yes, some nutrients are leached from foods during the cooking process. Cooking, on the other hand, is a transformational experience. Cooking provides nutrients and enzymes that need heat to be released, which is one of the transformations. Overall, this claim is a no-go.
Another allegation is that heating destroys enzymes. True, however after ingesting raw food, the same enzymes are destroyed in the stomach. This one, too, is a wash.
Finally, and this one makes me giggle, cooking depletes the food’s ‘vital power.’ The ‘vital energy’ of raw foods is an enigmatic quality. However, the enigma is left undefined beyond the tautological “It’s a mystery, guy.” This is not proof. Rather, it’s a new age spiritual belief that demands faith to embrace. As many of you know, I am wary of assertions presented without supporting proof. There is no evidence that a plant’s ‘life force’ exists. Oh, and by the way, why isn’t it damaging to this ‘life force’ if you consume the plant?
Taken together, the data does not entirely support the idea that raw foods are more nutritious than cooked meals. When it comes to raw or prepared meals, nutrition is at its greatest.
The raw food diet is both safe and long-term
Raw food proponents say that the diet is both safe and sustainable. We’ve previously raised concerns about the diet’s safety. Taking protein and vitamin supplements might help with the safety concern. Supplements are unfortunately forbidden on the purist form of the raw food diet.
Sustainability is essentially a matter of overcoming a difficult undertaking. The list of foods that are permissible is far less than the list of items that are prohibited. On a diet, the selection of options is relatively restricted. People say they become bored when they speak about why they stopped eating raw foods and went back to eating prepared foods. Another concern is that raw food diets have much fewer options for preparation than cooked food diets. Again, boredom has an impact on long-term viability.
The diet seems to have just one major benefit: fast weight reduction. However, while contemplating a diet for oneself, it’s important to weigh both the benefits and the hazards. The hazards of a raw food diet, in my opinion, much exceed (pun intended) the advantages. The allegations stated are not backed up by evidence. Faith alone is insufficient to choose a long-term diet strategy.