Is It Safe To Follow A Raw Food Diet?
Amongst the very many fad diets that have invaded the healthy industry is the raw food diet. This diet mainly involves uncooked, plant-derived, and preferably natural foods and at least 75% of the diet should include raw foods. The idea behind this diet is that when foods are heated, the nutrients and natural enzymes in them are destroyed. This is important as these enzymes help in digestion, fight chronic diseases like arthritis and diabetes, help in boosting immunity and also work wonders with allergies. Because this diet is also low in calories and high in fiber, many weight loss programs or weight management programs include this diet form.
- Soaked and sprouted pulses, grains: Sprouting of pulses and grains increase their digestibility and improves the nutrient content of the bean.
- Dried fruits:These mini versions of the actual fruit are a good source of natural sugars and fibers.
- Nuts and seeds: Raw nuts and seeds, nut milk and raw nut butters are rich in healthy fats like omega 3 fats
- Fruits and raw vegetables:Fresh fruits and raw vegetables, sun-dried fruits, freshly made fruit and vegetable juices which are rich in fiber and the plant chemicals, phyto chemicals.
- Other unprocessed foods:Seaweeds, sundried greens powder like dried wheatgrass or algae which are rich in omega 3 and vitamin B 12 and fermented foods like kimchee and sauerkraut that help improve good gut bacteria.
- Animal foods: Many also consume raw eggs, raw dairy (non pasteurized) and raw meat or fish.
All cooked and processed foods, refined oils, table salt, refined sugars, refined flour, coffee, tea, alcohol, pasta and bread
Following a raw food diet can be tedious as the prep work is more. Also, some uncooked and unpasteurized foods can cause food borne illnesses. Besides, the diet is inadequate in nutrients such as protein, iron, calcium, vitamin B12, etc depending on the foods one chooses to eat. Also, there are certain antioxidants in foods like lycopene and beta carotene which are not available to the body when consumed raw.
So, although the raw food diet may be a part of a weight loss diet, remember that it has the potential to be nutritionally unsound and very restrictive. Besides this, the safety aspect of this plan can also be questionable. And, above all it is difficult to be motivated to follow this kind of a diet for a longer period of time. In case one is keen to experiment with this diet, it would be best to consult the best dietitian in Mumbai with a scientific background for help.