Proponents of the raw food diet go a step beyond the whole, unprocessed foods movement with their eating plan. In addition to avoiding processed food, dieters following this plan consume nearly all of their natural foods uncooked.
The idea behind this diet plan focuses on the way heat destroys essential nutrients in food. Raw food dieters believe that they consume more of the vitamins and minerals in each ingredient by foregoing the cooking process. The way heat changes food’s protein structure also comes into play when deciding to only eat raw food.
Although researchers are still hashing it out, raw food dieters may be inspired by the idea that eating charred food can lead to the development of cancer throughout the body. Other dieters may just prefer the way raw food tastes or makes their body feel after eating it. Furthermore, some people find that it is easier to adhere to calorie restriction programs with this eating program. Since the drawbacks are negligible, it definitely doesn’t hurt to try out this diet.
The main foods you’ll consume on this diet are fruit and vegetables. You can rinse, peel and chop them, but beyond that, there’s absolutely no prep. The high fiber content and low calories of these foods will make it easy to maintain your caloric deficit if needed. You can supplement your diet with grain sprouts, seeds and nuts, as long as they are not roasted in any way.
Protein will come from unpasteurized dairy products, including milk and cream. You can also have raw eggs, meat and fish. You must pay close attention to food handling recommendations to avoid falling ill with a serious case of food poisoning. As a result, some raw food dieters will only consume sashimi made with high quality beef or fish. You can have any of the cold pressed oils made from olives, coconuts, flaxseed or hempseed.
You can chop, blend or juice your ingredients to combine them into interesting dishes. For example, combining an acid, like lemon juice, with an approved oil product will create a tasty salad dressing for your pile of veggies.
Since many proteins are normally consumed cooked or processed in other ways, you may need to keep a close eye on your consumption levels for this nutrient. Use a tracking program to record the food you eat each day to make sure your protein consumption meets or exceeds the lower limit. You might find it difficult to balance your nutrient levels at first, but just keep experimenting with the ingredients to find a suitable meal plan.
After developing a balanced meal plan, many people feel their energy levels go up considerably. Since this diet naturally restricts calories, you will likely lose any excess weight on your frame. You may want to have your blood levels checked to see if you are suffering from any vitamin or mineral deficiencies after eating raw foods for a while. If you prefer this way of eating, work with your doctor to ensure it provides the suggested health benefits.