Raw food is food that has not been cooked or processed.
There are different levels of nutrition in raw foods, all of which primarily include eating uncooked, unheated, and raw foods. In addition to raw fruits and vegetables, diets often include fermented foods, germinated grains, nuts, and seeds.
The raw food diet, often called raw foodyism or raw veganism, is composed of mostly or completely raw and unprocessed foods. The diet allows several alternative preparation methods, such as juicing, blending, dehydrating, soaking, and sprouting. Additionally, taking supplements is typically discouraged on the raw food diet. Proponents often claim that the diet will give you all the nutrients you need. People follow the raw food diet for the benefits they believe it has, including weight loss, improved vitality, increased energy, improvement to chronic diseases, improved overall health, and a reduced impact on the environment. Usually, raw foodists are vegetarians or vegans, refraining from animal foods and eating primarily raw plant-based foods. However, few people consume raw dairy products, fish, and even raw meat.
It is claimed by advocates that raw foods are more nutritious than cooked foods because enzymes and some nutrients are destroyed during the cooking process. Some people think cooked foods are toxic. While eating raw fruits and vegetables has some obvious benefits, there are also some potential problems with a raw food diet. Maintaining a strict raw food diet is difficult, and very few people are in full long-term commitment to a raw food diet. In addition, some foods contain dangerous bacteria and microbes that can only be removed by cooking. Eating a completely raw diet, including fish and meat, is at risk of developing food poisoning.
To follow a raw food diet, make sure that at least 75% of the food you eat is raw. Most raw food diets consist primarily of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Grains and legumes are often allowed, but they usually need to be soaked or germinated before they are eaten.
Allowed food are All fresh fruits, all raw vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, raw grains, and legumes, soaked or sprouted, dried fruits and meat, nut milk, raw nut butter, cold-pressed olive oil, and coconut oil, fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut, seaweed, sprout, raw eggs or dairy products as needed and raw meat and fish on request.
Make sure you avoid food like cooked fruits, vegetables, meat, grains, baked confectionery, roasted nuts and seeds, refined oil, table salt, refined sugar and flour, pasteurized juices and dairy products, coffee and tea, alcohol, pasta, pastry, crisps, and other processed foods and snacks. In simple words, anything that is cooked is to be avoided.
Raw food vs cooked food
Supporters of the raw food diet believe that eating raw food almost or completely is ideal for human health. But like the many basic beliefs behind the raw food diet, this idea is not supported by science. In fact, both cooked and raw foods have health benefits.
One of the main reasons raw food diets discourage cooking is the belief that cooking destroys natural enzymes in food. Diet supporters believe that these enzymes are essential for human health and digestion. High heat denatures most enzymes. That is, it melts or changes shape. However, many enzymes denature in the acidic environment of the stomach anyway. In fact, the body has already produced its own enzymes to facilitate chemical processes such as digestion and energy production.
Another basic belief behind the raw food diet is that cooking destroys the nutritional content of food. Cooking may actually reduce certain nutrients in foods, especially water-soluble nutrients. Some nutrients can easily be inactivated or leached out of food during the cooking process. Water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and B vitamins are especially easily lost during cooking. In fact, cooking vegetables can reduce water-soluble vitamin levels by up to 50-60%. Although small, some minerals and vitamin A are also lost during cooking. Fat-soluble vitamins D, E, and K are largely unaffected by cooking. Cooking results in the greatest loss of nutrients, but other cooking methods are more effective at maintaining the nutritional content of foods. Steamed, roasted, and fried foods are some of the best ways to cook vegetables when it comes to preserving nutrients. Finally, the length of time a food is exposed to heat affects its nutritional value. The longer the food is cooked, the greater the loss of nutrients.
However, when actually cooked, the availability of other nutrients and antioxidants such as lycopene and beta-carotene increases.
Cooking also helps to inactivate or destroy some harmful compounds in food. For example, cooking grains and legumes reduces lectins and phytic acid. In large quantities, these can prevent your body from absorbing minerals. In addition, cooking also kills harmful bacteria.
For these reasons, it is important to eat a variety of foods, both raw and cooked.
Nutrition – Advantages
The raw food diet has some good points. Mainly rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. It also contains other foods that are rich in nutrients and fiber. In its honor, the raw food diet limits the intake of foods that are known to be harmful to health if eaten excessively like the Processing of junk food and the addition of sugar. In addition, raw food diets are low in calories, which almost guarantees weight loss.
When someone switches from an almost cooked diet to an almost raw diet, their caloric intake can drop dramatically. Some people may not think it is possible to eat enough raw food to meet their daily calorie needs. This is partly because fruits and vegetables are healthy but do not provide enough calories and protein to make up the majority of the diet. In addition, cooking increases the digestibility of food and makes it easier for your body to get calories and nutrients from it. In some cases, raw foods can produce significantly fewer calories. Cooking also increases the amount of certain nutrients and antioxidants your body absorbs. Finally, raw foods tend to be nutritionally imbalanced because they need to be composed primarily of fats or fruits to meet their caloric needs. This means that raw food may be deficient in some vitamins, minerals, and proteins as well as calories.
It has both Positive and Negative health effects
Like most beliefs revolving around raw food, many of the possible health benefits are not supported by evidence. Some studies have shown that raw food diets have a positive effect on health, but many have found that they have a negative effect. A study of people on a raw food diet found that blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels were reduced. However, it also lowered “healthy” HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol levels and caused vitamin B12 deficiency in many.
Another study found that people who ate a raw food diet for an extended period of time were at increased risk of tooth erosion.
Nonetheless, studies have consistently found that a raw food diet is associated with lower body fat. A study of participants who ate long-term raw food found that it was associated with a significant reduction in body fat. 4,444 men lost an average of 21.8 pounds (9.9 kg) after switching to raw food, and women lost an average of 26.4 pounds (12 kg). However, 15% of men and 25% of women in this study were also underweight. In addition, 70% of women who were on the diet experienced irregularities in their menstrual cycle. Also, nearly one-third of women develop amenorrhea, which means that their menstruation will stop. This may be due to low body weight.
Another small study found that people who ate a raw vegan diet had significantly lower calorie intake and less body fat than those who did not eat. Still, protein, calcium, and vitamin D intakes were low. The same study found that participants who ate a raw vegan diet had less bone mass, due to lower calorie and protein intake.
Overall, raw food diets can lead to weight loss and even improve some health markers such as blood lipids. Nevertheless, the significant risk of all the negative health effects outweighs the potential benefits of this diet.
Is it healthy for the long term?
In the short term, eating raw foods should not raise major health concerns. However, long-term diets can cause problems. Most raw diets make it difficult to get enough calories, protein, and certain vitamins and minerals. Evidence also shows that the higher the percentage of raw food in your diet, the higher the risk of having negative effects.
Unless you take supplements, you may develop problems from nutrient inadequacies over time as your body’s vitamin and mineral stores are used up. Vitamin B12 and vitamin D are particularly hard to get in raw vegan diets. However, even nutrition supplements cannot make up for a lack of calories and protein in the diet. Additionally, the risk of being exposed to a foodborne illness is increased when you consume food raw. This is especially true if raw dairy, eggs, or meat are part of your diet. Nutrition experts always recommend that people only eat these when they`re fully cooked or pasteurized.
Lastly, a raw food diet can be challenging to keep up for several reasons. For starters, food choices are limited, and avoiding cooked foods makes it difficult to go out to eat or to eat with friends. Avoiding cooked foods also means that food preparation methods are limited, so a raw food diet can get boring. Many people also find eating only cold foods to be undesirable. Finally, buying so many fresh organic products can be costly, not to mention time-consuming planning and preparation.
All you need to know is that raw food diets are low in calories, high in fiber, and are based primarily on healthy, whole-plant-based foods, so such diets result in weight loss. However, the diet is nutritionally inadequate and has a very restrictive plan that is difficult to maintain in the long term. The risk of food poisoning from eating raw or poorly cooked foods outweighs the benefits of this plan.
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