Diet fads come and go, and it is surprise to many that raw food diet got so many converts. Once people start eating raw food, they become passionate about it. It becomes more of a lifestyle than a food choice. But, is raw food diet really healthy? Like with any diet, there are pros and cons.
Why raw food?
The biggest reason so many people switched to raw food is their belief that raw food is healthier for them. They claim that uncooked food will allow them to maintain good weight, boost their immune system and avoid many chronic diseases. Raw food is also believed to be easier to digest than cooked food because many enzymes get destroyed when the food is coked. That means that our pancreas has to work hard to produce enzymes necessary for food digestion.
Another valid claim pro raw food diet is the variety. Raw food includes practically everything that can be eaten raw, including meat, milk and fish, for people who are not vegetarian.
Some additional pros
Living on raw food diet is easy: you grab an apple and a handful of almonds and you are ready to go in the morning. Lunch is a salad with everything chopped in, fruits, veggies and nuts.
To get the best raw food possible, many people opt for organic food, increasing the quality of their meals by avoiding all agricultural chemicals normally present in commercially-produced food.
Raw foodies who are also vegetarians reduce their risks of heart disease, high glucose levels and high cholesterol.
There are some foods to avoid when on the raw food diet. It is not a good idea to eat raw wheat, dairy products that are not pasteurized, unprocessed sugar, salt and alcohol.
This means that raw food diet lacks in calcium, so calcium should be added with almonds, soy milk, kale, rice milk, figs, bok choy and similar calcium rich foods.
Raw food also might be carrying various pathogens which are normally killed when cooked. Raw food should be cleaned very well before cosuming.
Some foods need to be cooked to release their active ingredients, such as carrots and tomatoes. Diet lacking meat might lead to vitamin B12 deficiency and consequent anemia.
The raw food diet is not recommended for everyone. People prone to anemia, women at risk of osteoporosis, children and pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid raw food diet.
In any case, like with any other big change in nutrition and lifestyle, if you want to switch to raw food, consult your doctor before embarking on such a rough road. Your doctor can monitor your health in order to spot any problem before it becomes serious.