The raw food diet is highly controversial. Some people absolutely love it, saying it provides them with more energy, better skin and hair and helps them to lose weight. Others say it’s a dangerous fad that doesn’t provide enough calories or protein. Still, others claim they got sick from eating raw foods.
There’s been an explosion in popularity of this diet in recent years. The idea behind it is that cooking food destroys vital enzymes and nutrients, which are important for your health.
As we’ll explain in this article, the idea behind the raw food diet is simple — but there’s a lot of variation in how you can approach it. If you want to try it, be sure to consult a doctor first and take extra steps to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs.
What is the raw food diet?
The basic idea behind the raw food diet is that you eat foods in their most natural state. Raw foods are not processed, and they’re not cooked at temperatures above 118 degrees F.
Raw foods are often rich in enzymes, which some proponents of the raw food movement say will improve your health. But do you really need these enzymes? Your body makes all the enzymes it needs to digest food, so there’s no evidence that eating them helps your digestion. And cooking doesn’t destroy all enzymes in foods — it depends on the temperature and how long they’re cooked.
What’s more, cooking some foods makes them safer to eat and easier to digest. Cooking meat kills harmful bacteria. And cooking fruits and vegetables breaks down plant walls, making nutrients more available for absorption by your body.
You can follow a raw food diet by eating only uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted whole grains, and legumes. You can also combine ingredients into smoothies or juices. Many stores now offer ready-to-eat raw meals and snacks.