What is a raw food diet or a raw vegetarian diet?
Although the raw vegetarian diet has been around since the 1800s, it has become more and more popular recently. Proponents of this diet say that it has many benefits, such as weight loss and better health in general, and that the best thing for human health is to eat raw plant foods. Still, some doctors and nutritionists warn that eating mostly raw foods could be bad for your health.
What is a raw vegetarian diet?
This diet, also referred to as raw food or raw vegetarian food, places a strong emphasis on consuming whole, natural foods. A meal is considered raw on this diet if it has not been heated above 40 to 48 degrees Celsius. Moreover, food should not be refined, pasteurised, or otherwise processed.
Raw foodists do not consume supplements. They believe the food they eat will meet all of their needs. According to their reasoning, cooking eliminates a food’s natural enzymes and diminishes its nutritional value.
The only requirement of the raw food diet is that you eat only unprocessed, whole foods. Diet supporters say that this diet aids in weight loss and enhances overall health.
The raw food diet is based on the intake of plants, just like the vegetarian diet. In other words, it is made up of uncooked fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. What percentage of the food you consume each day is raw?
The majority of us regularly eat raw fruits and vegetables. Yet, this does not imply eating only raw foods. The diet’s supporters adhere to it for two reasons:
- It helps you lose weight.
- It improves the overall health of the body.
Among other things, this method involves drying, mixing, soaking, and sprouting parts that can be eaten. A raw vegan diet is similar to a vegetarian diet in that it is full of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Most people who follow this diet only eat plants, but some of them also eat raw eggs and dairy products. In this diet, eating meat is not allowed. Typically, this diet forbids the use of supplements since its adherents feel that it provides their bodies with all the nutrients they require.
The overcooking of food, according to advocates of the raw vegetarian diet, degrades the nutrients in food and destroys its natural enzymes, which is bad for human health.
They think that only plants and uncooked foods have “life” power. People who want to lose weight, increase their energy and vitality, treat chronic illnesses, improve their general health, and protect the environment typically follow this diet.
How can I maintain a raw vegan diet?
You must eat only raw, plant-based foods if you want to follow a raw vegan diet. On this diet, which is a type of vegetarian diet, you can’t eat any of the following:
Several people who say they follow this diet have changed their eating habits in the past few years and now rarely eat raw eggs or dairy products. This diet has a lot of advantages because it is high in plant-based meals that give the body the nutrients it needs.
You must eat 75% of your diet as raw food if you want to follow a raw vegan diet. It is important not to eat animal products, and you should eat the following foods instead:
- Fresh, dried, dehydrated, or dehydrated fruits
- Raw, dried, or dehydrated vegetables
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Uncooked grains and legumes (sprouted or soaked)
- Milks made with raw nuts
- Raw nut butters
- Cold-pressed oils
- Fermented foods such as pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut
- Some sweeteners, such as pure maple syrup and unprocessed raw cocoa powder,
- Condiments, including vinegar and unpasteurized raw soy sauce
Is raw food healthier than cooked food?
Raw food advocates think that eating raw food is incredibly healthy for people. Yet research does not support such a claim. Both fresh and cooked foods have numerous health advantages, according to studies.
Natural enzymes in food may be destroyed during cooking, but lectins, phytic acid, and dangerous microbes may also be eliminated. We can therefore conclude that both prepared and raw food have merits in their own right.
What are the health advantages of a raw vegetarian diet?
There are many benefits to this diet, some of which have been proven by research and others of which have not yet been proven by research. The following are the primary advantages of a raw vegetarian diet:
1. improving heart health
Because it emphasises fruits and vegetables, this diet promotes heart health. The main causes of heart disease, stroke, and low blood pressure include a poor diet, inactivity, and injury to the heart.
Other foods advised for this diet include nuts, seeds, whole grains, sprouts, and legumes. Certain meals have been linked to lower blood cholesterol levels and a lower risk of heart disease, according to research.
2. Decrease diabetes risk
The risk of acquiring diabetes is much lower on a raw vegetarian diet. This diet makes use of natural sugars and foods high in fibre, both of which serve to maintain overall body health and lower the risk of diabetes.
3. Accelerate weight loss.
People who start this diet say that it speeds up their weight loss by a lot and helps them get to their ideal weight very quickly. The main cause of this weight loss is a decrease in the consumption of meat and fat.
According to the research, raw vegetarians have a body fat percentage that is 10–12 kg lower than that of the general population.
4. It promotes healthier digestion.
Raw plant foods’ high fibre content aids in better digestion and cleanses the human digestive tract. With this diet, the body receives more soluble and insoluble fibres, which speeds up the passage of food through the colon and entirely eliminates constipation.
The healthy bacteria in the intestines are fed by soluble fibres, which makes it easier to digest fats.
What dangers could a raw vegetarian diet pose?
A raw vegan diet could be dangerous, especially if it is done without any planning or help from a doctor. Here, we list a few potential dangers associated with this diet.
1. May result in an imbalanced diet
Vegetarian diets can be tailored to different life stages as long as they are carefully thought out. One of the most important parts of a raw vegetarian diet is the careful planning needed to make sure everyone gets all the vitamins and minerals their bodies need.
Some supplements and fortified plant foods can make up for the nutrients that the body does not get naturally. Dieters frequently lack vitamin B12, which can cause anaemia, nerve damage, infertility, heart problems, and damaged bones.
Some raw vegetarians might have trouble getting all of the vitamins and nutrients they need because they don’t want to take supplements.
2. Muscles and bones can become weakened.
This diet can occasionally weaken bones and muscles. You can use extra calcium and vitamin D-rich foods or, if necessary, get support from dietary supplements to avoid this issue.
Sunlight exposure significantly aids in giving the body the vitamin D it needs. Protein is also very helpful in maintaining the body’s muscle mass, especially when losing weight. A raw vegetarian diet requires the body to consume enough protein.
3. The likelihood of dental decay rises.
A raw vegetarian diet raises your risk of developing tooth rot. Because they are abundant in this diet and are acidic, citrus fruits and berries may cause tooth enamel erosion if consumed in excess.
Most vegetarians have tooth erosion, so they should go to the dentist often and get regular dental exams to keep their teeth from getting cavities.
4. May lower fertility
This diet can sometimes lower fertility. Most of the women who adhere to this diet have irregular menstrual periods, and occasionally they even totally stop menstruating.
Studies show that women who eat mostly raw foods are seven times more likely than other women to not have periods. The low number of calories in this diet may also make women less fertile and cause them to lose a lot of weight.
What does a sample raw vegan diet look like?
The menu below shows a typical three-day meal plan for a raw vegan. See if it appeals to you and if you would like to follow such a meal plan.
- Breakfast: A smoothie of tropical fruits and vegetables
- Lunch: raw chickpea soup, mint, and avocado
- Dinner: raw vegetarian pizza.
- Breakfast: bean-seed pudding with berries
- Lunch: raw bread with packed hot sauce and vegetables
- Dinner: Thai salad
- Breakfast: raw banana pancakes with peanut butter.
- Lunch: spiralized raw zucchini with basil pesto sauce
- Dinner: raw lasagna with vegetables, pickles, sun-dried tomatoes, and cashew and coriander sauce.
- Energy balls containing dates
- Raw vegan granola crackers
- Dried Fruit
- Mixed fruit
- No-bake chocolate chip cookies
- Vegetable salad with vegetable sauce
Does a raw vegan diet make you more likely to get sick from food?
Contrary to what most people think, most people who eat raw fruits or vegetables do not get sick. Salad and fruit shouldn’t be eaten while sitting down because harmful bacteria could get into the body and make you sick or upset your stomach.
Washing your hands and keeping food in a clean environment are vital when eating any raw fruit or vegetables to avoid bacterial infection getting into your body. Alfalfa and bean sprouts are examples of sprouts that might make you sick.
The wet atmosphere in which bacteria grow is the best place for them to grow. The risk of food illness is considerably decreased by cooking sprouts.
Is maintaining a raw vegetarian diet simple?
The number of supermarkets, restaurants, and shops that sell vegetarian and raw vegan cuisine is growing every day, but maintaining this diet is still rather challenging. You must take the initiative to vary the foods you eat.
Along with fruits, vegetables, and seeds, health food stores also sell the following raw materials:
- vegetable butter
- raw chocolate
You can use a juicer and blender to prepare the rest of the ingredients, or you can shop online for salads that don’t have too much chicken and cheese. If you are unsure whether the food at specialised vegetarian restaurants is suitable for raw vegetarians, it is a good idea to bring a light meal with you.
Many of the typical vegetarian foods that are part of this diet plan must, of course, be eaten raw. Healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, and sprouts are part of a raw vegan diet, which may help to greatly lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
If you follow a specific plan and get help from a nutritionist, this diet can help you lose weight and improve your digestion. But sticking to this diet without doing enough research and planning can make it more likely that you won’t get enough food, won’t be able to have children, and that your muscles, bones, and teeth will become weak.
If you choose to try a raw vegan diet, make sure you are getting enough calories. It is also best to include supplements in your diet whenever your nutritionist and doctor decide that doing so will help you get all the nutrition you need each day.
Raw vegetarianism can help you lose weight quickly, but many scientists don’t think it’s good for you in the long run. Once you have reached your goal weight, you can relax the restrictions of this diet.
Keep in mind that losing weight requires research and that, without professional supervision, it may have a variety of negative effects. Although many raw vegans have a strong belief in their diet and see it as the primary contributor to their health and energy, there is currently no scientific evidence to support this.