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What is a Raw Food Diet? What Are the Pros and Cons?


The raw food diet, or raw diet, consists of at least 70 percent uncooked, unprocessed or minimally processed foods. Most raw foods are plant-based, but some people who follow a raw food diet also eat raw eggs, dairy products, meat or fish. There is some debate about what it is to eat raw, but generally a food that has not been heated to more than 40 to 48 degrees Celsius is considered raw. Refined oils, sugars and flour, pasta, table salt, tea, alcohol and coffee, pasteurized juices and dairy products, other processed foods and snacks should be avoided in the raw diet. They claim that the body gets all the nutrients it needs from healthy, pleasing foods.

How Meals Can Be Prepared?

Many methods used in preparing meals can adapt well to the raw food diet. Techniques that basically do not require heating of food, such as juicing, blending, drying (with dehydrator or food can), slow heating, soaking and sprouting (germination) are commonly used. Food can be chopped and mixed in this diet. Most vegetables or fruits can be eaten directly without any preparation, others can be processed through some process. Grains or beans can be soaked in water, or some grains can be sprouted and consumed. Dried fruits, smoothies created by squeezing and mixing various vegetables and fruits can also be preferred by those who follow this diet.

What is a Raw Food Diet?  What Are the Pros and Cons?Various Meal Ideas

The following meal recipes with high nutritional values ​​can give an idea to those who follow the raw food diet:
Breakfast: For breakfast, you can combine walnuts, flax seeds, dates, oats, quinoa and chia seeds to prepare the raw form of granola. Kiwi, mango, blueberries, fruit juices or almond milk, cold-pressed olive oil can be added to this breakfast.
Snack: Smoothies are good choices for snacks. Various vegetables and fruits such as banana, blueberry, black cabbage, watermelon can be used according to the person’s preference.
Lunch: Cauliflower rice, prepared by cooking cauliflower, broccoli, finely chopped green onions, garlic, edamame (unripe green soybeans) and pepper in a non-stick pan for a few minutes with very little oil, is a nutritious meal for lunch. may be an option. It can be flavored with various spices.
Dinner: For dinner, you can choose a Thai-style salad called pad-Thai prepared with raw peppers, zucchini and peanuts. Chicken, shrimp, green onion, garlic, soy sauce and bean sprouts can also be added to this salad, green lemon juice, cold-pressed olive oil, a little sea salt can be added to it. Hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts or cashews can be added to the salad as crushed, chopped or whole.
In addition, desserts can be prepared using vegan-style lemon cheesecake and similar raw materials prepared using cashews, coconut and dates. Chocolate cookies can also be made by combining cocoa particles or cracks (dried, roasted fermented cocoa beans, crushed and crushed into small pieces after they are shelled) with cashew nuts and dates.

Advantages of Raw Food Diet

Advocates of the raw food diet believe that this diet has many benefits, such as weight loss, more energy, improvement in chronic diseases, better overall health, and a reduction in ecological footprint. Studies only support some of these claims.
It does not include processed, unhealthy food: The raw diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, which means it is abundant in vitamins, minerals and fiber. It contains nuts, seeds and oils that provide plenty of healthy fats. In addition to all this, fresh raw foods are more moisturizing than their cooked counterparts. Raw nutrition diet minimizes the amount of unnecessary foods because it contains unprocessed foods. Manufactured foods often contain ingredients associated with malnutrition (sugar, excess salt, odd chemical additives that are difficult to pronounce).
Helps the digestive process: Although cooking reduces some of the nutrients in foods, especially water-soluble ones such as vitamin C and B vitamins, it supports other nutrients. Lycopene and beta-carotene, for example, are more easily absorbed by the body when heated. The high fiber and water contained in raw diets can aid the body’s digestive processes. This can reduce inflammation in the intestines, increase the body’s ability to use food more efficiently, and help remove waste.
Some other advantages are:

What is a Raw Food Diet?  What Are the Pros and Cons?May provide weight loss: Raw food diets tend to be low in calories. Studies show that the raw food diet is linked to having less body fat and losing more body fat. The study found that 15 percent of men and 25 percent of women who followed a raw food diet were underweight. It also shows that after switching to a raw diet, men and women lost an average of 22 to 26 pounds. The study also found that low body weight due to such a diet can disrupt a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Allows enzymes to be retained in food: It is true that high heat destroys some enzymes. Those who look at it in this respect believe that eating foods raw will be beneficial. But even though enzymes are destroyed during cooking, the acids in the stomach can do the same.
Improved environmental impact: A raw diet generally has a lower lifetime carbon footprint compared to other diets. This is due to his focus on plants rather than animals. Those on a raw food diet also tend to value other sustainability ideals, such as eating locally sourced food and reducing unnecessary waste of food.
Saves Money: Practicing raw feeding also saves money. Removing all animal foods from the food list can reduce shopping costs. Studies have repeatedly shown that plant-based diets are less expensive than meat-based diets. By not cooking the food (or having to cool it too much), your energy bill will also go down.
Regarding cooking method, appliance type, fuel sources and the like, eating raw can save enough energy expenditure each year.

Cons of the Raw Food Diet

While the raw food diet can provide a range of health, environmental, and possibly financial benefits, it can negatively impact health. With a raw diet, weight can possibly be lost, but problems with nutritional and caloric needs. This can turn into other health problems.
Digestion and absorption may be reduced: Cooking improves the digestibility and nutrient absorption of many foods. Processing food can also improve food safety. There is no doubt that raw foods bring nutritionalness, complexity and variety to snacks and meals, and they are definitely needed for a healthy diet. Eating a combination of raw and cooked foods is probably even better for health. Studies show that both cooked foods and raw foods are good and their nutritional value varies according to the food and preparation method.
Low in calories: Since the calories from raw foods are low, it can be difficult to eat enough food to get the required amount of calories each day. This is partly because plant foods contain fewer calories initially and partly because raw foods are less digestible. These make it difficult for the body to absorb the available calories.
Nutrient deficiency poses a risk: While the raw food diet is likely safe in the short term, it is not a safe and sustainable practice in the long term. Raw diet lifestyle is linked to nutritional deficiencies. If the raw diet is insufficient in terms of nutrients, the vitamin and mineral reserves in the body will decrease. These deficiencies can lead to health problems in the future.
Following a raw food diet can lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It can also lower HDL cholesterol (the type of good cholesterol), vitamin B-12, and iron to undesirable levels. The situation gets even more difficult on the raw vegan diet. In addition to the deficiencies that are common in the regular raw diet, there is a greater risk of not getting enough calcium, vitamin D. Supplements can help replenish the body’s nutrient stores, but it is unlikely to fully compensate for the diet’s calorie and protein deficiencies.
Bones and teeth can get weaker: There is some evidence that limited calorie and protein intake in a raw vegan diet can lead to low bone density or osteoporosis. Other research has found that maintaining a raw diet for a long time can increase your risk of tooth erosion.

Risks of Eating Raw FoodWhat is a Raw Food Diet?  What Are the Pros and Cons?

Diets containing raw, unpasteurized or undercooked animal products are a health concern. Raw chicken and red meat, poorly cooked or raw eggs, unpasteurized raw drinking milk and products derived from these milks, raw shellfish consumed pose a risk of food poisoning. It may not be safe to eat some foods without cooking because there is a risk of poisoning from foods that are not cooked. During cooking, toxic chemicals, bacteria and other microbes are broken down. Raw fruits and vegetables are known to carry harmful bacteria such as E. coli. These products should always be thoroughly washed before eating.

Can the Raw Food Diet be Continued for a Long Time?

It can be difficult to keep up with a lifestyle that includes a raw food diet. Several things affect this. First, food choices may seem limited. Also, depending on the season and place of residence, reaching a variety of raw diet-compatible foods can be difficult. Eating in restaurants or eating with friends can be difficult. The presence of a raw-fed person can also be challenging within the family. When it comes to preparing food, cooking really limits the options. It is necessary to be creative in using methods such as soaking, brine, and mixing to get rid of nutritional problems.

A Dietitian Should Be Consulted Before You Begin

Nutritionists recommend starting a raw food diet gradually. Sudden changes in diet can cause stomach upset. The following can be suggested to succeed:
Salad is technically a combination of raw foods. Those who do not like green leafy vegetables have a variety of different What is a Raw Food Diet?  What Are the Pros and Cons?can try the materials. Beets and yams, for example, can add some color and sweetness to any salad.
Some of the most popular sauces and decorations can also be prepared raw.
Pesto, Chimichurri, tapenade and salsa sauces are great examples of raw condiments that raise the meal’s level.
It may not be too hard to start trying raw foods as the possibilities are endless. Besides certain fruits, great raw smoothie ingredients include spinach, avocado, ginger, peanut or nut butter and seeds.
It can be difficult to stick to a raw food diet, especially for people with a busy lifestyle. Fortunately, the diet does not need to be fed completely raw to see positive effects. It may be helpful to include some of the foods, techniques and habits in your diet. It may not be a suitable regimen for people who are pregnant or have a compromised immune system. People with certain health problems should be wary of the raw food diet and speak to a healthcare professional before starting it. The dietician can provide personalized advice that will increase the chances of health and success.

References:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/7381
https://greatist.com/health/raw-food-diet
https://www.aysetolga.com/cig-yemek-diyeti

Writer: Muserref Ozdas


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