Get ready to delve into a world of juicing, blending and dehydrating galore because these are the only tools you need to begin the fascinating world of the raw food diet. This actually makes me cringe. The mere thought of eating just raw vegetables for the rest of my life is enough to send me throwing myself down a flight of stairs. I love when my food is thoroughly cooked, except for the occasional medium-rare steak that is.
So what is this exactly…well, its name pretty much says it all. Although it’s been around for awhile, leave it to celebs to cause this diet to spread like wildfire. From what I’ve gathered, it’s eating foods not heated above anywhere from 118º F and below. It’s primarily consisted of uncooked:
• Unpasteurized dairy products
Those who follow this diet believe that cooking destroys enzymes, vitamins and minerals crucial to our health. Apparently not cooking food maintains these and the enzymes normally destroyed during cooking remain intact and improves digestion. The alleged positives and claims of this diet are:
• Increased energy
• Weight loss: Well, any time you restrict the type of food you eat there can be weight loss associated with that.
• Reduced risk of heart disease: Eating more fruits, vegetables and nuts is definitely a great way to reduce your risk, but this element is still possible with cooked food.
• Clearer skin
The idea of eating more fruits and vegetables is excellent, but unfortunately that’s the only part of this diet that I like. Some foods are cooked for a reason, such as meat and eggs. Eating these foods raw puts you more at risk for getting a food borne illness. Eggs especially are cooked to rule out the potential of getting salmonella. Also, consuming unpasteurized dairy products is very dangerous. Pasteurization is a method of killing bacteria and other harmful contaminants. The US restricts the sale of unpasteurized items for a reason! Any sort of contamination in a dairy product could lead to an infection or illness.
Yes, cooking foods does destroy some vitamins and minerals, but not all. And our body contains plenty of enzymes that help up digest. In the end, I fear that this diet is just another creative way to restrict ourselves. Call me old fashioned, but cooked food will always appeal to me.