Are your clothes getting tight again and you’re a few pounds above the weight you’d like to be? This seems to happen to many people in life, and often it takes some dieting and exercise to get those extra pounds off. If you happen to be looking for a new diet to lose those extra pounds, one you may not have heard of is Raw Foods diet. While there are mixed opinions about this diet, there are many people who have truly found it to be an effective way to lose weight. Of course before you try it yourself, you may want to learn a bit more about it, so let’s take a look at those the diet works for best, pros and cons, what you can eat, and how the medical community weighs in.
Overview of the Raw Foods Diet
Basically the raw foods diet is exactly what it sounds like. It is a diet that consists of mainly raw foods. It is based on uncooked and unprocessed plant foods, including seeds, beans, vegetables, fresh fruits, seaweed, nuts, sprouts, and dried fruit. The basic principle of the diet focuses on the idea that heating up food too much, above 116 F, actually gets rid of important enzymes in foods that help with the absorption and digestion of food. Also, cooking the food is thought to get rid of the nutritional value of the food as well. So, this diet usually consists of a minimum of 75% raw or living foods.
Who This Diet Works for Best
This is a diet that is definitely a great choice for those who already lean towards the vegetarian lifestyle. The raw foods diet is a diet that takes quite a bit of time as well to stay on this diet, so it’s not necessarily a great choice for those who have a busy life. People who have anemia or women who are pregnant should not go on this diet, and it’s not a great choice for children either.
Pros and Cons to Consider
Just like any diet, you’ll find that there are both pros and cons to consider before you decide this diet is for you. So, here are a few pros and cons to consider that will help you make your decision.
– Pro #1 – More Energy – One of the main benefits of the raw foods diet is that most people who go on it find that the experience more energy than ever before. Since they are eating raw foods that are not full of preservatives or processed sugars, they don’t deal with the sluggish feelings that come along with those foods.
– Pro #2 – Weight Loss – Weight loss is another pro to consider when considering this diet. It really does work for aiding people with weight loss. If people truly stick to the diet plan, they will see a reduction in weight.
– Pro #3 – Reduced Risk of Certain Diseases – The raw foods diet is high in folate, magnesium, fiber, and phytochemcials. These nutrients are all known to help reduce the risk of a variety of different diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and even diabetes.
– Con #1 – Some Ingredients are Difficult to Find – One of the cons of the raw foods diet is that some of the ingredients that are needed for the diet are quite hard to find. The diet calls for things like Celtic sea salt, Rejuvelac, date sugar, carob powder, sprouted flour, and even young coconut milk, and all of these ingredients are very difficult to find.
– Con #2 – Takes a Lot of Time and Commitment – This diet also takes a lot of time and commitment if you are truly going to follow it the right way. Not only will you spend time looking for the foods that you need, but many of the foods that have to be made take quite a bit of your time as well. It’s definitely not the best choice for people who have extremely busy lives.
– Con #3 – Certain Nutritional Deficiencies Can Occur – There are several nutritional deficiencies that can occur as well when you go on the raw foods diet. It is possible to become deficient in iron, calcium, protein, B12, and protein, to name a few.
Do’s and Don’ts of Food
When you are on Raw Foods, the eating plan is quite strict. You are only allowed to eat foods that are organic and unprocessed when you’re on this diet. Also, most of the food eaten should not be cooked. Some of the foods that are allowed include organic foods, dried fruits, beans, nuts, legumes, seaweed, young coconut milk, fresh veggies, fresh fruits, grains, juiced vegetables and fruits, and purified water. Some people do add some quality poultry and fish to their diet as well, and of course you are allowed to cook these meats.
The Medical Community Gives Their Opinion
While there are several benefits of the Raw Foods diet, some professionals in the medical community are still a bit skeptical of this diet. Some medical professionals argue that cooking certain foods actually helps to aid with the absorption of some important nutrients as well. Doctors also find themselves concerned about the deficiencies that can occur. Studies have even shown that this diet can make things worse for people who are already at risk for osteoporosis, since calcium deficiencies can occur, and they can end up with lower bone mass.
Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor before starting any dieting program.