Coming fast on the heels of the current juicing craze, raw food diets are back in vogue. Celebrities who’ve embraced this trend include Demi Moore, Alicia Silverstone, and Jason Mraz. Learn about the health benefits and the hype associated with this new food trend.
Raw Diets 101
Raw foodists believe that cooking the food alters its structure and destroys beneficial enzymes. By eating raw, proponents believe, you can actualize all of the nutrients inside the food you eat and receive more health benefits.
Technically speaking, raw foods can be heated — but no higher than a certain temperature that raw foodists don’t always agree on (the magic zone spans from 104 degrees Fahrenheit to 118 degrees Fahrenheit).
Some raw foodists eat unpasteurized milk and cheese, raw fish, and raw meat. Others eschew animal-based products altogether and eat only plants and legumes.
Raw Food Fanfare
Proponents of the raw food diet rave about their new lifestyle as if they’ve found the magic pill to cure aging. They have more energy and look and feel better in their skin and bodies.
In part, this might be because raw eating is a plant-based diet. If you aren’t ready to try eating raw, simply moving beyond Meatless Mondays to a more plant-based diet could incorporate some of the same benefits into your life.
For many who try a raw diet, the experience of fresh and flavorful food is a new one. Often, people are taught to overcook their vegetables and so the flavor and crunch of a fresh green bean or kale leaf can be an incredible shock.
Since eating raw involved giving up processed foods, many people lose weight when going raw.
When it’s Rough to Go Raw
When you go raw, be prepared to give up eating out (unless you’re getting a salad). Raw meals take a lot of time to prepare and there are a lot of rules to follow if you want to stick to the diet 100 percent. This may be why people fall on and off of the raw diet bandwagon — it’s very time consuming.
The learning curve can be high when it comes to preparing raw foods, which are often blended, dehydrated, sprouted, or fermented.
At present, there’s a lack of hard evidence as to the diet’s scientific benefits. To see its benefits for yourself, you’ll just need to give it a try and if your body ends up reaping any notable benefits!