The Benefits and Risks of Raw Foodism

The raw food diet, also known as raw foodism, is very simple to follow and basically consists of not cooking food and eating it in its natural state.
The Benefits and Risks of Raw Foodism

Last update: 25 November, 2020

Have you heard of raw foodism? In this article, we’ll tell you more about this diet and what it entails.

Raw Foodism

Raw foodism, also known as a raw food diet, consists of eating food that isn’t cooked in its purest natural state. However, there are some exceptions and conditions to this principle that we’ll discuss below.

This diet is highly nutritious for your body and its benefits are many and varied. Understanding raw foodism principles are important for vegans because they should be able to acquire most of the nutrients contained in a regular diet where foods are cooked.

A raw food diet basically consists of eating raw food that’s mainly natural, organic vegetables.

A plate of raw vegetables.
Unlike traditional veganism, the food in a raw diet is – as its name describes – uncooked.

Raw foodists can also consume fruits, roots, tubers, vegetables, seeds, nuts, some algae, and sprouts.

Furthermore, they can also eat dehydrated foods, because when the food is cooked at less than 107°F, then its properties aren’t lost.

Raw Foodism Menu

To choose your menus, you must know how to mix and match raw foods properly. Therefore, you must know what the principles and rules of this lifestyle are.

There are many types of foods that you can eat to carry out this diet. While you give simple combinations to your body, it manages to ease your digestion and assimilate nutrients more efficiently.

However, you should supplement this diet with vitamin B12 and not totally depend on natural sources such as algae or fermented foods, because these aren’t a good source of this vitamin.

A List of Ideal Foods for Raw Foodism

Legumes, nuts, seeds and dried fruits.
Nuts and seeds are one of the main sources of fats in those who follow a raw diet.
  • Starches: pumpkin, potatoes, and beets.
  • Fats: nuts, coconut, seeds, and avocados.
  • Acids: tomatoes, peppers, and sour fruits.
  • Sweets: dried fruits and sweet fruits.

In order to make proper combinations, follow these simple rules (although it won’t be a problem if you skip them once in a while):

  • Try not to mix fats and sweets.
  • Preferably, don’t mix several types of fats.
  • Also, don’t mix acids and sweet fruits.
  • Finally, don’t mix acids with starches.

The Transition to Raw Foodism: Do it Properly

To begin, include some portions of uncooked food in your meals. Remember, it’s not a good idea to make drastic changes, so steam it or cook it at a temperature below 113°F.

It’s very easy to make the transition. You just need to be willing and motivated and patient and relaxed.

Vitamin B spelled out with tablets.
The risk should be evaluated for a lack of nutrients, such as vitamin B12.

Before adopting the raw food diet, you must evaluate all the pros and cons, its advantages and disadvantages, before applying it.

Consulting a specialist is a very good idea.

The Benefits of Raw Foodism

People who follow a raw food diet believe that it has numerous health benefits, including:

The raw food diet contains less trans fat and saturated fat than our typical Western diet. It’s low in sodium and sugar and provides high levels of potassium, magnesium, folic acid, fiber, vitamin A and antioxidants, all of which are beneficial to your health.

The Risks of Following this Type of Diet

One of the main objections raised by some professionals is the possible risk of nutritional deficiencies, mainly due to a lack of vitamin B12, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.

One study found that people who follow the raw food diet have higher levels of homocysteine ​​and lower levels of HDL cholesterol due to a vitamin B12 deficiency.

However, people with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and diabetes should be wary of the raw food diet. Even though antioxidants, vegetables, and fiber are useful, an excessive amount of their juices could worsen these conditions.

In the same way, it’s imperative to consult a doctor or an expert in nutrition before embarking on a raw food diet. This is especially important for people with a history of eating disorders and/or those who are underweight.

Finally, remember that any success you have with this diet will depend on your motivation to make it happen. That is, in addition to your desire to do so there, must be changes in your lifestyle.

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  • Langan RC., Goodbred AJ., Vitamin B12 deficiency: recognition and management. Am Fam Physician, 2017. 96 (6): 384-389.
  • Rojas Allende D., Figueras Díaz F., Durán Aguero S., Ventajas y desventajas nutricionales de ser vegano o vegetariano. Rev Chil Nutr, 2017.