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Top 10 Raw Food Diet Facts You Must Know Before Changing

Updated on September 7, 2016
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Imtiaz is a registered pharmacist with 9+ years of experience in freelance medical writing. He holds a Bachelor's in Pharmacy.

Fruits on display at a market in Barcelona.
Fruits on display at a market in Barcelona. | Source


I'm on a raw diet for xx weeks; it's really awesome and fun! I feel like something is detoxifying my inner parts. If you're planning for a healthy diet, I think you must give the raw food diet a try!

It's not unlikely today that you often hear something similar.

But, should you try a raw diet?

Is it really worth trying?

Just by hearing some motivational stories of others or seeing media hype about the raw food diet, many dieters often go for the diet without a proper understanding, planning and a diet goal. Ultimately they not only fail to stick with their diet plan but also fail to achieve their desired diet goals.

So if you are in the same boat and really want to try-out a raw food diet, here are top 10 facts about this overhyped diet.

1. Raw Foods are not Magical

There are many myths and misconceptions about the raw diet. Magical healing property is one of the highly propagated myths about the diet.

Devotees believe adopting a raw style can not just help prevent hundreds of diseases but also make significant, positive changes in the body. However, the fact is there is little or no scientific evidence behind these claims. In a recent study, it was even demonstrated that long-term vegetarian diet was associated with low bone mass in participants.

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2. Raw Foods Contain Toxins

Some fruits and veggies contain harmful toxins. These foods can cause hazardous side effects, if they are eaten raw. In scientific studies, potatoes, mushrooms, beans, grains, alfalfa sprouts, spinach/rhubarb, parsnip, taro, and flavonoids were reported to cause serious adverse effects, when they were taken raw in large quantities. Having said that, if you want to eat theses fruits and veggies, it would be wiser for you to avoid those in raw form, and go with the traditional cooking procedure.

3. 100% Raw Diet is not Healthy

Following a 100% raw diet is tough, and not healthy as well. A diet high in raw foods may possibly lead you to serious undernourishment, because a deficiency of vitamin B12 is often reported in raw dieter. For this reason, it is best to mix up your diet with both raw and cooked foods. Try 75% raw and other 25% from cooked foods.

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Deep-fried fish with spring onion and cooked rice
Deep-fried fish with spring onion and cooked rice | Source

4. Cooked Foods are Sometimes More Digestible and Nutritious

Most raw foodists may not believe, but it’s scientifically evident that our traditional cooking procedures make solid foods, like protein and carbohydrate, easier to digest. Furthermore, some foods require a little heat to release their potential nutrients, such as lycopene, a potential anti-cancer agent, in tomatoes are more accessible with a little heat or cooking.

Although processing or cooking procedure destroys some vital nutrients from our foods, but there are some reasons for which our ancestors started cooking foods. Studies suggest that early humans may have cooked food and roasted meat to kill bacteria and avoid food poisoning. Moreover, a number of studies demonstrate that it would have been scientifically unimaginable for humans to evolve such a huge brain on a raw, vegan diet and that eating-animals was an essential element of human evolution.

5. Deficiency of Vitamins

You may need some additional supplements, while you are on a raw diet. Raw dieters are often deficient in nutrients (vitamin B12, omega-3, iron and calcium) from animal sources. Make sure that you are fulfilling the daily requirements of nutrients from your raw food sources. To know more vitamin deficiencies related to raw food diet, read the below post to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of raw food diet.

6. Poor Nutrition Intake

Before you go for a raw diet, a careful meal planning to balance your nutrition intake is essential. A well-balanced diet provides sufficient energy and adequate nutrition for your body’s optimal growth and development. Otherwise, your body’s natural growth and development may be affected due to poor nutrition level. An unbalanced diet can make difficulties with systematic maintenance of the body tissues, function of brain and nerve tissues, and can even interrupt usual functioning of bone and muscle system.

Therefore, if you are planning to go for a raw diet, keep in mind that not all forms of raw foods are healthier for your body. As I mentioned above, some raw foods contain harmful toxins and it’s unhealthy to consume those foods in raw form. So before adopting a new food style, you must be careful about what to include in your diet plan and what to avoid.

Food Sources of a Balanced Diet
Food Sources of a Balanced Diet | Source
Consulting with a dietician
Consulting with a dietician | Source

7. Not for Everyone!

Every human being is unique in his/her physiological set-up and lifestyle. Whatever worked for others might not work for you. Moreover, ethnicity, race, and geographical location also play a big part in creating variations.

It has been suggested that individuals with weak digestive enzymes might feel cold after a raw food meal. Before taking a decision about the diet, make sure your body can cope with a raw diet. It’s best to consult with a dietitian or general physician before planning your raw food diet.

In addition, a raw diet isn't for the elderly people, as individuals over age 50 often have reduced ability to absorb nutrients, and nutritional deficiencies are often reported in raw dieters.

8. Expensive Food style

Many raw dieters prefer organic fruits and vegetables over ordinarily available raw foods, as raw foods available in local market are mostly grown up using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. But, before going for the organic foods, you need to know that these foods are about 50% more expensive in an ordinary supermarket. In this case, I believe shopping in a wholesale market would be the best option for you.

9. Higher Chances of Falling in a Scam!

There are thousands of raw diet programs out there; many of them are 100% scam. I'll not be surprised if you say that you were caught up with one such misleading ad or scam.

And, you will find many raw diet gurus claiming that they know the best possible ways of raw diet. Don’t confuse yourself with their different ideas as well as methods. Be your own raw diet guru. You need to know that different people react differently in a particular raw diet program. It is best to find out the suitable one by yourself.

10. Hard to Stick with the Diet

A raw food diet isn't for everyone, because a raw lifestyle requires motivation, a long-term planning, nutritional knowledge, and some serious willpower!

If you really want to fulfill your desired goals with a raw diet, a long-term perspective is essential to experience the benefits. A raw diet isn’t a diet that you can follow to achieve your goals immediately or within a few days.

© 2013 Imtiaz Ibne Alam


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