There are many health fads out there that claim to offer better weight loss nutrition and overall wellness, and one of the most popular is the raw food diet. Depending on what side of the fence you are on, this eating option could be a great way to maximize on nutrients or a step up from becoming malnourished. So which is it?
Raw food diet 101
The raw food diet, also know as rawism, requires individuals to eat foods that are prepared in their most natural state. That means uncooked and unprocessed foods are essential. Many of these items include whole grains, beans, dried fruits, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouts, sprouted seeds and seaweed. In fact, around 75 percent of a raw food diet comes from fruits and vegetables, according to WebMD.
Oftentimes, many raw food dieters are also vegans, although there are some who eat raw eggs or cheese made from unpasteurized, raw milk. For the most part, rawists tend to avoid anything made with refined sugar and also stay away from alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
Pros and cons
The obvious positives of a raw food diet are that you are eating "clean" and consuming a great amount of healthier food options. A plant-based diet has been proven to lower cholesterol, balance blood sugar, and for some, provide weight loss help due to the large amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals. However, there are a few setbacks to this diet as well. For one, there are many nutrients essential for a balanced diet that this eating trend lacks, namely calcium, iron, B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Because this diet is also completely centered around fresh produce, it can become quite pricey.
As always, if you are thinking about altering your eating regimen, it is important to discuss any major dietary changes such as this with your doctor.
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