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  • Writer's pictureHeather

Are Raw Food Diets Worth The Risks?

Have you ever looked at a food label to review ingredients? Many packaged foods contain ingredients you are likely unfamiliar with, and some of those ingredients seem unpronounceable. It is no wonder why people are turning to more natural food products.


However, while turning to organic or whole foods is admirable, some dieters take nutrition to the extreme, restricting their diets to only raw foods. A raw food diet might benefit the right person, but extreme raw food diets are risky, if not dangerous.


Understanding Raw Diets


A raw food diet restricts your food intake to unprocessed and uncooked foods only. Also, some diets restrict preparation methods. A typical version of the diet might only allow:


  • Juicing

  • Blending

  • Sprouting

  • Drying to a specific temperature

  • Soaking


Ultimately, a raw food plan requires dieters to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. Including too many preparation options in the plan can lead to molecular or structural changes in the foods, which the diet tries to avoid.


Reviewing Types of Raw Diets


How strict you are with your raw food plan is up to you. Some people will not deviate from plans, only consuming raw foods, but others will mainly eat raw foods but allow some cooked and processed foods. There are three types of raw food plans, each with advantages and disadvantages.


Raw Vegan Diet


Rich in fruits and vegetables, the raw vegan diet is healthier than the other options. However, the diet is not for everyone, and it is certainly not a cure-all solution.


Medical professionals will all agree that fruits and veggies are essential to nutrition. Many professionals will also argue that consuming produce in its raw and purest form will ensure the ingestion of a maximum number of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber.


Also, because of the low calorie and high fiber content in produce, a raw vegan diet can help with weight loss. Fiber helps you feel fuller longer, which can reduce cravings for processed foods.


The potential drawbacks of such a diet are that it restricts too many foods, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Eggs, dairy, and meat are your primary source of protein, iodine, iron, vitamins B12 and D, and calcium.


Raw Vegetarian and Raw Omnivorous Diets


Nutritionists consider the raw vegetarian and raw omnivorous diet plans risky. These options include the consumption of raw animal products, which is dangerous. The unprocessed and uncooked products can consist of eggs, dairy, and meat.


Raw milk is also known as unpasteurized milk. The pasteurization process is a heating process that kills bacteria, including Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. Drinking or consuming unpasteurized dairy products can increase your risks of illness and infection.


Consuming raw, unpasteurized eggs presents similar risks to drinking unpasteurized milk. The eggs can contain Salmonella. If you want eggs, choose pasteurized versions, or stick to cooking them thoroughly.


Finally, eating raw meat is dangerous, especially when discussing pork, fish, or poultry. Health experts recommend cooking all meats to meet minimum safe cooking temperatures.


Raw food diets present more risks than necessary when eating. If you insist on trying a raw food diet, choose the vegan option and consult your doctor to ensure you maintain basic nutrient levels.

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