Some people choose to eat a raw food diet, mainly for health reasons. They believe cooking foods destroys valuable nutrients and that eating mostly or only raw foods has many health benefits. Eating a raw food diet can help you lose weight, too.
What Are Raw Foods?
Raw foods are basically any foods that have not been cooked. People that follow a raw food diet eat things like raw fruits and vegetables, sprouts, wheat and barley grass, uncooked grains like oats, nuts, seeds and uncooked beans (they soak the beans so they are soft enough to eat). Some people eat dried fruits and vegetables, prepared in a dehydrator. Dehydrators use low levels of heat so they food is still considered uncooked. Many people that eat a raw food diet also juice fresh fruits and vegetables.
Many people that eat a raw food diet are vegans, or vegetarians that eat no animal products at all, including dairy products. Some people that eat a raw food diet do eat dairy products, though, like raw cheese (cheese that is made without cooking any of the ingredients) and yogurt.
How Will It Help with Weight Loss?
A raw food diet is low in fat and calories. It’s fairly high in complex carbohydrates, like fruits and vegetables, but it’s very low in simple or starchy carbohydrates. These things all help you lose weight. Even if you eat a very large portion of raw foods, you’ll be getting few calories. For instance, three cups of lettuce topped with a half cup of cucumber, half cup of diced tomato, half cup of alfalfa sprouts, two tablespoons of sunflower seeds, two tablespoons of slivered almonds and a drizzle of olive oil is pretty filling but has only about 300 calories.
What About the Sugar?
While low in calories, a raw food diet can be high in sugar. It doesn’t have to be, though. Many fruits contain a fair amount of sugar, and if you juice fruits and vegetables, juice usually contains more sugar than whole fruits or veggies. That means someone could get a lot of sugar on a raw food diet and it might even be too much sugar for someone that is diabetic. Eating a large amount of sugar, even naturally occurring sugar in fruits and veggies, is not conducive to weight loss. However, you can eat a raw food diet and pay careful attention to the glycemic index of the foods you eat. You can also limit the amount of juice you drink.
The Bottom Line
A raw food diet can help you lose weight. It’s not the only way to lose weight, of course. Many people find it difficult to stick to such a limited diet and it’s certainly possible to lose weight eating a diet that contains cooked foods. If you’re interested in eating a raw food diet, though, it can be a good way to lose weight.
Even when losing weight, it’s important to make sure you get the nutrition you need. Therefore you might want to make an appointment with a registered dietician to discuss a raw food diet plan. It’s especially important to make sure you get enough vitamin B12 and if you eat a vegan raw food diet, you will need to take a B12 supplement. If you want to consult with a dietician, check first to make sure he or she is knowledgeable about raw food diets. Some aren’t, in which case they would not be able to advise you properly.
The Best of Raw Food. http://www.thebestofrawfood.com/starting-a-raw-food-diet.html. Starting a Raw Food Diet.
Web MD. http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/raw-food-diet. Raw Food Diet.