Dieting and Fasting

What are the Raw Food Diet Benefits for Weight Loss?

The raw food diet is one of the most popular diets today because it helps people lose weight without having to count calories. A raw food diet is a diet that comprises only uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, and grains.

What is a raw food diet?

Weight loss diets are a-dime-a-dozen, but what is not present is enough and credible information about which diet is healthy and which diet may actually get you the results that you desire. With the increasing influence of social media self-claimed nutritionists and dieticians, there is no control over the myths or lies people may end up endorsing and believing in. Raw food diet or Raw foodism is one such ‘trendy’ diet that has seen its time in the spotlight and many people around the world believe that following a raw food diet may bring several health benefits.

But does it actually help you lose weight? Will it allow you to lose weight safely?

Raw food diet benefits

Obviously, then a majority of your diet will comprise fresh fruits and leafy and cruciferous vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds. Some people who follow the raw food diet even consume un-pasteurised dairy products, raw eggs, meats and fish. The diet was born out of the belief that cooking foods for long periods of time can denature certain beneficial compounds in foods and destroy most of the nutrition present in them. Indeed, there are some vitamins and nutrients that may get leached out of certain foods items while cooking, particularly during boiling or slow-cooking.

Cooking also introduces several potentially unhealthy elements to your diet, including high-sodium condiments, excessive salt and greasy or processed cooking oils. So, you may think that to reap the benefits of these foods, eat them raw. But, this is just half the story.

While over-cooking food may make it lose its nutrition, some heat may actually make certain compounds more readily available for absorption by the body. Applying some heat to certain foods and spices activates the antioxidants and beneficial compounds in them and also makes sure that the food is easily digested by the body. Cooked food is easier to assimilate than raw food.

Cooking your food, particularly foods like eggs, meats and fish, can make sure that the harmful bacteria in them are killed off.

Raw food diet for weight loss

While eating raw foods or following raw foodism may make you lose weight initially because of the absence of salt, sugar or cooking oils, it is not a sustainable diet as you may lose out on several important antioxidants and healthy compounds from your meals.

Another reason following a raw food diet can lead to weight loss is that the options are limited – you will mostly end up eating a lot of fresh fruits, seeds, and nuts, which are typically low in calories. However, a raw food diet may deprive you of several other essential nutrients, including protein and minerals like zinc and calcium.

These may lead to poor overall health and health complications because of the deficiencies in these nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

So, the bottom line is that you should stick to eating cooked food. Do not over-cook your food if you are concerned about the nutrients getting lost. Prepare your meals by using low salt and sugar, as well as with healthier alternatives for processed cooking oils like olive oil, mustard oil and coconut oil.

Raw food diet pros and cons

The raw food trend is perhaps one of the most controversial food trends to have ever hit the food circuit. The advocates of raw food have emphasised how including more nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, fruits and vegetables-ones that haven’t been heated past 118 degree F have helped boost their overall health, energy and even cut down on a few pounds. It is also widely believed that raw foods are rich in enzymes, vitamins and minerals, which are not lost in heating it.

However, just as it is with any food trend, the trend of raw foods too has its own share of detractors. Some experts believe that the raw food diet is restrictive; there is only a limited amount of food that you can have as part of your diet, which may put you at risk of various deficiencies. 

According to Ayurveda, there are many good and bad dietary practices. One of the good practices is to have your food cooked. So, does Ayurveda not approve of raw food? Let’s find out,

According to Ayurveda expert Dr. Dhanvanthi Tyagi, there is a lot of confusion on Ayurveda’s take on raw food. I would like to clarify that Ayurveda has never said that one should not have raw foods. It is completely okay to have salads, nuts and grains. It is only in some conditions that you should abstain from it. For instance, raw foods are a complete no-no in monsoon. Bacteria and viral infections are at its peak. Several leafy vegetables get infected because of the overwhelming presence of bacteria around. Washing and cooking the vegetables ensures the bacteria are killed.

If your digestive capacity is low, then it is better to have foods cooked. Raw foods take a lot of chewing and it may get a little tough for our systems to digest its strong fibres. By cooking food, one makes it easier to breakdown and digest once it enters the system. I have seen some nutritionists also advising diabetics not to take in raw foods in the evening as it may pose a problem in digestion.

In the evening, our digestive fire is not as high as it is during the day.” “Other than that, it really depends on food. Some foods are taken raw. Take fruits in raw forms; veggies like cucumber are consumed raw. There is no bar on raw foods, but one should be mindful of certain conditions before taking anything,” he adds. 

Therefore, if you like to eat raw foods, you need not change your dietary preferences. However, you can keep these conditions in mind. Learn About High PROTEIN DIET.

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