A menu consisting of raw foods sounds kind of boring, huh!
Yet, people who eat raw food diets claim they feel younger, have increased their energy, healed their body of certain ailments, and have even lost weight.
But, before you answer the question above – “Would you eat a raw food diet?” – let’s clear up the definition of “raw food” as it seems everyone has different opinions. Raw does not mean eating nothing but raw vegetables …. or salads. A raw menu, according to Carol Alt over at Raw Nutrition, can consist of sandwiches, smoothies, soup, granola, hummus, and desserts. Raw simply means foods that have not been cooked. And that can include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, grains, unpasteurized dairy products, fish, and meat. Raw can also mean (and this is where some may disagree) food that has not been sprayed with pesticides, has no added preservatives, or has not be irradiated (treated with ionizing radiation to kill germs). I personally think of the latter as organic, but for some people this falls under the raw category because its causes foods to lose their vitality.
There are pros and there are cons to cooking these foods.
The pros are the main purpose for cooking the foods . . . to destroy all bacteria and other pathogens that could cause serious illnesses. And for that reason alone, many people understandably choose not to eat a raw food diet.
And the cons . . . that eating foods cooked at high temperatures (more than 112 degrees) can increase the rate at which we age plus it can contribute to weight gain. Again, according to Carol Alt, this is due to four things happening to the food when it is cooked at high temperatures:
1. The molecular structure changes.
2. The enzymes are killed.
3. The vitamins and minerals are destroyed.
4. The acid alkaline balance changes.
All this has an effect on how our body digests food which in turn prevents us from absorbing all the nutrients we need. The end result … the onset of weight gain and aging more quickly.
The health benefits of choosing raw foods over cooked include,
1. Weight loss
2. Slower aging
3. Better digestion
4. Increase energy
5. Improved skin appearance
6. Reduced heart disease
By simply changing how foods are prepared, we could shed our body of fat and we could lessen the effects of aging. But before giving up all our home-cooked meals, we need to decide which is the better risk,
1. Consuming foods that are cooked and considered bacteria free but which could promote weight gain and early aging, or
2. Consuming foods that are raw and facilitate weight loss and anti-aging and which perhaps is not bacteria free, but the fact that it provides better absorption of nutrients may be enough to protect against diseases.