The Raw Food diet has been in existence for centuries and a 19th-century doctor by the name Maximilian Bircher-Benner is credited as its pioneer. The diet is based on a number of questionable and debunked theories including that cooking destroys natural enzymes found in food and lowers nutrient content while destroying the food’s “life force” which are at odds with conventional science.
The Raw Food diet plan is almost entirely plant-based and avoids any processed and refined foods, sugars and additives and generally any meal prepared in heat exceeding 115 Fahrenheit. Regardless of the scientific accuracy of its foundations, the Raw Food diet plan has seen a resurgence in recent times with advocates claiming it can help in weight loss, improved vitality, increased energy, improvement to chronic diseases and improved general health.
The Process of the Raw Food Diet
Participants of the diet avoid any meal cooked in high heat, instead preferring drying, juicing and soaking as the acceptable preparation methods. The Raw Food menu is based on vegetables and fruits which are eaten raw or after being cooked on low heat. Nuts and seeds with cold-pressed olive oil are the fat sources and unprocessed dairy, eggs, dried meats and raw meat like sushi and sashimi can provide the protein. Grains and legumes are also consumed after being soaked or sprouted to make them edible.
The Raw Food menu avoids all roasted, baked and conventionally cooked foods. It also prohibits refined and processed food products and additives including sugar and salt and also discourages alcohol and coffee. Exercise is not part of the plan but is encouraged.
- It is one way to maintain a healthy weight.
- It is difficult to follow and inconvenient taking up time and resources.
- It can be expensive as some foods are rare and may need special equipment.
- It may lead to deficiencies of important nutrients.
Who Should Do It
The Raw Food diet is almost guaranteed to help in weight loss as it is low in calories. It can be problematic in the long term as there is a clear risk of nutrient deficiency.
Meal Plan Ideas
- Breakfast: Overnight oatmeal with chopped fruit and nuts
- Snack: Broccoli and raw hummus
- Snack: Raw sweet potato chips and fruit
- Dinner: Stuffed portobello mushrooms
- Breakfast: Green smoothie
- Snack: Carrots and raw hummus
- Lunch: Raw squash noodle pasta with pesto
- Snack: Strawberries and almonds
- Dinner: Raw vegetable pizza
- Breakfast: Soaked oats with berries
- Lunch: Salad with avocado and fruit
- Snack: Sliced bell pepper and sunflower seeds
- Dinner: Raw veggie sushi and chopped veggies