Welcome to the Healthy Way Diet Program! Our focus is providing nutritionally sound and medically researched information and advice to help you live healthier, happier lives.
The Raw Food Diet
Is it feasible?
The raw food diet received a lot of attention after the release of an excellent documentary entitled, Raw for 30 Days, which chronicles the benefits of a raw food diet on a group of people suffering from diabetes. The documentary was inspiring, but how feasible is a raw food diet to maintain on a daily basis? It depends on your level of discipline. Typically, a raw-foodist obtains 75% to 100% of their caloric intake from raw foods, or foods that have never been heated over 116° Fahrenheit. Heating to this temperature destroys the natural enzymes in food, and raw-foodists believe that these enzymes are crucial to good health as these are enzymes that aid digestion. Raw foodists also avoid packaged and processed foods and they purchase organic foods whenever possible. A raw food diet is basically a vegetarian diet, but it is on a stricter scale since no cooked foods (pasta, rice, eggs, etc.) are ingested. Foods allowed on a raw-foods diet include:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Raw nuts & seeds (preferably still in the shell)
- Sprouted or germinated beans
- Sprouted grains
- Sundried seaweed
- Unprocessed organic or natural foods
- Freshly-made fruit and vegetable juice
- Purified water (no tap water)
- Young coconut milk
- Raw olives
- Raw honey
Fresh fruits and vegetables can be purchased everywhere, but the other foods allowed on this diet will need to be prepared at home. Sprouting beans and seeds means soaking them for a period of time and eating them uncooked. This is not something you’ll typically find in a restaurant. Sprouted grains such as buckwheat, oats, quinoa, and barley will also need to be soaked and eaten raw. Dried fruits are limited as the water is removed during dehydration, and many of the commercial brands actually cook the fruit.
Raw-foodists believe that this diet improves energy levels, aids in weight loss, builds a stronger immune system, clears the skin, aids digestion, and reduces the risk of heart disease. Certainly, one cannot argue that fresh foods in their natural state provide a wealth of health benefits. The Manual for a Healthy Body and Happy Mind strongly advocates the addition of natural foods in the diet, but one should be aware that the potential for certain nutritional deficiencies such as protein, calcium, iron, and B-12 is higher on a raw foods diet and should be monitored.