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In recent years, many of us have heard or read about the raw food diet. So what exactly is it? The diet of many raw foodists consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, sprouts, honey and legumes that are never heated above 116 degrees Fahrenheit. Though for most, the raw food diet is strictly vegan (i.e., excludes all animal products such as eggs, meats and dairies), some raw foodists will consume any foods—including meat— as long as they are not cooked.
Many raw foodists rely on dehumidifiers, juicers and food processors to prepare their meals. While the name, raw food diet, implies eating only fresh produce, a raw food diet can include a variety of dishes and is typically 75 percent raw. Did you know that raw foodists eat bread? One recipe calls for wheat, fruits and vanilla to create a loaf that “cooks” in a dehumidifier for 5-6 hours.
Proponents of the raw food diet claim that consuming live, uncooked meals provides more energy, reduces the risk of common maladies and even cures serious diseases. Raw food advocates believe that cooking foods destroys enzymes, vitamins and healthy bacteria that regulate the human digestive tract. While many critics argue that diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and cancer affect animal species that eat only raw foods, and lead to lower bone-density among vegans, nutrition experts agree that a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables—and low in trans-fats—leads to better health and a reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|