- Is a raw food diet healthy for your body?
- Are those beneficial facts that you read about raw diet true?
- Are nutritional deficiencies a consequence of continuing raw diet?
- What are the actual advantages of continuing a raw diet?
- What are the disadvantages of continuing a raw food diet?
What is a Raw Food Diet?
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Advantages of a Raw Diet Based on Scientific Study OutcomesActually, there are not enough scientific studies done to evaluate the healthy benefits of consuming uncooked foods. In fact, only a few studies have attributed some positive points. Accordingly, in this post, I have discussed some of the most appreciated studies related to raw food diet.
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Another scientific study on “raw vs. cooked foods and cancer risk” suggested that raw vegetables might be more cancer preventive than cooked vegetables. This study demonstrated that both uncooked and cooked vegetables are inversely related to oral, laryngeal, pharyngeal, epithelial, and gastrointestinal cancers. However, the researchers also found that statistically raw vegetables had a significant inverse relationship with these cancers than cooked vegetables. Moreover, in a clinical study, scientists also found that long-term consumption of raw foods could help lower the cholesterol level as well as triglycerides.
In addition, you need to know that several other studies also suggest that a diet consists of raw foods may help to lose weight, tighten skin appearance, improve digestive function, lower risk of heart diseases and diabetes, enhance energy level, and keep you hydrated.
Disadvantages of Continuing a Raw Food Diet
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As most of the raw foodists are nearly 100% vegetarian, they usually lack in nutrients from animal sources. According to a recent study on long-term raw vegetarians, a high deficiency of vitamin B12 was found in most vegans. You need to know that the primary source of vitamin B12 in our body is dairy products and animals; it is essentially required for the development of nerve and red blood cells and long-term deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead anyone to neurological disorders and anemia.
A strict raw food diet can eventually lead to drastic weight loss. You need to know that a long-term study on raw dieters has already confirmed that this diet can interrupt the normal menstrual cycle in women due to rapid weight loss. In addition, another recent study demonstrated that most raw food vegetarians are deficient in iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids; this study also found an abnormally low bone mass in these vegetarians.
In conclusion, if you are on a raw food diet, you need to know that the American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends taking supplements to fulfill the daily requirements of nutrients. You need to keep in mind that not all forms of uncooked foods are healthier for your body. Many raw foods contain hazardous toxic substances, and can cause serious adverse effects if they are eaten raw. Mushrooms, potatoes, beans, parsnip, alfalfa sprouts, flavonoids, spinach/rhubarb, grains, and taro may eventually results serious side effects when consumed raw in high quantities. Moreover, according to several studies, cooked foods are more digestible than uncooked foods. Because our traditional cooking procedure breaks down protein and carbohydrate contained in the food and as a result, cooked foods are easily digested in our body. So, if you are with a weak digestive system, consider consulting with a dietitian, because a raw diet may not be suitable for you.
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- Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Apr; 17(4):938-44. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-07-2502.
- Raw versus Cooked Vegetables and Cancer Risk. September 2004 13; 1422.
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- The Iowa Source. Raw Food Diet Study, Aug 06.
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- Ann Nutr Metab 1999; 43:69–79 (DOI:10.1159/000012770).
- Archives of Internal Medicine; vol. 165, pp. 1-6, March 28, 2005.