Raw Food Isn't a Raw Deal - Here's Why We Love It!If you’ve heard about raw food and assumed it’s just uncooked food. You are correct. Sort of.
Raw food is uncooked food, but technically speaking, it is food that hasn’t been heated above 46 degrees centigrade (115 degrees Fahrenheit). So while it can mean uncooked foods, the more accepted definition is that raw food is food in its natural state.
It is also not just about salads and smoothies although these are the most common types of raw food consumed. You will find that because the definition of raw food encompasses food that has not been heated above 46 degrees centigrade, this can also mean food bars, pizza bases and even chocolate. In fact, jump on Pinterest and do a search – the search results will bring up so many wonderful food creations that you would never think are raw.
More Australians are “going raw” and an increasing number of celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Demi Moore are embracing this way of eating.
So why do we recommend increasing your raw food intake? Here are the two main reasons:
Improvement in health
When you begin to incorporate more raw foods into your diet, you start to reduce your intake of processed and unhealthy food such as refined carbs, refined sugar and harmful fats. As you consume more ‘clean’ energy for your body you begin to see an improvement in your overall health and well-being.
Megan Crockart, qualified nutritionist, recommends eating more raw fruits and vegetables as this is often lacking in our Western diets. “We overcook and process most of our foods which take away a lot of the nutrition,” says Crockart. “Definitely a good balance of raw and cooked foods is optimal with a minimum of 50/50. There are now some great healthy raw foods that are there for that convenience factor such as dips, crackers, pizza bases and chocolates, so it is much easier to eat raw foods than just eating salad all day long.”
Some of the health benefits that can occur when you eliminate processed foods and replace them with more raw food are:

  • weight loss
  • lower cholesterol
  • more energy
  • glowing skin
  • shiny hair
  • clear eyes

Reduction in diseases
When you increase your raw food intake, you begin to consume more plants. There have been numerous studies conducted on the links between plant-based diets and chronic diseases. One lifestyle study called the China Study that lasted 20 years and followed 6,500 participants found that plant-based diets greatly reduce the risk of chronic diseases and conditions such as:

  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • obesity

In addition, cooking foods at high temperatures forms substances such as glycoxidation, heterocyclic amines and acrylamide that can be harmful to your health. Cooking also reduces phytochemical content in the food which destroys the ability of antioxidants to do their job.
While eating raw food often attracts labels such as the ‘Raw Food Diet’ this is in fact a misnomer as most people who embrace raw food also eat cooked foods. What differs among them is the percentage of raw foods they eat. Some will strive to eat a diet that is 70% raw while others are happy with 50%. In an interview with O Magazine, Joel Fuhrman M.D., author of Eat To Live and nutritional medicine specialist recommends eating a balance of cooked to uncooked foods as some nutrients (such as carotene in carrots) are better absorbed by the body after they’ve been heated. “As a rule,” says Fuhrman, “if you cook things at a lower temperature for less time, you’ll be moving in a healthy direction.”
As with all diets, there is no one size fits all. You need to consider your individual needs and goals and determine what best suits you.
So if you’re looking for health advice and tailored diet plans we can help. If you need further information on Vive Health’s range of raw foods or need dietary advice from one of our qualified nutritionists, please contact us on 07 3399 1002.