No, I’m not talking about not eating anything – quite the opposite in fact. This post is about the ‘raw food diet’, and why it could help you to lose weight more effectively than calorie counting or whatever else you’ve tried in the past.
What is it?
Quite simply (and unsurprisingly), it is a diet/lifestyle where you only eat raw food. Although in reality it is more common to follow an 80-90% raw diet and allow yourself the occasional cooked meal for practical reasons as much as anything.
Is it safe?
There are of course certain foods that aren’t safe to eat raw – potatoes for instance, and certain meats. But if you are careful food poisoning shouldn’t be a risk.
What’s the rationale?
The idea of this diet makes a lot of sense really; it is argued that as we evolved we didn’t eat cooked food, in fact it is only very recently (in the grand scheme of things) in human history that cooked food has become the norm. So logically our bodies are obviously much better adapted to digest and process raw food – cooked meals are by definition unnatural.
What are the benefits?
- De-tox: Cooked food invariably contains more chemicals than it did before being cooked, and the chemicals produced by cooking are often ones that our bodies are less adept at digesting. For this reason, eating raw food actually lessens the number of difficult to digest chemicals that enter our bodies, lessening the amount of strain put on our livers.
- Energy: Raw food tends to be digested more efficiently, which means that our bodies are able to manage blood sugar better and minimises peaks and toughs which lead us to feel lethargic. In short, it lessens the chances of putting yourself in a ‘food coma’, and makes you feel more energetic and active.
- Weight Loss: Both of the above points help weight loss by improving liver function and making you naturally more active, but on top of that; Raw food is generally tougher than cooked, it requires more chewing and takes longer to eat – this naturally slows you down and makes it much less likely that you will over eat, since it gives your brain chance to learn that you are full before you get chance to eat too much.
So that’s the raw food diet in a nutshell – there are of course upsides and downsides and nothing has yet been proven conclusively, but you have to admit that the logic makes sense and if you want to avoid over processed and artificial foods then it is certainly a good diet to try on for size. There are certainly plenty of people who swear by it.
Even if you don’t want to go so far as 90% raw, there are plenty of tasty raw food recipes that are worth trying and it certainly couldn’t hurt to test out a little raw food in your life.