Raw food diet is your key to weight loss and better health. Living food diet is another name of Raw food diet, as it is not only weight loss plan but also a way of life.
If vegetarians and other Vegans begin to make themselves known on the food scene, the raw food is much less famous.
This diet would allow the body to make the most of the nutritional qualities of food, which are therefore eaten raw.
But does it allow a balanced diet? What are the risks of it when we adopt it? You will get the advice in this article.
Raw food diet: What is it?
Raw food consists of consuming raw foods, in order to benefit the maximum of their nutritional benefits. Without cooking or processing, nutrients such as vitamins and minerals are preserved (they are sensitive to heat).
The main principle
In living food, only raw foods, preferably organic and alkanizing, are used which have not undergone any transformation, with the exception of germination and fermentation. Cooking at temperatures higher than 40 ° C (104 ° F) is prohibited. Although this diet is usually vegan, i.e. does not include any animal foods, some variations of this diet include raw meats and fish.
In this practice, the principle of “food combinations” is adopted, which consists of not mixing certain groups of nutrients, for example proteins with starchy foods, or sweet fruits with acid fruits.
More about alkaline nutrition, fermentation and germination
After being absorbed, the food is oxidized and residues are formed. If these residues contain more minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium, they are referred to as “alkalizing foods”. These foods have the property of neutralizing so-called “acidifying” foods. Acidifying foods produce uric acid, sulfuric acid, acetic acid, lactic acid and phosphoric acid.
Proponents of these regimes argue that alkalizing foods, such as fruits, vegetables and sprouts, contribute to a good acid-base balance in the body.
Fermentation is a phenomenon that transforms the sugar of a food into lactic acid, alcohol or acetic acid (vinegar). This transformation is done through microorganisms naturally present in the food, or added. Fermentation is a traditional way of preserving food. It is the only one that improves their nutritional value, flavor and digestibility. Lactic fermentation or lactofermentation is the most interesting from a nutritional point of view.
Here are some examples of fermented foods: yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, tamari, olives, kefir, cheese, vinegar, wine, beer, etc.
Germination is the process by which a seed produces its embryo and gives birth to a new plant. It occurs in moisture and away from light, and involves a multitude of chemical reactions. The most important is the synthesis of enzymes that allows predigestion of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins of the seed; then comes the impressive multiplication of certain vitamins and, finally, the production of chlorophyll which begins when a small stem sees the light. In short, germination is a predigestion and nutrient manufacturing plant.
- Raw or dried fruit
- Unpasteurized honey
- Raw vegetables
- Sprouted legumes
- Sprouted cereals
- Sprouted bread
- Nut milk
- Raw or sprouted nuts and seeds
- Oils of first cold pressing
- Germination juice
- Cold dehydrated plant foods
Typical day menu
Wheat grass juice
Sprouted wheat bread
Almond milk with figs
Lentil salad sprouted with mahogany walnut and avocado
Afternoon snack: fresh fruit and sunflower seeds
Raw carrot soup
Sprouted quinoa with aramid seaweed and olive oil
Advantages and disadvantages
Satiety and well-being
This diet includes a wide variety of foods rich in dietary fiber and protein that contribute to satiety. And since there is no restriction as to the quantities, You will not suffer from hunger. But, eating only foods from the plant kingdom and still raw can be relatively monotonous.
It’s difficult to follow outside of your home especially when you live in the suburbs or in the region because restaurants specializing in raw food are currently found only in major cities. This diet can cause isolation. In addition, only vegetarian restaurants can meet (in part) the requirements. As for meals with friends or family, they can be very complicated, unless the followers bring their own food.
Especially because of lower caloric intake and satiety favored by the long chewing time of raw foods, most people who adopt this diet lose weight. Moreover, in a German study investigating the impact of the raw food diet in adults, the researchers observed an average weight loss of 9.9 kg in men and 12 kg in women after adoption. On the other hand, 30% of these women suffered from partial or complete amenorrhea (cessation of menstruation).
As is the case for vegans, eating a raw, vegan diet can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency and elevate homocysteine levels in the blood, a predisposing factor for cardiovascular disease. Moreover, in a major study published in 2005, 46% of subjects on a raw diet had low levels of good (HDL) cholesterol. This type of diet has also been associated with low bone density, suggesting that it may not be complete for calcium and vitamin D. 30% loss of menstruation women following this diet may also explain the lower bone density.
This diet, in that it induces weight loss and in some women amenorrhea could possibly hinder fertility in both men and women. Also, zinc, an important mineral for hormonal functions, may be missing in this type of diet because it excludes most of the time animal foods.
If its principles are applied correctly, the living diet should not generate dietary deficiencies, except for vitamin B12. People who choose this food mode, should consider taking vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D and zinc supplements or to bet on the high plant sources of these nutrients. However, this diet can’t be recommended to growing children and adolescents, or to pregnant women or women who are pregnant or want to become pregnant because the total daily energy intake is often lower than the person’s energy needs; which could compromise the growth of children, adolescents and the fetus and difficulties in conceiving a child.
What risks of deficiencies?
This diet can also cause digestive discomfort. In fact, too much raw vegetables can irritate the intestines – in general, cooking helps to soften the fibers, for better digestion.
In addition, some foods eaten raw may be at risk and cause food poisoning (beware of beef or raw fish, especially with the Anisakis worm, which, however, is killed by freezing!).
A diet boosted with antioxidants
Raw Food is a good base for healthy eating: the diet is boosted with antioxidants, so anti-cancer weapons. With the raw diet, we also put more vegetables in its diet, which, in fact, becomes more alkaline.
This type of diet also brings less acid and therefore less chronic inflammation.
Mechanisms of action
The key element of this diet is the preservation of naturally occurring enzymes in fruits, vegetables and sprouts, which are destroyed by cooking when the temperature exceeds 47.8 ° C (118 ° F). In the absence of these enzymes, according to the hypothesis, the organs of the digestive system and the pancreas would have to supply by producing the enzymes necessary for the digestion of food. This would require extra body work and increased energy expenditure – which in the long run would weaken the internal organs, predisposing the individual to allergies and many diseases (from colic to cancer to acne and myopia). This concept is based on Dr. Edward Howell‘s research that every living being has a limited number of enzymes.
Moreover, according to the promoters of this diet, living food would prevent a phenomenon called “digestive leucocytosis” where the body would react to cooked food that he would consider “foreign”. The immune system would send its white blood cells (leucocytes) fight these foods, diverting its attention from real invaders (bacteria, viruses) and predisposing the body to infections.
It is true that cooking destroys some of the vitamins and minerals of food (the more the food is cooked, the greater the loss). In some cases, however, cooking also improves the bioavailability of nutrients; the amount of lycopene (antioxidant) tomatoes, for example, doubles after 30 minutes of cooking. Cooking also softens the dietary fiber of some foods and makes them less irritating to the gut. Cooking also has the great advantage of destroying pathogenic micro-organisms and protecting us from toxic infections and can also destroy the allergens of certain foods.
It is also true that cooking can reduce the anticarcinogenic potential of food, as is the case for cruciferous isothiocynates. But this disadvantage is partly offset by the fact that we usually eat more vegetables if they are cooked than if they are raw. On the other hand, They have been shown to have significantly higher levels of antioxidants in the blood than omnivores.
It is not true, however, that raw foods contain all the enzymes necessary for their digestion. In fact, raw foods contain certain enzymes that allow the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids to start in the stomach. However, when the acidity of the stomach becomes too great, they are destroyed, but they will nevertheless reduce the enzymatic needs of the body since they have already done some digestion work. The question of whether the body can dispense with the enzymes contained in raw foods remains unanswered.
As for the digestive leucocytosis caused by the cooked food, it is here pushed to the extreme. Cooked foods that are well digested do not cause such a reaction. On the other hand, eating too much toasted, charred or fried foods could lead to other health problems, but they are not known precisely.
Living food is not a new fashion. The early 20th century translation of the Essene’s gospel of peace revealed that it was practiced more than 2,000 years ago by this ancient Jewish sect, whose members, it is said, could live up to 120 years old. In the twentieth century, it is to Ann Wigmore and Viktoras Kulvinkas, founders of the Hippocrates Health Institute, that we owe an important promotion of this regime.
Living food is a way of life related to a larger movement, the crudivorisme, a movement that includes several sub-groups: granivores (consume mostly seeds), fruit-eaters (mostly fruits), instinctos (consume foods, including animal products, without mixing them), liquidarids (almost all juices), and food ecologists (consuming raw food, but everything including meat and insects). The common point of all these diets is that the food is consumed mostly raw or in whole.
Live nutrition has real benefits, such as high consumption of antioxidant, dietary fiber and low fat consumption. It is therefore strongly recommended to have raw food every day on the menu. On the other hand, even more than veganism, it can lead to deficiencies and weight loss that could have consequences for some people. The saving of our metabolic enzymes is an interesting argument, but the scientific literature being insufficient on this subject, we can’t see an advantage for the moment. In light of current knowledge, I believe that a diet that includes both raw and properly cooked foods meets nutritional needs, while being easier to follow, tastier and more user-friendly.
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