The health of processed foods is often questioned in the media. Many people believe that eating raw food is healthiest. Advocates of raw food diets claim that raw food gives people more energy and helps prevent disease. People who follow a raw food diet are sometimes called raw foodists or living foodists. What can I eat on the raw food diet?
The raw food diet is not completely restricted to uncooked, unprocessed foods though people who follow the diet strictly may limit their diets to raw, unprocessed foods. A popular guideline for raw food diets is for seventy-five percent of the diet to be living food. This majority of the diet cannot be heated more than one hundred sixteen degrees.
Common foods on raw food diets include vegetables, fruit, seeds, and nuts. Beans and grains are also eaten on the raw food diet. Some people also eat sprouted seeds and seaweed. Fresh fruit and vegetables are often the main focus of raw food diets.
People often select organic foods for the raw food diet. Organic foods are grown without the use of chemicals such as pesticides. Many followers of the raw food diet do not eat any foods derived from animals. Instead of milk, the vegan followers of the raw food diet may use coconut or soy milk.
Since food is not to be heated above one hundred sixteen degrees, alternative food preparation methods are preferred to traditional cooking methods are often used. Instead of boiling, frying, or baking foods, the raw food diet makes use of juicing fruits and vegetables, blending, sprouting grains and seeds, and dehydrating foods.
Some people on the raw food diet soak nuts and dried fruit. Proponents of the raw diet emphasize the importance of consuming living food, not just raw food. Nuts and grains are soaked as this is said to activate the enzymes that are otherwise dormant in raw foods. For example, almonds are soaked in water for twenty-four hours before eaten.
Though the main concept behind not heating food over one hundred sixteen degrees is because the heat higher than that temperature destroys the enzymes in food, critics of the raw food diet state the fact that the body contains enzymes that are used to digest food. Some scientific evidence backs up the benefit of raw food in preventing diseases such as some cancers. There are some health concerns about the raw food diet including calcium, vitamin B12, iron, and lycopene deficiencies.