It’s quite clear that following a raw food plan has plenty of benefits. Then again, there are just as many drawbacks. Before you embark on a raw food journey you should decide whether it’s the right move for you. Again, it requires total commitment and if you have a history of yo-yo dieting and jumping on every diet bandwagon going, then this one might not be for you.
At its core, any diet that encourages followers to eat more vegetables and fruit (whether you eat them raw or cooked) is going to be a positive change for your overall health. If you’re having dinner guests, then it may be a challenge to cater for them while sticking to your raw food plan. It’s equally as difficult to follow raw food eating plans when you’re in restaurants or a dinner guest in someone’s home.
The most effective way to get around these challenges is to take your food with you or eat ahead of time. While your good friends may be happy to cater to your requests, it might not be something you want to ask them to do.
Likewise, there are many restaurants that will cater to your requests – the easiest way to deal with this would be to check their menu in advance and call ahead of time to find out what they can do for you to keep you on your eating plan.
If you are adamant about trying to switch to a raw food plan start with an 80/20 ratio to see how you cope.
The 20% cooked food part of your ratio will allow you to get the protein you need and fill in the gaps of any nutrients and vitamins that you’re lacking from your raw foods. The key is making the right choices in cooking methods when you do cook.
The Mayo Clinic has a handy guide that will keep you on track – https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/healthy-cooking/art-20049346). You can consult it to ensure you’re choosing the healthiest method of cooking for the specific type of food that you’re cooking – sadly, you can rule out barbecuing due to the carcinogens.
Unless, of course, yours is gas fueled. You can say goodbye to sauces – but you can boost your flavors with fresh herbs and spices.
Foods that are cooked in water or at too high a heat are the most likely to leach nutrients. Though, as noted above it does depend on the nutrient and the food you are cooking. Vitamin C is generally easier for your body to absorb when you eat your foods raw.
However, iron is more beneficial for you when it comes from cooked foods. If you’re not sure whether to go raw or cook your vegetables, a healthy compromise is steaming. Steaming doesn’t take long and there’s very little water involved
which means vegetables should retain the majority of their nutrients. Yes, you can make a raw diet work if you don’t go all in – but any eating plan that increases your consumption of fruit and vegetables is going to be a winner. As with any change in diet, you will experience weight loss – but that doesn’t always mean it’s the healthiest choice you can make.
You don’t need to make the switch to a total raw food plan to improve your health or to lose weight. There are plenty of other ways you can do this. If you want to live a healthy life the best way you can do so is by eating plenty of fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, whole grains, lean proteins, and drinking plenty of water.
Once your diet is squared away you will notice a difference in your energy levels and with all that extra energy you can go ahead and get more exercise. Finally, you need to ensure you are getting plenty of sleep (at least seven hours a night). You can call this the holy trinity of health, and it’s the most effective way for you to prevent the typical lifestyle diseases, as well as prevent stress, anxiety, and depression.