In recent years, much has been said about the positive effects of a raw diet. Book after book, and article after article has spoken of the negative impact that too much heat can have on foods. Vitamins break down, carbohydrates loose their nutritional value, fats become toxic, and proteins are rendered virtually indigestible.
Still, that doesn’t mean you just eat any food at all that you want raw. There are some measures you do need to follow to ensure you stay healthy on the raw food diet. Like anything else in life, the key is moderation. Too much of anything, even something good, can be detrimental. As an example, years ago people were touting the grapefruit diet as a great way to lose weight. The idea was, you ate nothing but grapefruit (hence the name). You could eat as many as you wanted, so long as that was all you ate. Well, that’s not good for you! Fruits contain acid; too much acid can upset the pH of your body, and will also damage your teeth. On top of that, fruit is lacking in terms of some of the nutrients you need for good health. You need balance. So, point one: meet with a doctor or dietician and set up a good, healthy raw diet suited to your needs.
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Next, be sure you eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and that it’s locally grown wherever possible. Now, this does mean that you’ll have to do without some fruits for some periods of the year, but it’s best for your overall health. Too much dried fruits can give you stomach and/or intestinal troubles (sometimes as simple as just gas), and be bad for your teeth. Or, eating fruit that’s not grown locally means you don’t know under what conditions it was grown. What sort of pesticides and chemicals were used on it? What sort of soil was it grown in? These days, with the global economy, you could eat fruit from any place on earth! That gives you variety, sure. But wherever possible it really is better to stick with what you know, and learn to do without when some things are out of season.
Nuts make up a large part of a raw food diet. Here again, moderation is called for. Too many people start in on a raw diet, and start eating too many nuts. Nuts are naturally high in fat. Now, your body needs fat as part of its normal biological processes, but only a certain amount. If you load up your diet with avocados, nuts, and oils, that’s not healthy. Not only is there the issue of the fat, but some people have trouble digesting nuts. Here again, this is why meeting with your doctor to discuss a raw diet first is the key to adopting a healthy lifestyle. If you find yourself getting very tired after eating some nuts, your body is having trouble metabolizing them, and you should stop. Ironically, if your body has trouble with nuts, this can lead to you suddenly craving a host of other foods; some you may have never been interested in before!
Finally, there’s the issue of knowing your source. Not for the foods you eat, but the advice you get. Your best friend may tell you how great their raw food diet is, and that you should do the same. Well, thank them, and then go see your doctor. Something as simple as a food allergy can undo all the sincere advice your friend gives you. As an example, if they’re eating a diet rich in whole grains, and you have an allergy to gluten, your doctor will tell you to substitute whole rice for grain.
Just follow a few simple steps, and you can be sure that your raw food diet is perfectly suited to your needs. Why not give the raw food diet a go and see how you can benefit from it?
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