Keeping a healthy lifestyle is difficult to maintain especially having a healthy diet during the holiday festivities. For instance, making the decision to maintain a raw vegan diet is the most difficult part. Magazines such as the raw magazine provide readers with tips and recipes on a healthy diet that can be useful during the holiday season.
Raw Food Diet
This diet consists of fresh and unrefined fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts that are eaten raw in their natural state by raw vegans. Raw food does not undergo food processes such as refining, pasteurising, cooking as well as treating it with pesticides. The diet allows for alternative food preparation processes such as blending, juicing, soaking, dehydrating and sprouting. The raw food diet proponents believe that exposing the food to food processing processes like cooking destroys the natural enzymes in foods and reduces their nutrient content. However raw food diet has its benefits such as weight loss, improved vitality, increased energy, improvement to chronic diseases, improved overall health and a reduced impact on the environment.
Adopting the Raw Food Diet
Raw food diets are mainly made up of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Grains and legumes are incorporated into a raw food diet only if they are soaked or sprouted before they are eaten. Raw dairy, eggs, fish and meat can be added to the diet as well. 75% of the food eaten in a raw diet is served without undergoing food processing.
Proponents of the raw food diet emphasize that eating raw food has more health benefits than eating cooked foods. The raw vegans say that cooking food makes it denatured and reduce nutrients like the water-soluble nutrients in the food. However, research indicates that eating both raw and cooked food is healthy. Cooking increases the availability of nutrients and oxidants in the diet such as lycopene. Cooking also helps to destroy and inactivate some harmful compounds in the food. For instance, cooking grains and legumes reduce lectins and phytic acid that if consumed in large quantities can block the body from absorbing minerals. It also kills harmful bacteria that may be present in food. Therefore nutritionists recommend that it is important to incorporate both raw and cooked food in the diet.
Raw Food Diet Pros
A raw food diet is very high in fresh fruits and vegetables incorporating other foods that are high in nutrients and fibre. It limits intake of foods that contribute to poor health if eaten in excess such as foods with high sugar levels as well as junk foods. Adopting a raw food diet guarantees weight loss because the majority of its components are low in calories.
Raw Food Diet Cons
Research has indicated that adopting a raw food diet lowers blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and leads to a vitamin-B12 deficiency. Also, it causes higher risks of tooth decay and erosion and low bone mass. In women, it may lead to irregularities in the menstrual cycle due to low body weight.