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What's A Raw Food Diet?

May 23, 2008
Whether its a new fad or turns out to be a lasting fashion the idea of a raw food diet cannot be claimed to be anything new. Their can be no doubt that in our early evolution humans would have eaten only raw foods, the debate continues as to whether this may have been a solely vegetarian one or if it included different types of meats.

In simple terms today, a strict raw food diet is one that is made from uncooked and unprocessed foods. Proponents of raw food diets would also often add that the food should be organic in quality. There are, needless to say, several variations on what can constitute a raw food diet according to whether your preference is for a vegetarian, carnivorous or an omnivorous diet. There are also several variations of the raw food diet with debate over whether certain foods would naturally be eaten by humans in the wild.

The dominant foods in a raw food diet are invariably fruits and vegetables. However, many of the different raw food diets include some aspects of a carnivorous diet or certain dairy products. Whilst eating raw fruit, vegetables, grains and nuts is quite natural and common to us all and eating raw vegetables might take a bit of getting used to; the idea of eating raw meat may well seem like an anathema to most of us.

However, so long as the meat has been handled and prepared hygienically you can eat raw meat without any problem. Regarding fish; eating raw salmon, tuna, scallops and say oysters is, again, not uncommon and consumed regularly in many countries such as japan.

An alternative, of course, would be to marinade - or cure - the meat or fish prior to consumption. For example, this could include foods like: steak tartare, pickled herrings, smoked salmon/ham etc. This then raises the question; what constitutes processed food? Most people would agree that the above examples were preparing food rather than processing it. (However, sadly you wouldnt be able to have sushi in a raw food diet, as its rolled in cooked rice.)

So, you can probably form a picture of the meals you could prepare given all the: fruits, vegetables, fish, meat and nuts you could use. If you then add in other things like: milk, eggs, honey and any number of seeds the recipes you could create seem endless.

Our doctors, dietitian and health experts have for years been urging us to eat at least five-a-day servings of fresh fruit and vegetables. So integrating raw foods into our diets is always a good thing and something we all really should be doing anyway.

If youre considering adopting a solely raw food diet completely then consulting a first would be a good idea, as they can advise you on ensuring you prepare well balanced meals in terms of carbohydrates, fats, proteins etc and to make sure you are getting all your daily required nutrients as there have been some problems with vitamin deficiencies with a raw food diet such as vitamin B12.
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