Raw Food Diet
Healthy Eating and the Raw Food Diet
Raw foodists typically eat only food that has been neither cooked nor processed, meaning, no meat, dairy products or eggs (usually). This diet, which consists almost entirely of plant food, can create a number of food-related health risks if it is not properly managed. Here are a few tips for healthy eating while adhering to a raw food diet:
Get Enough Protein
Protein is one of the essential nutrients your body needs to function but consuming enough of it on a raw food diet can be difficult. Protein-rich foods such as meat, eggs and dairy products are off limits, so you will need to get a bit creative to meet your body's protein requirements. Good raw food options for protein include nuts, nut butters, beans and seeds. You will simply have to work a little bit harder and be a bit more creative with your protein consumption than your non-raw counterparts.
Eat Good Fats
Eating enough calories is not all that easy when you are eating a strictly plant-based diet. You will likely need to consume many foods that are rich in good fats. Luckily, many calorie-dense sources of good fats—the unsaturated ones, not the saturated ones—such as nuts, nut butters, seeds, avocados, coconut, coconut oil, olives and olive oil meet the raw food diet's requirements. Fat contains nine calories per gram, whereas carbs and protein contain only four calories per gram. This means that eating high-fat foods will keep you feeling sated for longer than eating other foods, as they take longer to digest. They also tend to contain a high concentration of fiber, which will also contribute to your feeling of satiety.
Take a Multivitamin Every Day
Eating only raw foods will leave your body wanting for many of the vitamins and minerals it would ordinarily be getting from non-raw, non-plant foods. Take a multivitamin and some additional supplements—for example, vitamin B12 and iron, just to name a couple—at least once each day.
Drink All the Water You Can
You should be drinking at least 96 ounces of water per day. Ideally, though, that number should be in the neighborhood of 128 ounces. Drinking this much water will prevent you from feeling hungry while you are on a low-calorie diet and, more importantly, keep your body hydrated at all times.
The raw food diet may appear to be lacking in some respects when compared to a traditional omnivorous diet or even a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. However, it is still possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle if you manage your food, liquid and vitamin intake closely enough. Best of luck living the raw food life style!