When someone mentions a raw food diet, most people think of raw meat or raw eggs. Although some raw foodists do eat raw meat, the diet consists of unprocessed and uncooked foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, sprouts and seeds.
Every diet says the same thing – we need to reduce or eliminate processed foods. Stop bread, pizza, chips, cheese and all the other processed foods that cause diabetes, obesity and other chronic diseases. Look how simple this is to start; make one meal every day consist of only raw fruits or vegetables. Simple enough?
There are several types of raw food diets. Nevertheless, no matter what the guidelines are, they all follow the same description on what a raw food diet consists of.
Organic – no preservatives, pesticides, etc
Uncooked – not heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit
Unprocessed – as fresh as possible
Keeping a “simple” raw diet works for some people, while others like to make foods using their dehydrator, juicer or blender to make raw soups and other special meals. If you have replaced one meal with fruits and vegetables and are comfortable with it, replace part of another meal with some fruit or veggies. Personally, the simple diet works best while adding some special foods from using a dehydrator.
I was following an 80% raw diet the summer of 2009. It was fairly easy. I ran into problems when I went out to eat with a friend – and once winter came – I was back to 90% SAD. Following the raw food diet does not require a lot of work, unless you decide to experiment with recipes. You don’t have to eat the same boring salad or eat 5 pounds of broccoli every day.
There are many recipes available for those who want to try different foods. Some recipes are simple while others can be very time consuming. The meals take much longer to “cook” because you are using the dehydrator, which may take 15 hours for your meal to be ready.
Many people ask if following the raw food diet will cost more than eating the SAD. As a single household who always shops using the sales ad, there does not seem to be a big difference for money spent on groceries. Naturally, buying fruit or vegetables that is out of season is going to be more expensive. If that is the case, buying frozen is usually your best bet. You can be creative with salads by adding or changing ingredients such as raisins, apples, grapes, creating a different salad dressing or other foods you prefer.
The health benefits are endless and one of the main reasons that most people decide to start the raw food diet. The major benefits are improved health and weight loss. Some people choose to be 70% – 90% raw. This does not mean that 10% – 30% is pizza and candy bars. That would defeat the purpose.
Type 2 diabetes is reason to consider the raw food diet. Processed foods play a very big part in our sugar levels. Eliminating the processed foods has helped many diabetics reduce or eliminate their insulin. The two worst foods are refined sugars and processed foods.
I have type 2 diabetes and once most of the toxins were out of my body, I had my sugar levels closer to normal when I was eating a raw diet than I have been able to accomplish in four years using two types of insulin, as well as oral medication. Any food with white flour – like a single biscuit – shoots my sugar to 220-300, sometimes higher.
Making the switch
Sudden change in your diet can cause some bad detox symptoms that often cause some to go back to their old habits. Going slow, you will have a much better chance at sticking to your new way of eating. It is also helpful to find a forum where you can participate in discussions and have others who can help you along the way.
You are not limited on how much you can eat on the raw diet. Actually, you have to make sure you are getting enough calories! Most people will drink green smoothies to help reach their daily calorie intake. It sounds gross, but when you add fruit into the blender with the vegetables, it adds sweetness to the vegetables and it is actually good.
After being on the diet for a little while your taste buds will change. You will start to prefer the fresh foods. Your body will guide you as to what foods you should and should not eat. Listen to your body and you will know what is best for you.