World of Food and Nutrition
Over the past 20 years, there have been several changes in the world of food and nutrition. If once the eating pattern was relatively the same, depending only on seasonality or region, today it is enough to gather a group of friends for a dinner to realize that each one of them follows a specific diet. Some are vegetarians, others flexitarians, others eat meat, fish and other foods of animal origin, but avoid gluten, and there are even those who follow raw food.
Raw food is an eating pattern that consists of consuming only raw foods, hence it is also called raw diet. Although the premise implies that all food must be consumed uncooked, the raw food diet allows food to be cooked (or heated) to a maximum temperature of 40º, which means that you can use, for example, the oven (if you have this minimum temperature) or a dehydrator to prepare your food.
On this diet, the consumption of the following foods is allowed:
- Fresh fruit, dehydrated or fruit juices;
- Raw vegetables;
- Fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kombucha;
- Cereals such as rice or quinoa;
- germinated seeds;
- Eggs and raw dairy products that have not undergone any pasteurization process, ie, taken directly from the cow or chicken;
- Raw meat and fish;
Benefits of Raw Food Diet
Expert opinions are divided – there are those who defend it, but also those who point out some disadvantages of following an exclusively raw food diet. Among the benefits, the following stand out:
- The fact that, when consuming mostly raw foods, avoid consuming processed foods that may contain chemicals that are harmful to the body in their composition. At the same time, following this dietary pattern is also reducing the intake of simple, trans, fast food and refined flours;
- By consuming raw food, you will be preserving its nutritional composition, thus avoiding the loss of micro and macronutrients, such as some vitamins that are sensitive to high temperatures. In addition, you will also be preventing the denaturation of naturally present enzymes ;
- From a nutritional point of view, this is a more sustainable food pattern compared to other types of food. This happens since a large part of the foods allowed in this diet are not of animal origin and that, in addition, it asks that the foods be consumed within their season so that they have maximum freshness and nutritional support.
It is important to consume raw foods in order to be able to follow a healthy diet as, effectively, some are nutritionally richer when they are not cooked. However, it is important to cook some foods in order to make them and the nutrients in them more digestible.
Disadvantages of Eating Only Raw Food
However, experts in the field of nutrition point out some disadvantages for those who follow this diet exclusively:
- There is no scientific evidence to justify the argument that the exclusive consumption of raw foods is superior, from a nutritional point of view, to cooked foods, since the bet on a variety of raw and cooked foods seems to bring health benefits;
- Some nutrients , such as the carotenoids lycopene and beta-carotene, present in foods such as carrots, are more easily absorbed by the body if the food is heated;
- There are some risks of food poisoning, as no sterilization process is carried out and even heating to 40º does not guarantee the destruction of possible bacteria. This risk is especially high among people who consume raw milk, meat, eggs and fish. By subjecting these foods to high temperatures, a wide spectrum of disease-causing microorganisms is eliminated;
- It is not always easy to follow this diet exclusively, as it is quite limiting.
It should be noted that it is important to consume raw foods in order to be able to follow a healthy diet, since, in fact, some are nutritionally richer when they are not cooked. However, it is important to cook some foods in order to make them and the nutrients in them more digestible.
Eating a combination of cooked and raw foods is ideal for your health.
Here are some examples of recipes that you can prepare and consume raw:
- Raw pies, based on oat and dried fruit;
- Ceviche, in which the fish ends up being cooked in the lemon or lime juice used for seasoning;
- Fruit and vegetable juices