Raw food diets have advantages over eating cooked
foods. For one, because raw foods are not cooked, they retain much more of
their original nutritional value than if they were cooked. Second, raw foods
are frequently much easier for the digestive system to process. And third,
because of the previous two points, the body’s energy level is much higher.
However, there are some precautions to consider along with the advantages.
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Although raw food diets are good for most people,
they are not good for everyone. Children, for one, may not benefit as much from
a raw food diet as an adult would. Children are very energetic. Their growing
bodies need many nutrients that are not found in many raw foods and they need
more of these nutrients than an adult does. Children can get their salts and
sugars, to sustain their energy, from fruits and vegetables, but they also need
large amounts of calcium and protein as well.
Raw foods, to include raw milk, don’t have the
amount of calcium needed to grow strong bodies. Also, children need other
nutrients and minerals to help them grow. The amount a child needs may not be
able to be provided from a purely raw food diet. If you are considering putting
your children on a raw food diet it is strongly suggested to consult with your
child’s pediatrician before you do. You may also want to think about adding
vitamin supplements to the children’s diet once you do start the raw food
Raw food diets may also not be appropriate for
pregnant women and those who are nursing too. Here again, many raw foods don’t
possess the necessary nutrients for a child body growth and development. In
fact, the wrong raw food diet can deplete a woman’s body of required nutrients
for her fetus or suckling child. Once
again it becomes important to consult your doctor before starting a raw food
People who have osteoporosis, or who are at risk for
it, should also be careful about raw food diets. And those that suffer from
anemia are another group of people that need to use caution when putting
together their raw diet plans. The best advice to anyone with a health
condition is for them to talk with their doctor before actually starting a raw
food diet. Even including a dietician or nutritionist into your raw food diet
plan is a good idea for everyone.
All people considering a raw food
diet should be aware that there are certain nutritional deficiencies inherent
in all raw food diets. As was indicated earlier there is no raw food that
provides calcium. Some raw foods such as fish do have a certain amount of
protein in them, but many fruits and vegetables certainly lack this needed
nutrient. Iron and vitamin B-12 are other minerals the body needs but is
difficult to acquire from a raw food diet without supplements. In fact, the
Journal of Nutrition found that those on raw food diets have higher levels of homocysteine because of B-12 deficiency.
It is true that some raw foods can
be more expensive than other diets. There are some prepackaged raw foods that
will be expensive. But your best raw food buys will always be found in your
grocer’s produce section. Fruits and vegetable are a bargain when compared to
the money you were spending on meats such as a steak. If you find your raw food
shopping bill getting a little too high, make adjustments and modify it.
Many people might think that once they start a raw food diet that all their meals must be eaten at home because there are no restaurants that prepare raw foods. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Since more and more people are recognizing the benefit of raw foods many restaurants are adding raw foods to their menus. In addition, many restaurants, especially in the big cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago are catering specifically to the raw food crowd. And a crowd it is becoming because the numbers of people eating the raw food diet is increasing.
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