WOWZA! Do we love Larabars or do we love Larabars? What a popular Giveaway! I’m excited, too! 🙂 Thanks for all the shoutouts, that was awesome! And MUCH appreciated!
Don’t miss out, enter here to win 8 varieties of Larabars! Three winners! Don’t delay, the giveaway ends Tuesday!
One other house-keeping announcement — I’ve updated the recipes tab and have decided to “grade” my recipes based on how well I liked them. While I truly enjoyed them all, some trumped others. After a few email inquires about which recipes I’d recommend most, I figured this may be a helpful route to go! Enjoy! 🙂
I wanted to “put on my RD cap” as some of you sweet bloggies like say, and discuss a topic I’m learning more about each day: raw diets.
Raw diets consist of uncooked, unprocessed plant foods which are believed to result in leaner bodies, clearer skin, and higher energy, as well as reduce the risk of disease. Raw foodists believe that plant foods in their most natural state are most wholesome for the body. Raw diets are approximately 75% fruit and vegetable-based. Staples in a raw diet include seaweed, sprouts, sprouted seeds, whole grains, beans, dried fruits, and nuts. Alcohol, refined sugars, and caffeine are excluded from rawism, as well. While most rawists are raw food vegans, some do choose to consume raw eggs and cheese made from raw or unpasteurized milk.
Dehydration is a common means of food preparation which includes heat, but does not exceed temperatures greater than 118 F. Rawism beliefs include the leaching of enzymes and vitamins critical for digestion at high heat temperatures. This contradicts the position of the American Dietetic Association which upholds the body’s production of enzymes for food digestion. Further, food bourne bacteria are not killed with temperatures deemed safe by rawists.
While research supports the anti-cancer effects of raw vegetable intake, there are serious potential health risks associated with consuming a raw diet including B12 deficiency and low calcium, iron, vitamin D, and omega-3 intake.
The American Dietetic Association recommends the below guidelines for those following a raw food vegan diet:
- Eat almost 2x the iron as non-vegetarians (sources: tofu, legumes, almonds, and cashews)
- Eat at least 8 servings a day of calcium-rich foods (sources: bok choy, cabbage, soybeans, tempeh, and figs)
- Eat fortified breakfast cereals, nutritional yeast, and fortified soy milk for B12. Supplements are a good idea.
- Eat flaxseed and walnuts. Use canola, flaxseed, walnut, and soybean oils which are good sources of omega-3’s. You may also want to take a supplement.
I consulted a friend and former peer regarding raw food diets, as he is well versed on the topic. He helped clear up a lot of questions I had! There are some foods, contrary to raw belief, that are more beneficial nutritionally when cooked, such as tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels’ sprouts, kale, collards, etc.). He explained that a lot of the information on raw foods is not scientifically-based and that much of the information out there is not reliable.
He also detailed that many raw dieters use coconut and coconut oil because it does not need to be heated. Coconut, however, is very high in saturated fat and has strong atherogenic (plaque-building) properties.
While the nutritional content of raw diets is debatable, I have to question the feasibility of this lifestyle. Some people are vegetarians, few are vegans, and a very small percentage consumes a raw diet. As a lover of wine, chicken, and baked goods, there’s no question a raw dies isn’t for me. But what about the average Joe who occasionally goes out to eat? Or attends the company holiday party? Or shops on a budget? Or is short on time? As you’ll come across in researching rawism, it is a lifestyle, not a diet or simply a way of eating.
Without being presumptuous, I do wonder WHY people opt to go the raw route. It seems trendy in Blogland and I can’t help but be curious as to how much research people do before adopting such restrictive and potentially dangerous eating “preferences”.
Question: Have you prepared raw food items in the past? What do you think of raw diets? Are they safe? Do you know a rawist?
I hope the weather near you is better than Tulsa. I saw my life flash before my eyes (amid a BLIZZARD) several times today (I wish I were dramatizing). My 40-minute commute turned into 2 scary hours there and back. Uggh! At least we had a late start and were let out at 3:30? 🙂 But seriously, this is the SOUTH! What’s up with the crazy winters keeping me from starting to build my garden bed this weekend!?
P.S. Still accepting Q&A questions through the weekend! Send’em on over — PreventionRD@gmail.com!
P.P.S. Have a super, safe, and healthful weekend! 🙂