Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What's the Point of a Raw Food Diet?

Every once in a while I pick up US Magazine, People or a similar publication while waiting in line at the grocery store (I know I know, I’m the only person around who isn't glued to facebook mobile). And, I always turn to the sensational (i.e. crazy) stories about how stars got their celebrity bodies. What they report about their diet is pure entertainment for me. Like the actress who said she didn't eat carbohydrates and then listed her daily diet which consisted of, among other things.....fruits and vegetables - both of which are otherwise known as forms of... *gasp* carbohydrate!

But when it came to Raw Food Diets, I pretty much ignored the stories. And then one day, while doing something random (probably driving) I sat there thinking and thinking trying to figure out why someone would take the deep plunge into a raw food diet.

Here are some of the benefits as I see it:
• Enzymes - that doesn't really jive though as our body has the enzymes it needs to break down food during digestion. Next...
• No Acrylamides. Acrylamides are formed during high temperature cooking and may be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) in high doses.
• No heterocyclic amines, carcinogenic compounds formed by cooking meat at high temperatures.
• Loads of fresh fruits and vegetables
• Little prep time

• Boring!
• Where’s the protein? If you can load up on fish (including oysters), you’ll get the protein and minerals you are missing if you cut out meat and poultry (zinc, iron, copper). If you don’t eat fish, good luck with many missing nutrients since fortified cereal is… cooked! PS, you need that fish for EPA and DHA (omega 3s) too so, enjoy your sushi!
• No dairy (and therefore little to no calcium or vitamin D – unless you want to eat 10 cups of leafy greens a day to get your calcium and bake in the sun for your vitamin D).

The raw food diet has some perks but some serious drawbacks as well. If a person is doing it solely for health reasons I think it should be a short-term thing. Otherwise, I just don't see the point of living without ever eating a nice chocolate dessert.

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