Raw food diets have advantages of overeating 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.
Although raw food diets are healthy 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, including 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 kids 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 diet.
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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’s 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 diet.
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 pre-packaged raw foods that will be expensive. But your best raw food buys will always be found in your grocer’s produce section. Fruits and vegetables 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.
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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 recognize the benefit of raw foods, many restaurants are adding raw foods to their menus. Also, many restaurants, especially in large cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago are catering specifically to the raw food crowd. And a crowd is becoming because the number of people eating the raw food diet is increasing.