Home Diet All you need to know about the raw food diet

All you need to know about the raw food diet

by shedboy71

As we’ve covered in previous chapters, raw food is simply food that has not been cooked. This however, does not mean that it needs to be completely cold. The food can actually be heated, but just a little bit. In order for something to be classified as still raw and uncooked, it cannot be heated to anything above 116 degrees Fahrenheit.

That is one of the misconceptions of the raw foods diet. When people here about it, they assume that all the food needs to be cold and crunchy. However, it can be warmed up. It just can’t be heated for long enough to actually cook. Otherwise it will not be considered raw. If the temperature is too high, the enzymes and vitamins will be destroyed. This is good news for people who are looking to get a little more variety in their diet.

So now, you should have an understanding of exactly what raw food really is. But it’s time to go into more detail so you can get started with your new lifestyle. This chapter will explain about what kinds of foods are acceptable in the raw foods diet and also how to make great food choices that will lead to a balanced diet.


So, what are the things that people who follow a raw foods diet can actually eat? As mentioned above, the requirements are that the food must be unprocessed and in its whole, raw state. It is optional but the foods can be heated slightly, making sure to get the food to around 110 – 116 degrees otherwise it will begin to destroy the enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.

These are just some of the things that you can enjoy on a raw foods diet:

Fresh squeezed juice
Fruits, fresh and dried
Sea vegetables such as nori and kelp
Nuts and seeds
Grains, as long as they are unprocessed
Legumes and beans

To make certain foods such as grains and legumes even more nutritious and a better addition to the raw foods diet, they can be sprouted by soaking with water. For example, most legumes should be soaked at least overnight, especially when they are in their dried state because it makes them easier to digest. This is because soaking them activates the enzymes which help aid the digestive system as you are eating.

It is important to note, however, that raw doesn’t always mean “healthy”. There are certain foods that should not be eaten in their raw state because they contain elements that can be considered toxic by some. Before you make the decision to completely follow a raw diet, care needs to be taken that you don’t make yourself sick. Some foods to watch out for and possibly ignore altogether in their raw state include:

Buckwheat greens
Raw eggs
Raw meat, poultry, and fish
Kidney beans
Potatoes – (only if the flesh under the skin is green)
Alfalfa sprouts
Cassava and cassava flour
Apricot kernels

There may be others so it is a good idea to research the foods you are considering eating first.

In addition, raw foods may also have a high content of bacteria and other things that can cause food poisoning. Since heat destroys the majority of these, some foods should not be eaten raw at all or else they’ll make you sick. Foods like meat, poultry, eggs, and even milk put you at risk for food poisoning and other illnesses that come from food.

Don’t let this information discourage you from following a raw foods diet, however. Just steer clear of the foods mentioned above that can be dangerous when raw.


When following a raw foods diet, it is important to take the time to eat a balanced diet – one that is filled with all the right nutrients to help increase your health. Granted, when eating such healthy foods that are rich in nutrients it is easier to achieve this than with most diets.

However, since a raw foods diet is mostly vegetarian, a lot of the deficiencies that vegetarians face can also be a problem for raw foodists. There is a way around this, of course, but it does take careful planning. Here are some things to watch out for.


Though animal products are considered superior sources of protein, there are plenty of great protein sources in the plant kingdom. The goal is to make sure you get enough of it. Even fruits and vegetables have protein, so it does add up. But in order to make sure you get enough, you may want to make sure to have a few servings a day of some of these protein rich foods:

Raw nuts and seeds (not roasted) Grains, especially protein rich ones like quinoa Legumes such as lentils. Make sure to pair these with a grain to make for a complete protein.

As you follow the raw foods diet making sure you get enough protein will get easier and easier. At first, however, you may need to keep track of your protein servings.


Even though the iron that is found in animal foods (called heme iron) is the most absorbable, non heme iron, or iron that is present in plant sources, is also well absorbed, especially when paired with food that is high in vitamin C.

However, iron is a little scarcer in plant based sources so you need to make sure you are getting enough of it. Iron deficiency can cause fatigue and other problems. So if you are noticing that your energy level is not improving, check to make sure you are consuming raw foods that are high in iron.

Here’s a list:

Green beans (one of the best plant sources of iron)
Spinach and other raw, leafy greens.
Raw wheat germ (make sure it isn’t toasted)
Blackstrap molasses (can take this in supplement form)
Lima beans
Dry fruit, especially dried prunes and raisins

Just be sure to include these iron rich foods in your diet at least several times a week. This will prevent fatigue and other problems that are associated with low iron.


Yes, it is true that milk is one of the better forms of calcium. The good news is that milk does meet the requirements of being a raw food, as long as it isn’t pasteurized or homogenized. Basically that means that the milk needs to be straight from the cow and in its freshest state.

However, if you are a vegan in addition to being a raw foodist, milk is not an acceptable ingredient. In that case you will need to turn to the plant kingdom for your calcium. These foods include dark, leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale and nuts such as hazelnuts and almonds. Make sure the nuts are labeled as “raw” when you buy them and that they aren’t roasted.


Since the raw foods diet is already rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients all you need to do is make sure you are getting these things all in the right balance. It helps if you follow advice given by nutrition professionals. As you start your journey, you may want to consult a nutritionist who specializes in raw foods.

If you are a raw food vegan, you can follow the guidelines that vegans follow. Just understand that you may need to adapt some things to suit the raw foods lifestyle. Here are some basic guidelines to follow to get you started.

Eat a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic. You may even want to experiment with growing your own.

Be sure to incorporate plenty of protein rich foods into your diet.

Eat a wide variety of acceptable grains.

Drink plenty of water. Filtered water is best unless you completely trust your water source.

Make sure you are getting enough iron and calcium.

That is one of the reasons why it is important to keep a food journal and to plan your menus. It will help you make sure that you are getting the right nutrients in the right proportions. If you plan your meals in advance, it will increase the likelihood that the food will be as healthy as possible.

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