What do Uma Thurman, Natalie Portman and Alicia Silverstone have in common? They’re all rumoured to follow a raw food diet. The raw food movement is growing in popularity, as more and more people ditch their ovens, pots and microwaves while cramming their fridges with fruits and veggies.
Is the raw food diet for you? Let’s have a closer look.
What is a raw foodist?
To be considered a raw foodist, most experts say that at least 75 percent of your food intake must be uncooked. Some adherents strictly limit themselves to the produce aisle of the grocery store, as the only foods they’ll touch are fruits, veggies and nuts. But others include small amounts of fish, dairy and eggs.
Is it healthier to eat raw?
Not necessarily. While there are definitely advantages to upping your intake of fruits and vegetables, unless you make it a priority to eat a balanced diet”or take a number of supplements”you could be missing out on many important nutrients, including iron and protein. It’s especially important for women to monitor their nutrient intake closely. Often females on the raw diet don’t take in enough calories to meet their nutritional needs, and sometimes can even suffer from amenorrhea.
If you plan to go raw, count on spending some extra time preparing well-balanced meals and tracking your calories. Even if you hate the thought of doing math on a daily basis, as you transition into the raw way of life it’s a necessity”you need to make sure you’re giving your body what it needs.
Will being a raw foodist impact your social life?
If you enjoy going out to dinner with friends, following a raw food diet could be difficult. The same goes for families who regularly gather over large, home-cooked meals. (Just try explaining to your grandmother why you won’t eat her homemade pasta sauce.) Expect that your new diet will get a lot of negative attention from those around you. Unless you limit yourself to socializing with other raw foodists, you’ll find you do a lot of explaining while on this diet.
The best advice
If you’re still not sure if a raw diet is for you, try to adopt just a few strategies. If you can’t”or don’t want to”limit yourself to only eating raw, just try to boost your intake of as many natural, unprocessed foods as possible. Almost all of us could use a few more fruits and vegetables each day, so you can’t go wrong. If you do this while sticking to lean, proteins and whole grains, you’ll have the best of both worlds. And you’ll probably find it easier to stick to your diet, too!
Always consult with your medicial practitioner before embarking on any new diet program.