One of the most recently popular and highly touted diets today has been a raw diet. Over the course of this program, dieters eat only unprocessed foods – meaning that they have not been cooked in any way. The foods that many raw food proponents eat may include raw vegetables, fruits and drinks; some opt for raw meats, raw eggs, and raw fish. The raw diet, when implemented appropriately, can lead to significant weight loss, however there are considerations to be made before starting on this diet.
- First, is the diet sustainable? Ask yourself if you would be willing to remain on a raw food diet for the foreseeable future. When the raw diet ends and you begin to consume food you ate beforehand, the former weight often returns and it is not uncommon to gain back even more weight than before.
- Second, it is important to understand that our bodies are not used to digesting and processing raw meats among others things. There is a case to be made for raw meats having more nutrients and fewer carcinogens than cooked meat, but your body may not react favorably to what you consume. This can be especially detrimental to bariatric surgery patients whose digestive systems have been altered.
- Thirdly, you should be concerned about the potential for bacterial and parasitic infection as a result of eating raw food – especially meats and eggs.
Ultimately, the cooking process kills many of the harmful bacteria associated with diseases such as salmonella and e-coli. Eating raw meats or fish, and especially raw eggs, can drastically increase the chances of contracting a food borne illness. Those of advanced age, pregnant women, children, and those with a compromised immune system should stay away from raw meats, eggs, and unpasteurized drinks.
Much like any diet, the raw food diet has its pros and cons. We suggest that you stick to a balanced diet that combines healthy raw and cooked ingredients for long term sustainable weight loss.