Many doctors and nutritionists have criticized raw food diet as being too restrictive and have indicated with some warnings. An important part of any diet is variety. Humans need a lot of different foods in their diet in order to provide all the essential nutrients we require.
While a raw diet is high in many nutrients, as well as fiber, and tends to be low in fat, it can be difficult to eat the required amounts of other nutrients.
1. Raw Foodist to Ensure Required Nutrients
A raw food diet can require a lot of work and research in order for the raw foodist to ensure that they are receiving all the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals, and not all people are able to do this research. While in the short term, this can be harmless, a diet missing important nutrients can be harmful to health. In a raw food diet, careful attention should be paid to getting enough protein and the right variety of protein, as well as certain vitamins that people normally intake in meat and dairy products.
2. Include Essential Amino Acids
Because vegetables do not have the complete spectrum of the 13 essential amino acids, care should be taken to be certain all essential amino acids (proteins) are included in the diet. Many raw food advocates say that body will produce the missing amino acids from the proteins that we do have, and while our bodies can produce some amino acids, the reason certain amino acids are called essential is because these are the amino acids that cannot be produced by people. A nutritionist can be consulted and will inform you of what foods to eat to make sure you have all 13 amino acids in sufficient quantities. Another concern is vitamin B12, so you should ask about that, too.
3. Having More Enzymes will not help
Raw Foodists can be very focused on the health benefits of enzymes from raw foods, without realizing that each enzyme has a specific task and a specific reaction that it catalyses, so just having more active enzymes will not actually help. It is also necessary for raw foodists to remember that our digestive system will break down any enzyme into its component parts, and thus active enzymes are not always necessary.
- Nutritionists and dieticians have pointed out many benefits and drawbacks to a raw food diet. The raw food diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer, because it is high in nutrients while having very low levels of saturated fats. The raw diet is also fiber rich, low in salt and high in potassium.
- There are some drawbacks pointed out by nutrition scientists: a raw diet is very limited in variety and does not include meat, potatoes, and cooked grains. This can lead to mineral and other nutritional deficiencies by limiting the amount of nutrients a raw foodist will intake.
- Research also disagrees with one of raw foodista’s basic ideas, that fruit and vegetables should be eaten raw because cooking destroys nutrients. It has actually been shown that some nutrients are more easily digested into the body after the fruit or vegetable has been cooked.
- Benefits that the raw food diet shows can also be found in other diets, as many diets are commonly low in trans fats, high in fiber, and heavily encourage fruit and vegetable consumption. Other diets, however, allow meat, potatoes, and cooked grains, which are considered by many to be an essential part of a diet.