Protein on a Raw Food Diet
People need a balanced diet, and one of the major things that people need is protein. So how do we know what proteins can be added with raw food and ensure that are eating right. While there are some types of amino acids we produce ourselves, there are a number of amino acids that we cannot produce in our bodies. These are the 13 essential amino acids.
1. Protein Requirement in Body
A healthy diet needs to include about 25-35 grams of protein daily, depending on your weight. Many people, including many raw foodists, believe that our bodies will simply produce all the amino acids that our body needs, so long as we get enough protein. Raw food advocates often say that our body has a “pool” of amino acids that it can pull amino acids from, so long as we take in enough protein in our diet. The actual important point is to ingest the variety of amino acids needed. A plant may contain some amino acids, and may contain the required amount of protein that is needed, but it will not contain the whole set. It is important to eat a variety of vegetables and legumes in order to guarantee that you are getting all the required amino acids.
2. Raw Food Diet with Protein must be carefully Balanced
If you go on a raw food diet, you may need to consult a nutritionist who knows about raw food diets to ensure you are getting what you need. A nutritionist can tell you what foods to add to your diet in order to fill any gaps in proteins or other nutrients, and might suggest a dietary supplement. A protein deficiency or other nutritional deficiency can take time to have any effects, but by the time the effects show, you may have already caused a great deal of harm to your body. It is better to check first.
3. Amino Acid presence in Plants
An example of how this might work is that certain plants, such as corn, contain many of the essential amino acids, but not all of them. The holes left by corn could be filled by certain types of beans or peas, which also contain many different amino acids, including the ones that corn is missing. This can allow you to take advantage of the overlap in amino acids provided. On the raw food diet, it can be difficult to eat corn, but corn can be dried. (Maybe even dried, ground up in the food processor, and added to a smoothie).
4. Raw Meat and Dairy Products
Some raw foodists eat raw meat and dairy products, such as unpasteurized milk, and thus will have less concern about proteins and vitamin B12. This can be risky with the growing concerns about salmonella and ecoli, not to mention staph infections and other bacteria that can be picked up. These bacteria are normally killed in either the cooking or the freezing process. Some restaurants serve raw fish, but these chefs have been specially trained in not cooking the fish, and the raw fish will have been frozen at some point in time.