About Raw Food and Weight Loss

What to look for in a raw food diet for detox and weight loss

Raw, or living, food has a natural cleansing effect, is low in fat and high in nutrients and made up of active enzymes that aid in the digestion and absorption of food. The raw food diet consists of mostly raw alkaline foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, seaweed and legumes. Variations of a raw food diet may include uncooked and unprocessed meat, seafood and dairy products.

Health benefits of a raw food diet

The raw food diet has been touted as a detox diet plan that promotes weight loss and increases energy. Raw food is low in sodium and high in potassium, magnesium, fiber, folate and phytochemicals, all of which are nutrients associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The Journal of Nutrition cited a study that linked the raw food diet with lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The raw food diet and weight loss

Advocates of the raw food diet believe that cooked and processed food supply only a small amount of what the body actually needs, which is why people tend to consume such large portions of food. The raw food diet encourages weight loss because calorie and carbohydrate intake is diminished, as it is difficult to overindulge on such a high-fiber, high-water diet. Containing fewer saturated and trans fats than most Western diets, the raw food diet is perfect for the individual who doesn’t want to have to obsessively count calories or monitor food portions. By adhering to a raw food weight loss plan, your body more effectively uses digestive energy, as there is little acid or bile to obstruct digestion, making raw food easier to absorb.

How raw foods use fat

The fats that comprise the majority of processed and heated foods can be harmful to health. Hydrogenated fat, intended to preserve shelf life, is an ingredient in many of the breads, cereals and processed foods sold in American supermarkets. Raw foods, however, are made with cold pressed oils containing healing Omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids. Paul Benhaim, author of Living Food Recipes, states that hemp seed and hemp oil may aid in weight loss as they increase metabolic rate. An increased metabolism ultimately helps you burn calories faster.

Raw food recipes

When putting together a raw food recipe designed to promote weight loss, go easy on the amount of nuts and sprouts consumed; they provide the necessary protein, but are high in fat and calories. Likewise, limit the amount of sugary fruits as they increase insulin levels and encourage the body to store fat. Many raw food recipes include sashimi, cerviche, cold smoked or cured fish, raw goat cheese, raw soups like gazpachio and cucumber, steak tartar, filet americain and cold smoked or cured meats. There are many raw food recipes and cookbooks to support the raw food enthusiast. A popular resource is Ani's Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes by Ani Phyo.

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