21 Comments

  1. I’m not a fan of a complete raw food diet because of most of the dangers you mentioned above.
    You can get Vit B12 from yeast extract and seaweed, spirulina being the more well known one.
    Brocoli and dark greens are a good source of calcium. Having been a veggie for nearly 40yrs and a woman of, shall we say more mature years, a recent xray showed no signs of osteoporosis!
    I hadn’t thought about the fibre issue but can see how that could be a problem with a raw food diet.
    Good article, I enjoyed reading it. :)

    • Kyle

      Yeah, I am definitely an advocate of eating vegetables and totally cool with those that choose to be full vegan. However, some vegetables are much better for you cooked and much easier to digest and there are many other food types that you should be incorporating into your diet as well outside of just “raw”.

      Fibre is definitely important and most people don’t get enough (it actually curbs appetites and prevents overeating), but too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. In this case, your digestive system doesn’t thank you.

    • Kyle

      Exactly, I enjoy cooking as much as I enjoy eating. To me there needs to be a balance in your eating, it is OK to “cheat” sometimes and it is absolutely OK to eat a well rounded diet. I definitely have nothing against being full vegan, but eating raw in my opinion is another fad that people quickly jump on without doing all the research (it’s a vegetable so it must be fine right?).

  2. Nathaiell

    Ugh. Another fad diet soon to be forgotten. In 20 years, people will laugh at the 2000’s diets: Paleo, Gluten Free, and Raw.

    • Kyle

      I agree with that, Paleo is a big one that I hear and see so many people doing. They are typically all overweight and they tend to last about a few weeks on the diet, hardly from sustainable. And raw food dieting, it just has too many negatives associated with it…many of the best vegetables we eat are much better for you when cooked.

  3. Aaron Holmgren

    The article seems to suggest both raw and vegan. In that case, another concern may be getting protein. It was my understanding that vegans get protein from legumes, which are mostly acquired from stores in either dry (needs to be cooked), or cooked/canned form. If not vegan though, a great source of carnosine, b12, and readily digestible protein is from raw eggs which I eat regularly. A Paleo diet is really quite simple and rational; avoid processed foods and you are eating Paleo. The Paleo diet is not practical at a global scale (grains are what make large populations possible), which is why it will always be a fringe diet, but for those who can afford it, there is plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that eating Paleo will provide you with maximal nutrient densities for optimal health; prominently, a strong bone structure free from oral cavities. I’ve read two older studies that showed that large groups of poor children were able to recover their cavity ridden mouths by being switched to Paleo diets high in organ meats which provide high quantities of vitamin A and K2; K2 being a critical nutrient regulating the body’s use of calcium. There is a reason birds and mice have specially evolved digestive systems to neutralize the anti-nutrient acids in seeds and why certain farmers are investing in phytase supplementation for their non-ruminant animals to combat the nutrient-stripping effect of large quantities of grains. Humans are non-ruminant animals.

  4. Paula

    Hi there, well this is such a good point to bring up. I am currently working with girls in their early 20’s who believe that a raw diet is the way to go because of it’s health benefits. However, they often display symptoms as you describe -always cold, tiredness and cold sores. Raw food diets are out there encouraging people to get fit, be healthy but as you mentioned there is a downside to this also. The cliche -everything in moderation comes to mind. Our diet does need to be balanced in order to nourish our bodies and to be healthy. Thanks for bringing this up.

    • Kyle

      Yeah, the good ol’ cliche. It is trendy for people to take on diets like this and become so infatuated with them that any other way of eating isn’t good because it isn’t the same as theres. Eating in moderation and even letting yourself “pig out” once in awhile in my mind is healthy. For those that weightlift or train for competitions, there are always cheat meals in a diet and they are there for sanity purposes lol.

      Thanks for dropping by Paula!

  5. lilywong

    There are so many praises for taking raw food daily, that it’s good that to read an article on the downsides of it. I have never been a fan of raw food. In fact according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, raw food can be too ‘cool’ for the body, causing imbalances. This said, I think that a balance diet with sufficient amount of both raw and cooked vege is the best way to go about it. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kyle

      I think the problem is that folks get so caught up in the health of something, that they end up doing too much of a good thing. Raw vegetables can absolutely be great for you, cooked vegetables in many cases can be much better for you. Three prime examples are brocolli, tomatoes and spinach…and some can even be not so great for you if you eat too much of it.

      Everything in moderation. I am definitely all for eating raw foods, but I am against the idea of only eating raw foods.

  6. isaac

    Hi Kyle. Really nice take here on the disadvantages of raw foods. Me myself is increasing my fruits and vegetables intake in order increase my nutrients and lose some weight. I’m never going to the vegan road though – I Ireally love my meats :)

    I’m taking my fruits and veges (usually leafy greens) uncooked so I’m a bit worried when you said about those contamination issues. May I know what’s the correct way of cleaning veges? Is washing on running water enough?

    • Kyle

      Although I am not a huge meat eater, I do enjoy a nice hearty meat based meal once in awhile. The problem with these types of diets is that they are often not sustainable or they are very hard on your body after awhile. I have had several friends that have tried this diet, but it didn’t last at all.

      I am definitely pro vegetables and fruits, even raw vegetables of all kinds. But it just needs to be done in moderation.

  7. Matthew

    Hi, very interesting read, it would be hard for me to eat raw vegetables, i would have to cook them. I myself am vegan however don’t have a ‘raw’ vegan diet, i have never found myself to be healthier in my mind and body as of today. I have increased muscle mass incredibly and my body repairs so much quicker, i know that there are a couple of athletes with a raw vegan diet one of them being nick diaz. I really think if you go down a diet like this you must research where to find the vitamins and minerals before you do it, hence its great you are showing people the possible outcomes of not receiving these in the diet and what to look for!
    Awesome read!

    • Kyle

      Perhaps that might be why he lost his last match? lol

      I agree that eating Vegan can be very healthy, not to say there aren’t benefits of meat as well (I am sure you would have other arguments), but cooking certain Vegetables like Tomatoes and Spinach and lead to superior health benefits and can also ease the digestion process.

      These are the sorts of things that should be researched as you say, it can be very easy to go overboard when you are dipping into the raw diet world.

  8. Kevin

    Wow, that’s interesting about the raw food diet. I wouldn’t think raw vegetables would be an issue. I like raw and cooked vegetables. I didn’t realize they could cause cholesterol or digestive issues. I never thought of doing a raw food diet and after reading this, I don’t think I ever will.

    • Kyle

      Everything should be done in moderation. Raw food and vegetables can absolutely be good for you, you just don’t want to go overboard. Sometimes people fall into a craze and they get too fixated on the health benefits of certain aspects of the craze and lose sight of the moderation. Moderation is key folks!

  9. Margy

    Hi Kyle,

    Thank you, this is good information.

    We try to follow a very balanced and sane way of eating in our house.

    Going completely “raw” would be hard for me on my own, and nearly impossible for my crew.

    I think your review is very thorough and brings home the valuable point of moderation in all things.

    You mentioned some supplements that those trying a raw food diet should consider when they are monitoring and looking out for possible signs of any type of deficiency.

    I know you’re not able to give medical advice, but what are some natural supplements you may be aware of that would be beneficial for some friends who are trying this type of diet?

    I appreciate your review!

    Margy

  10. Gomer Magtibay

    As a pharmacist myself who believes in scientific way of everything, I cringe whenever I hear people do things just because they heard it’s good. I can even sense when a person explains something and started deviating from scientific way of understanding things.

    You are right here. People should not be so radical about a certain way of eating just because they heard it from a holistic doctor (some are even quack doctors). Our family have experienced losing a loved one, because of his devotion to eating raw foods, he acquired some kind of microbes that eat their way into the pancreas triggering growth of abnormal cells. Ordinary people don’t know that, they wonder why would someone so conscious about healthy living succumb to a pancreatic tumor.

    Thanks for this article, and I support you on this.

    • Kyle

      In a lot of cases, it is the blind leading the blind. Stories and information get misconstrued and completely change as they move from one person to the next, health and how to properly eat often times is handed down in this manner.

      I know personally that I was raised my entire life until I was an adult without understanding calorie consumption, healthy food, what to eat and what not to eat…thankfully I was very active so I didn’t have to watch my weight.

      Sorry to hear about the loss of a loved one, that is awful and it sounds like something that could have been prevented through knowledge. Sometimes though you just can’t do anything right, some of the healthiest people end up getting ailments whereas someone who is completely unhealthy lives longer than a brontosaurus. Everything in moderation is key.

  11. Great info Kyle. raw fruits and vegs are a must in everyone’s diet but be cautious and make sure it is raised in US because other countries are not as strict in how it is farmed. Some countries have been known to use human waste in farming vegs.If you can buy organic it is best but make sure you scrub and wash it properly.One way to get the right amount of protein is add beans and broccoli, which has as much protein as steak./ red meat.juicing is another way to get a quick fix in vitamins/minerals. add a little protein powder and get a big boost. If you’re a purest and want raw foods you can just dip the vegs in hot water for purity.But you are right about Getting enough calories. Great website. I’m jealous . :)

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