Q & A: How Much Raw Food Should You Eat?

Raw food diets are very popular. They’re cool. A lot of people have success on them, but the truth is you don’t have to go 100% raw for superior health—some cooked food isn’t going to kill you! Now, in this quick discussion from Dr. Fuhrman’s member center, he talks about the optimal level of raw food and cooked food a diet should have:

Question: What is the percentage of raw fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds one should consume in his or her diet? In other words, how much of our diet should be raw food? I think I eat about 75% raw now. Is that too much raw? Can you have optimal health on 50% raw food if that raw food is comprised of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds?

Dr. Fuhrman: No, I think 75% raw as an ideal approximation is right. Consider that nuts and seeds avocados could supply about 30% to 40% of calories, raw fruits about 20%and raw vegetables about 20%. But of course, that does not mean a diet with more cooked greens and vegetable and bean soups would not be very healthy or as healthy.

Image credit: NatalieMaynor

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Comments (7) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Steve - June 30, 2009 10:17 AM

Hi Gerry

Wow, 75% of calories from raw foods? I guess I have work to do yet on my diet.

Cheers, Steve

Gerry Pugliese - June 30, 2009 12:07 PM

Hey Steve-

Don't fret. Even I fall short of that mark. And I work for Dr. Fuhrman!

I think it would be easier for me, if I wasn't single. If I was involved with someone who followed this program, we could prepare more elaborate food for each other.

Right now, I tend to eat a lot of steamed broccoli, because its quick. Nowadays, even a salad takes too much time for me to do very often.

Peace.
-Gerry

Steve - June 30, 2009 12:26 PM

Gerry, I guess a good bit of those calories (again more than I would have thought) can come from raw nuts and seeds, that's pretty easy.

For sure though I am still going to eat a lot of perhaps more John McDougall style meals such as soups made with potatoes and corn and yams and carrots and all that starchy stuff.

Steve

Todd F - June 30, 2009 1:33 PM

I was on the McDougall diet years back and it's very low fat requirement made it very difficult. The constant hunger I felt on this diet seems to have been countered by increasing starchy foods like potatoes and grains. These are not the most nutritionally packed of foods. They can lead back to really poor foods like bread and french fries. It's better not to flirt with the enemy.

With the balance advocated by Dr.Fuhrman, it's much easier, for me anyway. I'm going to try adding back something I once used: sunflower seed butter. Blending hulled organic seeds in a blender makes an amazing and fresh seed butter. I want to see how this can be used as the fat component in a Fuhrman style diet. Unlike nut butters, it's not that delicious by itself, a good thing for me. It works well with other foods though, a natural ingredient.
Best, Todd F.

Candysue - June 30, 2009 9:07 PM

Great Article!!!! I'm trying to keep myself and my family on a 50% raw food diet. I am actually eating about 75-80% some days, but my husband and young teen kids arent as enthusiastic as I am. They do enjoy all the raw foods I serve them but if given a choice, they still grab the cookies cakes and chips. My downfall is red wine, dark chocolate and an occasional bud light.

More articles on Raw would be Great!!! 8:>

Manda - July 1, 2009 4:15 PM

This is great, as I've already started to shift my diet to be high in raw foods. Just too hot to turn on the oven/stove anyways!
Gerry, I get a large bin of prewashed salad greens each week and raw veggies. Things like cherry tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, etc. All I have to do is rinse and chop/tear the veggies, pile them on the greens, and add some raw nuts, lemon juice/oil, etc. Takes about five minutes and gets me to eat at least one salad each day. Although steamed broccoli is quite yummy.

Anne - August 21, 2013 4:48 AM

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