The Cold Truth About Raw Food Diets

From the March 2004 edition of Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Times:

Contrary to the propaganda of raw-food advocates, cooking actually can help you absorb more nutrients.

The raw-food movement continues to make converts, thanks to a devoted group of individuals and celebrities who embrace the belief that an all-raw food diet is the best diet. The idea that stirs the most enthusiasm for this diet is the contention that cooking both destroys about fifty percent of the nutrients in food, and destroys all or most of the life promoting enzymes. Raw-food enthusiasts commonly make the claim that “cooked foods are dead foods.”

Are cooked foods really dead foods?

It is true that when food is baked at high temperatures—and especially when it is fried or barbecued—toxic compounds are formed and important nutrients are lost. Many vitamins are water-soluble, and a significant percent can be lost with cooking, especially overcooking. Similarly, many plant enzymes function as phytochemical nutrients in our body and can be useful to maximize health. They, too, can be destroyed by overcooking.

Enzymes are proteins that work to speed up or “catalyze” chemical reactions. Every living cell makes enzymes for its own activities. Human cells are no exception. Our glands secrete enzymes into the digestive tract to aid in the digestion of food. However, after they are ingested, the enzymes contained in plants do not function as enhancements or replacements for human digestive enzymes. These molecules exist to serve the plant’s purpose, not ours. The plant enzymes get digested by our own digestive juices along with the rest of the food and are absorbed and utilized as nutrients.

Contrary to what many raw-food web sites claim, the enzymes contained in the plants we eat do not catalyze chemical reactions that occur in humans. The plant enzymes merely are broken down into simpler molecules by our own powerful digestive juices. Even when the food is consumed raw, plant enzymes do not aid in their own digestion inside the human body. It is not true that eating raw food demands less enzyme production by your body, and dietary enzymes inactivated by cooking have an insignificant effect on your health and your body’s enzymes.

Cooking can be beneficial.
In many cases, cooking destroys some of the harmful anti-nutrients that bind minerals in the gut and interfere with the utilization of nutrients. Destruction of these anti-nutrients increases absorption. Steaming vegetables and making vegetable soups breaks down cellulose and alters the plants’ cell structures so that fewer of your own enzymes are needed to digest the food, not more. The point is that this “cooked food is dead food” enzyme argument does not hold water. On the other hand, the roasting of nuts and the baking of cereals does reduce availability and absorbability of protein.

Low-temperature cooking.
When food is steamed or made into a soup, the temperature is fixed at 100 degrees Celsius or 212 Fahrenheit—the temperature of boiling water. This moisture-based cooking prevents food from browning and forming toxic compounds. Acrylamides, the most generally recognized of the heat-created toxins, are not formed with boiling or steaming. They are formed only with dry cooking. Most essential nutrients in vegetables are more absorbable after being cooked in a soup, not less absorbable. Recent studies confirm that the body absorbs much more of the beneficial anti-cancer compounds (carotenoids and phytochemicals—especially lutein and lycopene) from cooked vegetables compared with raw. The Institute of Food Research in Norwich reported their recent findings in New Scientist magazine: about 3 to 4 percent of the carotenoids were absorbed from raw carrots compared with about 15 to 20 percent from cooked and mashed carrots. The team also found that we absorb these critical anti-cancer nutrients more effectively from vegetables than we do from supplements.

Multiple studies have demonstrated that the beneficial antioxidant activity of cooked tomatoes is significantly higher than from uncooked tomatoes. Scientists speculate that the increase in absorption of antioxidants after cooking may be attributed to the destruction of the cell matrix (connective bands) to which the valuable compounds are bound.

Loss of nutrients.
It is true that vitamin C, folate, B vitamins, and certain minerals are water-soluble and can be destroyed by cooking; but vitamin C contributes less than one percent to the total antioxidant activity of fruits and vegetables. For example, the main antioxidant activity in apples is provided by classes of chemicals called phenolics and flavonoids, both of which are made more available by cooking.

If you compare raw broccoli to steamed or frozen broccoli, about 25 percent of the vitamin C and about 20 percent of the selenium is lost during cooking, but the other 20 commonly-measured nutrients show only an insignificant change. Raw-food advocates are not accurate when they claim that 50 percent of nutrients are lost with steaming. A closer estimate would be 10 percent.

Cooking corn also has been shown to significantly boost its antioxidant activity, despite reduction in vitamin C.When the ability to quench free radicals was measured, cooked corn outperformed raw corn by between 25 to 50 percent. Cooking corn releases a compound called ferulic acid, which provides anti-cancer health benefits. Ferulic acid, a phytochemical, is unique in that it is found only in very low amounts in fruits and vegetables, but is found in very high amounts in corn. The availability to the body of ferulic acid can be increased 500 to 900 percent by cooking the corn.

Benefits of raw food.
Certainly, there are benefits to consuming plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. These foods supply us with high nutrient levels and the smallest number of calories. But the question we are looking at is this—Are there advantages to eating a diet of all raw foods and excluding
all cooked foods?

Clearly, the answer is a resounding “No.” In fact, eating an exclusively raw-food diet is a disadvantage. To exclude all steamed vegetables and vegetable soups from your diet narrows the nutrient diversity of your diet and has a tendency to reduce the percentage of calories from vegetables, in favor of nuts and fruit, which are lower in nutrients per calorie.

Unfortunately, sloppy science prevails in the raw-food movement. Rawfood advocates mistakenly conclude that since eating processed and cooked carbohydrates is harmful for us, all cooked foods are harmful.

To eat the most healthful diet on earth, include a sufficient quantity of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. If you are not very overweight or diabetic, add a glass of freshly squeezed raw vegetables to your diet. Try one of the following combinations beet/carrot/cabbage/apple; kale/parsley/carrot/apple; or beet/carrot/celery/cucumber. Have a blended salad a few times a week.

In addition, try to consume an adequate amount of cooked food, especially vegetable soup.
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Comments (120) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Gina - September 12, 2006 3:24 PM

The one question I still have about a raw food diet, which I used to believe in, is: why are we the only animals that cook our food? Other animals get all the nutrients they need from raw food. I await to be enlightened.

Kenny - September 13, 2006 9:29 AM

We're probably also the only animal that plants seed to grow food, refrigerates it, or sells it at the market. On the other hand even wild animals will eagerly and happily consume cooked and processed food that is offered to them, so you shouldn't base too much on the fact that they don't know how to cook.

tom - October 8, 2006 3:38 PM

what about the argument about life force and bio photons. they say this life force is lost when cooking. and that this life force/bio photons. can anyone explane.

tommy - November 30, 2006 11:16 AM

...what about the argument about life force and bio photons. they say this life force is lost when cooking. and that this life force/bio photons. can anyone explane.

my thought about it is now, if it was the life force of the plants that should give us life. then all people who would eat cooked food would be dead by now.

still the are some rawfoodist who are in good health. but many cooked food eaters too i dont really see the diffrents.

Chris - January 11, 2007 3:00 AM

Sorry Doc, but the cell wall argument for cooking is weak when you compare it to other evidence.
When you eat cooked food your body reacts as if poisoned. This triggers an immune response called leukocytosis where the white blood cells increase up to 300%. Leukocytosis was once considered a normal reaction to eating, but it does not happen when we eat raw food.
Cooked food also causes Mucoid Plaque which coats the intetinal track and causes malabsorption. Our bodies create their first mucus as a baby when we eat our first cooked food. This mucus acts as a protective filter; it protects the digestive tract from the toxic cooked food. The digestive tract is meant to absorb the nutrients from food, but the mucus prevents this from happening.
It is a green rubbery hose about 25 yards long. (Do a Google image search to see it for yourself!)
If Raw Food isn't right then why does it offer complete disease reversal in every case? What other treatment/diet/surgery has the same results? None that I have found.
I had 3 diseases and they are all gone. Raw Food gave me my life back.

Jake - January 15, 2007 6:45 PM

Lolerskates quote= "I had 3 diseases and they are all gone. Raw Food gave me my life back."

Yeah raw food cures up salmonella and Trichinellosis really well. Get a clue raw food is not any more healthy than cooked food. All a raw food diet promotes is the eating of more fruits and vegetables. Cooked or raw eating more is better for you.

Mark - February 28, 2007 12:54 PM

Actually, the doctor is incorrect regarding the body's use of enzymes that are eaten. There have been many studies to confirm this and the fact that hypertrophy of many of a human's glands can be reduced if not aborted when sufficient enzymes exist within the diet and many other studies regarding the experiments to determine the effects of completely denatured food (cooked so enzyme free) on enzyme levels in blood and urine.

Danielle - March 4, 2007 1:09 PM

What if everyone is right - for themselves. What is every person is unique and requires different things at different times. The real disease is that most of us have lost the ability to not only be extremely tuned in and sensitive to the needs of our bodies, but also to stick with what is true for us and not get swayed by the influence of others.

Solace - March 13, 2007 10:23 PM

I can only speak for myself. I followed diets set out by people like Dr. Weil for years. I tried following a mainly cooked Vegan diet for months at a time. Through all of this I still carried crippling neck pain and serious depression/pms that almost killed me. I have been on a 100% RAW food diet for 8 weeks now. I am now for the first time in 15 years off my anti-depressants and for the first time in 15 years and doing awesome. I have not had to take painkillers for 3 days now - THAT has never happened before!!! I believe what I have learned through RAW foodist and those who have been healed by them. I hope those of you who need more info will seek it. Thanks

Dom - April 22, 2007 10:11 AM

This article makes a lot of sense to me. I've tried eating about every way there is. I see no apparent benefit in eating a large raw salad every day.

I believe that warm cooked foods are easier to digest and they taste well. Frozen foods causes mucus in me. Raw cold foods seem hard to digest.

Ayurvedic and Chinese healers will tell you to avoid raw foods. I think they have a keener sense of what's good for the body.

It's true that if you feed an animal cooked food, they will eat it, and perhaps like it better than raw foods!

holly - April 24, 2007 12:39 PM

When someone switches from a cooked foods diet to a raw foods diet, they will inevitably stop eating certain foods that they have probably been consuming for a long time. Could this be the reason for the claims of better health when switching to raw foods? Maybe one, or more of the cooked foods they were eating were causing problems because of the food itself, not because of being either raw or cooked.

viv - May 16, 2007 11:56 AM

Is there any-one out there who is doing so well on a raw/living foods diet after six months or more without substantial cheating? if you read gabriel cousens the trend seems to be towards eliminating more and more food stuffs. merely eating raw is no longer enough. fruit msut go. mushrooms must go. raw dairy even from the goat must go. Once the benefits of the freedom from anti-nutirents, coffee sugar refined flour etc are exhausted the diet seems to sensitise the body to a whole new set of irritants. i am suggesting the diet could acually be a very bad thing and not merely for reasons of malnutrition. comments??

Almond - July 22, 2007 2:38 AM

To consume more of a nutrient as Dr. F says is available in cooked foods is not always a good thing. Just as supplements contain a single nutrient and the body treats them as an unknown substance and will not be able to use the supplement as designed the consumption of larger amounts of bio-available nutirients in cooked food does not mean that they are healthier. The body needs the mixture of all of the nutrients that come in the raw fruit or vegetable in the ratio they are in the raw state. To mess around with this ratio by cooking is not making the food healthier at all and in fact is making it less healthy. Claiming that a vitamin or nutrient is more absorbable after cooking is not at all a good argument for cooking but is in fact a good argument for not cooking.

Damian Baba - July 24, 2007 3:24 AM

There are some good sites that have lots of info on raw versus cooked vegetables and fruit. These sites also have graphics for the raw food movement for myspace users http://www.pimpys.com and http://www.picklemy.com

benny - July 27, 2007 4:09 AM

70 percent raw and 30 percent cooked seems to ok with exercise daily.

elam - August 17, 2007 3:19 PM

I know people who have been cured of many diseases by a macrobiotic diet and some who claim the same healings from eating raw meat. I know someone on a raw diet who looks and feels great and then there is another man who looks like he came out of a concentration camp. I don't think there is one sacred holy cow diet just as there isn't only one way to God...I eat a 100% organic whole foods diet with some raw and some cooked and I eat fermented dairy and grassfed meat and that diet is super for me. I hate the idea of doing restrictive diets ever again.

Grandmama - September 18, 2007 11:40 PM

My experience with raw foods: I was in fairly good health but still suffered for several years from chronic daily hemorrhoids, rectal fissure, insomnia, cracked heels, general chilliness, poor concentration, was 30+ pounds overweight, and my hair was turning grey rapidly. I was eating a mostly organic whole food vegetarian diet for over thirty years (on which I overcame Lymes disease and migraine headaches), and applied ayurvedic and chinese medicine wisdom to my diet and lifestyle. I ate no junk food at all. It wasn't until I adopted a 99% (and later 100%) raw, organic diet that every one of the above-mentioned symptoms completely disappeared never to return (excepting a few grey hairs). It has been about 14 months now since I made the commitment (no cheating, no kidding!), and I feel better and more youthful than ever before in my nearly 49 years. I rarely ever eat anything cold from the fridge or freezer. My skin and hair are beautiful, my energy is great, my sleep is wonderful, I lost 33 pounds of excess fat, I no longer have hemorrhoids or fissures or even dry cracked heels, I am no longer chilly even in winter, and my concentration and focus is excellent. I am far more productive than ever. My two questions for the doctor or anyone else who knows: If a raw diet can cause nutritional deficiencies, how long will it take before the overall excellent benefits of my diet change disappear, and the deficiency symptoms begin to appear? If cooked food is essential to good health, please explain how the human and animal kingdoms managed to survive for countless generations? I believe that people have the right to choose what they wish to eat, and that negative judgement is not conducive to health for anyone. I sincerely wish for each and all of you the wonderful increase in health and happiness that I have achieved eating only raw foods. As my granddaughter said to me..."Grandma, you don't look like a grandma to me, all yucky and old and wrinkled, you look nice and young!"

Blessings of health and happiness to all!

Matthew - October 28, 2007 1:55 AM

No one mentioned Pottenger's cats.

Also, no one mentioned a device called a blender for breaking down fiber in veggies, versus exploding it with heat.

Also I had asthema for years, and whenever I eat grains with gluten raw or cooked the asthema comes back. (or animal products)

Thanks much.

Joanne - November 28, 2007 2:54 AM

I have Systemic Lupus and was given plaquenil to help me. It did, but for many years it was not 100% better until I went on a raw food diet for one year. My lupus symptoms eventually dissapeared entirely, and my blood tests showed as if I didn't have lupus at all. My doc wanted me to start phasing off my meds but I was too chicken to go off them completely. It is not easy being raw especially when I cook for my 2 kids and husband. But people, it works, just be reasonable with it and trust your body. I ate raw sushi for protein, which I felt I needed. Go organic when you do it; it makes all the difference.

SteveF - December 4, 2007 12:41 PM

This is an interesting article, but what I find interesting is that, to my knowledge, zoos do not feed their animals cooked food. If or when they do, they get sick.

Second, it is possible that scientists cannot currently measure the value of raw foods. Results are much more valuable when determining the efficacy of raw foods.

Third, it sounds like there's other studies above of which I'm not aware that show the value of raw foods and the enzymes they contain.

Amy - January 14, 2008 9:13 PM

There are many good arguments for diets other than raw foods. A partial raw diet is great, because a lot of our vegetables do lose enzymes, nutrients, and vitamins when being cooked. However, others vegetables (when being boiled), actually show an increase in vitamins and minerals. In addition, while some vegetables showed a significant decrease of minerals and vitamins when being cooked, others were negligible. Some nutrients in raw foods are absorbed just fine. Others aren't absorbed very well into the body when raw. As far as health, look at Dr. Jordan Reuben, author of the Maker's Diet. Look at the Mediterranean diet. Look at people in other cultures who are extremely healthy and yet cook their food. Raw foodists claim that steaming destroys enzymes, but another study showed that the temperature of water when you correctly steam food only reaches 100 degrees. Enzymes are not destroyed at that temperature. Raw foodists also claim that 50% of nutrients and minerals are destroyed when we cook food. In all actuality it is about 10%.

The best way to be healthy is to completely cut out processed and chemically treated foods. Even eating organic, there are many processed foods, so while I do believe that eating a predominantly raw foods diet is great, I also believe that people should include natural, organic cooked foods (cooked correctly) into their diets.

I tried several raw recipes from about 3 books that I have. They all taste funny. I should still be able to enjoy food, shouldn't I? I think I'll be sticking to smoothies for breakfast, veggie sandwiches on sprouted bread (perhaps even dehydrated bread at times) or a salad for lunch and fish or chicken and veggies for dinner. I'll be eating my carrots steamed or boiled, because they were one of the vegetables that showed the increase in vitamins and minerals through coooking.

SteveF - January 31, 2008 11:06 AM

Amy, one point you make is "when you correctly steam food only reaches 100 degrees" - but not sure how that's possible when the gaseous form of water is reached when it's over 212 degrees. Steam is tremendously hot - just put your face over it and you'll experience extreme heat. I don't think that study's accurate.

Additionaly, it's tough to eat raw, but you just can't argue with the *results*. I don't eat a even close to 100% raw, but I do at least try to stay over 50% raw, because it's really hard to do when you work a lot. That or taste doesn't justify the facts and results seen from what it can do for you. Just because we can't accurately measure it's worth today, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Nikki - February 1, 2008 7:57 PM

Amy's point about the 100 degrees is her misunderstanding... that is 100 degrees CELSIUS! Which is the boiling point of water, which as Steve pointed out, is 212 Fahrenheit. Way higher than the 115 Fahrenheit that is often used as the top temp for raw food.

Danny Anderson - March 20, 2008 2:11 PM

I have changed my diet to about 80% to 90% raw foods. I have been on it for only about a month, if that. I had bad psoriasis before this. after changing my diet it went away almost completely. Sometimes i eat a hot vegetable soup or some steemed veggies. I think you just have to go with what your body tells you. I have noticed that if I eat wheat products like bread it starts to come back. same thing with meat

Sabeena - March 27, 2008 7:47 AM

Does cooking may cause any change in the nutritive value of the food items
prescribed for a particular meal.

please note that the nutritive value of the raw food is being calculated as per the guidelines(nutritive value of Indian Foods,NIN,Hyderabad)for that particular meal.

andrew - April 3, 2008 11:01 PM

as an actual dr (don't bother drumming me out as a poser) i would like to point out that many of these miracle cures attributed to raw food could also be explained by the sudden change in diet. If you went from a vegan diet that consisted largely of pirates booty and sugar laden snacks, then switched to a raw diet, it stands to reason that overall health would increase. I think that all of these testimonies are given without a fair admission of past habits. Also, i would like to briefly (and at my own peril)address the mucus issue. we all have mucus lining our GI tract. it protects us. we don't have rumens, so an over abundance of mucus isn't going to be fatal. we do, however, have sensitive stomach and intestinal linings, which need mucus. all of this talk of "too much mucus" inhibiting nutrient absorption is not true. Finally, meat is basically essential for a healthy human (especially a human male) to survive. thousands of years of selective breeding (evolution people) have given an edge to humans able to take the most nutrients out of cooked meat. Charring is bad, yes, but that doesn't mean you should exclude all meats from your diet. we need animal protein. so, if you want my opinion, raw vegetable and fruits are wonderful things. we all should increase our consumption of raw plants, but to leave out cooked meat is simply unhealthy. even if you add one piece of broiled fish every few days, or a chicken breast on top of a raw organic salad once in while, it will help you maintain a healthy body a healthy waist line and allow you to ingest all of the nutrients your body actually requires.

Mike - April 25, 2008 4:37 PM

you must be a medical doctor because you stupid!!! Your just corrupted by the government because they want you to eat electricuted food so you die a slow and painfull death and they can reap all your hard earned money. Read a book or two....you might learn something!!

SteveF - April 29, 2008 6:16 PM

Andrew, assuming you're an MD with a traditional pharma-backed and drug-based education, please enlighten us how animal products are "basically essential", how we "need animal protein" and how leaving "out cooked meat is simply unhealthy". Also, please include to what extent you were educated in nutrition in medical school (it's typically 1 - 3 semester hours, if that). Also, in your analysis, please explain how sickness and disease develop in those on a flesh-based diet, while those on a plant-based diet thrive. Oh yeah, and please explain how those who've been on a SAD (Standard American Diet) diet - yeah, I know that's rhetorical - and have switched to a plant-based diet get better, but when they go back to eating meat they get sick again. We see that time and time again, so what you're saying just does not make sense based on the RESULTS we've seen.

The fact is, sufficient and extensive studies and data exist that shows that a plant-based diet is much healthier, and even eating meat once a week increases cancer risk by as much as (I believe the stat is) 40%. And if you took the time to self-educate yourself, you'd find from studies such as The China Study and the Seventh Day Adventist study that flesh-based diets do in fact contribute to disease. There's just no doubting it. I just met an MD the other day that dumped his traditional practice of over 20 years to open up a practice that teaches/educates/practices "integrative medicine", the new buzz word for alternative in the medical field. And, guess what, with diet and herbs alone he's having excellent results with cancer, hormones, and disease in general WITHOUT DRUGS. But, he said he had to learn it on his own, and once he "learned the truth", in his words, he said he "couldn't go back". I only wish more medical doctors were this honest and properly trained in the real cause and prevention of sickness and disease.

gertrude - June 11, 2008 1:52 AM

Do you really believe humans are meant to be vegetarian? Which does our GI tract more closely resemble, that of a cow or that of a cat? Why is it that a human body can not digest cellulose? Everything the doctor said is true. Animal protein is essential for human health. Every animal protein is a complete protein containing the full spectrum of amino acids, vegetable proteins do not. Meat products contain healthy cholesterol and saturated fats, which are also essential for health (which is why breast milk contains 25% sat fat and 11% cholesterol). The problem with a vegan diet is it is typically way too high in carbohydrates, and too low in protein and fat. The body becomes deficient in fat soluble vitamins, and the high carb diet promotes insulin resistance, which causes a whole host of other problems. I've switched to a diet primarily of red meat and cooked non-starchy vegetables and i've never felt better in my life. I will never go back to being a raw vegan.

Michael Bedar - June 24, 2008 3:32 AM

What makes enzymes? They are mostly proteins, meaning they are transcribed by mRNA from DNA (nucleic acid helices) into amino acid chains of different shapes. So let's look at the generator of enzymes, not just the body's store of them. The question is then, does raw food or cooked food turn on and off the genes (DNA sequences) that create the body's most effective synergetic symphony of proteins in the body? And how would we determine how food effects the cell-nuclear transcription? It would have to do with the nutrients in the plasma and extracellular fluid that signal from the cell membrane (surface) deep into the nucleus of the cell, effecting the genetic (DNA) and epigenetic (molecules all around the DNA) expression. A lot of molecular biochemistry has shown that the extracellular environment - from stress hormones to drugs - signal into the cell interior and effect the nucleus. The study of how raw food vs. cooked food does that is rather undeveloped. But to go back to what works in the wild, I for one am led to the idea that the dissolved nutrients in an raw leaf or fruit is better able to create a healthy, well-understood signal from the cell membrane molecules that turn on and off the genes at optimal expression. And then the right enzymes are made. And since minerals and enzymes work together, the dissolved minerals in raw vegetable food have a scientific likelihood of being ready to combine with the enzymes that are now created, as well. Thus the complexes of minerals with carbon molecules to create the crucial inorganic complexes are ready to go, and the body is mineralized, alkalized, electrified, and highly energized by the inorganic mineral-carbon complexes to create movement and transfer through the tissues which keeps us alive and flowing.

SteveF - July 17, 2008 9:55 AM

Not sure what source that information came from Michael, but one thing we need to understand is that there's a reason we can't digest certain foods - we don't produce the enzymes necessary to do so. Our GI tract is much more like a cow/horse than a cat/dog. Our saliva and stomach acid is much more mild because we're not set up to eat raw meat like a cat. Additionally, our intestinal tract is long and twisted, where a true carnivore like a cat/dog has a short and somewhat straight intestine. It's surprising that needs clarification from a physiological perspective. Any basic Anatomy and Physiology book covers this.

Additionally, not sure I'm an advocate of a pure vegan diet *LONG TERM*. There appears to be advantages from an ideal perspective to at least get a small amount of good fat and essential fatty acids from other sources such as butter, milk, eggs. However, note this is a very small amount. Based on the evidence, pure vegans don't do as well long term as ovo-lacto vegans from what I've seen - maybe someone has seen something different.

Seems that misinformation, conflict of interest, monetary or otherwise, or maybe people's desire for animal flesh, that keeps us from coming to a collective agreement on the subject of diet and raw foods. Seems that we need to look at the evidence and results to properly determine the best course of dietary action. Dr. Furhman is definitely on the right track, and we see positive, healing results from diets that he and people like Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. John McDougal suggest. When people go the plant-based route, we see people getting well. Sorry folks, without a shadow of a doubt, based on the evidence, we can ascertain meat is disease-causing, not life-sustaining...

Lisa - August 13, 2008 10:32 PM

My grandmother is 96 years old, in perfect health, and her favorite foods are McDonalds, Pizza Hut and hot dogs!! If I could live to be 100 on a raw food diet, or 95 and enjoy a well-rounded diet eating everything I enjoy in moderation, I would choose to live to 95!

Tanya - September 12, 2008 9:04 PM

I agree, I enjoy my African and Carri bean food. It's healthy and fulfilling, so why would I want to torture myself with this diet. Life on earth is meant to be enjoyed, we will all die one day anyway so stop coming up with gimmicks that claim to let you live forever. People stop fooling yourself and enjoy a healthy lifestyle, by not becoming too extreme.

Theo - October 21, 2008 5:08 PM

Not sure if this is still active but i'll give my two cents.

our bodies reflect our lifestyle, which includes but is not exclusively our diet.

Raw diets are very good for healing, i will admit this. the raw veg/fruit cleanses the body.

but they are inpractical for long term living and for athletes.

don't make such a fuss, someone that discards the benefits of something, for 'belief' in something else is being ignorant.

raw food, very good.
cooked food, good too!

god damnit lol you don't have to choose.

all the best
-Theo

Chris - January 9, 2009 8:35 AM

Frankly, I think it's a shame that all these people who claim that raw foods have healed them, made them healthy etc., are using that as a basis for proof that raw foods are amazing and that everyone should be doing it. What these people are experiencing is NOT a controlled test, it should NOT be accepted as evidence since no peer reviewed publication in the world would rely simply on this data. However, as far as peer reviewed research data goes, there is just simply no evidence to suggest that a purely or even mostly raw diet is in any way a significant benefit to ones health. In fact, the only journals I have so far found, actually show that in test subjects, people (especially women) are more likely to be undernourished and lacking in essential vitamins. Infact 30% if women on this diet are likely to have partial to full Amenorrhea. Sorry, but I can't in all good conscience support a diet that can make you infertile.

carmen - January 9, 2009 9:43 AM

what about dehydration, pickling and fermenting? does that help the food be digested? also what foods are better to eat cooked and what foods are better raw?
thank you

Jack - January 10, 2009 9:52 PM

Awesome comments, a brilliant read this article overall. Shame we can't come to a solid conclusion!

Entirely raw food is just too impractical in my mind. Hats off to those who can manage it, but until there's stronger evidence that its truely better, I think a diet of plenty of fruit and veg, raw and cooked, some fish (cooked), plenty of legumes and nuts and the occasional piece of meat if desired is the most sensible option. In this way we still get to dine out, arn't too restricted with what we eat, yet will end up healthier than the 95% of the population who stuff themselves with white flour, refined sugar and deep fried foods everyday for their entire lives. Seems like a good balance to me.

Raj - January 16, 2009 8:32 AM

I am from India and i have cervical spondylosis. I had gout a few years back but was able to control it with some food changes but now i have cervical spondylosis.
The so called great modern medicine dosent have an answer. All they know is antiinflammtory tablets, pain killers and vitamin tablets. I have read about a yogi's diet i.e the diet of an indian saint. I have turned to raw food, can say 75% raw and i have cooked food only for dinner.
Now i can see the change. The pain has miraculosly stopped though not fully. I have realised that it is the inflammation i have to cure. for that i have to strenghten my immune system and make it recognize that it is not supposed to be attacking my neck. It may sount funny but it is true.
Now there are many here who claim that there is not much reserch done on benefits of raw food. But i believe in live examples and not the reserch studies done by those so called big drug companies. I have seen someone live for more than 100 years , healthy and perfect by eating raw food. All the person used to eat was green sprouts and fruits. His stomach almost touched his back but his body was in perfect shape and there was no fatigue. He lived for more than 100 years. He was the guru of my uncle and my uncle managed to survive about 70 years as he consumed cooked food.
Sorry for the long story , nut just wanted to share my experiences because there are many people in the world who are spending hell a lot of money on medicines which are of no use. Fasting and raw food diet can bring back life and cure diseases which are not cured by medicines.

DJF - January 16, 2009 9:16 PM

Well, my husband and I recently watched "Food Matters" and were both inspired to eat at least 51% raw. He lost 12 pounds in a week (he was pooping like six times a day!) and we both seem to *feel* a lot better.

I have been eating mostly raw veges for a month but it's hard with two youngsters 2 and 4 but I'm trying to include as much raw as I can with them too.

After reading this article and subsequent comments however, I have to admit I'm confused! The whole enzyme debate gets a little complicated if you aren't hip to all the details and frankly, I don't want to become a certified nutritionist to eat! I think in the final analysis, we'll stick to eating 51% (at least) raw, organic, and only occasionally, cooked fish.

Boris - January 17, 2009 2:55 PM

Lets face it: we know almost nothing about raw food diets yet, aside from the burgeoning body of personal experiences which are so accessable to all thanks to the internet. There is has been tragically little research, and many of assumptions that are made by both enthusiasts and critics have not actually been tested.

The evidence is overwhelming for a diet based almost exclusively on plant foods. Many people derive benefit from improving thier diet in this direction. Not all of them, as the doctor contributing above assumes, were eating utter rubbish beforehand. I should know, I'm a doctor and I was eating a virtually vegan wholefood diet (mainly due to reading Campbells "China Study") before I noticed that my Raw Food wife had significantly more energy and clarity in the evenings than I did. I followed in her footsteps and the result was effortless weight loss, and increased energy. From my point of view the most interesting change was radically increased recovery time from injury (at least 60% quicker), and almost no stiffness after exeptional exertion or new activities. My surgeries are full of people who just aren't healing injuries and inflammations of various kinds. Lack of a proper research base makes it impossible to share my experiences with the overwhelming majority of my patients. But as a 40+ year old doing TaeKwonDo twice weekly with my kids I'm finding life a good deal easier.

I think the dramatic experiences that many rawfoodists report deserve some proper research, as do the experiences of those who don't get along with it. This will take a good deal of time to undertake, publish, and understand. Gabriel Cousens is hoping to get funding for his work with diabetes, lets hope he gest some. But this will just be a small peice in the jigsaw. Research agendas are pretty hard to send in new directions so we may be waiting a long time. In the meantime, by all means lets share our experiences, hypotheses and what information there is, but lets not pretend we know more than we do.

C. - January 23, 2009 9:15 PM

Why does everything have to be backed by intricate science that no one agrees on anyway? What can be agreed upon is that when people eat a raw diet of fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts and seeds, they feel better. Medical problems go away. People become happier.

Did anyone see the documentary Raw for 30 days? A varied group of participants agree to eat raw for 30 days to document (by all kinds of medical doctors) what happens to their diganosis of diabetes as they begin and complete 30 days of raw food. The people who stick it out for 30 days, reverse their diabetes.

What more do you want? Will you eat raw if some scientist finally declares it to be healthy? Don't be brainwashed by the medical community. Don't be brainwashed by your peers. Who ever died from eating raw fruits and vegetables? If you're asking questions about how to do it, you might be in a place to try it. If you're calling everyone else idiots for doing it, you wouldn't last a week on a raw food diet because you're not ready for it so let others enjoy their benefits and find something else to critique, like the cabbage soup diet.

Raw food is about taking your health into your own hands. It's about not covering up problems with pills and supplements and other things. It's about nourishing your body to perform at maximum capacity.

laura emily - January 27, 2009 10:06 PM

Where can I find good raw food websites that seem more grounded than "this will change your life" vibe?
I thought I might try it for a month and would like some resources that aren't trying to sell me a belief.

As for "short term" or "long term", cooked foods only, raw foods only, I'm right and you're wrong arguments going on here, I think the bible said it well when Paul advises people to eat to your own convictions. Whatever works for you, works for you.

Get along people. There is plenty more worthy subjects to argue about. Nothing is being accomplished but added chaos and confusion.

Amy Williams - March 17, 2009 12:38 PM

Research Dr. Gabriel Cousins
go to rdnmovement.com and see how he is getting people off their insulin in just 30 days, sometimes in just one week, of being on an all raw organic diet...we CAN live and live healthy on just raw foods...
~Amy~

The best test is to try it and see how you feel.

Amy Williams - March 17, 2009 12:56 PM

The first RAW food restayrant was in the 1900's in New York and was there for over 40 years. People have been eating this way for years people! You take a segment of the population who have eaten raw for more than 20 years and a segment that has eaten the SAD diet ( standard american diet) and look at who is healthier and who has more disease. I want to look and feel like the RAW food people do! That's all the proof I need.

Food Matters and Raw for 30 days are amazing peiced of information that should run on TV instead of the nightly news! That would turn the economy around...commercial farmers could turn into COMMUNITY FARMS..everyone would have a job then!

~Amy~
in Missouri

Sylvain Daly - June 2, 2009 9:19 AM

I believe both sides of these arguments are both right & wrong. Perhaps there should be a balance of eating both raw and cooked foods, just not extremes of both. Definately overcooking is bad I guess, and I think the use of microwave ovens are very bad. Personally I eat about 60 to 70% raw food and maybe 30 to 40% cooked food. Stay away from fully/partially hydrogenated oils or cooked/heated oils. Also complex/refined/ or artificial sugar is bad. Regular salt is bad too, so try Celtic sea salt instead. All processed or caned food is bad. Taking synthetic vitamins is bad. Foods grown with the use of pesticides are bad, and food animals injected with growth hormones & antibiotics are bad too. Heck, this isn't a perfect world we live in, so we have to be realistic that we live in a bad world. Even if we ate perfectly, something else could do us in!!! Take care & live as long as you can.

Sylvain Daly - June 2, 2009 9:45 AM

I forgot to mention that all people are different when it comes to our health. My grandmother for instance is 87 years old and is still alive and well and ate practically nothing but cooked foods and processed foods all her life while living in Brooklyn, New York. So who can say what would have happed to her longevity so far if all she ate was raw food??? She later moved to Orlando, Florida in 1994, and she still cooks everyday. Perhaps some people just are inclined to live longer then others. I'm a freak when in comes to my eating 70% raw diet because I think it will help me live longer, but look at what I just said about my grandmother!!!!! I won't stop eating raw regardless because it tastes better raw unless it's proven that raw is BAD!!!!!!!!!

Holly - July 16, 2009 11:19 AM

I've been raw for almost 3 years and have never felt better. It took me a long time to adjust, though....lots of yo-yoing back and forth. I do recommend everyone watch the Raw For Thirty documentary. It is so inspiring! http://rawfor30days.com/cmd.php?af=1010640 I'm thinking of hosting a screening in my city to get the information out there.

Bessa - August 6, 2009 1:23 AM

This is One great blog, I am to young and inexperianced to give the greatest of opinion. But from searching with heart and empowerment all over the web. I came to see many astounding things about going on a raw food diet. One things forsure it's about mind, body and SPIRIT. I have seen that this diet or lifestyle has keys to unlocking certain spiritual connections In your body.  Lots of things in this world we cannot see with our eyes. Alot of these things that we can't see are felt. I believe this Improves that ability. It is amazing the natural changes that occour because of the right spirit(attitude) or emotional strength. I am obvisously never going to stop researching on raw because the truth is not in your head it's in your heart. That is what these raw foodist are all about,thier about love and peace. What's wrong with love ? They are looking for safe and pure solutions to our enviroment and food sources. Does your doctor do that? If they find that solution that save our bodies for many more years I want in on that as soon as possible. It's only all good so far what has come of it? The only problem is angry people who can't live with peace?When you don't think eating meat is going to save our water resources and crop life? Thanks this was fun!

Tiger - September 4, 2009 3:06 PM

Hey! I ventured into the raw diet and am now changing it to something different. I found I had more vitality brought back into my life when I did colonics therapy. That really helped me. with added probiotics. great for health and weight loss. I also am adding fish and eggs back in my diet for the omegas and B vitamins. Raw food diet misses the needed Bs and omegas. I also found it had too much nuts for me. It also wasn't grounding enough. My mind just wouldn't stop racing. When I eat cooked food my mind slows down and I feel more grounded. I see all these people out there who are very healthy and eat cooked food and even red meat! And they have energy and are happy people and don't get sick. Makes me wonder if the raw food diet is really necessary. I am switching to a more meditarrean diet, adding wild fish and eggs in my die approach, more cooked and just staying away from fast food like burgers and steak and fries and pizza and junk food like chips and chocolate bars etc. And I don't drink milk because of all the added stuff in milk now days. I also eat grains like quinua and rice and vegtable pasta. so i think everything in moderation is the key. Kale i am keeping in my diet as it is high in C and other nutrients. I am just going with what works for me and taking whole food suppliments too. I also try to keep my moods in check and try not to think so much. I also like the raw desserts so I nix the other deserts for the healthier version. so certain things i am keeping and some i am not. i also like my hemp protein shakes and hemp seeds and avacados and such. so i eat good. i think being a 100% in anything is more stressful then not. Makes me wonder why people would be so obsessed about it. I just stay away from heavy foods like tofu, pizza, etc. and go for more earth friendly foods. But it is still a mystery to me why there are still so many skinny people in the world who eat crappy and don't ever gain a pound, never get sick and live long lives and are not 100% raw...explain that one too me. And then there are others who are overweight, have issues etc. Personally i think anitbiotics are a big reason why people have health problems and medications. Many of the overweight people i have talked to have had antibiotics in the past and they said the gained weight and had intense cravings for bad food. Also birth control for women has had a factor in health. That experience happened to me too. Many of the people who are skinny and hardly ever get sick never had antibiotics they also don't eat a lot of sugar or have aspartame. Which its funny how cancer became more of an issue when aspartame came on the market and it was unheard of before. Many of the people who have had cancer had lots of aspartame products like diet pop and gum. also we eat way too much. we don't need as much as we think. i noticed when i add in more probiotics and did colonics i didn't need as much food and wasn't always hungry. ate way less. I still think raw is good for a short term diet but stressful in the long run. body needs a balance as well as the mind too. life is all about learning balance and learning self love and love for others and enjoying life. Make your own heaven on earth. :)

hefty - October 13, 2009 6:57 PM

dear god people, any exclusive ideology is usually critically flawed.

eating EVERYTHING raw: diet-limiting and stupid;

every EVERYTHING cooked: nutritionally wasteful and stupid;

and get your vaccinations, theyre the true disease killer; even if they cause some diseases, the number they MAY cause is significantly smaller than the diseases theyve already historically exterminated.

Rawomanaturembracingoddess - November 2, 2009 7:08 PM

Here's my experience and I have been raw for 6 years with successful weight loss over the first few months.
When I ate cooked food I found it comforting and it made me feel warm inside... ready to go outside and bear the cold. I also felt mentally 'satisfied' and somewhat more balanced in my emotions and personality. I felt happy. Since cooked foods seem to move through the body's digestive system slower than raw foods, I felt my inner thermal increase, making me feel more strong & hearty. I also felt very relaxed like I could fall asleep after eating.

Raw foods made me feel young, alive, and energized. After eating I felt empty inside, depending on what raw foods I ate, yet I felt satisfied. I didn't crave more food every hour of the day as I did with cooked food. It was like I was eating just for the sake of nutrition, rather than pleasure/comfort.

The downside: Living in the northeast with cold winters, I was not able to stand the cold. I felt like I was missing a part of me, sometimes depressed, and like I was near death and cold inside (but not in a sickly or painful way)... I just felt like 'I wasn't here' like I was more spirit than body.

From experience I believe that any food that stays in your gut longer than it should becomes that meaty part of us, possibly our daily chemical make-up. Though not everyone will agree with me, nor has felt the same, but from my personal experience I have found that the raw foods diet is the right design for us humans just as long as we live in the tropics and have no need to feel solid, strong and hearty! Animals in the wild don't cook food they eat and those that have stored 'raw' blubber to withstand winters hibernating eat raw meat. Maybe we humans need to learn to unwind, slow down, and meditate. We need to develop a gentle nature, and appreciation to what the earth provides us with and harmonize with it. Then adapting the raw foods diet would be ideal.

Steve - December 29, 2009 11:58 AM

Many people believe, without ever trying a supremely healthy diet, that it cannot be enjoyable, or cannot be as enjoyable as the less-than-healthy foods they have grown to love. I assure you, I understand this thinking. However, I just want to point out that it is quite possible to actually grow to enjoy eating a supremely healthy diet.

FishForThought - December 30, 2009 4:58 PM

I am one of those people that never gets sick. I am always full of energy and I have a ready smile.
I eat what I feel like eating and go with my gut feeling tells me. I wont eat something that I feel will be harmful and I ALWAYS breath in by the mouth as I take my first bite (its the beast way to know how it tastes like before eating it).
I have some raw foodist friends and I respect their ways, I eat rawfood meals with them but I also always ask that I am eating first as there is alot of raw food that contains toxins and we would not be eating if we did not cook food at all. (e.g: potatoes, sweet potatoes, almost all mushrooms, etc..).
I use the same rule with cooked food... if its better for me raw.. I will go for the raw.
Its not a black and white world.. there are shades of grey AND colors.

Nisa - January 3, 2010 9:39 PM

I was a vegetarian for six years, but went back to meat after I was diagnosed with a protein deficiency. As an adult I developed diabetes after gaining weight during pregnancy. I got rid of it by cutting out processed foods and simple starches, increasing my vegetable intake and eating lean meats. Our household follows the Blood-type diet and only eats organic produce and it works for us. I lost 35lbs and my husband lost 50lbs. We've maintained the weight loss and overall good health since.

After two years, we decided we wanted to take the next step. After reading some articles and blogs I thought going raw was the way for me. I thought I could get around the protein requirements by substituting proper vegetable protein. My husband is a vegetarian and was on board, so we started. We started going raw three days ago. After these three days my husband felt great and was full of energy. I on the other hand, had so much stomach acid and mucus build-up, that I found it difficult to get through the day and was unable to sleep at night. It got to the point where I was spitting every couple of minutes and was so uncomfortable that I ate a piece of bread to absorb some of the acid (and I didn't really eat bread before I went raw). Not only did it not work, it seemed to get worse. I finally gave in and had a piece of cooked lean steak. The acid build up immediately subsided. I have no science to support anything, but I know what worked for me. I've continued to eat raw today, but incorporated cooked lean meat. I feel great now.

So I have concluded with or success on the Blood-type diet (which has different requirements for me and my husband) and this HORRIBLE experience, that not everyone is the same. I will continue to eat raw vegetables a fruit, but realize that my body, unlike my husbands has other needs.

HEAL Naturally - January 4, 2010 10:07 PM

After reading all the comments, I conclude that everyone wants the other to see their point of view.

There is no ONE right way of eating. There are too many factors to consider. Season, location, blood type, dosha, constitution, genetics, gender and the list goes on...

There is evidence to support and oppose each view point.

My experience as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist - the main reason why we eat - to provide the body with the raw materials to function on a daily basis - to give us the gift of life and health. If that is not accomplished then one must change to what works.

Be familiar with the Weston Price Foundation studies. This gentleman traveled, studied and documented the natives and indigenous peoples from the far reaches of the earth. No disease, strong, fertile, long-living peoples. He discovered commonalities in their diets and food preparation techniques. They ate from the land, fermented their food, soaked their grains and often ate meat - sometimes raw, often organ meats.

Can you ignore the healthy Northern Eskimos eating seal fat and whale blubber? No cancer, diseases or Heart problems.

There is also evidence to support the Raw Foodists because detoxification in our toxic modern world is necessary and is a major cause of diseases and ill-health!

My advice: Eat what feels right. Eat to feel good.
If you are vegetarian and suffering from anemia (for instance) then what you are doing is not working - adjust and change to get what is necessary from your diet to function.

Don't get me wrong - I am running a Raw Food Cooking Workshop out of my own kitchen upcoming. Most people think of "Raw" as just salad. Raw foodists know it goes above and beyond. I surely agree that the SAD includes too much cooked and not enough live, fermented or whole foods.

Great article! Thanks for writing.

And to address the MD - I suggest doing some training or research before posting comments on Nutrition and "health". I continue to study and learn even after over 4 years of schooling and many certifications not to mention upgrade courses. I would never give advice on drugs or surgery as I have no training on such topics. Don't give advice on HEALTH. What you practice is quite the contrary - SICK Care!

Kenny "the fantasy" Magician - January 16, 2010 1:38 PM

This an intriguing series of postings (is it a blog? I'm no longer sure what any of these new words and concepts mean...)

I've been keenly interested and investigative when it comes to diet, healing, lifestyle, organic living (in which I include the choice to eliminate products and foods containing synthetic chemicals, especially petroleum-based ones)...etc

I've read a lot of books, not only books supporting 'one side' of the argument or another, but also books which offer the more general base of information we have to date about history, about digestion, physiology, which nutrients the body and mind appear to require, etc.

Over the last couple of years I've changed my diet entirely: from health-conscious (but fairly typical) to all vegan, to vegetarian, to raw, and now I'm at a combination of eating anti-inflammatory/low glycemic, which is mostly plants and largely raw, though not exclusively. I'm also, for the last 9 months or so, gluten-free.

From everything I've read/experienced, the biggest and most important changes one can make to improve health are to eliminate ALL processed/refined foods (including things made from finely ground flour, if you can), all foods that contain additives and added sugars/oils, and to exercise regularly in as many different ways as you can. I also think that it probably makes more sense to eliminate dairy products than it does to eliminate meat/eggs. Afterall, we have no shortage of people who have allergies/reactions to dairy, but has anyone ever heard of a chicken/fish sensitivity?

The example of the northern natives that someone made is a tremendous one: They TOO show extremely low rates of illness and disease, like many 'primitive' cultures, and yet their diet is almost exclusively animal-based, and they've been cooking for an extremely long time.

All around the world there are studies being done on what have been termed "blue zones". What we call them isn't important, but the truth is that there are sections of the world in which populations have a much higher rate of health and longevity than we seem to see here in the 'luxurious first world".

The KEY differences seem to be: Cleaner air (although some of them live in cities), exercise (and not begrudgingly, they enjoy it!), good nutrition from foods in their most natural state (including moderate consumption of cooked foods and animal proteins), and healthy spiritual/social connections/purpose.

I find myself feeling intrigued by the idea of a raw-food diet - I will admit. Some part of me thinks that there might something to it.

However - We have to also remember that even IF we spent the first 10 or 20% of our development here on earth as 'raw foodists', our eating habits and lifestyles have changed drastically too....and that has likely changed what our body actually "is", right now.

Everything I've read indicates that there are some legitimate deficiencies a raw-foodist may well encounter.

From the education I've given myself, I feel strongly that the MOST 'disease-causing' aspects of our lifestyle are: Sugar consumption, saturated fat consumption, poor variety/amount of lovely fruits and vegetables, lack of exercise (we get perhaps 5% of the exercise we've been accustomed to for generations), and even mental stimulation!

The truth is that knitting or doing some recreational wood carving is FAR BETTER for the brain than watching tv or multi-tasking on the computer! - - THIS has been proven in terms of what synaptical benefits the brain shows from these activities: Complex activities aren't necessarily better for the brain. Look around you: Does humanity LOOK happy and satisfied? do they Look smarter? I say absolutely no.

I support the inquiry in all of this. I think that it's entirely possible we might find a way to make an all-raw diet totally optimal at some point. I have a LOT of questions about things like "Spirulina" (which most raw foodists support the use of), because the controversy surrounding it/neurotoxicity is far from decided.

I will shut up now. Eat some fruits! Eat an egg with some onions! Eat some lovely quinoa! Eat some hemp!

William - February 2, 2010 7:55 PM

My Grandfather survived Normandy, raised a family of ten, smoked for nearly 70 yrs, topped off the evening with a Dewars on the rocks, bacon and eggs every morning and occasionally ate his favorite "cannibal sandwhich"...raw meat with pepper to taste.
He died peacefully in his sleep at 96 yrs old...I'm guessing without any regrets for not eating more leafy greens and hemp butter. Just goes to show, to each his own. I don't by any means live my life the way he did, and I condone any of the aforementioned, but you can argue all day long about what is right and wrong, why not live your life to suit your means and enjoy the fact that your here to begin with. Peace!

William - February 4, 2010 1:37 PM

*..sorry, meant to say DO NOT condone any of the aforementioned...good day.

Tania - February 12, 2010 10:59 AM

If you have not done a raw food diet for more than 2 months, then I don't think you have any reason or right to post anything about it. I have been raw for 3 months. My face cleared up, I lost 20 pounds, I look and feel better than I have in YEARS, I have the energy I had when I was 10. After having 2 miscarriages last year, and almost dying from one of them, I am finally pregnant with a viable pregnancy.

If I eat meat, wheat or cheese, I notice how crappy it makes me feel. It's not good for me.

If you all want excuses to keep eating your unhealthy McDonalds and steak and potato dinner, then just keep eating your dead, depleated and genetically and chemically altered food and if you live to be 95, cool. Think of how much longer you could have lived.

As I said, until you TRY it yourself, you have NO right to post anything. I don't care if you are a doctor or a scientist or whatever. Try it for yourself and THEN post something. Otherwise, STFU.

Kieran - February 13, 2010 12:38 PM

I am a recently converted vegetarian. Besides, I am about 70% raw but it is easy to be raw here in the tropics.

The raw part of my food consists of: Coconut mature as well as tender ones, dates, avocado, salads (including most salad vegetables), peanuts, beaten rice (which just has to be soaked a bit then can be eaten raw with some garnish), sesame seeds, water melon, musk melon, oranges, tangerines, papaya, custard apples, grapes, sour sops, jack fruit and the like.

the cooked part is mostly cereal like brown rice, wheat, oats, millet, and some gourd/squash/pumpkin vegetables which are nutritious but not so tasty raw, and drumsticks (moringa pod) which are lightly steamed and delicious in curry but they are quite fibrous when in raw state.

i don't know how I could improve on this diet. Any suggestions anyone?

Jane - February 28, 2010 1:56 AM

Hi there,
I am 100% raw vegan of 10 years and also a ultra distance runner. This diet saved me from a major illness way back in 2000. I took my health in my own hands so to speak when I was diagnosed with severe Canadia and Gardia. Overcoming this illness through being on a raw vegan diet has turned me into a happy healthy content individual who has not suffered any form of disease or had a cold since, and is now fueled by natural raw foods to run ultra distance marathons. I have so much energy and vibrant health, I love it :)
previously I was on the SAD diet of fast foods and takeaways
before my illness, and was an irritable, moody individual who was definitely addicted to food.

It was a long journey to be where I am now and had many ups and downs along the way, but through persistence and my determination to be healthy I made it. A 100% raw vegan diet may not be for everyone and I believe that you must love what you eat to be happy.

If anyone would like to contact me with regard to being a raw vegan diet, please do so, I would be most willing to answer any questions.

Catherine - February 28, 2010 12:58 PM

"If you all want excuses to keep eating your unhealthy McDonalds and steak and potato dinner, then just keep eating your dead, depleated and genetically and chemically altered food and if you live to be 95, cool. Think of how much longer you could have lived.

As I said, until you TRY it yourself, you have NO right to post anything. I don't care if you are a doctor or a scientist or whatever. Try it for yourself and THEN post something. Otherwise, STFU."

Tania - this is a very narrow-minded way of thinking.

I am glad for you that eating a raw diet has helped you - don't get me wrong. I on the other hand have been put on an entirely cooked diet by my naturopathic doctor.
I had been feeling tired and sluggish due to too much yeast buildup in my gut, and the sugars in raw fruit and vegetables that our bodies cannot breakdown properly only make it worse.
A diet of mostly cooked vegetables had be back on track in no time and feeling great again. It was NOT an "excuse to eat unhealthy McDonalds" (which I do not eat), nor did I ever eat steak and potato dinners.

I say to each their own, but don't tell yourself that people who don't do as you choose are automatically eating unhealthy. To each their own - but everyone is different, therefore what works for you might not be the best thing for the next person.

Julie - February 28, 2010 1:07 PM

I have found it very interesting reading all of the above comments and I'm coming to the conclusion that every human body is somewhat different and has different health and nutritional needs. No one case is exactly the same.
What seems to work well and be very healthy for one person may not be the case for another. I definately agree that a clean diet with fewer preservatives and more natural whole foods bennefits most of us the best.
I find that I feel the best when I cut out the processed foods and eat more fresh fruits, veggies and some cooked veggies as well. I also feel that the mind/body connection influences my well being as much if not more so than diet.

Taylor - March 22, 2010 10:04 PM

Reading all these posts and reading all the varying opinions has been so interesting! I am a vegetarian dietetics student who has been greatly blessed with professors who do NOT emphasize meat and dairy consumption. From the things I have learned in my nutrition classes, I strongly believe that the key to good health and longevity is greatly restricting (or completely eliminating) animal products and using beans, nuts, and seeds for healthy, nutrient-packed protein...eating all whole grains instead of refined...and adding plenty of fruits and vegetables. However, with that being said, I have yet to be convinced that eating completely or mostly raw is the best option for a long-term diet.

My main concern with eating all or mostly raw is the risk of underconsumption of energy (calories) because this type of diet is so restrictive. Most Americans eat WAY too many calories (hence the obesity epidemic), but eating too few calories is also a health hazard.

Protein is only utilized as protein when sufficient amounts of calories are being ingested. If a person eats adequate protein but not enough calories, the protein will be broken completely to yield energy instead of being used to rebuild body tissues, make enzymes for digestion and other bodily reactions, and other important functions (this information came from my textbook, The Science of Nutrition. It's a big pet peeve of mine when people state "facts" but don't cite where they got the information from).

I would strongly suggest any raw dieter finding a registered dietitian whom you trust to give you sound advice on eating a vegan diet and have him/her analyze your food intake every so often to make sure you are eating enough calories. If you are, raw on!

Jess - March 30, 2010 9:31 AM

I went vegetarian 5 years ago. I used to be anemic. How comes that I am not anymore since I went vegetarian, even if my doctor kept saying I had to eat meat to get rid of anemia?

My diet is roughly 70% raw, I eat no dairy, lots of fruit and raw vegetables. I went to India 3 weeks ago, I got no jabs and I was the only one who didn't get ill during the trip: all the other people who were with me didn't eat fruit or vegetarbles, and they all got jabs...and they all ended up with diarrea or fever.

A part from raw/cooked, I think that being healthy is a matter of balance: healthy food, portion control and eat only when we're hungry, fitness, relax, positive thinking, common sense (even if you like the taste of something, it doesn't mean it's good for you...chips are tasty, do you think it's healthy to eat them everyday though?).

We all have to listen to our body a bit more.

truehealthbalance - April 27, 2010 12:55 PM

I have to admit. When I was eating processed foods, my body was a mess. I mostly eat veggies and my body is running smoothly. I will say this. I do cheat every once in awhile. When I do, I do feel subtle pains until I get back to alkaline foods. You can drive yourself crazy if you become obsessed about health. Relax and eat foods in moderation.

RedHead - May 8, 2010 11:26 PM

I dont think that raw food is the right way to go. People go with raw because it lacks all the chemicals that we hate, but just going organic can be just as good. So long as you can make sure that it is CERTIFIED to have been produced without alot of the toxic chemicals or hormones that are injected into our food supply. Organic food is the safest way to go if you ask me!

gail - May 14, 2010 5:00 AM

Thankyou all for so much food for thought! I'm a novice to Dr. Fuhrman's diet and to any form of raw food diet- but you've encouraged me to "gorge ahead" My only problem is getting the safest raw veges, as we've far and few organic food markets in Brisbane, Australia. The chinese market gardeners recently received some dubious notoriety, and i'm seriously opting for a self grown organic garden to supply the predominant Greens, & hopefully some of the root veges. I'll try to grow the ones that are most micro-nutrient dense,eg.Kale. Any thoughts on the Okinawan diet? -well, cheers and God Bless you all in your endeavours to help Humanity-gail

Anna Rodgers - May 31, 2010 2:41 AM

I find this article quite odd (where are the links to your proof on here by the way?)

I know a lot of raw food people and they LOOK incredible, they literally GLOW and have a different energy about them. How can you deny that?

I dont think raw diet suits EVERYONE but a lot of people thrive on it......

I would say to the author, have you ever tried the diet, just for a month? maybe you should!

Jacqui Fairfield - May 31, 2010 8:25 AM

Mmm
I don't personally believe in 100% of any one thing, I personally have not met anyone yet that looked healthier on a Raw diet, Why do the Extreme Raw foodies have Yellow/Jaundice Skin?
I eat 50% of my diet Raw through choice but would not say it is better than a balanced healthy diet. I'll stick to my Ayurveda way which allows my body type to eat more Raw and I am feeling much more alert and alive as a result of this*"orthorexia nervosa"
http://www.momlogic.com/2010/03/orthorexia_obsession_with_healthy_eating.php
Check this link out too

Fran - July 8, 2010 7:19 PM

I'm Chinese and have been raised eating cooked foods all my life. The first time I tasted an American salad, I was 6 years old, and I spat it out. Yuck!

But in the last few years I had major surgery, asthma attack, kidney infection, back problems, and a trauma that created severe fatigue. I could not work all the time, and my stamina lasted only a few hours. I had to prioritize what was most important activity and drop the rest. I could only do so much and would have to lie down and recuperate frequently.

Never a salad or raw food eater, one day I began blending organic salad with some fruit and raw carrots and drank the entire glass. That very evening I noticed I had more energy. I did it again the next day and I felt more energy. The difference was immediate.

All of us have different bodies with their different histories and what they are used to. Each of us has to find the right ratio of raw to cooked foods, or plant to meat. The result is: how do you feel? Do you feel energetic and strong? Or are you tired and in pain?

The right diet alone will not get you to optimal health. Regular exercise and a supportive social network are both equally contributing factors.

I drink this tall glass of blended fruit with salad mix every 2 days. I have to drink it very slowly or my stomach will hurt, as it can't digest so much of an already-masticated mouthful all at once.

The rest of the time I eat cooked foods, tofu, and chicken, fish, and lean beef.

I won't mind eating more raw foods, but I would miss too much of the hearty tasty soups and warm foods. But I'll eat whatever is best for my health and if it takes more raw to do it, I'll do it if necessary.

At this point, I think I'm improving just based on the amt of raw I'm eating. I never say Yuck to salad now.

marina ellerington - July 18, 2010 4:51 PM

These posts dont seem to be getting anywhere but gridlocked. However on trawling the web, Im frequently amazed at how self righteous and aggressive raw foodists can be. Food is such an emotionally charged issue, obviously linked in to our experiences of nuturing as children.
The naturopathic, vegetarian, and raw food traditions of Europe[ generally germanic] and America[ Bircher Benner, Kellogs et al},which is part of a tradition of ascetism thousands of years old, in 20th century emphasised the notion of physical, mental and spiritual superiority and purity and were frequently linked with the idea of racial 'purity' and 'superiority' as in Eugenics in the 20s and 30s[ very influential in nazi 'thought']. It seems to me a certain joyless self abnegating superiority has carried over. I think it would also be interesting to research the relationship between abusive childhood experience and the quest for the 'perfect diet'.

X - August 2, 2010 6:01 AM

I do not know why people get so threatened by the idea that raw vegetables are good for you - I am another of the testimonialists as I went raw for two months - felt like a different person in 4 days when I did - however as I was inexperienced and nervous after 8 weeks I felt the need for some meat. Now I am 80 percent raw and include a very small amount of meat and fish and have no cravings and have had the same health benefits, psoriasis, chronic fatigue, amenorrhea, depression, candida, weakness and oedema all gone in two months - ideally either you do this or take b12 to cure the only known long term problem with 100 percent raw. Arguably, you also need one cooked vegetable meal a week (to include carrots and tomatoes) The key to the success of the raw food diet is to be satisfied, I do not think I have found one 'guru' who recommends jumping in instantly if you arent fully confident. Even cursory research has revealed that raw vegetables contain such an incredible wealth of preventional medicine only a fool would ignore the benefits of the raw food diet - we need to redraw the map in terms of food production nationally to help all the people too frightened or stupid to see the benefits of being well

Eric - August 14, 2010 12:03 AM

The person who wrote this article is misinformed. Cooking food reduces the nutrients, enzymes and renders food flat and lifeless. An optimum diet is one that contains mostly uncooked foods. Unfortunetly this is a challenge given that meats are often unsafe raw. Diet should be customized per individual. Anyone who tries incorporating raw foods into their diet, and does so carefully will see a difference

Hari Om, heal the soul.

Eric

John - August 27, 2010 9:14 AM

It's my belief that people don't incorporate enough raw vegetables into their diets, in particular, green leafy vegetables. Cooking certainly has its benefits, but the idea of cooking vegetables is that we break open the cell walls in order to absorb more of the nutrition. There are a few other ways that a person can break the cell walls in vegetables: Drying, freezing and coating vegetables in vinegar and or oil for a minimum of about four hours.

I've recently started to incorporate a lot of raw food into my diet and I have to say that I feel much better that I did before. There is no shadow of doubt in my mind that there are many benefits to eating raw food, but I wouldn't choose to go 100% raw because I know my body and I know that it just wouldn't work for me.

Jim - September 12, 2010 9:32 PM

Why shouldn't anedotal evidence be considered?
How long you live is not the point with raw food, it is the quality of life that you get from it.
Also, I was wondering what peoples thoughts are about salt (sodium chloride) vs. the salt found naturally in food. Is it necessary?

Jo - September 21, 2010 9:19 PM

according to www.runningraw.com the body does not make protein from protein. It makes protein from amino acids which are obtained directly and most efficiently from raw fruit and vegetables. The amino acids are then converted to protein. By eating meat and dairy proteins, the body first has to convert the protein to amino acids then back to protein before it can use it. This requires much more energy and stresses the body. So protein is regarded as the 'middle man'. By eating raw a person skips the middle man and gets straight to the good stuff. How accurate is this from a medical perspective?

Ron - October 18, 2010 6:23 PM

Were all going to die someday. Eat what makes you feel good. Raw or cooked, meat or meatless. when it all comes down to it, someday we are all going to get sick and die.

Diana - October 21, 2010 9:07 PM

I am at the beginning with my raw food diet. After two weeks on raw food I noticed that my nails were shiny and very pink.I feel better and have more energy even though I am not eating enough calories. I eat less, but I don't have hunger pangs that used to wake me up in the morning when I was eating cooked food. After I eat I don't feel sluggish and sleepy like before.

Kieran - October 28, 2010 12:37 PM

Most of our doubts and fears about raw food diet are blown out of proportion and quite unfounded.

*Protein: The best protein comes from nuts, coconut being one of the highest class of protein.

*Calcium: When on alkaline diet you don't lose as much calcium so your daily requirements are easily met with salads, greens, fruit, nuts. (from where does the cow get its calcium?)

*Calories: Most fruit have high calorific value. Dates, coconut, bananas, peanuts, cashews etc pack a lot of calories and are available year round.
*B12/omega 3. This is again hyped up by slick marketeers to create a fear psychosis. If my diet consists of fresh foods and include a wide variety, B12 and omega-3 will take care of themselves. Why should I be the only primate to squeeze oil from a fish to sustain myself??? Do I look like a parasite?

david - January 5, 2011 7:36 AM

There needs to be a conclusive study performed on the raw food diet. I think not only is this impractical due to the very low number of people who practice this diet, but also because of funding. it is not in the interest of any of the corporate bodies. Despite this a low budget university study should still be feasable.

One thing I have noticed in the arguments relating to man's eating of animal products is that no matter what side people claim to be on, they believe the evidence lies in their court; that is to say that advocates of meat-eating take the evidence to mean that man's dental characteristics are designed to eat meat whilst opponents of meat-eating ask of the ability of man to chew through animal hyde.

So with interpretations like this, a study on a raw diet would need to be based on facts, and should be conducted over a lengthy period.

what worries me is the lack of information regarding any of these non-standard diets. It is in my interest to follow the healthiest diet i can learn about, but wherever one turns there is some kind of wall like the B12 thing or vitamin D. even iodine you hear sometimes.
The truth is that we haven't even discovered the whole spectrum of vitamins that the human body requires yet - we may not even have discovered 50%. Indeed, science occasionaly discovers new ones (within our time). This doesn't give me much confidence considering the empirical nature of science to which I want to turn.

Boris - January 7, 2011 10:43 PM

guys
its very dangerous to move to raw diet without proper detox
please consider any detox whatever u can find,i suggest al least prakshalana
and then move to raw diet
btw have you heard about marcus ? look for marcus raw food book
a person with results and proves

PeteW - February 10, 2011 11:43 PM

I would never have believed that raw foods were some kind of panacea but recently found that the only way I was able to stop trigeminal neuralgia attacks and reduce severe neck pain associated with them was to go completely raw. Every time I tried to start eating even the smallest bit of cooked food, WHAM! The attacks and pain returned. The more days in a row I go w/o cooked food, the better I feel. I don't know why. I agree the science doesn't support this view yet, but this is my experience. In years past, I was able to stop the attacks by either a few days of all-raw diet or fasting, but this year my underlying condition had gotten worse and weaker, and now the all-raw diet is the only thing that is working. I achieved a slight improvement with low fat, low gluten eating for several months, but the change since going raw has been unbelievable. I really miss my beans! Garbanzos, etc. But I will stick to this for as many months as it takes to hopefully remain pain free and be able to go back to eating more of the foods I miss. I will stick with mostly raw, no doubt, now that I see how much it improves my health. Maybe we can only know what is really good for us when we test it on the sickest, weakest, oldest people! When you're younger, healthier, stronger, you simply can't tell what is helping or hurting you!

cabbage - February 28, 2011 11:49 AM

I'm amazed that this forum had been going on since 2006, I landed here in search of opinions about the "RAw diet" and i am really enlightened about allot things on the issue. My curiosity began when i watched the documentary "Eating raw reversing diabetes in 30 days". I am not a diabetic, nor am i obese or have any other medical conditions, except for a few migraines. The reason for me to consider embarking on the raw food diet is to see for my self the benefits it has. I have always been concern w/ my general health..Saddened by the fact that our food industry does not provide safe and sincere healthy options (eg. Low calorie drinks..sugar free..contains Aspartame w/c have been found toxic) , For this reason i think that each of us has the right too choose..There is no perfect solution to everything but if eating 100%raw food gives people the chance to get close to perfect..I don't think we have to argue anymore. well that's just my point anyway...I am for now a pro Raw and Pro Steam=)

raw foodism - March 2, 2011 7:03 AM

Hi...,

Its a vary nice article and the benefits which you had given about raw foodism are very useful.
Thanks for sharing.

Sarah - March 6, 2011 3:32 AM

I have to agree with the people stating that there isn't enough evidence to show that for a fact eating 100% raw is better, while their is significant data showing eating a diet with less then 5% animal protein shows significant reduction in most cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. Anyone who thinks otherwise should read more- I suggest starting with Campbell's The China Study, already mentioned by several people above.

That being said, I personally turned to am 85% raw diet with the cooked foods only being unprocessed whole grains and certain veggies (carrots and broccoli mainly). I grew up in an extremely educated sarcastic family that rejected controversial ideas outside of the educational mainstream, so I tested this diet with extreme hesitancy born only from desperation. Nothing I had tried was fixing my health issues at 25- which included many unexplained benign lumps all over my body (over 30 benign lumps on a small frame), chronic exhaustion, chronic uti infections, and the ever spreading facial rosacea and skin irritation.

The mostly raw low sugar diet (with lots of dark leafy greens) fixed all of my issues, and I honestly felt younger then I had ever remembered feeling in my short life. I was never an athlete, but suddenly found myself jogging everywhere just because I had to do something with all my energy. So I'm a believer now. I know that there isn't enough information out there yet about it, and that personal stories aren't proof of anything, but I definitely believe that there's enough information out there to prove that it should be researched more, and also that it should be suggested as a possible thing to try for people recovering from illnesses, especially autoimmune disease.

Good luck to anyone with problems- and honestly, if it's not a lifestyle you live it's stupid to reject it in others when many people found it in desperation for a way to heal themselves. Not everyone wants to adopt the modern chronic decline of lifestyle as they age. There isn't enough information either way as proof- measuring nutrients in my opinion doesn't show anything- there are tons of chemicals and phytochemicals we don't measure, there is also a good argument in here about even with increased nutrients levels in certain cooked foods and how little that actually means because it's about how your body uses the nutrients together.

If you have an illness, or want a more active lifestyle, test it out- if it works for you great, if not, no harm done, no sense in arguing over questionable data from both sides. I tell everyone I love of my success, and now have officially become the family whacko, while I enjoy life so much more then I ever have, and many of my family members suffer from continually worsening chronic diseases that they rely on modern medicine for. Go figure, but I'm glad in my extreme desperation I tried something I had belittled in the past.

J.Evjenth - March 10, 2011 10:59 PM

I just want to say this, because this is one of the main reasons why I continue being a raw foodist despite the flack I get from close-minded people I meet...

I'm 20 years old right now. Life expectancy is supposed to increase for my generation. Right now average life expectance is around 81 years old in Canada because their genetic material simply cannot sustain their lives any longer. Many long-term raw foodists have optimal genetic material that has been key to their agelessness and beauty long into their 100's and later. They say the genetic material of humans is supposed to last 120 years or so.

If I can live an extra 40 years (which is practically 3 lifetimes, compared to just 100 years ago) by eating food that is found naturally from the earth, that is cheaper and tastes better; I will do it and I will defend my position to anyone who dares criticize me.

We are the Raw Food Movement. We're here, and we're staying, and if you'd like to learn and grow and heal, we're here for you. If not, give your head a shake and realize that we don't care if you don't believe. Get out of the way. We're going to out-live you all, and when you die out, we'll still be here.

That is all.

Ray - March 23, 2011 12:42 AM

1) I have had a doctors tell me that eating raw requires the small intestines to actually go through a fermentation process in order to break down hardy raw plants in order to extract their nutrients. The fermentation process is also acidic forming. (This must spin a few heads).

My theory is that we all have a pH unique to our genetic makeup. The people I've ever seen that functioned well on raw seem to also have a nature alkalinity. Those that get sick or over weight from raw seem to be naturally acidic people.

2) After reading everyones comments here and witnessing the raw food craze (living in NYC) I have concluded that raw food is NOT a diet but actually a religion.

4) Fact, you now love and believe in what your stuffing your faces with. Good for you! Just remember, all you really know is that raw is good for YOU. So please, stop evangelizing and thinking your food is too good to play with my food. Snobs.

John Sammut - March 31, 2011 11:17 AM

I think everyone seems to be confused on what is best to eat or what's best for the body to substain a healthy interior environment.

I suppose we could all say that we know whats good for us and we know whats bad for us. How do we feel?

All processed foods are bad for us, but all good natural healthy and sometimes cooked foods are good for us. Yes! we are all unique and difference, but its common sense to know what foods are made naturally for our bodies.

Our body has been developing for millions of years and we have adapted to many different eating habits. Only studies, and real studies can clarify what foods are good for us and what foods are bad for us. Real evidence is needed to confirm these issues.

We now do know for studies for Westen price and from the China Study, as they are written and practical proof that shows us that certain proteins, or proteins in high amounts are not healthy for our bodies. We are naturally not Carnivors, but more physiologically designed like the Herbivore family, as they share more anatomical features like us.

Basically,our diet should be based on more Fruits and vegetables. The best diet in my eyes would be a more fruit and vegetable diet and a low fat and protein diet, as we dont get the phytochemical, fibre or nutrients in animal proteins or dairy products. This is because of the acidity in aminal products and by cooked and processed foods which contain toxic substances and it's because of these reasons the body has an unhealthy immune system and so Chronic diseases develop.
As I am studying Nutrition from the conventional way, but I have studied the alternative way and believe that all processed foods ARE bad for the body. To conclude. Just eat more fruit and vegetables in your diet and try to NOT eat any processed foods as they contain added toxic substances which are mostly man made and are not naturally found in the food chain.
If you have a chonic disease then DO remove processed meats, dairy and all refined foods from your diet to help the body remove build up toxins to reboost your immune system to fight off the disease.
If your healthy then just eat more NON-REFINED foods, fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and Sprouts and DO NOT eat any meat produced due to the added chemicals they contained, sadly to make them taste/look better.
I could go on.

Kurt - April 7, 2011 6:57 PM

The article noted that:

"Contrary to what many raw-food web sites claim, the enzymes contained in the plants we eat do not catalyze chemical reactions that occur in humans. The plant enzymes merely are broken down into simpler molecules by our own powerful digestive juices."

I believe that statement has been proven false. For example, the deceased Dr. Edward Howell did a lot of work on enzymes in the 1900's and found that enzymes do survive the acid from the lower stomach. He also concluded that digestive enzymes can be converted into systemic enzymes and used for repair in the body.

I have a positive anecdotal experience to substantiate enzymes surviving the stomach acid. I have had chronic "debilitating" pain in my right wrist for years. The doctors diagnosed me with Kienbock's disease, shaved some wrist-bone and put in a plate.

Still, the pain has been very bad at times. About a year ago or so, I read about enzyme capsules for health and healing. Enzymes can be purchased in various blends of amylase, protease, lipase, and things like cellulase.

When I take the enzyme capsules regularly the pain goes away. If I stop taking them the pain comes back. Some might claim it is placebo, but I cannot deny the pain management. Interestingly, when I eat too much protein, the pain often returns, especially in combination with low carbohydrate levels. But, if I load up on enzymes, the pain subsides.

I am thinking possibly the plate in my wrist was creating an autoimmune response to too much protein. (I am not arguing that protein is harmful, just possibly in my case.)

According to Ellen W. Cutler, D.C., who has a book out on the benefits of enzymes, she noted that enzyme supplementation will help clean up scar tissue in the body, notably protease supplementation.

I am figuring any surgery is going produce scar tissue, and I am hoping the enzymes are cleaning the up area in my wrist and thus reducing pain.

Personally, whenever I have experimented with mostly raw foods, I do feel somewhat better, but I cannot seem to make it beyond a day or two. First is that my intestines feel like they will implode from all the plant fiber. Secondly, I often feel cold and tired because it is difficult for me to get enough calories to keep my body warm, as I live in the North.

But all the more power for those who find a predominantly raw foods diet agreeable. For now I am sticking with some raw foods, cooked meats and my enzyme capsules.

johnny - April 8, 2011 3:17 PM

The proof is in the pudding. If it works for then it works!

Louis - April 14, 2011 5:52 AM

In regards to "Were all going to die someday. Eat what makes you feel good. Raw or cooked, meat or meatless. when it all comes down to it, someday we are all going to get sick and die." Interesting comment, however I have to disagree.

We will all die someday, yes. But its the quality of time you spend here that counts. With a RAW lifestyle you burst with energy and life. You don't get sick and die, you just die. We certainly aren't reaching human potential yet. My goal is doing the Inka Trail at 100!

Some tips for a RAW lifestyle that have helped myself for those embarking:

- Add Superfoods. The most nutritious foods on the planet; spirulina, goji, cacao (chocolate!), seaweeds, coconut, avocado, flax, chia seeds, hempnuts etc.

- To continue long term you need to be adding enough healthy fats; coconut, avocado, olives, nuts and seeds. This I believe is where some people go wrong.

- Do take some source of B12. I take a sublingual spray. B12 is created by bacteria and is therefore in the soil. In a natural world we would be in contact with the vitamin from food covered in dirt and contact with the dirt. We also make it in our colons (by bacteria) however its believed we can't absorb it.

- Do a detox and an anti-parisite, liver, kidney, colon cleanse

- Colonics is a good option. But I prefer magnesium oxide powder. It's easier, cheaper, less invasive and has the same effect. They both clean the colon of built up toxins and mucoid plaque.

- Eat your greens, green juices, green salads, green smoothies!

- Avoid sweet juices. You get too many sugars and not enough fibre to slow the absorption.

- Don't spend every night making incredibly complex RAW dishes preparing and dehydrating for hours. Learn some quick meals or just grab something and eat it. It shouldn't be a difficult lifestyle to maintain.

- Get some sunshine. Vitamin D deficiency is becoming a major problem and is linked to just about any chronic disease that is propagating.

- Iron and protein is not a problem! I'm a dietetics student and I am surrounded with "but how do get enough Iron/protein" this is a myth propagated by the meat industry. And don't get me started on the dairy industry and calcium. If you look at the epidemiology the countries with the highest dairy intake have the highest hip fracture rates, not to mention type 1 diabetes and cancers. If you wouldn't drink human milk as an adult why would you drink the mothers milk of another species. It grosses me out that I use to drink tonnes of that stuff. And yes blood and puss ends up in the milk because of milking practices.

Breaking your eating habits is the hardest step you will make in changing to a RAW or living-food lifestyle. Eating that way isn't hard. As you progress your taste will become more sensitive and the fresh, delicious food you are eating tastes all the better. I personally don't get sick anymore, it just doesn't happen. You become full of energy and full of life.

Beware the detox effect. Depending on how unhealthy your lifestyle has been and how quick you change your diet. Your body begins to expel all the stored toxicity it has hoarded and you basically feel crap. It also tends to bring up alot of buried emotion that you have been holding onto. This is when it is important to cleanse your liver and kidneys as this is where alot of the toxins start to move to for excretion. Without helping the body cleanse, the toxins will cause damage in these areas, possibly causing serious problems.

I believe RAW is the real disease proof. The article leans toward a much healthier diet than most people eat, and was a step I have been through in my life. The next step is RAW, filled with the most nutritious, energy filled foods we know about on this planet!

A message for Kurt with the wrist pain. Look up Earthing! I know it sounds like a hippy ideal just by the name. It is as simple as putting your feet on the ground, Iknow hippy sounding yeah. But there is serious science behind it. The earth is electrical, a constant electrical magnetic field running over its surface. We are electrical creatures. By joining our electrical field with the earths we can gain great benifits. Especially people with inflammatory conditions and pain. Peoples arthritis pain can disappear in 15 minutes and eventually never return. Look it up and think, when was the last time you took your shoes off and walked on the bare earth. It rarely happens when youlive in a concrete jungle.

Enough of my ramblings. I hope i've helped someone or added an insight they never knew. And to the sceptics, If you try it for a couple weeks you will no longer be a sceptic! It's that simple. We have all been so ingrained with societal norms of whats healthy and infected with the paracitism of greed in industry that it can be difficult to accept such a foreign paradigm. Eating Raw, sounded crazy, but when you begin to learn and sieve out the pseudo-science and plain false claims. It just makes sense. You step out of the box you were in, and can look in from the outside. For someone that has never been very spiritual I can say it is a wonderful journey of the mind, body and spirit.

Here are some good sources of information

- David Wolfe
-Gabriel Cousens
- The China Study
- Phillip Day
- Michael Pollans books
- Orthomolecular (this is the future of medicine)
+ many more

Louis - April 14, 2011 5:57 AM

I wonder if Dr fuhrmann still has the view he posted in 2004? He is definately an intelligent man, and has a lot of valuable information in the realm of health. But RAW works. For the sick and the so called healthy alike.

Tet - April 22, 2011 12:36 AM

This argument could go on for lightyears. However, here is my experience: going from standard American Diet to 80% raw with Crohn's put me from 103 lbs. to 130 again within weeks. Within a week allergies & asthma disappeared. Suffered since age 6, cured age 17. I was on 3 inhalers a day. You cannot argue with results. Please check before and after pictures. Jordan Rubin is now a raw foodist. 7 people I have known have cured ALL diseases, intestinal cancer among them. I do not know the science behind this, but I know what works. As far as meat, selectively speaking, check the comparative taxonomy charts of herbivores, carnivores, humans, and omnivores before deciding. Humans have a roughly 30 foot intestine--most carnivores have about 7. Check Kirlian photography of raw versus cooked veggies. Body needs life to survive. In the end, all energy comes from the sun. Check diet of chimpanzees, which eat mostly fruit/veggies in about a 50% balance and share 99.4% similar DNA to us. Realize they don't eat cooked. Nothing on this planet does, nor does any species die of cancer at a 50% rate, or even need doctors. Ancients used fermenting, not cooking, to soften and increase bioavalability of food. Ancients did not process, can, cook, or store their food. Nor did they die of cancer. In the end, 'from the tree to me' is the best bet. IMO, most people are just digging their graves with their teeth and don't know it. A 400 lb. gorilla can bench 1000 lbs. with a diet of only plant protein. Funny, the same people giving health advice are the ones walking around with their reeking breath and McGuts, eating pizza dough consisting of white flour, dairy, and cooked meats, none of which our closest relatives eat. Body is built of nutrition. You were a 7 seven pound baby once. Everything else was built of what you ate. Get it? There are enough testimonials on the Internet, including forums, to make your own decision. Instead of judging, 'Be your own scientist.' Your body is a lab, and prejudgment of any hypothesis without trial is the bane of any good science. Goodbye!

Tet - April 22, 2011 12:47 AM

PS: Not sure about enzyme argument, but enzymes are necessary in small intestine and fiber in large intestine. Most are absorbed in stomach. Meat ferments. Leave it on the counter for 7-10 days, body temperature, then realize that's how long it takes to digest. I do not believe this movement should be called 'raw foods,' but 'natural living.' Burden of proof is on the disbeliever. This article attacks us, not cooked foodists. Simply put, cooking is unnatural. We are simply living like every other animal on earth. Extremists on either side need to stop whining. Open mind. Closed mouth. Good science = both.

Tricia - April 25, 2011 12:59 PM

Kieran - February 13, 2010 12:38 PM
I am a recently converted vegetarian. Besides, I am about 70% raw but it is easy to be raw here in the tropics.

i don't know how I could improve on this diet. Any suggestions anyone?

It seems like a lot of those foods you mention that you are eating are quite dense. The cooked part of your diet I would say is on the heavy side (when I say heavy I mean they take awhile to digest and stick to the ribs maybe longer than you would like), but that's difficult to avoid unless you are steaming veggies for the cooked part of your diet.

Also alot of the fruits and veggies you mention are what I would consider to be on the heavier side. Try opting for lighter fruits and veggies.

I personally avoid many gourds, carrots, potato etc. They are quite starchy and often just feel heavy when I eat them as opposed to something lighter. Also it's probably not very efficient to your digestive system to have alot of heavy foods. Try to observe how you feel after eating certain foods and try to diary various foods. Some foods for you will make you want to run around the house after eating, others you feel like being a couch potato after. Get a good feel for what foods your body deals better with and try to stick more with those. For me I love how I feel after eating citrus fruits, pears, nectarines and peaches, melons, plums, etc. But bananas, apples, appricots, and berries I tend to not do as well with. Same goes for dried fruits and nuts. The more watery the fruit the better my body seems to handle it. Veggies are no different. I try to limit my intake of the foods that I don't digest as well, and stock up on the ones that I do better with.

ssharif - May 1, 2011 9:55 PM

Its astound me that the commenters seems to have buttload of science phrases and uses "scientific" words that are pretty unrelated to the real scientific meanings.

1) Animals ate raw materials but their immune system and their digestive system are used to it and produced necessary enzymes for it. We do NOT have the ability to digest raw cellulose. We do NOT have cellulase. Therefore any "Raw Goodness" you get will pass through your body like any fibers without your body actually absorbing the nutrients.

2) Diseases like parasites and microbes can affect you rather easily. If you are into ruminant veterinary, you'll notice that animals are the host to variety of diseases especially parasitic infestation and some of them are only harmful to them while others are asymptomatic but affects whoever ate them (thats why you need to cook). Some of the disease like flukes and worms came from the environment and its nonsense that animals didn't get sick. They do get sick like human do.

3) learn pharmacology or toxicology if you want to spout about detox nonsense. Your body have its own detoxifying mechanism. Raw food can be toxic if you are not careful especially if you didn't kill the pathogens that adher to it. The quack detox is actually bringing your body more harm than good.

4) Enzymes and some antioxidants like phenolic acids are denatured or destroyed when heat is applied. But the body need balance, we don't need the constant amount of physiologically unnecessary nutrients since your body have its own storage systems for energy. The rest is just side dish which can bring good or bad to the body. The air you breath is already polluted with minuscule of toxicants and free radicals.


5) Food sensitivity are either genetically inherited or that theres a fault in the body immune tolerance mechanisms. Raw food can cause even worser reaction because the structural antigens remains unchanged. Everyone is allergic to something. But don't blame it on processed or cook food unless you are the one who goes into the lab and does research in vivo.

6) for some who says the person who follow this diet seem to glow and such, you exclude the placebo effect in which the body response to the thoughts.


7) If your doctor actually prescribe for you to have a specific diet, its actually catered for YOU only. Before you start making people follow your diet, they should consult a real MD doctor FIRST.


healthy eating is enough. Find a credible nutritionist or dietitians and they will tell you the exact thing.

And stop using scientific phrases when its clearly you lack knowledge in it.

Melissa Meyer - May 26, 2011 2:40 AM

I have to say this was a fabulous article and I found it hugely beneficial. I have done further research on raw food from a Traditional Chinese view point. To them, raw food is described as a cold food which would aggravate cold/damp conditions in many people. I have one of those conditions. In this case, a person would actually need warming foods and this means heated warm foods. Yes, vegetables and fruit but ideally heated and cooked. Soups are the best. Other cold damp conditions often include Athritis. Inflammatory conditions are usually to blame. An easy way to tell, is if you get cold easily.

I know this is a singular view but much of the Chinese methods make more sense to me.

Thanks for the article. I will send my readers to you :)

Bruce - May 30, 2011 4:01 PM

I was dead, and a I ate a raw banana and was reborn! I also grew wings and could fly to the moon, where I met a beautiful alien race that told me judgement day was coming...

Linda - July 30, 2011 4:46 AM

Hi everybody
This is my experience after 1 month of raw food:(please notice that I have been on healthy normal diet before it no fast food etc)
1)My eyesight improved dramatically: I can see and read without glasses
2) My skin changed a lot, I got comments from friends about looking younger (nobody knows I eat raw)
3) I used to apply creams on my hand or body for dryness every 30 minutes, no once a day or once every 2 days
4)No stomach problems or digestive issue anymore
5)my stress level decreased
6)My period was on time, it used to be at least 7 days late
7)I have had dark coarse excess hair on my face,body...I noticed that they grow slower and in some parts stoped growing
8) improvement in my asthma
9) chronic candida symptoms decreased dramatically

And all these only in 30 days happened to me, you know I have been to many of the best doctors spending a fortune with no result except an empty pocket.Maybe that is why doctors hate raw veganism.

I feel some days weaker and irritable, I like to eat like others like before...but up to now the benefits are big enough for me to stay raw.

Greg C - September 5, 2011 1:33 PM

The classic rebuttal 'my so-and-so lived to be X years of age' and ate meat/cooked foods/crap, is a specious statement and has little use to justify anything. Should I point out the countless people who develop cancer who die before their time and use that as the reason to only eat raw? Hardly useful as an argument since naysayers will find a reason to point out some other item that it could have been rather than diet.

There is a large body of proof that a plant based diet, i.e. one consisting of mostly plants, and largely uncooked, has helped more people than it hurts. People overcome disease and nutritional deficiencies by modifying their diet away from cooked/processed/crap foods. Book after book, story after story, and study after sudy proves this. The reverse CANNOT be said. Look around folks - nearly everyone is dying slowly - quality of life for everyone is declining due to our diet, the chemicals, and the Frankenstein foods we are eating.

Now this whole 'raw' approach is not simply eating salads. It's a balance of fruits, nuts, seeds, GREENS, and many other superfoods that consist of fats and micronutrients, many of which we haven't eaten in our lifetimes. And yes, eating them uncooked allows those nutrients to be absorbed better in almost all cases. Foods that need to be cooked to have 'greater nutrients' aren't worthwhile even eating, in most cases. Take corn, which was mentioned earlier. Frankly, it's unlikely you can even get real corn anymore - why bother. All you are eating is hybridized corn, which is already an amalgam of junk we don't need in our diet.

Disclosure: been raw for 3 years. Loving it. Will not change. Those that live to be 90 on whatever they want to eat will likely have less of a quality of life than if they were eating high quality foods in more of a natural state. Look around and realize that most people ingesting the SAD are on numerous drugs (further eroding their health). A normal blood pressure does not mean your body is well, for example, if other organs are failing /being robbed to keep it that way.

Our medical profession and comments from medical people claiming meat is needed for health is without merit. Animal protein appears to be one of the many culprits in ill health for a large majority of people. If you reach 80 and have zero health effects from diet, good for you. Imagine how much longer and healthier you would have been had you gone raw. Plenty of upper-tier athletes have figured this out. Top performers in all walks of life are already raw. Pray that it hits the mainstream soon - more people will enjoy a better quality of life and we can separate from the medical parasites with zero nutritional competence that seek to feed off our misery.

Robert - September 5, 2011 9:40 PM

If raw food diets were the answer we would be hearing a lot more about it from reliable sources instead of web sites dedicated to this idealistic lifestyle. The truth is that the turnover rate is high for raw food diets. You might see some positive result in the short term but eventually you will come to the realization that your health status is worsening and will re-introduce cooked foods and animal foods back into your diet. One last thing, the healthiest, longest-lived populations are neither vegan nor vegetarian.

The top ten countries based on longevity are: Japan, Hong Kong, Iceland, Switzerland, Australia, Spain, Sweden, Israel, Macau and France. (List by the United Nations (2005-2010))

Gabriel - September 7, 2011 11:10 PM

RAW = pesticides,

Make sure you boil and drain the water on allot of vegies because eating them RAW Or STEAMED will just make you sick

The only way to clean them is to boil and drain away the water

organic is a must for raw diet

Samuel - September 14, 2011 1:23 PM

Life is too short regardless of what you eat.

Yeah, I might get another year or two out of life by eating a uncooked carrot, but really? Did you enjoy suffering through it? There's too much diversity of foods to not eat cooked food.

I say... do you what you want, but I'm eating a big juicy steak, a baked potato, and asparagus tonight.

Peppy - September 17, 2011 2:12 PM

Eating is not a religion. There is no right way or wrong way to eat.

Trog - October 4, 2011 10:44 AM

The reason animals do not need to cook food is that they have not evolved from a catalytic event that favored the storage and availability of new foods through cooking. We have changed our bodies progressivly over time with the trend towards the preparation and cooking of food. Most animals have comparitively larger internal organs per overall body mass than humans. This is a testament to their ability to absorb nutrients. They also spend their entire days grazing and foraging for food- volume! So in summary: animals eat all day and have huge guts and thats why they can absorb raw foods; we have been cooking a bulk of our foods for a real long time and it is a way for us to absorb raw foods. Done.

Andy - October 9, 2011 7:43 PM

in response to
Danielle - March 4, 2007 1:09 PM

Cheers! And supported by quantum physics! For me, raw vegan foodism is the best, but it took time for the change to take place and for personal adaptation to occur.

Just to set the record straight, we're not carnivorous. We're not omnivorous, nor are we herbivorous. We're most closely matched to frugivorous animals. The length of our intestines, when used to determine the type of food our body is best suited for, should be measured from our mouth of our anus - not from head to toe. We can't survive off of eating leaves and grass, nor do we have more than one stomach. The fact that we have been able to survive off of such a large array of different foods has only indicated and promoted our hierarchy in the animal kingdom.

In my experience, all food has a purpose. Meat has virtually everything you need to survive in it (if eaten raw). With cooked food, you can eat a larger quantity of food more easily which benefits if you need to prepare for a long journey somewhere. Raw food, in the current state of society (and for those who's bodies are ready for the transition), is optimum since we're not in any sort of survival situation. We do need to eat more often, but the benefits include longevity, illness free living, increased energy, and higher IQ. HOWEVER, highest IQ test scores in society comes consistently from those who meditate. That's a whole new topic that goes into religion so I won't post about that here.

Dylann - November 8, 2011 3:50 PM

I really do enjoy all of the comment but I tend to agree with people who are comparing the raw foodist to "preachers".

For those who are overweight and started a raw food diet, it is no DUH that you have lost weight and feel better, you were fat anyways and losing dumbells from your body will of course feel great.

For those who ate healthy before switching to raw, did you ever look at the ingredients in your "healthy" food. Did you ever check the additives

Dylann - November 8, 2011 4:02 PM

lol as i was saying before my phone spazzed out...

did you ever check all the ingredients in your for. I.E example in a lot of healthy food is yeast extract (aka msg).

For those who have never tried raw food, how do you know life cannot be better on it.

Either way, it really depends on your body type. Do I feel that a person needs to give up everything they enjoy just to have a "better" quality of life... no. I am a nutritionist (alternative) and a personal trainer. I have gone though numerous diets, fads and trends. Somethings do remain true.

a) everybody body is different. I went raw food for allergies for 4 week. I in turned developed allergies to Tomatoes, Broccoli, Cabbage, Squash. However my allergies declined in Pets, and random breakouts. However I was always cold, but very energetic. My 6'5, 245 lbs husband did it with me and he was miserable, he didn't bowl properly, stomach was always upset, lost tons of weight, couldn't workout or play football anymore. (and yes even raw he was maintaining a 4000 calorie/day diet)

I do believe that everybody should be eating at least 50% raw foods. It is healthier for you intestinal and digestive systems, you will get more nutrients from your fruits and vegetables, and will have more energy and your body will naturally detox.

Furthermore it can increase your lifespan and can give you a new prospective on life though refining you taste buds, returning alkalinity to your blood, etc.

However it can also depress some people, because for some people lifestyle changes is not something they want to do or readily accept, it can also cause stress, fatigue... etc.

Either way it depends on who you are as a person. EVERY person on this plant should increase there raw intake, however if you are going to die of something... you are going to die. My great grandfather smoked everyday of his life, ate southern cooking and lived to 109 years old, without disease, or illness... not a single problem. My best friend was a vegetarian her whole life and died at 25. Majority of lifespan depends on a)GENETICS... b)surrounds (my great grandfather in a rural southern country side, with not pollutants vs my best friend in san francisco) c) mental state (stress, happiness)...

Food does play a good part but it's not the only player in the field

Ellen - November 17, 2011 10:59 PM

I find it interesting that people are attributing everything to the nutrients in the food rather than the crap put into the food by manufacturers/growers. Adding meat to your diet even once a week increases your chance of cancer by 40%? Well, I just don't believe it is that high, but I'll bet the increase is due to the hormones and antibiotics they inject into the animals to make them grow faster! BPA in cans, etc. is killing us. The arguement shouldn't be raw vs. cooked. It should be for all natural processes and food cans without poisonous linings!

RawVeganGirl - December 14, 2011 7:11 PM

Everyone thinks they're an expert. You may not make blanket statements and claim them as fact unless you are also willing to cite a medical journal or study (this is especially true for the Doctor).

Until then, I have seen what people who eat mostly raw food look like and I have seen the majority of the American population.

I'll take the raw food diet, please.

Shawn Cote - January 19, 2012 9:07 AM

Raw food saved my life - AND I lost 132 pounds without trying!

I'm so glad I think for myself and use other people's real experiences as a guide to future learning.

Food plays a MAJOR part - and if you don't know your body's Ph level - that's where everyone should start.

My story will inspire you. The 'miracles' are revealed. :)

jeremy wesley - February 8, 2012 3:57 PM

this article is just trying to clear up some of the air between cooked and raw foods now basicly eat healthier drink less soda and more what stem rice and veggies instead of baking or frying them raw is the way to go but lets face it we are all human so just try to make one healthier choice at a time no one's expected to just be a health junkie over night so don't kill yourselves and lets no ridicule people for what they believe but this article does clearly state that you can lose over 50% of a foods nutritional value by overcooking and since most Americans eat out and don't cook their own food it's safe to say that it's obviously not the best thing for our bodies

Joe - February 12, 2012 12:28 AM

No one has talked about a blood type diet, type "O" is our ancestor blood type studies I've read show that type should eat more animal proteins and able to eat and digest red meat better then other blood types. The study said type "A", "B" and "AB" were mutations that happened around 25,000 years ago when we started to farm more and were eating more grain and over a lot more carbs and with the change in blood type it allowed those types to eat more carbs with out the extra wait gain that type "O" can go threw from wheat and corn type "A" should eat mostly wheat and corn products because they can digest carbs better and get there providing from plants. Type "AB" they said is the diverse blood that can eat every with he extra wait gain cause of a food that doesn't digest well with that person they should get most of there protein from seafood and plants and red meats while type "B" should eat more seafood over red meats. Do some research of your own people blood type diets are more likely to prevent illness and cancers. As for fruits and vegies every blood type should pig out on raw organic produce mostly for dinner so you digest while sleeping meats are best for lunch as for cooking veggies and meats yes do as little as possible for vegies and fruits once every other day or every other two days, EVERY meat that's not organic needs to be cooked. Every person including type "A" should be eating a fish at least once a weak fish oils have been proven to be essential for the brain, supplements just went the real thing sushi every so often if you can eat it I've never tried sushi but I'm sure I'm absorbing all the nutrients that sushi would provide threw other foods. Last but not least no body said anything about berries!!! Best cancer fight and preventer possible. If everyone ate a diff veggie smoothie and diff berries in it also every day then we Americas the richest country would go from fastest country to healthiest in one year. Last but not least for you salad lovers mix in "water cress" it's now considered and super super food it have twice the iron as spinach and twice the calcium as milk!!!

Douglas Gray - March 25, 2012 7:27 PM

Dr. Stanley Bass did a study of four generations of "raw fruit, nuts, and vegetables only" hygienists, and found problems and deficienies. He and Gian-Curso found that by adding just a little raw dairy and raw eggs yolks, that the deficiencies were solved. Most people do great and cure their diseases early on with raw foods only,but some have problems later.

Fuhrman uses carrots as an example, but you can get as much or more caritonids from carrot juice than from cooked carrots.

Most people will do better on all raw, but maybe some can use a little raw dairy and egg yolks, if they develop any deficiencies. Chimps have an all raw diet in the wild, but when they catch small game, they share it rather than eating it as an individual, as they do with fruits and greens. The small amount of such food in their diets seems to insure proper reproduction. Their diet is about 10% small game and insects, with 90% raw fruit and shoots.

This is interesting in the light of Dr. Bass and Dr. Gian-Cursos discovery that the "fruit, nut, and raw veges" only approach resulted in birth defects after 3-4 generations.

Robin - May 9, 2012 12:11 PM

I recently started Dr. Fuhrman's diet which requires 1 lb cooked veg and 1 lb raw veg daily among other things. However, the more raw vegetables the more weight loss! This is based on experience and Dr. Furhman states this fact in his books. However, I don't think anyone should compare ourselves to other animals b/c I've never seen a cow drive to work either but people do. There are several difference between animals and humans. I am not surprised that animals can become ill from cooked vegetables but humans can thrive on it. I think during weight loss efforts especially, it should be 1 1/2 lb raw and 1/2 lb cooked or even all raw. However, Dr. F has designed his books to say this is ideal, you can do this if you don't want to give up abc.... Or you can do this if you want the most success. He does say, the more raw vegetables the better!

Person trying - June 14, 2012 2:08 PM

I'd like to make a few points on what I have learned over the years of my own testing and reading:

1. I believe that eating what's best for your body and listening to it is the key. I drank coffee for years, small amounts, and every study said it was good for you. For my body it was not good as it kept my already high metabolism working in overdrive. I was dehydrated, irritable and had energy swings. I suffered muscle cramping and pain. I have felt way better without coffee and am convinced that it was poisonous to my body.

2. Moderation is the key, and what's good for one person may be bad for another. If you eat tons of raw food, in many cases your body will benefit from the odd steak. Do not try to convince me otherwise. I went primarily raw for a few months and my body wasted away, I felt better but my immune system suffered and I got a horrible flu--worst of my life. I also suffered from several stomach flu's during the course of my diet change. I absolutely craved fats and proteins and my body felt better when I included some animal based products.

3. Juicing is a wonderful way to get a good dose of nutrients and everyone would benefit from fresh vegetable/fruit mixed juices. I absolutely believe that juicing veggies has made me healthier.

4. Regardless of diet, stress and happiness are going to effect your immunity as much or more then food. I believe that happy people live longer in spite of their often poor diets. I am at a disadvantage here because I suffer from depression.

5. Genetics plays a huge role in disease and obesity etc. I can eat nothing but fatty foods all day and still not gain weight and get fat. Other people become obese on relatively little.

6. I believe the major cause of disease is not so much quality of calories consumed, but rather quantity. Over consumption of food and nutrients is more toxic then a bad diet in my opinion.

And finally my advice. Life is short. Learn to enjoy things in moderation and listen to your body. If eating raw makes you feel better then by all means "keep on keeping on". If you like steak make sure you eat enough veggies to compensate. In the end life and longevity (and most of all quality of life) depends on so many factors that diet will never be the "be all and end all".

Good luck.

Cat - October 7, 2012 10:30 AM

I found the comments after the article more interesting than the article itself! So many opinions!
I think that eating raw is good for you, no I don't have personal experience with raw. I recently became vegetarian with a goal of eventually becoming vegan/raw, if I quit "cold turkey" I don't think that will be good for me, I'd get over the detox, but there is less detox if it's more gradual, I think. I do think that a major part of the "awesomeness" that people experience after going raw is due to the extreme diet change, not all of it, eating raw is better for you after all.
If you go back to before crazy spreading of ideas (1000 bce) and look at what people eat, then you can see how we "should" eat. Think about when obesity started becoming a problem? I don't think that 100% raw is necessarily the way to go. What is 100% raw anyway? Is being 100% raw mean that you can't eat raw dairy? or would a better description be 100% raw-vegan? is it eating nothing that has been cooked? or is it no processing? Personally I think it's a bit of both. You can eat cooked foods, you can eat "processed food" ASSUMING you cook/process them yourselves.
I firmly believe that people can taste love in food. I have made things for my friends that the rant and rave about, and it wasn't that hard to make, it took me 3 minutes to make, or less. Yet they rant and rave. By making your own foods you can control what happens to them, and you can know what you are putting into your body. (Growing foods is also better for you, you can make your foods 100% organic, and know where they come from)
Moderation is key, every religious path seems to state/imply this somewhere.
You can have your (vegan)cake, a small piece that you made from organic/homegrown produce, and eat it too.

Katie - November 29, 2012 12:32 PM

I love this article and all of the comments! Just brilliant!

Ultimately, no one knows the "right" answer. It's like the religous debates I hear. People intrepret everything different. This even goes for scientific studies. People take from it what they want.

What's important is people are passionate about something, especially something as important as health. Makes me very happy to read!

I am doing raw food diet this week because I have an awful fold. Juicing veggies has made me get better faster. I will go back to nourishing foods after my body has healed up though! I support people no matter what they choose to eat - and I think people need to take a moment to hear all sides. I am open to all arguments!

MATI - January 28, 2013 7:56 PM

I am just amazed ... this topic since 2006.
Go Raw guys

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