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Sep 27, 2007 08:55 PM

Raw Food Diet

This may not be a strictly "chow" topic, but I am a chowhound married to a gent who is two weeks into a raw food detox diet and I have questions and concerns. The guy is eating basically fruits and vegetables, maybe a few raw nuts. There is little balance in the diet.

I have no idea what toxins raw food eliminates or how they are supposed to do that except to speed "elimination." In addition, I am concerned that there may be health issues regarding uncooked food. Is there a danger of salmonella or other microorganisms?

What about the enzymes that generations of humans who eat cooked food? Evolution has to have played a role here.

Also I don't see any evidence of protein. He says there is protein in bean sprouts and avocado, but that has to be trace protein. is that sufficient? I realize that he's only going to be on this for a month, and he'll survive the lack of protein, but they're pitching this diet as a way of life.

Finally, what happens when he goes off the diet. What will his body have to re-adjust to?

Mostly, I have to say I'm ticked off that we can't eat (dine) together.

If anyone has any experience in this, I would appreciate it.

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  1. Did a quick search & found this:
    I worked years in natural food stores. Many people who are on a raw foods diet experience digestive problems, dizziness & some difficulty concentrating (similar to the worst extreme in going cold turkey with coffee). The degree of the problems seemed to correlate with how drastic a change the raw diet is from their regular diet. Going back to a non-raw diet sometimes goes best with a slow reintroduction of foods, like you naturally lean towards after a bad bout of flu.
    Generally very difficult to have a discussion about pros/cons once they have committed to it in my experience...

    1. Poor you. That is the opposite problem from what so many people face with having a spouse who just eats junk or stodge. I was buying organic vegetables at the farmers’ market yesterday and there was a client expounding on raw food and detoxing. Oy. The only time I got food poisoning this past year, or perhaps simply couldn't digest the food, was a raw food meal I was invited to by clients. Of course there is protein in bean sprouts, but I’d think that to get enough on a (vegetarian) raw-food diet, one would have to eat quite a few nuts, which can be quite hard to digest.

      There are sound reasons humans invented cooking, fermentation and other processing methods countless thousands of years ago. Yes, I agree that fresh, healthy foods are essential, but that kind of faddism frightens me. Hope your husband gets sick of such a regimen.

      1. Sounds like another poor victim of the "Raw Food Hoax" (Always wondered why the people in health food stores look so unhealthy)

        1 Reply
        1. re: beevod

          on a side note: caught an episode of wife swap last week (guilty pleasure tv) and one of the families was hardcore about the raw food...they looked to be the unhealthiest people I have ever seen...I felt soooo sorry for the kids...they seemed totally brainwashed about cooked food...slugging down raw eggs as an answer to stress

          I just kept thinking COOK them some dinner!!

        2. You could tell him that some foods--tomatoes, for instance--become more nutritious when cooked.

          As for protein, will he eat nuts?

          This must be annoying--while going all raw is not actually sensible or healthy, it probably won't kill him if that makes you feel any better.

          1. It sounds annoying in the extreme, and the whole notion of "toxins" is dubious, but why worry about raw fruits and vegetables? I mean, don't you eat those anyway?

            3 Replies
            1. re: BostonCookieMonster

              Boston, sorry but toxins being dubious? You're kidding right? Do you have any idea how much crap is in the food the average person eats every day not to mention personal care products, environmental issues and the like? I'm no hippie tree hugger, I'm speaking from personal experience as a person who changed her diet from the SAD (standard american diet) to one that was 100% organic and I've seen so many positive changes in my health and appearance that I cringe thinking about the years I wasted and the damage I did eating/living otherwise.

              Now, as for a raw food's great. I like to do it once every few months and once a month I also do a 3 day juice fast. It's only temporary so don't worry too much about a lack of protein. He will get protien from his veggies. HOWEVER if you husband is not eating 100% organic raw food the detox will be for naught. Also, he should be eating the right veggies that are nutrient dense. Think leafy greens, fiber rich beans, etc. Also don't forget about raw corn! It's delicious, sweet and has a ton of vitamins...which get lost when cooked.

              You should try it with him!

              1. re: OrganicLife

                Also, when he does go back to eating meat make sure that it's healthy meat! Buy natural/organic local meats. Grass fed beef, free range chickens, and wild fish are not only more delicious but are SO much better for you. Extend it to eggs and milk as well.

                1. re: OrganicLife

                  I was being imprecise. I realize you can ingest toxins in the form of pesticides, mercury, etc. Potentially awful ones. I just fail to see how you can REMOVE those by fasting or not cooking your food. I didn't think those kinds of toxins were what the "detox" fans were usually talking about.