Ultimate Guide to the Raw Food Diet


Dangers of the Raw Food Diet

Now that you've noshed on the idea of raw food and its history, we'll examine the dangers of a lifestyle lived raw. Think living on nothing but apples, seaweed and leafy greens sounds like a good way to get in shape? In moderation, it can be. But the risks and dangers of limited nutrition are very real with this diet.

Raw food diet devotees argue that nutrients are absorbed easier when they enter the bloodstream in their natural, uncooked state, but our bodies already make all of the enzymes we need, and our digestive systems have been biologically designed to process the stuff we're already eating [source: American Dietetic Association].

Another danger of undercooked or raw food is that food-borne illness can become a larger problem. Raw milk can lead to disease, as can other under- or noncooked foods [source: NPR].

Yes, you'll probably lose weight on the raw food diet, but how much is too much? That's just another risk association with this lifestyle -- a diet low in fats can lead to, well, a body low in fats. Bone loss has been questioned in raw foodists, and researchers are studying the long-term effects of the diet [source: BBC News].

If you're still interested in living raw, consult your doctor first to make sure it's the right move for you. You've got the basics -- now it's time to get cookin' (or not!).

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

Sources

  • "About Sunfood." Sunfood. (01/26/09) http://sunfood.com/MyPages/about-sunfood.aspx
  • Aschan, Stefan. "A Healthy New Year: Myths and Mantras for 2008." ABC News. 12/31/07 (01/26/09) http://a.abcnews.com/Health/NewYearNewYou/Story?id=4069654&page=1
  • Books, Regan. The Raw Food Detox Diet." Detox The World. 05/05 (01/26/09) http://www.detoxtheworld.com/books-the-raw-food-detox-diet.php
  • "Diet Description and Ratings." DietTV (01/26/09) http://www.diettv.com/DietTelevision/diet/raw-food-detox-diet/description.html
  • Ellin, Abby "Flush Those Toxins! Eh, Not So Fast. The New York Times. 1/21/09 (1/26/09) http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/fashion/22skin.html?ref=fashion&pagewanted=all
  • Kaufman, Frederick. "Gut Issues." The Los Angeles Times. 02/03/08 (01/26/09) http://articles.latimes.com/2008/feb/03/books/bk-price3
  • "Milk Cow Blues." Enthusiasts Seeks the Raw Stuff." NPR. 12/17/04 (01/26/09) http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4230005
  • "Raw Fine Dining Menu." Karyn's. (01/26/09) http://www.karynraw.com/Gourmet-Menu/
  • "Raw Food Eaters Thin But Healthy." BBC News. 03/25/05 (01/26/09) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4389837.stm
  • "Raw Food Menu." Karyn's (01/26/09) http://www.karynraw.com/Raw-Cafe/
  • Rincon, Paul. "Bones hint at first use of fire." BBC News. 03/22/04 (01/26/09) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3557077.stm
  • Schmutz, P.H."Food borne Illness: Bacteria." Clemson Extension University. 05/06 (01/26/09) http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC3740.htm
  • "Signature Elixers and Smart Drinks." Planet Raw. (01/26/09) http://www.planetraw.com/Elixers-alcoholic.html
  • "The Raw food diet." American Dietetic Association. (01/26/09) http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/home_4089_ENU_HTML.htm
  • "US Salmonella probe expands to Mexico." Reuters. 07/04/08 (01/26/09) http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N03261822.htm
  • "Vegetarian Diet: How to get the Best Nutrition." The Mayo Clinic. (01/25/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vegetarian-diet/HQ01596
  • "Ways to protect the Nutrients in Food." Virginia Cooperative Extension Office. 02/02. (01/26/09) http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/foods/348-723/348-723.html
  • "Welcome To Conscious Choice." Conscious Choice. (01/26/09) http://conscious-choice.com/
  • Williams, Gisela. Resorts Are Refining the Raw Food Scene." The New York Times. 04/02/06 (01/26/09)http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/04/02/travel/02heads.html
  • "Wolfe, David "The Sunfood Diet Success System." Nature's First Law. 1998 (01/26/09) http://web.archive.org/web/20030304175738/http://www.rawfood.com/sfmenu.html

More to Explore