Weight loss diets are a-dime-a-dozen, but what is not present is enough and credible information about which diet is healthy and which diet may actually get you the results that you desire. With the increasing influence of social media self-claimed nutritionists and dietitians, there is no control over the kind of myths or lies people may end up endorsing and believing in. Raw food diet or raw foodism is one such 'trendy' diet that has seen its time in the spotlight and a lot of people around the world believe that following a raw food diet may bring several health benefits. But does it actually help you lose weight? More importantly, will it allow you to lose weight in a safe and healthy manner?
Raw Foodism: Is It Really Healthier Than Eating Cooked Food?
Raw foodism is basically a diet where you don't cook anything you eat. Obviously, then a majority of your diet will comprise fresh fruits and leafy and cruciferous vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds. Some people, who follow the raw food diet, even consume un-pasteurised dairy products, raw eggs, meats and fish. The diet was born out of the belief that cooking foods for long periods of time can denature certain beneficial compounds in foods and destroy most of the nutrition present in them. Indeed there are some vitamins and nutrients that may get leached out of certain foods items while cooking, particularly during boiling or slow-cooking.
Additionally, cooking also introduces a number of potentially unhealthy elements to your diet, including high-sodium condiments, excessive salt and greasy or processed cooking oils. So, you may think that to reap the benefits of these foods, you should eat them raw. But, this is just half the story. While it is true that over-cooking food may make it loose its nutrition, some heat may actually make certain compounds more readily available for absorption by the body. Applying some heat to certain foods and spices activates the antioxidants and beneficial compounds in them and also makes sure that the food is easily digested by the body. Cooked food is easier to assimilate than raw food.
Moreover, cooking your food, particularly foods like eggs, meats and fish, can make sure that the harmful bacteria in them are killed off.
Benefits Of Raw Food: Does Eating Raw Food Lead To Weight Loss?
While eating raw foods or following raw foodism may make you lose weight initially due to the absence of salt, sugar or cooking oils, it is not a sustainable diet as you may lose out on a number of important antioxidants and healthy compounds from your meals. Another reason why following a raw food diet can lead to weight loss is that the options are limited - you will mostly end up eating a lot of fresh fruits, seeds and nuts, which are typically low in calories. However, raw food diet may deprive you of a number of other essential nutrients, including protein as well as minerals like zinc and calcium. These may lead to poor overall health and health complications due to the deficiencies in these nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
So, the bottom line is that you should stick to eating cooked food. Do not over-cook your food, if you are concerned about the nutrients getting lost. Additionally, prepare your meals by using low salt and sugar, as well as with healthier alternatives for processed cooking oils like olive oil, mustard oil and coconut oil.