Raw Food Diet Article - Allrecipes.com
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The Raw Food Diet

If you're curious about a raw food diet, find out what it's all about and get advice for starting, plus a list of raw vegan-friendly recipes!

The Raw Deal

“Going raw” refers to eating a plant-based diet in which foods are never heated higher than 118 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees C). Raw-food enthusiasts base their diets around the belief that when food is cooked, it loses nutrients and the enzymes needed for digestion. “Raw foodists” typically eat fresh fruit, veggies, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Some raw dieters also choose to eat animal products, such as raw milk and cheese, fish (if it’s sashimi), and meat (like carpaccio).


There are plenty of potential benefits to any diet that’s based on plant foods and limits animal and processed products. Among them: better heart health, weight loss, and reduced disease risks. But more specifically, advocates emphasize better skin, slower aging, and an increase in energy levels.


If you begin a raw food diet, it’s good to start slow, only eat about 50% raw for the first weeks, and then gradually increase. Pay attention to the calories you’re eating, too. It’s easy to wind up consuming fewer calories and nutrients when you change diet too quickly. Bulk up on vitamin-dense veggies like Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and other leafy greens (spinach and kale are easy to find), along with colorful produce like bell peppers and carrots. Need more protein? Sprouted beans and lentils work.

Weight Loss

Fewer calories are a dieter’s best friend. And a raw diet, with no processed foods, is one way to easily reduce them. Combine this with an emphasis on plant-based, nutrient-dense foods, and the pounds can, potentially, melt away. But remember, it’s important to eat enough; otherwise, your diet might “plateau.” Even if weight loss isn’t your goal, keep an eye on the calories.

The Raw Tools

Even raw food needs a few tools. Dehydrators, blenders, juicers, and food processors are the most common appliances for a raw diet. The other big one is time. Sprouting, soaking, and blending all take time, so set aside some extra prep time.

Is It for You?

While it’s not the easiest way to eat, many raw food fans think the tradeoff of time and effort is worth the potential benefits. Is it for you? Let us know.

    Oct. 3, 2012 6:52 pm
    I'm happy to see the great information about a raw diet. I would love to see RAW listed in the Menu options to make meal planning easier.
    Oct. 24, 2012 7:48 pm
    I agree with DeannaU. Thanks for including this info on my goto recipe website.
    Oct. 24, 2012 10:11 pm
    I received great advice from Raw Chef Andi: Don't worry about subtracting your regular foods right away, but just make sure you add lots of raw foods. Your body will begin to make the right decisions.
    Oct. 25, 2012 5:53 am
    I was delighted to find all these raw food menus. Ironically I will be preparing raw foods for guests who will be staying at HighFields Country Inn & Spa this weekend. Thanks!
    Oct. 25, 2012 6:03 am
    I have been hoping Allrecipes would include a raw food section on their website...yay!! This is so encouraging...it means more and more people are beginning to see the benefits of raw food! :)
    Apr. 24, 2013 9:12 pm
    My wife and I have been eating a " high " raw diet since July '12, and we love it. It is easier when we are at home , because we don't eat out as much. I just finished 2 pieces of raw key lime pie that I made this morning. Yesterday we had raw pizza for lunch, with a basil , jalapeño pesto. Raw brownies, raw apple pie, raw veggie burgers...... And lots of interesting salads fruit and green. At my January '13 physical I had lost 20 pounds and my overall cholesterol was 121. We eat raw cheese, but only very occasional flesh cooked or otherwise. Great stuff.
    Dana Briggs 
    Jun. 3, 2013 7:00 am
    I'm just getting into a raw/vegan diet and so far I love the way I feel. I would go pro if there are enough recipes in this category. I hope to see that soon.
    Mar. 26, 2014 11:27 am
    I am a huge fan of Allrecipes and am very excited to see an article on raw foods. It has been difficult to find enough recipes out there for menu planning. I agree with other reviewers; it would be much easier to have a 'Raw' category to choose from because I love planning meals and finding new recipes on this website!
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