Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

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demi
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Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

Post: #265763 demi
Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:54 am

What do you think?

I don't think anyone will argue that consuming large amounts of fruit, veg and other plants isn't good for you. But raw dairy, eggs and meat? Thats a whole other issue. Apart from the fact that the thought of eating raw fish makes me boak, there's obviously the health risks asociated with uncooked animal products, and the fact that cooking meat helps break it down making it easier to digest.

So, are raw diets really better for you? Even vegeterian/vegan ones?

Iv heard raw vegan advocates claiming that by cooking veg you kill off digestive enzymes making it harder for your body to digest the food. I'm quite skeptical about this. Yes, heating denatures enzymes, i'm not disputing that. But we have our own digestive enzymes in our body to brake down our food, and the do a grate job. Iv never noticed a problem with my digestive system after eating cooked food.

I think there is also the probelm that if you only eat raw vegan, for example, you are drastically restricting the variety in your diet, which can leave you with vitamin and mineral deficiencys, eg. Vitamin B12 being the main one for vegans.

So whats all the fuss about? Wheres the scientific evidence supporting this, if any. Is it actually better than a healthy varied diet of mixed combinations of raw and cooked plants, cooked meat and eggs and pasturized dairy? Or are they just comparing it to a diet of take aways and junk food, which of course, any diet containing more fruit and veg will be better than that!
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Re: Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

Post: #265764 Zech
Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:44 am

demi wrote:Iv heard raw vegan advocates claiming that by cooking veg you kill off digestive enzymes making it harder for your body to digest the food. I'm quite skeptical about this. Yes, heating denatures enzymes, i'm not disputing that. But we have our own digestive enzymes in our body to break down our food, and they do a great job.

I completely agree with you. The timescale over which enzymes in veg break them down is much longer than the timescale over which we want to digest food. As one friend of mine put it, "If vegetables contain enzymes that digest themselves, why don't they turn into a sludgy mess?" Answer: They do. Ruminants keep food in their stomachs for a long time, fermenting, but I am not a cow!

In fact, cooking goes a long way to breaking food down, making it easier to digest. Some consider the discovery of fire to be a major step forward in our evolution, precisely because cooking enables us to get the same nutrients without expending so much energy on digestion, freeing up that energy to spend on other things.

demi wrote:Or are they just comparing it to a diet of take aways and junk food, which of course, any diet containing more fruit and veg will be better than that!

That's my suspicion. Whenever I hear anecdotes of how wonderful raw food is, it seems that the new diet always follows a period when life was really bad and the person wasn't looking after themselves well at all. Then they start eating lots of fruit and veg, paying attention to their health, and generally taking care of themselves, and bingo! They feel a lot better.

I'm curious about the psychology of this. Why do some people feel the need to adopt such an extreme diet rather than taking smaller steps to make themselves feel better? Maybe it's because they feel that their condition is extremely bad, so only an extreme cure is going to work. Maybe it's the fact that a raw diet takes a lot of effort, so forcing people to pay a lot of attention to their nutrition.
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Re: Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

Post: #265767 GeorgeSalt
Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:18 am

All faddy diets are the same. East sensibly, eat what you like (ie. if you don't like meat, don't eat it). Setting arcane rules and then trying to find food to fit those rules is only going to result in frustration and encourage an unhealthy mental attitude towards eating.
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Re: Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

Post: #265769 diggernotdreamer
Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:33 pm

My Dad and his wife are vegans, have been for about 25 years or more. They are now in a home, she has Parkinsons, which she developed 5 years ago and he is in the early/middle stages of senile dementia, was it the vegan diet? guess we will never know, but both have neurological problems which may be triggered by lack of B12. I have tried to find people in the world who naturally eat an exclusively vegan diet, are there any?? I haven't been able to find out but it seems to be quite a new phenomenon. We seem to store some B12 but that is probably a protection from when meat or animal proteins may not have been available for some time. I eat mainly vegetables, free range eggs (from my own hens and ducks) organic milk,cheese, fish and meat if I find a really good free range or organic source and fruit very rarely. I use my pressure cooker for nearly everything or stir fry, but we eat piles of fresh veg from the garden every day of the year. I don't like the way animals are farmed and I should really be eating my own chickens but I am hopeless at killing things, I certainly couldn't kill my pet pigs, they are so intelligent and affectionate. Food is a pleasure too, I don't smoke or drink but I love good food, but if you want to be miserable then eat a raw food diet or one without butter, eggs or cheese

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Re: Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

Post: #265771 demi
Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:19 pm

diggernotdreamer wrote: but if you want to be miserable then eat a raw food diet or one without butter, eggs or cheese



:lol: Yeah, i would be miserable without any cheese and butter. In fact. i stopped buying butter on a regular basis as i can go though a whole pack in a couple of days on buttery toast :roll:

Just found this: http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/he ... diets.html

Which basically confirms what i was thinking.
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Re: Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

Post: #265776 Susie
Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:49 pm

diggernotdreamer wrote:My Dad and his wife are vegans, have been for about 25 years or more. They are now in a home, she has Parkinsons, which she developed 5 years ago and he is in the early/middle stages of senile dementia, was it the vegan diet? guess we will never know, but both have neurological problems which may be triggered by lack of B12.


Diggernotdreamer, have they been tested for B12 deficiency? My dad has it (he's not veggie, it's some congenital failure to absorb that apparently a lot of people get) and he progressively gets less and less lively, then he gets an injection in his bum and he's fine again. Obviously he's only in the early stages of deficiency though, I'm certainly not suggesting an injection in the bum is going to cure dementia or Parkinson's. I'm sorry your dad and his wife aren't well :( .
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Re: Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

Post: #265777 Susie
Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:56 pm

Zech wrote:
demi wrote:Or are they just comparing it to a diet of take aways and junk food, which of course, any diet containing more fruit and veg will be better than that!

That's my suspicion. Whenever I hear anecdotes of how wonderful raw food is, it seems that the new diet always follows a period when life was really bad and the person wasn't looking after themselves well at all. Then they start eating lots of fruit and veg, paying attention to their health, and generally taking care of themselves, and bingo! They feel a lot better.

I'm curious about the psychology of this. Why do some people feel the need to adopt such an extreme diet rather than taking smaller steps to make themselves feel better? Maybe it's because they feel that their condition is extremely bad, so only an extreme cure is going to work. Maybe it's the fact that a raw diet takes a lot of effort, so forcing people to pay a lot of attention to their nutrition.


Yes, ditto first paragraph! And re the second, I think there's a lot of magical thinking and people see it as more 'natural'. I'd be interested in studies on people who've eaten raw for long periods of time. And I do think eating raw vegan without supplementing is probably not a good idea!
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Re: Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

Post: #265790 EcoSam
Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:27 pm

diggernotdreamer wrote:Food is a pleasure too, I don't smoke or drink but I love good food, but if you want to be miserable then eat a raw food diet or one without butter, eggs or cheese


I'm sorry but I think that's a pretty narrow-minded point of view on two points. Firstly, food doesn't have to contain dairy or eggs (or meat) to be classified as 'good food' (although that might be your opinion). Secondly, what makes you think that raw foodists are miserable because of what they do or don't eat? Logically, if they're eating raw food (and taking necessary precautions regarding B12/understanding nutrition) for the benefit of their health or ethics then conceivably they will be happier then if they were eating a non-raw diet.

I'm sorry to hear about your parents. Both my grandfathers and a grandmother had/have Parkinson's and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

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Re: Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

Post: #265792 GeorgeSalt
Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:44 pm

EcoSam wrote:
diggernotdreamer wrote:Firstly, food doesn't have to contain dairy or eggs (or meat) to be classified as 'good food' (although that might be your opinion). Secondly, what makes you think that raw foodists are miserable because of what they do or don't eat?


Anyone visiting here would have a pretty miserable time of they dodn't eat diary, eggs and/or were a raw foodist.. and I think that's the point of view that most people who aren't on extreme diets come from. We enjoy what we eat, and eat what we enjoy. Not eating what we enjoy would make us miserable.

The one that I can never figure out is ethical-ovo-lacto-vegetarianism.
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Re: Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

Post: #265796 EcoSam
Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:07 am

GeorgeSalt wrote:
EcoSam wrote:
diggernotdreamer wrote:Firstly, food doesn't have to contain dairy or eggs (or meat) to be classified as 'good food' (although that might be your opinion). Secondly, what makes you think that raw foodists are miserable because of what they do or don't eat?


Anyone visiting here would have a pretty miserable time of they dodn't eat diary, eggs and/or were a raw foodist.. and I think that's the point of view that most people who aren't on extreme diets come from. We enjoy what we eat, and eat what we enjoy. Not eating what we enjoy would make us miserable.


Yup, I understand your point, and that's exactly the point I was making about people on alternative diets. But to persecute a dietary decision based on what you do or don't like doesn't make a lot of sense precisely because not everyone likes the same thing but also because people have different attitudes towards food, where it comes from and how it was produced.

GeorgeSalt wrote:The one that I can never figure out is ethical-ovo-lacto-vegetarianism.


I presume you're referring to the contradiction between the terms 'ethical' and 'vegetarian' and the culling of males etc? It's a valid point but all I can say that ethics aren't black and white and people make decisions based on a multitude of factors including dietary requirements, education, culture, upbringing and the freedom/opportunity to actually make those kind of decisions. I know that for myself, as an ovo-vegetarian, I balance my dietary decisions with a desire to live self-sufficiently, sustainably and healthily and recognise that a vegan diet probably isn't feasible or, if it is, not very easy to accomplish on all three factors without compromises or negative outcomes.

I should probably just say that I have no issue with people eating meat, dairy, eggs, whatever and respect peoples' right to make their own decisions just as I would expect them to respect my choices. I do firmly believe however that all meat and animal products should be produced in a manner which is respectful of an animals' need for a comfortable, happy and pain- and stress-free existence.

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Re: Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

Post: #265829 The Riff-Raff Element
Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:37 pm

Certainly there are some nutrients that are destroyed by heating, the most well-known being vitamin C, but as long as one maintains an intake of fresh, raw fruit and the odd salad, I can't see really much additional benefit from not cooking stuff.

I do prefer raw milk - I suspect it may well be beneficial to gut flora - but if I eat raw fish or meat then I do it for the culinary pleasure: I like sushi and steak tartare.

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Post: #265846 demi
Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:45 am

The Riff-Raff Element wrote:
I do prefer raw milk - I suspect it may well be beneficial to gut flora - but if I eat raw fish or meat then I do it for the culinary pleasure: I like sushi and steak tartare.



Raw milk dairy products are not safe to consume, berculosis can kill at worst and make you very very ill at best. And the scientific evidence supporting raw milk over pasturised is minimal. http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/wp-con ... awMilk.pdf

I think, unless you have your own cows/goats or whatever, which you keep super clean and you keep all the milking area and equipment absolutly sterile, and you test the milk and the cow regurlarly for bacterial infections and keep the animal fully vaccinated for everything, and you cinsume the milk imidiatly after milking and dont let it sit for too long ( as bacteria quickly multiply to harmful levels over time) you might be alright. But i still wouldn't drink or eat raw milk/dairy, and i especially would NEVER feed it to my kids.

We buy 2 liters of raw milk from a guy with some cows who delivers it to our door every other day, first thing in the morning and the milk is still warm when we get it. I imidietly pour it into a big pot and boil it on the stove then it goes straight into the firgde ( onto a heat mat ) when its cooled a bit. If its not finnished in 2 days i give the rest to the dog as it goes off quicker than the pasturised milk you buy from the supermarket. When it was really hot last month i had a whole pot of milk turn to yogurt inside the firdge within a couple of days! The fridge evidently was unable to maintain cold enough temperatures, seeing as everytime the door got opened a blast of 40 degree heat surged in.

You have to be really carful with raw milk, and meat for that matter, theres no way of knowing if it is contaminated. And if you buy meat from a butcher you dont know how long its been since the animal has died until you are eating it. The more time that goes buy before it is consumed the more time the bacteria have to multiply. Cooking/pasturising kills all the potentially harmful bacteria making animal products safe to consume.

Maybe in Brittain, where where everything is heavily controled and regulated, it would be less risky. But i'm in Eastern Europe, where nothing is regulated ( we are selling all our fruit without licences or anything, just to wee local shops, family, friends, neibours and just people walking past the house who notice we're selling stuff. There is no regulations on pestacides here so everybody ( not us though ) sprays everything multiple times with pestacides/fungacides which are banned elsewhere in Europe!
Food poisoning is common here. My parents were visiting last week and they went to buy some chicken from meat counter at the supermarket and the guy was like ' No, you don't want this, its not fresh.' But it was still out for sale on display! Nobody weres gloves either or anything like that. And i'v had many arguments with people over washing hands and cross contamination for raw meat which nobody seems to believe me. They cook whole chickens on a spit in many tavernas and they put the cooked chickens on the bottom ready to serve to people and they put the raw ones on top, dripping all their raw chicken samonella juices all over the cooked ones!!!!!!!! :shock:
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Re: Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

Post: #265863 The Riff-Raff Element
Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:26 pm

Demi - coming from someone whose attitude to taking steps to eliminate the tiny risk of botulism is so blasé, this is a perhaps a little rich :lol:

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Re: Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

Post: #265880 demi
Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:02 am

Maybe, but i am bias. I hate vinigar, so when i saw how they preserve veg here without it i was inspired! :lol:
Anyhow, botulism is much rarer than food poisoning from raw animal products. And i take grate care to steralise everything properly to reduce the risk. Since this raw craze has kicked off the incedance of food poisoning from raw animal products has gone up, where food poisoning from other foods has remaind the same.
The thing with the botulism though, is that the food is steralised by cooking which kills all the bacteria. There is a minimal ( less than 1 % ) chance of there being heat resistant botulism present to contaminate the food. Raw milk, however, contains a multitude of different bacteria, some harmless and some not. Not takeing steps to sterailze the milk is reckless, im my opinion. Especially concidering there is no scientific evidence in favour of raw over pasturised.
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Re: Raw food diet. Healthier or not?

Post: #265881 The Riff-Raff Element
Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:36 am

It would be foolhardy indeed to drink raw milk from any source that wasn't very carefully monitored. In France farms must be certified and very regularly inspected before they can offer raw milk for sale, but it has been growing in popularity here for some time. The current recommendation from the health ministry is that raw milk from certified sources presents no health risk and they are making guarded comments to the effect that it may, as I mentioned, be beneficial to maintaining a healthy gut flora.

I've never really had food poisoning, mostly because I am careful, but like I say, I don't make a point of eating stuff raw unless it is for culinary purposes. Oysters, for example, I think taste vile when cooked, but are pretty good raw. They're dirt cheap around here because we're right on top of the oyster beds.

Most food poisoning comes from inadequately reheated food, I believe, which is why takeaways have such a poor reputation.


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