The Raw Food Diet: Benefits, Types, and Risks

Although the raw vegan diet has been around for a while, it has recently become more popular.

It combines raw food and vegan philosophies.

Most people follow it for its health benefits, despite some doing so for ethical or environmental reasons. Weight loss, better heart health, and a lower risk of diabetes are just a few benefits.

An entirely raw vegan diet, on the other hand, has the potential to be harmful to your health if you don’t follow it carefully.

The raw vegan diet is examined in this article, and the potential benefits and drawbacks may arise.

The Raw Vegan Diet: What Is It?

Those who practice raw veganism are a subset of vegans.

Like veganism, it prohibits the consumption of any animal products.

Then there’s raw foodism, which holds that you should eat completely raw foods or heated to temperatures between 40°F and 48°C below a safe emulsification point for human consumption.

Since Presbyterian minister and dietary reformer Sylvester Graham promoted it as a way to avoid illness in the middle of the nineteenth century, the idea of only eating raw foods has been around.

Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, and legumes are prominent in a raw vegan diet. It’s also less likely to have a lot of preservatives in it.

Those who choose to eat a raw vegan diet for health reasons are more likely to do so.

They believe that raw and minimally heated foods are more nutritious than cooked ones.

Instead of cooking, alternative meal preparation methods include juicing, blending, soaking, sprouting, and dehydrating.

Some proponents share this belief in a raw vegan diet, which is why supplements are discouraged.

There are no cooked or processed foods in a raw vegan diet; all the food is eaten raw or heated to extremely low temperatures.

How Is It Different?

The raw food diet, also known as raw foodism or raw veganism, consists primarily or entirely of unprocessed and raw foods.

All raw foods have never been heated above 40–48 degrees Celsius. Nutritiousness is compromised if it has been refined or treated with pesticides.

Juicing, blending, dehydrating, soaking, and sprouting are all acceptable preparation methods for the diet.

The raw food diet, which is similar to veganism, emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, is a plant-based diet.

Some raw foodists include raw eggs and dairy in their diets, but this is not the norm. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even have raw fish and meat.

In addition, supplementation is discouraged on the raw food diet. It is common for supporters to claim that the diet will meet your dietary needs.

Raw food diets are popular because of their perceived health benefits: weight loss, increased vitality and energy, relief from chronic diseases, better overall health, and less environmental impact.

People who follow a raw food diet eat primarily unprocessed and unheated foods.

Benefits to Health and Well-being

The raw vegan diet is rich in plant foods high in nutrients. Many health advantages are associated with it as well.

Lowers Diabetes Risk

Fruit and vegetable-rich diets have been linked to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Fiber, linked to lower blood sugar and improved insulin sensitivity, is abundant in this diet. You may also reduce diabetes by following a raw vegan diet.

Vegetarian and vegan diets have been linked to a 12 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, with vegan diets being the most effective.

Vegan diets are rich in nuts and seeds and sprouted grains and legumes for additional benefits.

Despite this, only a few studies have examined the effects of a raw vegan diet.

Due to the high amount of nutrient- and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables they’re likely to include.

Heart Health Benefits

Due to its emphasis on fruits and vegetables, a raw vegan diet may improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Nuts, seeds, sprouted whole grains, and legumes are also part of this diet. Studies have shown that these foods improve cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease even further. (source)

High blood pressure and heart disease mortality rates may be reduced by up to 75% among vegans, according to observational studies.

Vegan diets are particularly effective at lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol in randomized controlled studies, the gold standard of scientific research.

Few studies have examined the effects of raw vegan diets. ‘ But their high content of nutrient-rich plant foods, which may offer similar results, needs further research.

Weight Loss Aid

People who follow a raw vegan diet appear to be able to lose weight and keep it off.

Raw food diets, including raw veganism, have consistently been linked to lower body fat levels in studies.

Throughout three and a half years, people who followed various raw diets lost 22–26 pounds (10–12 kilograms). The participants who consumed the most natural foods had lower BMIs than those who consumed less (BMIs).

According to another study, people who ate a raw vegan diet had a lower total body fat percentage than those who ate a typical American diet.

A growing body of evidence suggests that low-fat vegan diets, including raw vegan ones, are particularly effective at helping people shed pounds.

Digestive Health May Be Improved

Whole plant foods contain a lot of fiber, which can aid digestion.

There are a lot of soluble and insoluble fibers in a raw vegan diet.

To prevent constipation, ingesting insoluble fibers helps bulk up your stools and speed up digestion.

The good bacteria in your intestines benefit from soluble fiber, which feeds them.

Healthy bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in your gut, which reduces inflammation. One may alleviate Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis symptoms due to taking them.

As a result of a raw vegan diet, one can expect to lose weight, reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and improve their digestive and cardiovascular health.

Risks to Consider

Eating a raw vegan diet can pose risks if you don’t prepare properly.

Causes Tooth Decay

Diets high in raw, vegan, plant-based foods have been linked to an increased risk of tooth decay.

Those who consume a lot of citrus and berries may find this especially true.

Fruits such as these are thought to be more acidic and therefore more likely to erode tooth enamel than other foods.

According to one study, 97.7% of raw vegans had tooth erosion, compared to only 86.8% of the control group.

More research is needed before one can draw firm conclusions.

Unbalanced Nutrition

All stages of life can benefit from a well-planned vegan diet.

A well-planned vegan diet must include all of your body’s vitamins and minerals to succeed. To make up for the nutrients it lacks, you can consume fortified foods or supplements.

Nutritional deficiencies are common in raw vegan diets, and vitamin B12 is one of them. Anemia, nervous system damage, infertility, heart disease, and poor bone health can result from a vitamin deficiency.

Vegans who don’t take vitamin B12 supplements are at a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.

It has been found that people who ate a raw vegan diet consumed fewer vitamin B12 than the recommended daily intake of 2.4 mcg, according to one study. At the time of the analysis, more than a third of the participants were deficient in vitamin B12.

Due to the belief that you can obtain all of your nutrients from raw foods alone, deficiencies in certain nutrients can occur.

Many raw vegan diet advocates discourage using iodized salt, which could put you at risk of calcium and vitamin D deficiency.

May Lower Fertility

A raw vegan diet may reduce fertility in some cases.

In one study, 70% of women reported irregularities in their menstrual cycle after switching to a raw vegan diet. One-third of the women developed amenorrhea, meaning they stopped menstruating altogether.

Furthermore, it was discovered that the more raw foods there were in the diet, the greater the benefits. According to researchers, amenorrhea is seven times more common in women who eat only raw foods.

According to research, the low caloric intake of a raw vegan diet may affect a woman’s ability to conceive. If a woman loses too much weight, she may be unable to menstruate.

When a raw vegan diet is not supplemented, it can be deficient in B vitamins, iodine, calcium (and thus vitamin D), and vitamin C (and hence protein), leading to many health problems. Besides causing tooth decay, it has been linked to problems with fertility.

Muscles and Bones Weakening

The muscles and bones may weaken due to a raw vegan diet.

This diet lacks calcium and vitamin D, two essential nutrients for bone health for starters.

In one study published in the journal Nutrition, raw vegans had lower bone mineral content and density than those on a typical American diet.

In some cases, people who follow a raw vegan diet may be able to obtain enough vitamin D from sunlight.

Sun exposure alone may not be enough for some people, especially older people who live in colder climates or have darker skin tones.

Raw vegan diets tend to be low in protein, often providing less than 10% of your daily calorie intake in the form of protein.

Even though such low protein levels may theoretically be sufficient to meet basic biological needs, some evidence has linked higher protein intakes with stronger bones.

Additionally, as with this plan, protein plays an essential role in maintaining muscle mass, especially when dieting on a low-calorie intake.

How to Maintain a Raw Vegan Diet

To be considered a raw vegan, at least seventy-five percent of your food must be raw or cooked at temperatures below 104–118°F (40–48°C).

Avoid all animal products and eat many fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Pre-soaking or sprouting of grains and legumes is required before consumption.

Accepted Foods to Eat:

  • Vegetables that are raw, juiced, or dehydrated.
  • Nuts and seeds that have not been processed.
  • Preserved grains and legumes (sprouted or soaked)
  • Nut milk is made from raw nuts
  • Nut butter that is unadulterated and unrefined
  • Oils that have been extracted using a cold-pressing method
  • Traditional fermented foods such as kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut.
  • Seaweed
  • Some sweeteners are unprocessed, such as maple syrup and raw cacao powder.
  • In addition to vinegar and raw soy sauce, condiments

Foods to Stay Away From:

  • Fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes that have been prepared with heat
  • Sweets and savory treats prepared in the kitchen
  • Peanuts, almonds, and other seeds roasted
  • Oils refined to a higher standard
  • All-natural ingredients such as sea salt
  • Juices that have been heated to a high temperature
  • Tea and coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Chips and pastries are examples of processed foods and snacks.

Raw Food Diet: What You Need to Know

At least seventy-five percent of the food you consume should be raw if you’re on a raw food diet.

Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds make up the bulk of most raw food diets. You may do so if you want to eat grains and legumes, but they must be soaked or sprouted first.

  • All fresh fruits and vegetables are suitable for consumption.
  • Vegetables in their natural state
  • Crunchy nut and seed combinations
  • sprouted or soaked grains and legumes.
  • Fruits and animal products that have been dried
  • Milk made from nuts and other nuts
  • Nut butters made from raw nuts
  • Olive and coconut oils from the cold press
  • This includes sauerkraut as well as kimchi.
  • Seaweed
  • Sprouts
  • If you prefer, you can eat raw eggs or dairy products.
  • If desired, serve the meat or fish raw.
  • Avoid these foods
  • Fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains that have been cooked
  • Cooked foods
  • nut and seed roasts
  • Oils that have been refined
  • Salt, sugar, and flour from the refining process
  • Pasteurized juices and milk products
  • Pastries made with coffee and tea and alcoholic beverages
  • Chips
  • Snacks and other prepared foods

There are no cooked foods in the raw food diet. Foods that have been processed or refined should be avoided.

Is Cooked Food Better For You Than Raw Food?

Proponents of a raw food diet believe to be that a diet high in raw or mostly raw foods is the healthiest option for the average person.

According to the raw food diet’s core beliefs, this idea is not supported by scientific evidence.

On the other hand, cooked and uncooked foods both have health benefits.

Raw foodists believe that cooking destroys the natural enzymes in food, which is one of the main reasons they advocate avoiding it. People on this diet believe that enzymes are essential to human well-being and digestion.

Most enzymes denature in high heat, which means that they unravel or change shape. However, the stomach’s acidic environment denatures many enzymes.

Since digestion and energy production are both aided by the enzymes produced naturally by the body, there is no need to take any additional supplements.

The raw food diet is also based on the belief that cooking destroys food’s nutritional value.

The water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C and B vitamins, which are depleted during the cooking process, are among those that are affected.

The availability of other nutrients and antioxidants, such as lycopene and beta-carotene, is increased during cooking.

While cooking, some potentially harmful compounds are reduced or eliminated. Phytic acid and lectins, for example, can be reduced by cooking grains and legumes. Toxic levels prevent your body from properly assimilation of essential vitamins and minerals.

Aside from killing harmful bacteria, cooking kills germs as well. Foods that are both raw and cooked are necessary because of these reasons. Check out this article to learn more about the advantages of raw versus cooked foods.

Cooked food is no better for you than raw food. It also kills bacteria and destroys some harmful compounds.  Some nutrients are lost during cooking, while others are gained.


Well-planned raw vegan diets include a wide variety of nutritious foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, sprouted grains and legumes, sprouted grains and legumes, and other raw plant-based foods.

If you don’t do your research, you risk depleting your body of essential nutrients and becoming infertile or suffering from weakening bones, muscles, and teeth.

The raw vegan diet should provide you with enough calories if you decide to give it a try. Add supplements as needed to ensure that you get all the nutrients you need each day.

In the end, a healthy diet should include plenty of fresh, raw foods. A good thing can, however, become a bad thing.

Cooking is necessary to improve the absorption of certain nutrients and foods.

It is possible to lose weight and meet your nutritional needs on a completely or even mostly raw diet, but it is also challenging.

In the end, it’s best to eat a mix of cooked and raw foods.


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