What is a Raw Food Diet?


Before you decide to change your eating habits, you probably want to know what we are talking about here.

A raw food diet is a diet consisting of any percentage of raw food.

Raw food is food that has not been heated over a certain temperature, usually no higher than 118º but the temperature ranges depending on the source.

Some people eat a 100% raw food diet, they are generally very vibrant and healthy people, depending on when they started and the variety of nutrition in their diet. There is some controversy about the best percentage of raw food that one should consume. But anything over 80% raw and 20% cooked is considered to be a very healthy diet.

This is Mimi Kirk raw foodie, at over 70 she is vibrant and healthy. Click the photo to see her Facebook page. When I first made the switch to raw food, I went 100% cold turkey. My body went through some major cleansing reactions, but in addition to that I lost about 10 lbs within 2 weeks. I recommend doing a slower transition to make it easier on yourself and your body. Try implementing a raw breakfast every day like freshly pressed juice or a smoothie. Then incorporate more salads and and other raw dishes until you are at the right stage for you.

Why would anyone want to eat raw food?

Well it has to do with nutrition. Foods created by nature are in the most perfect form for our bodies (also created by nature). Cooking foods alters their chemical structure, and often makes nutrients harder or impossible for our bodies to absorb.

For example, there are cancer-fighting compounds in broccoli called sulforaphanes. They are almost completely lost when broccoli is cooked. Certain vitamins, such as vitamin C and folate, are also destroyed by heat.

Cooking food at high heat, especially in oils causes the formation of toxic compounds that have no place in our digestive system.
(Sorry McDonalds fries, you’re out)

What types of foods can you eat on a raw food diet?

This is where most of the misconceptions come in. When I first heard about people eating raw food I thought
“Man, eating salad for every meal for ever? I couldn’t do it. Not worth it, I love real food too much.”
But the truth is, raw food can be both fun and delicious. It takes a little extra effort to get into the habit of creating raw dishes, just as it would if you decided to change your diet in any way. But the meals you can create are diverse and can be so yummy. All you have to do is experiment.
Some raw foodies consume raw dairy products like raw milk and raw cheese, even raw meats such as sashimi. We love a vegan raw diet with no meat products and little to no dairy. I recommend getting a raw food book to help you get started. I love Ani Phyo as she has simple recipes for the beginner raw foodie. They are quick and easy, but don’t taste boring. I have two of her meal books as well as her dessert book. They also contain lots of great information about living a healthy lifestyle.

You won’t just be eating greens and carrot sticks I promise. One of my favorite pastimes now is experimenting with new raw recipes in the kitchen. I love raw pizza, and lasagne. My absolute favorite is ‘sunburgers’ on raw sesame bread. If you aren’t sold on a raw diet just yet, try baby steps, just a few meals a week, once you find your favorite recipes, it will become easier and easier to eat raw.

What else should I know?

There is a lot of information about a raw food diet, check out this article by Vlad. There are plenty of health benefits, including weight loss if you’re carrying an extra few pounds. To make the change, you may need a few extra utensils in the kitchen, like a dehydrator, food processor and high speed blender. But you can get these things when you have the time and money, you can eat raw without them, they just make life easier.
You’ll learn new ways to prepare foods, like soaking nuts and sprouting grains. Even fermenting foods means you can enjoy many of the flavors and textures you thought you’d be missing out on with a raw food diet.

The most important thing is that you do what’s right for you. If you are in a serious health situation, make sure you have your doctor guide you through any changes you make in your diet. Luckily, raw food diets have been known to reverse serious health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Also acne, eczema, lethargy and many other issues are known to completely disappear. Please contact us at info@realrawhealth if you have any questions about a raw food diet, or suggestions for what else you’d like to learn at our site.

Do you have a great story about a raw food diet? Share it!

  7 Responses to “What is a Raw Food Diet?”

Comments (7)
  1. I am on my 25th day of 85% raw (vegetables & fruits) & 15% cooked veg & sweet potato or brown rice. On the 2nd week alone my blood pressure went down to 110/70 w/ just one medication, losartan 50mg, before i started the diet i had two ( losartan & amlodipie) But my experience was i was hospitalized a week ago for 3 days because of asthma. , even when i was in the hospital i continued w/ my diet, w/o my doctor knowing it. I really lost 10lbs , my problem is why i had an attack of asthma when i never had it . I am 59 years old & will turn 60 a few days from now. What is happening to me? Is it a reaction of my body to this diet? I must admit when i went into this raw food diet i really don’t know anything about it . i just became frustrated w/ my weight problems . Thank you i found sites like this that i can ask about my concerns. will i ever get rid of this asthma, because just now i felt the asthma is back, i dont really want to go through nebulization again.

    • Thanks so much for your comment and your questions. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had some issues with your new diet (although the weight loss + blood pressure is a great accomplishment – Congrats!). A lot of people do have issues when they first change to a raw diet, myself included. After 2-3 weeks of a raw diet I broke out with the worst painful cystic acne of my life. These types of reactions are actually not that uncommon, and are referred to as a ‘healing crisis’. Essentially if your body is quite toxic (after 60 years (Happy Birthday!) of the Standard American Diet you can expect to be quite toxic), it could cause you some discomfort as those toxins are leaving your body. My suspicion is that the asthma attack came as a side effect of cleansing. My recommendation then is to do an actual cleanse program, and I would recommend the Arise and Shine 30 day program for that. This is going to assist your body in removing those toxins and have you feeling better ASAP. I didn’t do an actual cleanse when I switched my diet, and my acne lasted a lot longer than it should have as a result.

      What’s going on when you switch to a raw diet is that your body starts naturally cleansing Because you are not putting any more toxicity in, it starts working on removing what has been built up over the years. A cleanse program that is structured and supplemented with fiber, herbs, clay etc will get things moving more efficiently so you start feeling better sooner.

      Now, the other possibility is that you developed this asthma as a reaction to something in the diet. This could be the case if you have added some new foods into your diet that you have a sensitivity to. Possibilities are a large amount of gluten from wheat products or raw dairy products etc. If you’ve added something like this to your diet, try removing it completely and see how you feel. If it is a food allergy, this can be remedied by doing the Incurables Program. Although it is quite an intensive program, it can heal virtually all ailments.

      Please update us on your progress! Of course, don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any other questions about anything I mentioned here.
      Best of luck on your journey to perfect health!

  2. I just did raw-100%- for three weeks. I gained 11-12 pounds in weight which at 126 (now 137/138) I do not fit in any of my clothes. I felt more energy at times of the day and slept longer hours 8-10 instead of just 7-8. I got really bloated around the middle and swollen all over. My spleen got swollen also. Spleen does not like cold food. I also was having unbearable cravings for meat and I was cold, frigid all the time. I live in San Jose and the spring weather (I did this in April/ May) was relatively warm. So I had to go off of the raw 100%. I need meat and at least one hot meal a day. I still do 60% raw or so. Karen

    • Karen
      Yours is definitely an unusual story, but not the first I have heard. I am very curious to know what kind of raw diet you were eating, and what were your ratios of carb:protein:fat . Often people try out the raw diet without knowing much about it first and end up eating a diet that is very high in fat. It’s easy to do since fruits and vegetables have such few calories.
      This kind of high fat diet can cause major issues! This is usually the reason why people fail on the raw diet.
      As far as meat goes, you do not really need it. It’s just a mental block that many people have due to upbringing and misinformation that we’ve had since youth.
      We offer a free coaching consultation service that you might benefit from, if you’d like to learn more about this and about how you can succeed on the raw diet. You shouldn’t have an issue losing weight, or at least balancing out to the right weight for your body.
      If you’re interested, send us a quick email through the contact tab at the top of the page and we can figure out what went wrong together.
      All my best to you!

  3. I am very new to the raw diet and still learning. My question is this, I see that raw eaters include beans/lentils and such in their diet but how do they eat it sprouted or cooked? Some beans are impossible to eat raw!

    • That’s a great question Svetlana, thank you for coming by to ask. It’s true that some beans should not be eaten raw at all, for example kidney, soy, and fava beans are all unsafe to eat raw.
      Some beans can be sprouted and are both nutritious and delicious this way! All lentils are safe once sprouted, we like to sprout mung beans, but there are other varieties that are good too.
      We tried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) a few times, but I find they don’t taste as appealing as the canned/cooked chickpeas, so we don’t usually eat them as much as we used to.

      If you are striving for a 100% raw diet, just make sure to check the variety of bean before you sprout it so you know it is safe. If you are not going 100% raw, then go ahead and enjoy some lightly steamed beans once in a while.
      I hope this cleared things up for a little bit! Enjoy your raw journey!

      PS. If you are new to sprouting, you might like THIS ARTICLE about sprouts.

  4. Based on health information that I found, I now begin to eat more of a whole-foods plant-based diet. This means a lot of vegetables and fruits — many of which can be eaten raw (except for mushrooms which must be cooked). If I do cook vegetables, I only cook them half-way so as to not lose as much nutrients through the cooking process.

    Try to get organic one if possible to avoid pesticides and always wash them before eating.