Raw Food and Weight Loss

One of the most popular ways of using the raw food diet is of course to help people to lose weight. As already mentioned on the home page, there are several commercial versions of this diet available, but in all honesty, you can create your own just as easily and save yourself the cost of buying a commercial diet. Here are some pointers as to how to best use raw foods as part of your weight loss diet and why they work so well.

Why Raw Food?

The first thing you need to know is why food that is eaten raw helps people lose weight more effectively than eating otherwise healthy, cooked meals. Part of the answer goes back to our distant ancestral past when our cave dwelling forebears had no knowledge of fire or how to cook food. Back then, all food was eaten raw because that's the way it came. The human digestive system was and still is set up to deal with uncooked food.

In fact by cooking our food, we are taking away some of the work our bodies have to do in order to digest the food we eat. It takes more work from our digestive systems to deal with food that has not been cooked and that means we actually use more energy to digest it than we do with cooked food. That is because cooking food breaks down some of the tougher to digest parts of the food, making it easier to digest and therefore we use less energy to achieve the same result.

The extra energy our bodies use to digest uncooked food equates to more calories burned for no apparent extra physical work. What that equates to is one of the great tips for weight loss hidden in the kinds of food we eat! This makes a raw food diet more effective than its cooked food equivalent, merely by the fact that digesting the food uses more calories. And we know that as long as we burn more calories than we consume from our diet, then we will lose weight.

What Foods Are Best?

The best kinds of foods to eat as part of a raw food diet are vegetables such as:

Cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, kohl rabi, turnip, carrots, courgette, squash, onion, peas and beans (several varieties).

Some vegetables are not so good to eat raw, such as potatoes, beets and parsnips are best avoided as part of this diet.

You can also include salad crops such as:

Celery, lettuce, tomatoes, pak choi, spring onions, radishes, cucumber, capsicum (bell pepper all colors)

You should also include plenty of fruit, such as:

Apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, apricots, kiwi, mango, grapes, pineapple, figs, plums and gages. You can also include citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, mandarin, although be aware that they are very acidic and should be eaten in smaller quantities. Lemons are fine as they are not so acidic once metabolized, although the juice is best used in plain water as a refreshing drink rather than trying to actually eat the fruits. Bananas and avocados can be eaten too but remember they are higher in calories than most fruits.

You can also include mushrooms, seeds such as flax, pumpkin, sunflower etc, nuts such as peanuts, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, pistachios etc as long as they are unsalted and not roasted.

Lastly, all meals made up of these raw ingredients can be enhanced for flavor by the addition of fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, cilantro (coriander leaves), thyme, savory, mint, rosemary, chives, garlic chives etc. You can get creative by adding some of the more unusual herbs such as sorrel, dandelion (blanched leaves), nasturtium (leaves and flowers) and those little bue and white borage flowers. For adding extra taste, you can include things like chopped ginger and garlic, grated horseradish and chopped chilli peppers to really spice things up.

The fact is that when you work with a natural diet of raw foods, these simple diets work very well to help you to lose weight slowly but surely in the healthiest and most positive manner. Its a great way to diet and to enjoy a new boost of health, vitality and energy that you may not have felt before.

The nutritional properties of these raw ingredients are further explained in more detail in separate articles.