The easy answer is…It is totally up to you. There are many definitions of what a “Raw Food Diet” is, but the best way to explore is to know just a few guidelines and then make the diet your own.
ManyÂ consider a raw food diet to consist of at least 75% raw, uncooked fruits, vegetables, sprouts, etc. Raw and living foods are believed to containÂ essential food enzymes. These “Living Foods” contain the full range of essential enzymes. The cooking process(i.e., heating foods above 116Â°F) is thought to destroy food enzymes.
Lets face it if ALL of the enzymes were destroyed by cooking our foods over 116 degrees F we would all be dead. As it stands we become sick with lifetimeÂ chronic diseases then we die from them. The major chronic disease organizations are only recently and reluctantly recognizing the role of food and health. Many of their members are being exposed to the ideas of healing with diet.
So, it is the temperature of food preparation that determines if a food is “raw.”Â That temperature fluctuates among the different raw food experts, but all agree that excess heat destroy many ofÂ the enzymes that are the building blocks of healthy nutrition.
There are many waysÂ to prepare raw foods without heat.. You may sprout seeds, grains and beans. RawÂ nuts and dried fruits, or juicing fruits and vegetables. The only cooking that is recommended is via a dehydrator. This piece of equipment blows hot air through the food but never reaches a temperature higher than 116Â°F. Its slow heating at low temperatures dries the food with the nutrients intact.
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So it really is up to you to decide what level of the Raw Food diet you will maintain.Â A good way to ease into this lifestyle diet is to add more raw fruits, nuts, vegetables, seeds etc. to your normal meals. Eventually you may find yourself at a 30% raw food level or higher. It has to be personal don’t let any expert tell you what is right for you. The key is to do your research and find the expert that makes you comfortable with your new diet choice.
Fortunately there is no shortage of information on a Raw Food Diet. The Internet is a rich source of raw cookbooks, videos, recipes and products. Surprisingly most of it is pretty good.
How Raw? Start off where you are now. Add raw food by taste and texture and enjoyment. Forget about converting others to your new adventure in food.. You may soon find yourself at 75% Raw.Â
James Wiley is a contributor to Raw Food Wisdom a blog dedicated to information on the Raw Food Diet. Books, Videos, Recipes, Products for any level of Raw Food enjoyment.
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