What is a Raw Foodist?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Salmon sashimi.
Salmon sashimi.

A raw foodist is a person who eats primarily raw or unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, seeds, sprouted legumes, and grains. People who follow this kind of diet may incorporate meat, fish, and dairy into their diets. This means some raw foodists are omnivorous, while others are raw vegans and raw vegetarians. When a raw foodist incorporates meat, fish, and dairy into her diet, the food must be in a raw state. These might include foods like beef carpaccio, sashimi, raw eggs, and dairy products such as yogurt and cheese that has been made with raw, unpasteurized milk.

Some raw foodists will include dairy products made from raw milk into their diet.
Some raw foodists will include dairy products made from raw milk into their diet.

In most cases, a raw foodist will consume foods that have been heated only to a low temperature. This means that some items included in a raw food diet may have been "cooked" to a certain degree. The peak temperature at which a raw foodist will cook her food varies from person to person. In most cases, a raw foodist will consume foods that have been cooked at temperatures up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (about 40 degrees Celsius). There are some who will consume food that has been cooked at temperatures up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit (about 46 degrees Celsius).

Hoping to consume the enzymes found in uncooked food, a person on a raw-food diet may eat meat that has not been cooked.
Hoping to consume the enzymes found in uncooked food, a person on a raw-food diet may eat meat that has not been cooked.

There are many reasons that people choose a raw food diet. Many people who follow raw diets lose excess body fat and experience improved energy levels. Following this sort of diet, however, is not easy. The modern world is full of cooked and processed foods, so a raw foodist must take time to plan her meals and prepare her own foods. In some urban areas there are raw food restaurants, but they are rare. Furthermore, eating raw meat, fish, and dairy products does put one at risk for foodborne illnesses.

A raw foodist may drink smoothies made with uncooked fruits and vegetables.
A raw foodist may drink smoothies made with uncooked fruits and vegetables.

Another reason a person may follow a raw food diet has to do with nutrition and toxins. A raw foodist is likely to believe that cooking food destroys its enzymes and that enzymes are an important part of healthful foods. Most raw foodists also assert that when food is cooked over a certain temperature, the heat also destroys important nutrients and causes a change in the molecular structure of the food, causing it to become toxic to the body.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Discussion Comments

sunnysideup

@rosequartz - Raw living foods are amazing when you have some good recipes to follow! I love Jennifer Cornbleet's recipe books (try her Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People) - her raw brownie recipe is truly incredible (I think that's in her dessert book).

Another good recipe book is Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow.

Mostly, just experiment and see how it goes. You might surprise yourself and go completely raw.

rosequartz

Well, I'm wondering if eating more raw recipes will really increase my energy levels and help me lose excess body fat. I'm willing to try it but need some good recipes. Anyone know of a good raw cookbook or two?

FirstBase

I've tried to go raw but I guess I'm a lazy raw foodist. The best I can do is go raw two times a week. The rest of the week I just eat and drink as many fresh foods as possible while enjoying my baked and grilled foods.

I think we all know that the main idea is to add a good variety of fruits and veggies to our diet on a daily basis. The civilized world thinks bread is necessary...it really isn't and should only be eaten once in a while, as a treat, not every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

SarahG

Making a Ceviche dish is another great way to experience raw food recipes without using heat. Soaking seafood in citrus juice "cooks" the food in minutes. You can tell when the seafood is ready, it changes color and feels firm. And the flavor...the flavor!

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    • Salmon sashimi.
      By: andersphoto
      Salmon sashimi.
    • Some raw foodists will include dairy products made from raw milk into their diet.
      By: lidante
      Some raw foodists will include dairy products made from raw milk into their diet.
    • Hoping to consume the enzymes found in uncooked food, a person on a raw-food diet may eat meat that has not been cooked.
      By: Michael Gray
      Hoping to consume the enzymes found in uncooked food, a person on a raw-food diet may eat meat that has not been cooked.
    • A raw foodist may drink smoothies made with uncooked fruits and vegetables.
      By: Pixelbliss
      A raw foodist may drink smoothies made with uncooked fruits and vegetables.