Q & A
Question: Are there health benefits to the raw food diet?
If you look around the web, YouTube, etc., you will find lots of awesome personal testimonials.
For instance, I have type 2 diabetes and was on oral meds and insulin. After I did a 100% raw diet for two months, I lost 30 pounds and went off my meds. I saw liver spots go away, joint pain go away, my eyesight improve, blood pressure went down. I got more energy, improved skin, etc.
There are many variations to the raw food diet. People who are on a 100% raw food diet, believe they achieve maximum health benefits being 100%. I don't know if there is any data to support this. I haven't found any - yet. I do find plenty of information supporting the fact that adding more raw fruit and vegetables to your diet is extremely beneficial for a number of reasons. I personally am "mostly raw."
Many believe health benefits occur because you greatly improve the quality of your nutrition. Also your body expends less energy for digestion, and that energy is used on other bodily processes, like repairing. You have less food sitting and rotting in your gut and putting toxins into your body. We all know the benefits of increased fiber and less complex sugars.
I personally believe a raw food diet is good for you, but you need to be educated because your diet needs to be well planned to make sure 1) you are getting all the nutrients you need and 2) you are preparing your food properly to get maximum nutrients and not eating foods that will harm you in their raw state.
Here are some studies that show the good and bad. Remember to take studies with a grain of salt and consider the study design...but you can't deny more raw fruits and vegetables along with nuts, seeds, certain whole grains, and sea vegetables is just good common sense:
Here is a study that shows good effects on lowering cholesterol levels and triglycerides but also lowered B12 and good cholesterol levels. Many people on the raw food diet take a supplement of B12. Some make sure to get B12 other ways. And good cholesterol can be raised with exercise..the abstract doesn't mention what kind of exercise the participants in the study got. http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/short/135/10/2372
Here is a negative study, showing more dental erosion...but I know to drink lots of water and rinse my mouth out after eating certain foods - like after citrus or juice: http://md1.csa.com/partners/viewrecord.php?requester=gs&collection=ENV&recid=4506749&q=raw+food&uid=&setcookie=yes