When I first started my odyssey toward better health and living and finally learned about a raw diet, I had seriously considered it for myself and my family. It almost made sense to me—eating enzyme rich foods which easily digest and assimilate would be the way to go! However, I quickly noticed a few things.
Now, am I saying that a fully raw vegan diet is not possible to achieve and practice? Not at all! There might be a few people out there who do raw diet right. However, in the latest news releases I found that even those, considered pillars and founders in the raw community, are now working cooked foods back into their diet. If you are interested, take a few minutes to read this interview with Victoria Boutenko, regarding her new book release, in which she uncovers her reasons not to be 100% raw anymore. Here is a small excerpt from the article:
“Q: …what flaws have you discovered in the raw diet?
A: I found an error in my favorite statement “anything raw is superior to anything cooked.” For example, I compared the nutritional value of raw cabbage versus cooked cabbage, raw potatoes versus fried potatoes, raw walnuts versus roasted walnuts, and so on. The conclusion seemed clear to me. What I failed to think about was if there was any cooked food that had more nutritional value over any raw food. What is more nourishing: steamed asparagus or cashew nuts? Lightly cooked red cabbage or an ounce of raw almond butter? A baked apple or a slice of a raw dessert? I know now these cooked foods are nutritionally superior, but I didn’t know then to ask these questions.”
“Q: … in the book, Chad Sarno talks about how a high-oil raw diet sent his cholesterol and triglycerides through the roof, which put him at risk for heart disease. You also talk at length about omega-3s throughout the book. Tell us why you think they’re vital to good health, and the best way to get them?
A: The latest scientific research reveals that the vast majority of us are seriously deficient in omega-3 essential fatty acids, causing thousands of preventable deaths each year. It became apparent to me that omega-3 fatty acids were essential to positive rejuvenation and healing in the body, while as raw foodists we were consuming too many omega-6s (most nuts have an extremely high omega-6 content, with almonds containing 2,000 times more omega-6s than omega-3s). Fortunately, omega-3s are widely available in all greens, especially spinach, romaine, arugula, and purslane, as well as in flax seeds, walnuts, hemp, and chia seeds.”
So, with these thoughts and evidence in mind, and the fact that our modern nutrition “god-fathers”—T Colin Campell, Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Barnard any many others—hold to the same view, I was easy at rest having chosen a high raw diet, while consuming some delicious, fat free cooked foods and enjoying optimal health. What you choose, of course, is up to you, but make sure to think long term sustainable lifestyle before embarking on any fad trends.