The benefits and harms of raw food

General information

Food is a very strict food system, which provides for the complete exclusion of any food subjected to heat treatment - both boiling, frying, etc., and freezing. Raw foodists allow the consumption of food dried in the sun, as well as cold pressed vegetable oils. They include cereals in the menu only in the form of sprouted grains.

Adherents of raw food rationale the feasibility of such a system by the fact that the nutritional value of products is preserved in this way. The principles of the system are based on the fact that the human food chain could not include thermally processed food. Therefore, it is a raw food diet, in their opinion, is a biologically natural type of food. Details about the features of this power system, as well as arguments for and against, reviews are given below in the article.

Features of food raw foodists

The benefits and harms of a raw food diet are viewed differently by the raw food experts and scientists. According to raw foodists, when heated, the lion's share of useful nutrients is destroyed. Therefore, unprocessed food is considered useful, which is consumed in the "pristine" form by raw foodists.

Undoubtedly, the benefits of unprocessed food are that it contains a large amount enzymes, vitamins, minerals. After all, everyone knows the usefulness of consuming fresh gifts of nature. However, raw foodists not only determine the advantages of such a diet, but also recognize it as the only right one for the body.

Whether this is actually so, we can draw conclusions by learning more about the principles and consequences of this type of nutrition. Mostly among raw foodists prevail vegans - that is, those who do not consume animal products at all. However, some people who consider themselves raw foodists, on the contrary, eat exclusively raw meat and raw animal products.

The following varieties of raw food are determined:

  • Omnivore - a person consumes all types of food, but only in raw form or dried.
  • Vegetarian - fish and meat are excluded, milk and raw eggs are included in the diet.
  • Vegan - only raw plant foods are consumed.
  • Carnivorous - the basis of nutrition is raw fish, meat, seafood, eggs, and vegetables and fruits on the menu are minimized.
  • Fruitorianism is the consumption of exclusively berries and fruits, as well as some varieties of vegetables.

At the same time, the opinion of the adherents of each of the listed nutrition options comes down to the belief that raw food is most beneficial for the human body.

Benefit: Supporters Opinion

The overwhelming majority of raw foodists are vegans, so below we will focus on the benefits and harms of this kind of food. Very often you can find reviews that a raw food diet helped get rid of a variety of diseases - both acute and chronic, lose weight, and also improve the condition of nails, hair, and skin.

Most often among fans of raw food consumption, the following theses are heard:

  • Among all species, only humans and some domestic animals eat thermally processed foods. That’s why only they get cancer diabetes and genetic ailments.
  • When food is heated, the destruction of beneficial enzymes occurs, carcinogensand free radicals, which provokes dangerous diseases.
  • When the nutrients contained in foods heat up, they can provoke destructive chemical reactions. So, thermally processed carbohydrates provoke obesity and degenerate into the carcinogen acrylamide.
  • In the process of frying, they are destroyed vitamins A and Eproviding protection against free radicals.

The effect of raw food on the body

Thermally processed foods are generally more difficult to digest than raw foods. Untreated food, in turn, provides the following effects:

  • Reduces the acidity of the body, "providing" it with alkalis.
  • Much less often leads to inflammatory processes and fermentation in the intestines. Such food passes easier through the digestive system, thereby providing a more coordinated work of the digestive tract.
  • Makes treatment of patients more effective hypertension, allergiesautoimmune diseases optooprom, oncological diseases, etc.
  • Prevent accumulation in the body toxins.

Diet experts often argue about whether it is worth practicing raw food, harm or benefit dominate with this type of nutrition. Some of them partially agree with certain points in favor of this nutritional scheme. However, adherents of a raw food diet “attribute” to him a lot of positive qualities, claiming that a raw food diet:

  • reduces the severity of inflammatory processes in the body;
  • improves the work and condition of the heart muscle;
  • cleanses the skin;
  • prevents development constipation and helps get rid of such a problem;
  • contributes to maintaining a healthy body weight and a beautiful figure;
  • reduces the number of carcinogens and antioxidants in the body;
  • Helps normalize liver function
  • provides the body with nutrients.

The opinion of experts

However, scientists are less optimistic about the benefits of following such a diet. Currently, research will continue on the effect of this type of nutrition on the body. The results of some of them already now give reason to draw conclusions about the effect of raw food consumption on health and to answer the question of whether such food is harmful.


According to the results of studies conducted to determine the presence of links between heart disease and raw fruit consumption, the benefits of a raw food diet were noted. If a person ate a lot of thermally unprocessed fruits and vegetables, his risk of getting sick with blood vessels and heart diseases was significantly reduced. Also, such people decreased the level of "bad" cholesterol and the amount of “good” increased, which also had a positive effect on the state of the heart.

Weight loss

In the course of various studies, experts came to the conclusion that by practicing a raw food diet, it is possible to significantly reduce weight and body mass index. According to the results of one of the scientific experiments, which lasted seven months, people, adhering to such a diet, managed to lose an average of 3.8 kg. Thus, in this case, the answer to the question is whether a raw food diet is useful, positive.

The impact on women's health of prolonged practice of raw food diet

A study was conducted on the impact of raw food on 297 women and 216 men in order to identify raw foods and weight loss. All volunteers were divided into five groups, depending on what percentage of raw food was in their diet. According to the results of the study, scientists recorded that men lost an average of 9.9 kg and women 12 kg. However, approximately one third of women under 45 years of age showed amenorrhea - full or partial. As a result, experts concluded that the possible harm of a long raw food diet is to maintain too low a weight and manifestations of amenorrhea.

Dental condition

In a study on the influence of raw food on the frequency and severity of tooth erosion, information was studied on 130 people whose diet had raw food of at least 95%. On average, they followed such a diet for 39 months. The results confirmed that this type of nutrition, compared with normal, increases the likelihood of erosion of the teeth.

Chronic diseases

In an experiment aimed at studying the effects of consumption of exclusively raw food during the week on the body of people with chronic diseases, volunteers were divided into two groups. People from the first ate only raw vegetables, from the second - cooked in the microwave. According to the results of a survey of volunteers, experts concluded that such a diet is useful if it is not observed for long.

The Impact of Raw Food: Rodent Research

The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effect of raw and cooked foods on the health of rodents. Laboratory rats were divided into three groups. The first rodents ate only raw food, and in the end they were healthy, energetic and produced normal offspring. After opening their bodies at an age equivalent to 80 years in humans, scientists noted that all the organs of the rats were in good condition.

Rats from the second group ate cooked food. And its harmful effects on health were pronounced, as rodents suffered from excess weightthey often developed pneumonia, cataract, arthritis, cancerand many others. Many rodents from this group died prematurely; at autopsy, pathological changes in various organs were found in them. Rats from the third group received raw food, but only until the age that corresponds to human 40 years. Then they alternated raw food and periods of fasting. As a result, after autopsy, scientists noted that the internal organs of rats were not sufficiently damaged.

Harm of raw food diet

Part of the health hazards of a raw food diet has already been described above. But, in addition to the negative impact on the condition of the teeth, the female reproductive system and underweight, there are other disadvantages of this type of nutrition.

When answering the question of how harmful the consumption of raw food is, first of all, it should be noted the increased risk of a number of diseases due to an unbalanced diet. It is very important that a person receives with the products the norm and the amount of nutrients that he needs. Discussing the danger of a raw food diet, experts note the following negative effects associated with it:

  • The amount in the body rises homocysteine, which leads to a risk of getting sick with heart and blood vessels.
  • Deficiency important for the body Vitamin B12, lack of bone mass, insufficient amount of "good" cholesterol.
  • The risk of the presence of toxins in some foods, as they are neutralized during cooking.
  • Increased likelihood of changes in sex hormones in men, in particular a decrease in production testosterone.

Not every person is able to maintain such a diet, taking into account both taste preferences and willpower. In addition, some people have direct contraindications to consuming only raw food. You can not adhere to such a diet for people with problems in the digestive tract, a tendency to food allergies, since the consumption of raw food can provoke complications, as well as the manifestation of side effects. Such a diet should not be practiced by older people and those who suffer from chronic diseases.

Is it possible to practice raw food diet for children?

Until today, there is no consensus on whether children can practice this type of food. Indeed, on the one hand, there is proven evidence that small raw foodists have good health, good immunity, they are active and not obese. On the other hand, it still poses a danger to the developing organism, since the digestive system of a small child cannot get nutrient nutrients from raw food as it does in the digestive tract of an adult. Therefore, nutritionists do not recommend giving babies only raw food.

Many doctors confirm that raw-food children are often diagnosed anemia, ddeficiency of protein and a number of other substances important for the body.

To date, there has not been enough research on the effects of raw food intake on children's health. However, in most cases, experts agree with the following beliefs:

  • A raw food diet is dangerous for children, as it does not make it possible to get enough Vitamin B12contained in the liver, fish. For the development of the baby’s brain, this vitamin is very important, because with its deficiency, a violation of the cognitive functions and social development of the child is noted.
  • This type of diet can provoke a noticeable decrease in cholesterol, which, in turn, will lead to the development of a depressive and anxiety state. Also, low cholesterol can be one of the reasons for the manifestation. autism.
  • In children who eat only raw foods, there may be a lack of iron, because the source of this trace element is: meat, legumes, eggs. In the first years of life, iron is very important for the development of the brain - its deficiency can cause a deterioration in immunity and a slowed development of intelligence.
  • The consumption of raw foods for children can be dangerous from the point of view of infection with pathogenic microorganisms (E. coli, salmonella), the development of intestinal infection.

During pregnancy

Expectant mothers are not recommended to practice this method of nutrition, as this can lead to premature birth and low birth weight.

If a woman is categorically tuned during the period of carrying the baby there is only raw food, she needs to make sure that the body is provided with all the substances and elements important for the development of the baby. In this case, the expectant mother is recommended to take vitamin supplements.

Plant foods contain less essential amino acidsthan in meat and fish. But if you combine the products correctly, then when consuming raw food you can get a lot of useful substances.

Adherents of raw food diet during pregnancy claim that women with this diet can easily control weight, they feel alert and energetic, get enough fiber. However, it is important that the health indicators of the pregnant woman are monitored by specialists.


Thus, raw food diet is a useful diet for the body, if you follow its principles for a short time. It is important for those who periodically practice such a nutritional system to make a diet, especially when it comes to choosing foods for children. However, the constant consumption of exclusively raw food can be dangerous for the body and cause severe harm to health.

Watch the video: Raw Foods Diet: Does it Work? UCLA Center for Human Nutrition (February 2020).

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