Raw foodism: Another perversion of naturism?

Raw-foodists are those who only eat thermally unprocessed foods because they believe that this diet is more natural for human body.

Raw food diet is clearly associated with the ideas of naturism, whose adherents try to be close to nature for the purpose of healing the body and soul. Adepts of naturism sometimes choose bizarre methods - nudism (no clothing), naturopathy (folk medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathy and other alternative medicine) and different types of diets that exclude "bad" foods. Vegetarians claim that their enemy is meat, vegans - all products of animal origin (including honey and leather seats upholstery), and raw-foodists - cooked foods.

Raw-foodists eat foods that have not undergone thermal treatment. This means that one cannot eat fried, boiled, stewed, steamed foods, and so on. Some raw-foodists allow drying and cold pressed sunflower oil. Raw-foodists have simple logic - cooked foods are bad for their health. Temperature destroys the nutrients in foods, for example, "energy cells" that plants receive from the sun through photosynthesis.

Raw-foodists believe that food should be consumed raw because heating destroys the natural enzymes in plants. Indeed, it does. However, it does not matter because they are not good for digestion as the body produces its own enzymes.

As an argument raw foodists bring up the diet of our ancestors, who ate raw vegetables and fruits before the invention of fire. The diet of early man had no dairy products (they appeared along with domestication of animals), grains (agriculture), salt and spices. Therefore, some raw-foodists do not eat these foods either.

What do they eat? First of all, vegetables and fruits, nuts, germinated beans, berries, herbs, seeds, honey, seaweed and sea salt. Because of the significant limitations of product variety, raw-foodists have to come up with new recipes. Raw-foodists' ingenuity invented even cakes and borsch that do not require cooking.

Raw-foodists argue among themselves about eating raw meat and fish. After all, our ancestors were hunters. Eating raw meat and fish is associated with serious health risks. One can swallow worm cysts and pathogens of serious illness - Salmonella, Trichinella, and Echinococcus. By itself, raw meat is difficult to digest and even chew. The tradition of consumption of raw fish is richer (think sushi and Stroganina).

Raw foodism is much like a strict vegetarian diet. Therefore, most vegetarians will sooner or later face the problem of further "evolution" to the raw-foodism.
"At some point, one becomes aware of the fact that you need to grow - to become a vegan, that is, completely abandon foods of animal origin, even eggs and milk, or turn into a raw-foodist. I have not tried it, because it is hard for me to imagine what a raw foodist can eat, especially on the go. I don't see myself dragging around a bag full of washed vegetables, fruits and nuts. The health benefits are rather dubious," Nikita Petrov, who has been a vegetarian for four years, told to MedPulse.

Raw foodism is a more complicated version of vegetarianism, so the contraindications are the same. However, they are complicated by the fact that some types of raw plant foods can irritate the stomach. For clarification, we asked an expert:

"In people with chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract raw foods can trigger a flare. For example, carrots improve their chemical composition when chemically treated. Therefore, raw food diet should be considered on a case by case basis and only after consulting a doctor," said Dr. of Medical Sciences with the Institute of Nutrition Alla Pogozheva.

The expert stated that currently there is no scientific basis for the raw food diet and primarily people become raw-foodists based on the empirical experience. Scientific studies rather argue the opposite. The research revealed a lack of minerals in raw-food diets - calcium, iron, magnesium, iodine, zinc, indicating poor digestibility. Because of this, raw-foodists experience accelerated erosion of tooth enamel (№ 1, 1999, Caries Research), and women lose regular periods (amenorrhea). 57% of the subjects were underweight (Giessen University, Institute of Nutrition, 1998). In addition, raw-foodists displayed very low levels of vitamin B12, which people receive mainly from animal foods.
Famous raw foodists include actress Demi Moore, designer Donna Karan, actor Pierce Brosnan, and TV host Oprah Winfrey.

Elizaveta Vasilieva

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov