The Raw Food Diet
Let’s take carbs, for instance. There are two basic types – simple carbs and complex carbs. Simple carbs break down very quickly and cause huge swings in blood sugar levels. This plays havoc with insulin levels and is responsible for those “sugar highs” and sudden fatigue. Simple carbs consist of any sugars or starches that are cooked or heated above 115 degrees F. Anything processed contains simple carbohydrates. So, pastries, boxed cereals, canned fruits, are all examples of simple carbs. It’s simple carbs that are the main contributor to high cholesterol.
In contrast, complex carbohydrates are assimilated at a slower steadier rate. They are the basic fuel for sustaining energy levels throughout the day. Raw fruits and vegetables are a primary source of complex carbs. In the western hemisphere, raw jicama (pronounced “he’kama”) is the absolute best source of complex carbs. It is a tuberous root plant from the legume family that tastes a bit like watermelon. Chilled, it offers an array of eating sensations: refreshing juicy snap, similar to a good crisp apple, and enough fluid to quench a mild thirst. Cooking it, of course, turns it to simple carbs and ruins the nutritional value.
Entire books have been written on fats, both pro and con. Again, the key to eating healthy fats is to eat them in their raw natural form. It doesn’t matter if they’re saturated, unsaturated, etc. so long as they haven’t been humanly altered. Extra virgin coconut oil is one of the best fats you can put in your body – high in omega 3 fatty acids and stable even at cooking temperatures. It is one of the few fats that you can heat without turning it into a carcinogen (cancer-causing agent). Extra virgin olive oil is also a great source of essential fatty acids, but it isn’t heat tolerant, so use it for salad dressing, not for cooking. Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, most recently classified as trans-fats, are about the worst form of fat you can eat. These fats are one processing step away from being plastic and your liver and gallbladder have no idea what to do with those. So, they treat them as toxic and coat them to keep them from toxifying your whole body. Viola’! Gall stones, among other things.
You’re probably with me so far, but now we’re to proteins and no one should ever eat raw meat, right? Actually, raw meat from a clean healthy and properly fed animal is one of the most healthful things you can eat. But as most people don’t have access to such high quality meats, in addition to a general aversion of the idea of eating raw meat, a large segment of those who eat a raw food diet are vegan or vegetarian.
The truth is, nearly all raw food is comprised of all three components: protein, fat, and carbohydrate. The highest predominance of one of these elements is used to classify a food as a fat, protein, or carbohydrate. But the simplicity of the raw food diet makes obsessive classification of food unnecessary. Raw food is real food.