by Frederic Patenaude
first part of this article, I reviewed
some false assumptions about natural
living from the mainstream. In this
issue, let's look at what's going on
in the raw food movement.
“As long as it’s
raw it’s okay”
When I first got into raw foods almost
9 years ago, the general advice was:
“eat as much of anything as you’d
like. As long as it’s raw it’s
That led me and others to some abuse
especially in the fat department.
The fact that a food is raw doesn’t
mean it’s necessarily healthy,
just like a “natural” food
isn’t necessarily a healthy food.
In my experience, the “raw foods”
that people generally tend to go overboard
with are: dried fruits, nuts, oils,
avocados, seeds, and dehydrated foods
The foods that should be emphasized
in the diet are the obvious but often
forgotten fruits and vegetables.
“The less you eat the
better off you’ll be”
Although this one is less common, there’s
definitely a tendency in the raw food
movement to recommend extreme frugal
eating. The idea is that since the food
is“alive”, it’s not
necessary to eat as much or even eat
foods with calories.
This advice leads a lot of people to
go on repeated fasts, cycles of restricted
diets followed by binges, and generally
fail to thrive on a diet that simply
doesn’t give enough energy and
Although some caloric-restriction is
good and caloric requirements may be
a smaller on a raw food diet, the basic
principles of nutrition still apply
and therefore it’s necessary to
learn to eat enough fruits and vegetables
in the right balance to provide us with
enough calories and nutrients.
“Fruit is dangerous”
There“s a tendency in the raw
food movement to discourage the consumption
of fruit and recommend instead a diet
of vegetables and fat (avocados, nuts,
Fruit is often accused of being too
high in sugar and overly hybridized.
Some people go as far as accusing fruit
to “cause cancer”, which
has led more than one to think twice
before adding another banana in their
I won’t go into that entire discussion,
but let me just say that I’m of
the opinion that fruit is an extremely
healthy food and there is no reason
to limit its consumption as long as
your diet is healthy and low in fat.
If you’d like to read more information
on the subject, I’ve written a
“shocking report” on the
fruit controversy, which is available
at no charge at
“You can have as much
raw fat as you’d like”
Along with the idea of “as long
as it’s raw it’s okay,”
there’s definitely a widespread
view that “you can have as much
fat as you like and it’s going
to be healthy for you as long as it’s
In my years of involvement in the raw
food movement, I’ve seen many
people end up in a worse state of health
than they were before by eating large
quantities of raw fat on a regular basis.
I’ve had raw-foodists confessed
eating up to a jar of almond butter
a day, or eat mixtures of coconut butter
and honey by the tablespoon.
For the record, let’s say it
again: too much fat is not healthy,
whether we’re talking about raw
or cooked fat.
“Diet is the most important
factor in health”
Although not limited to the raw food
movement, a common factor of people
switching to a new diet such as vegan
or raw is that they tend to focus on
diet alone as if it was the only important
factor in health.
The same is found in fitness maniacs
who think that more exercise is going
to make them healthier no matter what.
Health is a little more complex than
that. There are so many factors that
can influence it, including emotions,
fitness, relationships, environmental
factors, sun and air, spirituality and
Do yourself a favor and view diet as
only one aspect of a healthy lifestyle!
Mens sana in corpore sano —
a healthy mind in a healthy body. :-)
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