A few weeks ago I came back from a trip to Hawaii. I hadn’t taken a real vacation in a long time, so this was something I really needed. When I left to Hawaii, it was the end of April and the weather was still fairly miserable in Canada.
I arrived in Honolulu on a bright sunny day and we were greeted at the airport by my good friend Shelli, an awesome personal trainer I first met in San Diego almost 15 years ago.
Shelli brought us some pineapples and papayas so we would have something to eat right away until we could shop the next day. When I got to the hotel, I proceeded to devour an entire pineapple! I was so thirsty from flying that I needed something juicy.
In my entire time in Hawaii, I ate on average one pineapple a day. I brutalized my tongue with an onslaught of the delicious acid fruit, but fortunately Hawaii pineapples were ripe and not too acidic. I also did not eat them all at once but throughout the day.
This, of course, was in addition to all the other fruit I ate when I was there!
When I’m in the tropics, I find it easy to eat massive quantities of juicy fruits. When I’m in a colder climate, I crave heavier fruits, like bananas, and also temperate climate fruits, like apples, pears and cherries.
I’ve been eating fruit in massive quantities since 1997 and I believe it’s only helped my health. All the health troubles I suffered in my years as a pure raw foodist were not caused by eating fruit, but rather by eating:
- Too much fat
– Too much dried fruit
– Complicated raw food recipes
– Insufficient quantities of fruit
15 years later, my diet consists mostly of carbohydrates like fruit. My teeth are doing great (no cavities), I’m getting in better shape every year, and fruit is still the food that I love the most — as long as it’s ripe and delicious.
To all the naysayers that say fruit is evil, fruit is bad for you… consider these 10 good reasons to eat more fruit:
Fruit is the best carbohydrate — The human being is meant to live primarily on a diet of carbohydrates. That’s what all long-lived populations in the world eat, such as the Okinawans in Japan (sweet potatoes), the Costa Ricans of the Nicoya Pininsula (corn tortillas, beans, rice and fruit), the healthier Asian populations (rice), the Hunzas (fruit), and the best athletes in the world. Fruit is the best carbohydrate food because it is alkaline forming (grains are slightly acid-forming, and animal foods are very acid forming). It’s rich in vitamins and minerals and packed with nutrients.
Fruit doesn’t require any seasonings — Fruit is probably the only food that people love to eat in its natural state without any seasonings. It’s perfect on its own. Who wants to add salt and pepper to a papaya? A pineapple doesn’t need any dressing, and a banana is perfect as it is.
Fruit is low in sodium — Fruit is naturally low in sodium and because it doesn’t require any seasonings, eating more fruit will help you lower the overall sodium content in your diet. The more calories you get from fruit, the less sodium-rich your diet will be. This will in turn lower your blood pressure and keep you healthier.
Fruit is low on the glycemic index — It’s a myth to think that fruit quickly raises blood sugar. In reality, fruit is low on the glycemic index. While a piece of white bread has a glycemic index of 95 (high), a banana is 54 (low), a peach is 42 (low), and grapes are 46 (low). Only a few fruits, such as dates, have a high glycemic index (103 for dates). The reason why fruit is so low on the glycemic index is that fruit contains a combination of sugars: fructose, sucrose and glucose. Each sugar is assimilated at a different rate. Fruit also contains plenty of fiber, which slows down the assimilation of sugar. In this sense, fruit is the perfect energy food. It contains some sugar that is assimilated immediately, giving you instant energy, and some that are assimilated slowly, giving you long-term energy.
Fruit is hydrating — Fruit is so full of water that it’s not only a food in itself. It’s a drink! Many fruits are over 90% water.
Fruit is fast food — Fruit can be easy and quick to eat. What could be easier than peeling a mango and eating it? Or biting on a ripe peach? Almost all fruits are conveniently packed, wrapped in their own mother-nature containers we call peels, and ready to be consumed. There are a few exceptions though, such as the spiky durian, or the giant jackfruit, whose skin is full of a sticky substance similar to glue!
Most long-lived cultures eat fruit — The Hunzas, who for a while were reputed to be some of the longest-lived people in the world, probably ate more fruit than most cultures in the world. Although fruit can be a delicacy in many cultures, most long-lived cultures in the world today and long-lived people anywhere typically eat a lot of fruit. For each centenarian we can find that smokes constantly and eats a junk food diet, you’ll find many more that eat plenty of fruit.
Fruit is packed with antioxidants — Fruit is packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants — so much that many companies are trying to concentrate this goodness into expensive fruit juices and pills. Almost all of the anti-aging compounds that are the most effective are found in fruit. Think of the reputed richness of antioxidants in blueberries, pomegranate juice, açaí berries, and the tropical mangosteen. Colored fruits are almost always packed with healthy compounds we are only beginning now to research and understand.
Fruit keeps you lean — Fruit is the perfect weight loss food. Just eat a large apple before any meal, and it will fill you up and prevent you from overeating at the table. Fruit is filling because it’s filled with fiber and water, yet it is low in calories. Fruit, on average, contains 250 calories per pound. On the other hand, bread contains 1200, starches are 500, and nuts are 2800! Only vegetables have a lower caloric density than fruit. That means you can fill up on fruit and be certain to never get fat!
Fruit Makes You Beautiful — David Wolfe, who published my first book The Sunfood Cuisine, used to say that beautiful people eat a lot of fruit. Research has shown that certain compounds in fruits and vegetables, like carotenoids, help the skin look more vibrant and beautiful. One research even showed that people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables are considered more attractive because the carotenoids gives the skin a healthy natural “tan” look. (http://www.psypost.org/2011/01/carotenoids-attractive-skin-tone-3547). Just make sure you don’t drink too much carrot juice though, otherwise your skin might turn orange!
You don’t have to become a fruitarian to get the benefits of fruit. Start eating more fruit today, beginning with your favorite one! My favorites include pineapple, white peaches, Hawaiian papaya, Rainier cherries, just to name a few.
What about you?
Filed under 80-10-10 and Low Fat Raw by Frederic Patenaude
Have you noticed that many raw food leaders, who once proclaimed that the 100% raw food diet is ideal no matter what, are now coming out of the closet and revealing that they themselves are eating some cooked food?
Raw foodists tend to make a big deal out of it, like when vegans give up and say that eating meat is okay, or politicians revealing that they do some drugs occasionally.
I’ve been looking forward to a new book by Victoria Boutenko. It finally came out today!
The book is called “Raw & Beyond – How Omega-3 Nutrition Is Transforming the Raw Food Paradigm“. You can get it at Amazon.com, or Amazon Canada, or Amazon UK.
The book is actually co-written by three authors: Victoria Boutenko, Elaina Love and Chad Sarno.
Strangely enough, the first part of the book, written by Victoria Boutenko, reminds me a bit of my book The Raw Secrets (published in 2002), where I explained how the raw food diet made me sick and debunked the “raw food is law” paradigm.
It seems that many people, through painful trial and error, are coming to the same conclusion.
I give Victoria a lot of credit, because she’s the one who used to say that eating 99% raw was “not enough.” In her first book “The 12 Steps to Raw Foods,” she talked about her amazing discovery of the raw food diet and the health transformation that her family had following it. She said that even 1% cooked food was enough to keep the cravings alive.
In Green for Life, Victoria acknowledged that raw foodists often reach a “plateau” in their health. But technically, a plateau is when you stop making progress. In this case, she talked about how her family and many people she knew actually got worse on the raw food diet, after a few years of non-stop improvements. She attributed it to a lack of greens in the raw food diet, and recommended green smoothies.
In this new book, she finally says it: I thought 100% raw was best, no matter what, but now I think it’s okay to eat some cooked foods.
I’m paraphrasing, of course.
In her introduction, she reminds me a lot of what I wrote in The Raw Secrets:
“For many years the theory of the raw food diet seemed so flawless to me that I couldn’t find any errors in it . I was following a 100% raw food lifestyle and I was trying to inspire as many others as possible to follow. Years later, to my surprise, I found major flaws hiding in two of my favorite statements:
“Anything raw is superior to anything cooked”
“Raw food is best for humans because all animals in the world consume 100% raw food.”
She then goes on to talk about her experience with green smoothies, and how that made an improvement. But, it was not enough.
“Adding green smoothies to our diet still did not bring us perfect health.”
Finally, she blames her raw food diet as being too high in fat, particularly in omega 6 fats found in nuts, seeds and oils. The book presents some excellent research on the topic.
I’m so glad that Victoria finally agrees with the low-fat message, after all these years.
She even agrees that eating cooked foods is better than loading up on nuts and seeds, which is something, honestly, I never thought she would say, given Victoria’s strong stance against cooked foods.
I don’t agree with all of Victoria’s conclusions, such as the raw diet being harder to follow in colder climates due to lower quality produce, but her experience is nonetheless fascinating.
I think the raw food diet IS more difficult to follow in colder climates, but this has little to do with the quality of the produce. It has more to do with the colder temperature. Many people do manage if they find a supplier of imported tropical fruit they can buy in bulk.
In one chapter, she says:
“I still don’t know if it was a coincidence that my family first began to experience difficulties on a raw food diet after we moved from sunny Colorado to rainy Oregon. I think we would have avoided many of our health problems if we had included some cooked food in our diets right then, instead of loading on nuts and nut butters for several years.”
In the second part of the book, Elaina Love also comes to similar conclusion. She even says “I have noticed that, for whatever reason, I often don’t look as healthy while eating a 100% raw diet. I can’t explain why. When I’ve added some cooked food back into my diet, people often say to me, “You look great! What are you doing?” I find it interesting that when I’m eating some cooked food instead of only raw, I get more compliments on my looks.”
As a side note to this, when I was younger, maybe 25 or 26, I used to be a lot skinnier. My face looked quite thin. Occasionally, I would binge on cooked foods, and not always the healthiest kind. The next day, I would go to a party and people would say, “You look good — stronger.”
In reality, my face was just puffy! But to people, that looked better than a skinny face.
I’m not saying that this is the same that Elaina Love experienced, but I’m just relating some of my experience on how people have perceived my looks based on their own weight expectations.
Chad Sarno: High Cholesterol on a Raw Food Diet
My favorite part of the book was the chapter written by Chad Sarno.
Chad is an amazing chef. I met him in Portland almost 10 years ago, when he was getting started and would design raw food menus for restaurants in London.
At the time, Chad would often eat large salads with kale and oil, and thought it was healthy.
In his chapter, he talks about his first blood test he got done after he was hired to be a chef for Whole Foods Market. He discovered that his cholesterol was high, and that his triglycerides were off the chart.
So what did he do? He decided to go on a 100% whole food diet, with no agave, no maple syrup, no coconut oil, no olive oil. He focused on greens, beans and grains.
In four mouths, his cholesterol dropped by 100 points and his triglycerides went back to normal.
Chad was eating a typical raw food diet with some gourmet dishes, and his blood test was showing him that he was at a high risk for heart disease, even according to American standards, which are not the healthiest in the world.
The he talks about his change in diet, and why he’s living an oil-free lifestyle (I just came up with that phrase!).
He eats beans, grains, whole foods, some avocados and nuts. It was not clear how much fruit he eats now.
Finally, the book includes a ton of great recipes. Most recipes don’t include any nuts and seeds, and the chefs have even chosen to include some lightly steamed foods in some recipes. That’s cool with me. I thought the recipes would be oil-free though, and they are not. So this is a bit strange given than oil is the highest source of fat you can eat. Personally I would omit all of the oil from the recipes. I NEVER use any oil and our food is still delicious.
Raw Food Leaders Coming to Terms With Reality
I think Raw & Beyond is a very positive book for the raw food world. It’s about time that raw leaders wake up and realize that a lot of what they’ve been saying for years simply isn’t true.
I now feel like an old-timer with the low-fat message. I personally went through a similar process, when I first wrote my book Raw Secrets in 2002. That’s almost 10 years ago! Back then, I was already talking about the concept that just because something is raw, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy, and why raw foodists eat too many nuts and seeds.
At the time, I didn’t get it completely. I still used some oils, and did not ban them completely from my diet until 2005 or so.
The list of former raw foodists is growing every year now, and I know many people are confused and wonder why people who used to be strict raw foodists are now eating cooked food.
The reason is simple: They’ve grown up!
If you look at a lot of the advice given by raw food experts, it simply doesn’t hold water.
In my last book Raw Food Controversies, I spent 400 pages debunking many raw food myths. I used to be one of the lone voices on the subject, but now many others have joined. Thankfully, the 80/10/10 Diet by Doug Graham is becoming really popular and many are waking up to the reality of fat and oils not being a health food.
In the end, I still believe that fruits and vegetables are the best foods we can eat, but as I’ve said many times, eating a low-fat diet is more important than eating an all-raw diet.
What About the 80/10/10 Diet?
Someone familiar with the 80/10/10 Diet might read Raw & Beyond and analyze it in a different way. For example, a case could be made that Victoria, Elaina and Chad never tried to eat a true low fat raw food diet, which would be a very high-fruit diet, with no oil and minimum amounts of nuts and seeds.
80/10/10 people eat a ton of fruit to compensate for the lack of nuts and seeds, or cooked foods, and many do extremely well on this diet.
I personally have had great results with the 80/10/10 diet. In fact, I eat an 80/10/10 diet in terms of my ratio of calories (I get less than 10-12% of my calories from fat on average). The only difference is that I no longer eat an all-raw 80/10/10 diet.
That’s my preference. I go through different phases of eating more and less fruit seasonally depending what’s available.
As I’ve explained in my book Raw Food Controversies, there are pros and cons to each approach. Some prefer and feel better eating 100% raw, while others, like me, prefer to also include cooked foods.
Of course, if someone eats both cooked and raw foods, they’re no longer a raw-foodist, according to a true definition of the term, which would be “someone who only eats raw foods.”
So be it.
As I’ve said many times, it’s better to be healthy than stick to a philosophy just for the sake of it and suffer.
On the other hand, you’ll always have many people who will claim to feel a lot better on a 100% raw food diet. That’s okay too.
Here’s what matters:
1) Eat a plant based diet — get rid of the dairy, meats, and other animal products.
2) Get rid of the oil — eliminate all olive oil, flax oil, coconut oil, or other refined oils. They do more harm than good. They’re just refined foods, and can put you at risk of heart disease just as fast as animal products.
3) Limit fats — that includes avocados, nuts, seeds, etc. Eat them in very small quantities, like 1-2 ounces of seeds in one day, or half an avocado. Don’t eat multiple fatty foods a day.
4) Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
5) Eat your greens!
7) Enjoy your food!
I think the new book Raw & Beyond will wake up some people, thanks to Victoria’s popularity. Make sure to check it out.
It just came out today, so you can already order it:
Filed under 80-10-10 and Low Fat Raw by Frederic Patenaude
When I first went raw in 1997, I quickly discovered delicious gourmet raw food cuisine.
Unfortunately for my health, the raw cuisine promoted at the time (and still in vogue today), was filled with raw fats and condiments.
For example, in one big personal salad, I could have included:
- Several tablespoons of olive oil
- An entire avocado (or two)
- A handful of pine nuts or walnuts
- Soy sauce
- Onions, garlic, etc.
These salads were satisfying, but left me extremely tired after eating them. No wonder: I was consuming most of my calories from fat!
In fact, these salads contained more fat that a typical value meal at McDonald’s.
Over the years that followed, I went to another “extreme,” by going back to a lower-fat diet and eliminating all condiments completely.
In my book The Raw Secrets, I even spoke against common condiments such as garlic and hot peppers.
But where do I stand today?
One of the biggest problems I’ve always had with the raw food diet is the inability to enjoy simple, raw salads.
No matter how much I tried to convince myself that a salad consisting of a romaine lettuce, some tomatoes and half an avocado was extremely healthy, I simply did not enjoy it!
For years, I stood staunchly with my “no-condiment” policy, avoiding raw garlic at all costs and minimizing my use of condiments in any raw recipes.
I had no problems eating simple fruit meals and smoothies … but when it came to vegetables, I just didn’t enjoy them as much without some kind of seasonings.
Many raw foodists make an effort to eat everything 100% raw, while worrying about little things, such as whether the dried herbs they are using are truly raw.
Over the years, I have found that it’s better to make some compromises and actually enjoy your food than try to stick with an impossible-to-follow ideal.
Some people are perfectly happy eating a bowl of romaine lettuce and a few tomatoes for dinner. But most people — myself included — would feel pretty dissatisfied after eating such a boring meal.
So should you avoid all condiments? And if you do use them, should they be 100% raw?
I believe that it’s the big things that matter, not the little things.
Having a few relatively healthy condiments on an overall healthy meal is NO BIG DEAL, even if some of these products are not 100% raw.
Don’t miss the forest for the trees. “Better” is the enemy of the good, sometimes!
That being said, here are some condiments you can use, regularly or occasionally, to add enjoyment to your raw food meals:
- Homemade Seasonings: I showed how to make healthy condiments out of dehydrated vegetables in my DVD series, “The Low Fat Raw Vegan Cuisine.” The idea is simple: dehydrate pieces of celery, bell peppers, cabbage or any other vegetables. Then turn them into a powder in a VitaMix or coffee grinder. These powders add a lot of taste to salads and dressings!
- Garlic: A lot of raw recipes taste incredibly better with a little garlic, for example a guacamole dish. The trick is to only use a little. When you blend garlic, you oxidize it and make it less strong. I don’t eat raw garlic daily, but sometimes use it in some recipes. I must say that I don’t experience any negative effects from occasional garlic use.
- Green Onions: Any salad or raw soup tastes better with green onions (also called spring onions)!
- Thai Chili: I must admit that I do love spiciness, even though I come from a background of natural hygiene. Certain recipes, especially if they are Asian-inspired, can be made incredibly tastier and more authentic with a little spiciness to them, such as from Thai chili pepper. The trick is to use fresh ingredients, and not hot sauces, which tend to affect the body more negatively due to everything else they contain.
- Chipotle Powder (by Frontier): This organic seasoning by Frontier is great for those who like a little spiciness. It really adds a kick to a salad or Savory Veggie Stew, even though it’s not raw.
- Salad Sprinkle (by Frontier): A great addition for some kick to your everyday salad.
- Chinese Five Spice (by Frontier): Includes the flavors of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spicy for a great addition to any Asian creation.
- Mexican Fiesta (by Frontier): For any Mexican-style dish that needs a little more seasoning than just the spicy taste.
- Herbamare: This is a seasoning found in health food stores that contains salt. The raw vegan diet is very low in salt, therefore using a sprinkle of a salty seasoning on top of a salad will not put you in a terrible risk bracket for salt consumption. Most of the raw recipes I make taste pretty good without salt, but sometimes adding a tiny bit makes the difference between an “okay” recipe and a great one.
- Ceylon Cinnamon (soon to be available from us): Tastes WAY better than cassia (regular) cinnamon and has a natural sweet, bright, and not-dry flavor. It’s great in raw dishes, smoothies and puddings.
- Tahitian Vanilla (soon to be available from us too): Larger, more fragrant and soft and flexible, unlike bourbon vanilla. This means you can use it in raw dishes easily by scraping out the seeds and even make your own organic vanilla extract at home!
If you truly enjoy the foods you’re eating, I don’t recommend to “add” anything to make it better. But sometimes having a few seasonings can really make a difference and make the program much easier to follow and enjoyable.
Remember that the body adapts pretty quickly. If you never eat any onions or garlic, you’ll probably feel strange eating them. But if you eat them fairly regularly in small quantities in recipes, your body adapts to it and they no longer bother you.
The trick is to enjoy your food … and be healthy!
Filed under 80-10-10 and Low Fat Raw by Frederic Patenaude
Candida – An Introduction
When we speak of Candida, we are referencing a group of yeast-like microorganisms that thrive in the human body in parts such as the mouth, throat, intestines and the genitourinary tract. In at least 80 percent of normal and healthy individuals, these microorganisms live in the mouth, throat, intestines and urinary or genital tract, without any apparent harmful effects. It begins to become a problem when this natural Candida yeast population gets out of control and an uncurbed multiplication of the yeast cells occurs. This eventually results in a condition known as Candidiasis. The most common reasons that can make this growth go beyond the average levels include:
· Poor nutrition, a high fat diet, lots of refined flour and sugar
· Improper lifestyle
· Contraceptive use
How Does Fat Feed Candida?
Candida is a form of natural yeast that the human body creates to eliminate any surplus sugar levels in the body. As you attempt to find dietary cures for Candida, it is first critical to understand what the main-food ingredients of your diet, do to your body. An excessive fat level in the body is the first and most critical ingredient that contributes to the growth of Candida. When you consume exceedingly fatty foods, the fat levels in your blood begin to increase along with the blood sugar level. This superfluous fat will then line the walls of the blood vessels, damage the structure of sugar molecules and eventually coat the insulin with fat, affecting the overall metabolic activity. Consequently, the excessive fat prevents insulin from discharging sugar out from the bloodstream. Consistent high levels of fat will keep the sugar levels perpetually elevated. This increased amount of sugar will then proceed to support the large Candida colonies instead of supplying nutrition to your cells, which is its original purpose. Experts suggest that if you are vulnerable to suffer from Candida often, you should avoid fats and oils, the following list is not exhaustive:
· Cottonseed oil
· Corn oil
· Peanut oil
· Soy oil
If you are keen on handling your Candida through a low fat diet approach, it is essential that you keep the percentage of calories contained in fatty foods below 10 percent for an extended period of time. Please bear in mind, that you will receive more than enough fat from fruit, vegetables and leafy greens.
A high-fruit diet – Your way to cure Candida
Fruits are considered beneficial to control Candida. As we have already highlighted, sugar is not the cause of Candida, rather it is the excess consumption of fats. If you maintain a high fruit low fat diet for a number of weeks your Candida issues will be resolved. Candida exists to serve an essential function, it is trying to bring your body back to a state of homeostasis. If you stop putting in the excess oils and fats, the Candida will no longer have a purpose and will dissipate as it is intended. Unfortunately the majority of advice is to steer clear of fruits when suffering from an influx of Candida. As a result many people go on for extended periods of discomfort and disease with this problem, when the solution is simple. Any easily digestible fruit is recommended:
- Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries
I have seen people who have suffered long term, or on a highly reoccurring basis from Candida, cure this problem within weeks, if not days, on this low fat high fruit approach.
UPDATE! Raw Food Controversies is now available! Get your copy here
As my book Raw Food Controversies is about to be launched, you may be wondering exactly what will be in this new book. I must say that a lot of it will be a big surprise. But today, I will share with you some exclusive content.
By the way, the book will officially be available for pre-orders next week and will probably ship the following week. To make sure you’re on the pre-launch list and to receive exclusive exclusive content from the book, go to:
The book covers a lot of ground. Here’s a quick preview of some of what is covered:
- My shocking story finally told! Exactly what happened that made me almost destroy my health on the raw food diet, from vegetarian, to vegan, to natural hygiene, to raw and back all over again, trying every diet under the sun. Learn from my mistakes to avoid them!
- Food combining exposed: The truth behind food combining, is it necessary or is it a useless set of rules?
- Natural Hygiene: Discover the deadliest mistake. Why most natural hygiene diets don’t work, and what to do about it.
- How to deal with winter on the raw food diet. If you live in a cold country, you will want to read this!
- Surprising facts about sleep: how to have more energy, sleep less and feel better waking up every day.
- The true story of the incredible dental problems I had on my first years on the raw food diet (almost 40 cavities) and how I managed to stay decay-free ever since.
- Why did certain raw food advocates such as TC. Fry die so young? Surprising facts are finally revealed.
- The truth about detox: Why most of the time it’s not detox, how to tell if it is.
- The truth about raw food recipes: an insider story’s inside of California’s number one raw food restaurant and my shocking revelations on the unhealthy lifestyle led by its raw food advocates.
- What are the top three foods you should NEVER eat raw (and why).
- My mysterious raw sickness: how I got incredibly sick and almost died from eating the raw food diet the wrong way. Exactly what happened to me and how to make sure the same doesn’t happen to you.
- The truth about cravings: why most raw-foodists have cravings and what to do to be free from junk food addiction.
- The death of raw-foodists: the fatal mistakes that people made that led to the unfortunate death of some dear raw-foodist friends, and how to avoid them.
- The truth about the liver flush: Scientific proof of what actually happens when you do a liver or “gallbladder” flush.
- The raw curse: how the body becomes extremely sensitive to drugs and cooked foods on the raw food diet, and the one thing you must tell your doctor if you’re going to undergo any operation or hospitalization!
- How to fast and not to fast: The never-told-before story of my 23-fast in Costa Rica. Exactly what happened and how you can use fasting to your advantage, if done properly.
- Is low-fat cooked better than high-fat raw? Find out the pros and cons of eating 100% raw versus a mostly raw diet.
- What I eat now: what I eat on a typical day, and the best tips I have found to increase my energy and long-term success on the raw-food diet.
- My thoughts on feeding children on the raw food diet, and why they can’t thrive on low-fat raw vegan diet.
- The SIX supplements you should NEVER take, no matter what.
- What you should know about B12, and how to avoid this dangerous deficiency.
- Superfoods exposed! What you need to know raw cacao, honey, green juice, green powder, coconut oil, agave nectar, acai, spirulina, maca, goji berres, seaweed, and more!
- What raw-foodists should know about DHA and other essential fatty acids: can you get them on a raw vegan diet?
- Important facts you should know about vitamin D, especially if you live in a Northern climate.
Raw Food Controversies will be about 430 pages long. It covers a lot ground and unlike most raw food books, is backed by over 130 scientific references.
Tomorrow I will be sending an exclusive chapter from the book to the pre-launch list. Stay tuned!
Filed under 80-10-10 and Low Fat Raw by Frederic Patenaude
One question that always interests me when I meet someone following a high-fruit diet is what is their specific approach. Many people follow a high-fruit diet while not exactly following the 80-10-10 Diet exactly as Dr. Graham describes it in his book.
In a recent visit to Panama, I asked Loren Lockman, director of the Tanglewood Wellness Center what’s different between his approach and the 80-10-10 Diet. Watch the video and after I’ll tell you where I personally differ as well.
What’s the Difference Between Frederic’s Approach and the 80-10-10 Program
First, I must say that I have learned a great deal with Doug. His writings have of course been extremely useful, but more importantly attending his live events and learning from him in person has given me many breakthroughs over the year in my overall health, diet and fitness programs. He’s certainly been one of my main mentors, and also a great inspiration. If you can afford his live events, I certainly recommend them highly.
I agree with the major points exposed in the 80-10-10 Diet. Here’s some of the minor items where I differ:
1) B12 Supplement and Vitamin D — I do make vitamin B12 and vitamin D important nutritional considerations for raw-foodists. Based on all the research that currently exists, I do not think it is wise to simply “wait to see if you get a deficiency and then supplement if you need it”. A B12 supplement is an excellent insurance policy for every raw vegan. As for vitamin D, deficiencies are possible (especially if you live most of the year in in Northern clime), so the best thing to do is to get yourself tested if you have any doubts, and if necessary include a supplement in your program, during those months.
2) Steamed Vegetables— Between a low-fat cooked food meal and a high-fat raw food meal, which one is best? Most raw-foodists will say raw is always best. Dr. Graham will say that it’s like asking if you want to shoot yourself in the foot, or the hand. So both are equally detrimental.
I say that based on all the nutritional research that is available, we know for a fact that a meal of steamed potato and broccoli will be INFINITELY healthier than a high-fat raw food meal with lots of nuts and oil, and I’ve been saying the same since 2002.
Some people have criticized me for not being 100% raw, all the time, and even promoting steamed vegetables as a healthy alternative to high-fat raw meals has turned off quite a few raw-foodists. I’ll keep saying the same: If eating a few steamed vegetables helps you stay healthy and raw and avoid high-fat raw meals, it’s a better compromise.
3) 10% Fat — Dr. Graham says that the ideal diet should not contain more than 10% fat by percentage of total calories. He believes that there are predictable health declines that occur in many areas of health when a person goes above that amount.
Going through the research available on the subject in various medical and nutritional studies, I find that the evidence generally supports this theory. However, the exact percentage is debatable. Even Dr. Graham himself, in person — is rather flexible when it comes to the percentage. He says “some people are happy with 15%, but above 20%, optimal health cannot be maintained” (I paraphrase).
So here’s it’s not so much that I differ with what he says. I found in my personal experience that I generally shoot for 10% fat, but often achieve 15%. If you’d average out everything I eat over one year, you’d probably find that my average fat intake hovers around 12 to 15%. I’m slightly above the ideal maximums, but I find that it works and of course I’m always trying to improve myself.
4) Calories. As opposed to Loren, I do think that calories ARE important and consuming enough fruit is one of the keys to success on the raw food diet. I recommend eating according to your needs, and of course those needs are different for everybody. A top athlete will need to eat more than a sedentary person.
That’s what Dr. Graham says as well, and I’m sure that Loren Lockman would also agree with those conclusions.
Dr. Graham feels that it would be best to increase your activity levels so that you’d need more calories, therefore eat more fruits and vegetables, and in the end get more nutrients than a sedentary person.
However, I can’t deny the mountain of evidence that shows that calorie-restricted diets and/or periodic fasting dramatically increase longevity in animals. A high-calorie, high-fruit low-fat raw diet combined with a high-intensity lifestyle is ideal for peak performance, but in terms of longevity, if it’s maintained throughout life it might not lead to increased lifespan.
Fortunately, our lives are relatively long (compared to laboratory animals), so there’s always time to make adjustments down the road. As we get older, lowering the total caloric intake becomes more and more important.
The last point is actually not in disagreement with Dr. Graham’s philosophy, but simply a different way to look at it.
So as you can see most of these are minor points, where my point of view slightly differs. What do you think? How do you apply the principles of the low-fat raw food diet into your life?
Interview With Dr. Graham, Part 2
NOTE: The best way to get started with the 80-10-10 Diet is with the Perfect Health Program. It contains over 12 hours of information and interviews with me and Dr. Graham on the 80-10-10 Diet, and more!
As you probably know, there are many different possible approaches to the raw-food diet. The most popular approaches focus heavily on nuts, seeds, avocados, “superfoods”, supplements, etc. — while forgetting about the most important aspects of the diet: fruits and vegetables.
I call this, the “high-fat raw diet” or the “hollywood raw diet!”
Why? Because it’s very common as a fad with Hollywood stars, and because of this undereating of fruits and vegetables, most raw-foodists end up consuming very large quantities of fat — often 50 or 60% (or more) of total calories.
The idea of “eating anything raw, as long as it’s raw” simply doesn’t work. I tried it for many years, ever since I first started on the raw food diet in 1996, and it never worked. I’ve been saying this since 2002, when my book “The Raw Secrets” was published and exposed the common fallacies in the raw food movement.
What’s the solution?
Making fruit the most essential part of the diet (in terms of total calories), while eating enough green vegetables to insure sufficient mineral intake, is one of the keys to success.
I call this diet the “low-fat raw diet” or the “fruit-based raw diet”.
The champion of this approach at the moment is Dr. Doug Graham, with his book “The 80-10-10 Diet”.
You’re probably familiar with the approach, and if you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend that you do so. Instead of trying to tell more about it myself, I did a little interview with Dr. Graham itself, check out it below.
Note: You might have to jack up the volume because the insects were pretty loud by the jungle in Costa Rica, where I interviewed Doug!
In my next post, I will tell you where my philosophy is slightly different than Doug’s. I have a few different opinions when in comes to:
1) Vitamin B12 supplementation
2) Steamed vegetables vs. high-fat raw meals
3) The actual percentage of fats in the diet
Stay tuned for that!
NOTE: The best way to get started with the 80-10-10 Diet is with the Perfect Health Program. It contains over 12 hours of information and interviews with me and Dr. Graham on the 80-10-10 Diet, and more!
- Frederic’s Update
- Arguments used against the high-fruit diet
Greetings from Costa Rica!
Today, I’m going to talk about some recently heard statements used by some raw-foodists to try to scare people away from eating fruit. Is fruit healthy or deadly? Some people would like you to think that eating fruit will turn you into an alcoholic. No kidding… Check out these shocking statements below and my answers.
I’m currently in Costa Rica and about to prepare my event Day in Costa Rica With Frederic.
Have you ever fancied moving to a Tropical Paradise? This live event is just one part of my course “How to Move to a Tropical Paradise”. Check it out at:
A few videos below for you:
Eating Dates in Costa Rica?
Having Trouble Opening a Coconut
Arguments Used Against the High Fruit Diet Don’t Add Up
Over the years there has been an increase in the number of raw “gurus” or leaders speaking out against excessive and even moderate fruit consumption, while more and more packaged, refined, and fragmented questionably raw superfoods enter the market.
There are experts on both sides, long term raw foodists and even doctors. For a while now some leaders have been “scaring” people away from fruit or simply giving them vague misinformation.
I have over 10 years experience with both sides of the raw food lifestyle, going from eat anything as long as it’s raw (heavy avocado and nut consumption) to a high fruit low fat no superfood diet. I feel that the
insight that I can provide into these misconceptions is honest and valuable.
Some arguments against the high fruit diet and misleading advice on moderate fat consumption.
ARGUMENT: 100% raw foodists and especially fruitarians run into problems eating excessive quantities of fruit over the long run.
First of all this is a very vague statement, “problems” could be defined as any number of things. Secondly, the same could be said about anyone following any other kind of diet in the world, be it raw, vegan, vegetarian, standard american etc.
There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything so there’s no doubt some people will have “problems” on any diet. But “especially” fruitarians is a bogus argument, my good friend Anne Osborne has been eating fruit exclusively for 17 years and has raised 2 children raw and is very healthy and vibrant.
I have many friends that live on a predominantly fruit based diet and they are the most active, healthful people I know. Your health is in your own hands, do not blame a particular “diet” or “lifestyle” if you have not informed yourself, kept good physical shape and oral hygiene and adapted your eating plan to make up for any deficiencies.
There is no proof of anyone succeeding long term on a high fruit low fat diet.
Clearly this argument is unfounded and meant to scare people away from a natural diet and probably sell them something.
If you look at the diets of any of the primate family you will note that they all eat a high carbohydrate, low fat, low protein diet.
Also fats are simply not available in season year round in abundant quantities for regular consumption (Nuts, seeds, avocados, coconuts). So why would it make sense that we were meant to thrive on a high fat, unnatural diet?
Perhaps they are omitting the works of numerous natural hygienists such as Dr. Shelton, Albert Mosseri and Dr. Graham, not to mention many other people following natural hygiene around the world.
Eating as much as you want as long as it’s raw is a healthy way to transition.
Everyone coming to the raw food diet has a different issue with food in general, whether it’s selecting the wrong foods to eat most of the time or eating too much of what they crave. So giving that kind of advice to someone who probably already has issues with food and making poor choices is just not serving their purpose for achieving better health.
You need to be aware of how food effects you and get informed on carbohydrates, protein and fat and calories. If you do not know the difference between false hunger and true hunger you’re not going to get anywhere by eating anything as long as it’s raw.
You want to get healthy and probably sooner than later. I’ve found too many times people are stretching out their “transition” periods because they like binge eating whether it’s on cooked food or raw treats.
Eating enough fruit calories is going to give you sufficient hydration, vitamins and fibre to help you feel full and curb your cravings for any other unhealthy foods.
Fermentation occurs when digested fruit (glucose) turns into carbon dioxide. C02 is irritating to the body when not eliminated properly. Frequent consumption of massive quantities of fruit leads to fermentation and a highly acidic condition in the body from excessive C02 levels.
Claiming that the sugar in fruit is turned into carbon dioxide is a very deep misunderstanding on how the body works. Fermentation occurs when yeast metabolizes sugar to produce carbon dioxide and alcohol. This is commonly done in the production of wine, beer and other spirits.
However, the human digestive track is not an alcohol producing machine. The food we eat doesn’t just sit there and ferment. It passes through a complex set of chemical processes to be quickly assimilated and eliminated. In fact, fruit sugar starts being assimilated as soon as we put fruit in the mouth. The only way for fruit sugar to ferment would be to eat large quantities of it and miscombine it with other foods, such as is commonly done by most raw-foodists.
Food combinations to avoid are:
- Sweet fruit combined with nuts, seeds or avocados (such as any type of raw bar)
- Sweet fruits like dates, combined with watery fruits like watermelon
ARGUMENT: Eating fruit by itself is dangerous to the body like taking a shot of hard liquor.
Sure. We see it all the time: alcoholics everywhere are getting their fix by eating apples and bananas! Fruit eaters are walking around in a drunken state. Next thing you know, we will all gather at “Fruit Eaters Anonymous”, or maybe anyone who eats fruit should sit in a session of “Alcoholic Anonymous”.
I’m quite disturbed that this level of low-quality, misleading information is still circulating on the Internet in raw circles.
Fat is a more stable form of energy because it converts slowly.
It’s a frequent misconception to think that fruit should be combined with fat, or fat should be eaten because it “digests more slowly”.
Most fruits are not very high on the glycemic index, and the fact that they are assimilated quickly is a good thing, rather than something to fear.
When we exercise and go through our day, our blood sugar reserves go down. As blood sugar is low, we get hungry and eat to naturally raise our blood sugar to healthy levels. When a person constantly experiences low-levels of blood sugar, we call it “hypoglycemia”, and it’s not a good thing to have.
Furthermore, to experience health we do not want our blood sugars to be high all the time. We want the natural sugars in food to be assimilated quickly and utilized by the cells. We don’t want that sugar to accumulate in the bloodstream.
Eating fat, on the other hand, encourages high blood sugar levels. First of all, high levels of fat in the blood streams lowers what we call “insulin sensitivity — which is the ability for insulin to quickly carry sugar to the cells.
A low fat diet improves insulin sensitivity. Therefore, it’s a mistake to want to add fats to fruit to “slow down digestion”. All you’re doing is contributing to the problem, rather than solving it.
ARGUMENT: You should eat a small amount of fat with each meal to slow the sugar absorption.
All foods contain carbohydrates, protein and fats in the PERFECT ratio, even lettuce contains some fat. So why on Earth for proper digestion and sugar absorption should you need to add MORE FAT to your meal?
Especially at each meal that is just going to zap more energy from you to digest food and not going to make you feel more healthy or well balanced.
Eliminating nuts and overt fats in the diet is unhealthy and leads to a fasting like state with increased detoxification of the body.
I do not understand why so many raw-foodists are afraid of detox. It must be because their diet is so unhealthy, that as soon as they start to eat well, they can feel the “detox” more than anybody else.
In my opinion, this idea of “detox” has been greatly exaggerated. It doesn’t take more than a few weeks for the body to adapt to a low-fat, raw food diet. Eating nuts and fats in quantity is absolutely not necessary to keep the “detox” at bay. In fact, even when one eliminates all fats from the diet, there is no resemblance of a “fasting state” as long as one eats enough calories.
It is healthier to overeat on fat than fruit.
This is a rather dangerous and disturbing argument in itself. It is actually quite hard to overeat on fruit (based on appetite) as removing processed and cooked foods from your diet will make your body more receptive to true hunger and feeling full after an adequate amount of food is eaten.
Fruit has a high water content and is full of fibre and will make you feel full faster than the same amount of calories in pure fat.
It is much easier to overeat on fat and in fact quite detrimental to your health. It slows down digestion, thickens the blood stream, impedes healing of the body as oxygen is not able to reach cells as quickly and can cause numerous problems with candida and fungal overgrowth.
It is unnatural to eat a high fat diet as it flies in the face of any natural vegetarian mammal diet. Humans are meant to be active and not require massive amounts of recovery time after each meal.
Eat a whole meal of fruit and you will see that the down time needed to digest your food is minimal if non existent. In no way, can I see it ever being healthier to overeat on fat, than on fruit.
Long term raw foodists and fruitarians experience dental decay because their bodies are acidic and leaches calcium from their bones.
There is only one thing that causes dental decay, and it’s bacteria on your teeth feeding on sugar. This sugar can come from different sources. Usually, the biggest culprits are dried foods like nuts and seeds (and raisins), because they tend to stick to the teeth.
Fruits are actually alkaline foods. According to the Acid Renal Load Chart, all fruits are alkaline forming (so are vegetables). On the other hand, many nuts are acid-forming. And all oils are neutral (they don’t alkalize your body like fruit do).
My advice for fruit eaters when it comes to dental decay has to do with dental hygiene more than anything. I personally experienced the most dental decay when I was eating a high-fat raw diet. Now that I eat a high-fruit diet and with a strict dental hygiene routine, I have perfect checkups.
Consuming greens does not fix the problem of an acidic body when maintaining a high fruit diet.
Again, fruits AND greens are alkaline forming. There is absolutely no evidence to prove that fruits are acid-forming.
The best diet is one that balances all of the raw food groups.
This is another very vague statement as it can be interpreted in many ways depending on what you consider a healthy raw food.
For some people anything that is not heated above 118 degrees is raw, for some it is fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and for some maybe even grains and superfoods. This is actually where the majority of raw foodists’s diets lie. Somewhere in the middle of confusion, trying to get their greens, trying to get good fats, trying to get all their vitamins and minerals.
Yet the majority of people eating this way have varied health from one person to the next and often nagging issues with candida, excess body weight, low energy, poor skin clarity, bad digestion etc.
As we’ve seen with the Standard American Diet, trying to have a balance of food groups really doesn’t work as people tend to eat what is marketed the most to them as healthy and they don’t listen to their bodies.
If you try to eat an equal quantity of fruits, vegetables and nuts and oils you’re going to have a lot of issues. Almost no creature eats a well rounded balanced diet of many food groups. That is strictly something that the human psyche has been programmed to accept.
For long term success don’t have a large amount of fat in your daily diet but be careful to not increase the amount of fruit you are eating once you reduce your fat intake.
Now they acknowledge that a high fat diet is not ideal, but to say “be careful about increasing your fruit intake” isn’t giving you a lot of options of what you can eat.
There are only two sources of sufficient calories in a raw vegan diet, carbohydrates from fruit or fat from nuts and oils.
If you follow their advice you are either going to be trying to eat as many vegetables and greens as you can (which won’t be sufficient for caloric needs) or try to resist the urge to eat more fat or fruit and live on a low calorie diet by will power alone.
Either way this is not only unsustainable it is also quite ridiculous when you think about it logically. If you are a long term raw foodist you will have a better sense of appetite and should be able to trust your hunger when it comes to fruit and vegetable consumption.
Fats are always slower to register with your hunger receptors so it is still advisable to be aware of how much fat you are consuming because it adds up quickly.
When you are 100% raw you will eventually evolve to require less food over the years.
I don’t like this word evolve as it makes it sound like right now you are subhuman and will eventually become something different the longer you eat raw foods.
While it is true as you age your energy levels decrease and thus you will require less calories to sustain your level of activity, this is grossly misrepresented. You will probably have the same level of energy when you’re 20 as you’re 25, 30 as when you’re 35.
So unless you still have a lot of weight to lose years after being successful at a raw food diet, I don’t suggest believing you’ll magically require less food to function optimally. Your body will be less tolerant to large quantities of fats, salts and spices yes, but that is because it’s cleaner than before.
You’re not going to “evolve” to require less fuel from fruits if you’re maintaining the same exercise levels. No athlete in the world runs a calorie deficit on purpose because they believe their muscles can run more efficiently as they get older.
Perhaps the only type of person this would be true for is if they immediately stopped expending so much energy while being on a raw food diet and spent most of their time idle and not exercising at all. This of course I don’t recommend to anyone who wants to live a long and healthy life.