July 14

More Raw Food Diet Questions Answered!

Filed under Questions & Answers by Frederic Patenaude

I received a lot of raw food questions after my last blog post! I’m answering some more below. If you’d like to read my new book, The Raw Vegan Coach, where I answer over 147 questions on the raw food diet in-depth, make sure to order my Raw Health Starter Kit, the most complete kit of information on the raw food diet available. Get it at:


How to Heal Tinnitus Naturally

I have very bad ear ringing….what can I do for this??? I have been on say 70 to 80% raw foods for about 8 years, and now have been doing about 5 glasses of green and carrot juice for 53 days, hoping to help the situation, but so far its still ringing….thanks, Irena

ANSWER: Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is a common problem in Western societies. Interestingly enough, it’s also something that can often be helped by improving your diet and lifestyle. A few years ago I met Don Bennett, author of an interesting website and blog, and a few books on the subject of raw nutrition and natural hygiene. He told the story of how he personally overcame Tinnitus with a clean raw diet. I would suggest checking out his story at: http://www.raw-food-health.net/DonBennett.html

Like I have said many times, it’s not what you eat that matters, but what you don’t eat. Your diet is only as strong as its weakest link. So in the 20 to 30% cooked that you eat, there may be many culprits that could be affecting your health negatively. The best way to clean up your diet and experience results quickly is to go on a cleanse, such as the green cleanse (http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/greenforlife.html), where you only consume raw fruits and green smoothies for at least a week, and no added fats.

You’ll want to remove all other non raw foods and complicated recipes from your diet until the ringing stops. Give your body a chance to heal before reintroducing these foods again.

Green Smoothies and Digestion

I absolutely love your approach and reading over and over your comments and books. I love fruit and my consumption of it keeps me very regular. I have found that when I eat more leafy greens I experience difficulty with bowel function. To combat that and keep the greens, I have been consuming 5-10 cups of green smoothies a day, with more fruit than greens. Question, is there enough calories for sustainability of muscle tone mass, exercise output and more with this amount of green smoothie, usually ending my dinner meal with a large salad?

ANSWER: It really depends what you put in those smoothies and how many calories you need. Supposing you need 2000 calories a day, I would suspect that you’re not consuming enough fruits. My recommendation would be to get rid of the dinner salad (you’re consuming enough greens in the form of green smoothies), and replace that with a fruit meal and see how that goes for a while. Contrary to what some raw food gurus say, it is possible to eat too many green vegetables, which in your case is upsetting your bowls.

Complicated Raw Food Recipes

The question from me:
Do you eat “complicated” raw foods, with tens of ingredients? Dehydrated or fermented?
I recently visited a raw food festival here in Europe, and had the opportunity to meet Dr. Graham, and i saw that he was not much into eating the “complex” foods (see the photos I’ve posted) but he was not against trying. I have the same approach, i try the dehydrated thing, if it is sweet it means it has some fruit in it and im fine eating it, but if it is a raw cake (nuts with dates) it makes me wonder why people eat them? When eating SAD they eat cakes because of craving something sweet, but when eating a diet predominantly on fruits why make and eat raw fat-sweet cakes? I assume its because they try to imitate the SAD diet. There are definitely no cakes growing on trees, or are there? 
Thank you for helping me, I will do the same at my time 
all the best,

ANSWER: I almost NEVER eat gourmet raw foods. I can count on one hand the times I have eaten high-fat, raw food recipes in the last 12 months. After over 14 years of experience, I can honestly claim that the high-fat raw food diet is one of the worst diets ever designed for health. When going to a raw-food restaurant, even the smell of dehydrating nuts and onions is nauseating to me. I have absolutely no desire to eat those foods and would rather eat steamed vegetables or potatoes over high-fat raw meals any day.

I sometimes eat dried fruit when we’re traveling and nothing else can be found, but not in large quantities. I don’t liketo eat fermented foods it’s very rare that I have those.

How to Clear Your Skin on Raw Foods

Do you have any suggestions to promote clear skin? I started taking a B-Complex supplement and I started breaking out. Also, I’m almost done reading your book Raw Secrets, its brilliant, do you have any suggestions on how much fruit a day is good to support a highly active lifestyle? Thank you for sharing.

ANSWER: To talk about clear skin would be a long conversation! A first step would be to dramatically lower the fat content of your diet, but keep eating a small portion of nuts a few times a week for essential fatty acids (1 ounce is enough). I do not recommend those B-Complex supplements. You will get all of the B vitamins you need in green vegetables (except for vitamin B12- you shuold supplement for that. For the quantities of fruit, I cannot really answer that question without knowing more! Most people need at least 1500 calories a day. An active woman might need 2000 or even 2500. Assuming you get 20-30% of your calories from vegetables, non-sweet fruits and small quantities of fat, then the rest can come from fruit! For example, on a 2000 calorie diet, as much as 1600 calories could come from fruit. That’s about 16 medium bananas — to give you an idea.

Fruit and Skin Rashes

Dear Fred.
I enjoy your blog and many of your recipes. During the last few months, I have developed an allergy to fruits. I break out in a rash within 10 minutes after eating fruit. It doesn’t always happen with the same fruits and I haven’t been able to pin it down. I thought it might be a pesticide on the fruits, but it happened one time with organic fruits. Any suggestions. Benedril helps, but I hate to take it. Thank you for your comments.

ANSWER: It really depends what fruit. Since you did not give any details on which fruits are causing problems I can only give you this information. The most common fruit that causes rashes is mangoes, because the fruit is related to poison oak, but this is most often IN the mouth, not on the skin. The oil that causes the rash is located in the peel, and can affect the mouth, eyes and cheeks and even other body parts in some people. Be careful when eating mangoes to not touch the peel (if you’re sensitive). Carefully peel them and leave a generous amount of fruit close to the peel.

Other than that, I would suggest going on a fast because your body is obviously reacting negatively to what you’re eating and this is something that you developed which is a sign of body toxicity.

Fruit Sugar and Weight Gain

Your reply dealing with “fruit and sugar” interests me. Not so long ago another health source ‘Dr Mercola’ gave advice about fructose and weight gain. He suggested limiting fructose intake eg from fuit to (if I remember correctly) about 20 grams per day otherwise there would be continuous weight gain. I checked (from tables in his email) and my intake from fresh fruit is about 35 grams daily. But my weight is stable, and has been for some years. And I wondered whether fructose was the only culprit causing the weight gain.
But now – from reading your article – my thought is that as we also eat an almost fat free diet, that low fat might be the counter against the fructose.
Do you think that that thought is correct?

ANSWER: I do not agree with what most of Dr. Mercola has to say about health, and especially diet. All the research done on fructose was done with high-fructose corn syrup. No research has ever proven that eating fruit is bad for health. In fact, all the research published demonstrates otherwise.

Fruit is not just fructose but a combination of sugars. For example, bananas has a one-to-one fructose to glucose ratio.
Keep in mind however that fruit is a highly nutritious food. It is quite possible to gain weight eating fruit because it is rich in carbohydrates. If you consume more calories than you eat, you will gain weight. If someone wishes to drop a few pounds, watch out for fruit consumption and try to make smoothies containing somewhat more greens, and also eat more of the fruits with moderate sugar content, such as apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, cherries, berries — and reduce the high-sugar tropical fruits such as bananas and mangoes.

Coffee and Cooked Food Cravings

I have a question about coffee. When I first went raw (80-90 %), I lost all interest in coffee. I did drink white tea in the morning and this seemed to be just fine. Lately coffee has started tasting good to me again so I’ve been drinking some (most days I’m sorry to say). I am also noticing a desire for cooked food more then I did in the past (had no strong cooked food-urges for the first year of my predominately raw life). Would there be any connection between coffee drinking and cooked-food urges do you think? Or is it only a coincidence?
P.S. – I also think you are one of the best, most balanced, raw foodists out there and really enjoy your work.

ANSWER: Thanks for the compliments! For your information, white tea has the least caffeine of all the caffeinated drinks, containing even less than green tea. It’s possible that you’re feeling  an emotional connection between coffee drinking and foods you liked in the past. I would recommend switching back to white tea and get some of the great Teeccino products to get rid of the coffee, but enjoy a tasty, caffeine-free alternative. Coffee is not a health food and should not be consumed often, let alone daily due to it’s stimulant and addictive nature.

Should We Avoid Fresh Herbs Like Basil?

Hi Fred,
Could you explain more in depth why herbs and spices should be avoided, such as basil and dill? I read your book but the information provided didn’t go into detail on the subject.
PS: I don’t like the taste of herbs+spices anyway

ANSWER: There’s no need to avoid herbs such as basil and dill unless you do not enjoy them. My point was more about strong spices such as raw garlic and onions, that can negatively affect your health. All strong herbs have some degree of toxicity to them, but it could not affect your health in the quantities consumed. Nobody makes a salad out of basil and dill! So enjoy them to flavor your dressings and salads, in small quantities and fresh if possible!

19 Responses to “More Raw Food Diet Questions Answered!”

  1. Quinn says:

    Dear Fred

    I am raw for two years now. and at first I lost lots of weight wihich I have been working to put back on at-least some of it. In the mean time I noticed my muscles are now not as toned. I eat lots of fruit smoothies and lots of greens. I am not sure as I have tried different ways of being raw. but am uncertain if I am doing the right thing to keep muscle tone and to manage firm non-sagging skin. Any suggestions on keeping the skin toned would be helpful.
    I am male 6’1 and weigh 145. I have gained 18 pds. since I lost weight last year.I typically would not like to weigh more then 148pds. I am just uncertain which foods to eat for muscle, therefore I consistently go in and out of more fruit or more greeens or more oils or more nuts. I do notice that when I have more oils and nuts that my mid section seems to get bigger. This is not the direction I would like to take, as I enjoy having a strong ab section and a small waist which I am having problems maintianing.

    thank you so much for the support,

  2. Sheryl says:

    Ringing in the Ears is just raising of the Vibratory Action of the Body. It is a wonderful thing to have. I have had ringing in my ears every since the kundalini was activated in my body around 20 yrs now. I hardly ever notice it accept if I focus on it. Or before I go to sleep at night. Some times it gets pretty loud when I am passing into a Higher Realm. So be grateful and know that God is in Control. Do not accept human concepts.

  3. Joy Houston says:

    Thank you for your constant stream of helpful information. I use gourmet raw foods to transition people off the S.A.D. and find that once they are off the highs and lows of processed foods, meats and cheeses, they naturally crave the more simple dishes. A high-fat raw food diet is certainly not a long term choice, but when you see the amazing shifts in people I think you would agree, it has a place. I see it as a “gateway drug” to healthy eating. It gives people a chance to get off the food “crack” they may have eating their whole lives and wake up to the amazing way life feels off the hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and processed junk.
    You are an icon of health and a respected leader in the raw food community. I refer people to your site (especially for your cleanses) and it would be great to know that when they arrive to your site they will be acknowledged for whatever path they’ve taken to get to you and your inspirational information.

    Thank you,

  4. Quinny says:

    Another question regarding skin problem. I have some skin irritation on my neck, not sure what it is exactly (it’s dry, sometimes flaky and itchy, and cover quite a big area, about 4×4 in). I got this after a fast and then no matter what I do, it’s just not going away.

    I’ve been 100% raw for the past 8 months. I go out for gourmet raw food about once every 2 months. But other than that I only eat fruits & vegetables, no oil, nut or seeds. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, have trouble digesting fat & protein. I don’t have good oxygen blood level. I tried to exercise more but I’m way too thin, I’m afraid to lose more weight.

    My question is what is the best way to get rid of my skin problem? Do I need to get a food sensitivity test done to see what fruit I’m sensitive to?

  5. Austin Prescott says:

    I always enjoy your common-sense approach about health. The vegetarian concept in general is still quite new to me, but your way of eating makes a lot of sense.

    I read that fruit is very low in lysine. Where does lysine come from in the low-fat, fruit-based diet?

    Poor bone development and bone decay seem to be a common problem in raw vegan children as they don’t get enough K2. Does the low-fat, fruit-based diet that you promote meet all the nutritional requirements of growing children? Is a poor, acidic intestinal flora to blame from high amounts of grains and seeds?

  6. Sue says:

    How does raw garlic and and onion affect your health negatively? I have only read rave reviews about the use of both but garlic especially.

  7. radha klemes says:

    I am 66 yrs old, have been vegan 100% raw then high raw for 15 years. In a recent newsletter about vision I was told I should have two portions a week of oily fish to get DHA, to prevent age-related macular degeneration, or a portion of nuts a day. Influenced by what Fred says about low fat diet, I have cut out nuts, avocados etc. I have two dessertspoons of hemp oil a day in a dressing, although I know that Fred frowns on this. But this is supposed to give me all the omegas in the correct proportions, though not DHA but precursors that my body will convert into DHA. Can you shed any light on this, can plant sources and hemp oil replace fish, can you recommend what plant sources of omega threes and in what quantity will be adequate, e.g. how much hemp oil per day? What other sources and quantities. Thanks, Radha

  8. Jalil says:

    quinn, there are raw food athelets out there, do a google search and look around.

    Quinny, You need to cleanse your colon. Take msm to help with your arthritis. And just as an fyi, fasting can help cure arthritis in many people.
    fasting and eating for health by joel fuhurman

  9. Jalil says:

    Hemp oil is fine, just use hemp seeds, chia seeds and ground flax. add them to salads or raw noodles, etc.. every chance you get.
    that will be plenty.

    You don’t need contaminated fish oil.

    omega zen is a great vegan supplement you can take as well.

  10. Steve says:

    Can the suggested use of Teechino be a permanent replacement for coffee
    or is it just utilized short term to ween us off coffee? Also I’ve suffered for a long time from dizziness when I stand up after sittting awhile. My 75% raw diet hasn’t solved this. I have low blood pressure (not high) and wonder if this is the culprit. Lack of blood to the brain?
    Any help is appreciated.

  11. Cindy says:

    I love the concept of a low fat high fruit diet. I was wondering if anybody else gets canker sores from too much fruit and how do you get rid of them? I don’t want to stop eating this way but I cannot take these cankers sores! Any help is appreciated.

  12. Shino Saito says:

    Hello, Fredric! Thank you for creating such a informative website. I am a beginner raw foodist in Japan. Here in Japan, raw food is getting rapidly popular. Unfortunately there is not enough information translated into Japanese. So, people who want to eat raw foods are struggling to know what is right or not. Even new business of Raw Food is starting, which does not very consider people’s health. They rather consider about Money, of course. You mentioned that “Gourmet raw food” is not healthy. What do you exactly mean for “Gourmet raw food”? I myself write a blog about raw food aiming to introduce the healthy good raw food for Japanese people. I’d like to know what kind of raw food is good and what is not so healthy.

  13. radha klemes says:

    Thank you Jalil, I will get some hemp and chia seeds and flax today

  14. vadim says:

    Thanks for the answer!
    There is another question that makes me wonder.
    I’m hungry in the morning and i eat fruits. In about 2 hours, i start to feel a kind of hunger, but i feel totaly rejecting sweet fuits. It’s like when you eat a banana smoothie, and at a certain point you cant’ eat it anymore, not because your full, but because you feel satiated and feel a “rejection”.
    So, a feeling of hunger and a feeling of sweet rejection in the same time. PS: I always folow the rules of combining, no fat-sweet combination.
    Does that men i crave greens or acids or ?
    Thanks, Vadim

  15. Pam says:

    Here’s a shout-out to Cindy, re canker sores: Have you checked the ingredients on your dentifrice? Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is used in many toothpastes to make them foamy; i.e. doesn’t help your mouth or teeth, it’s just a “mouth-feel” thing. I checked with my periodontist several years ago, after reading that the Univ. of Calif. Berkeley was researching a possible (nowadays well-known) connection between mouth ulcers & SLS in some sensitive people. Periodontist confirmed, & suggested I start reading toothpaste/powder fine print. (BTW, Frederic’s “Tooth Soap” is fine :-] ! ) Since then, I only rarely get a mouth ulcer, if I’ve bitten on something hard that scrapes the gum, & it heals quickly.

  16. Paul Palmer says:

    Hi Vadim

    I know what you mean by enough fruit but still a gnawing hunger for something else. I crave salty heavy foods. I think this is a need for some protein and mineral food density. I partially solved this by eating fruit/veg smoothies. And yes, I do add a bit of dulse for protein/mineral density. Kombu is good but I found even when soaking it overnight before blending, it is too coarse for digestion. It needs to be soaked, cooked, blended. Not necessary to have a lot of sea veggies. For fruit/veg. ratio, i go 6:4.

  17. Wendy says:

    Hi Frederic,
    I just read your article on the multi-level marketing scams. Have you ever looked into a product called Juice Plus… it too is a sold through a multi-level-marketing process. I am really curious about this one as they make claims they “are” better than the juices you mentioned. I would definitely like to hear your thoughts on this one too.

  18. Frederic Patenaude says:

    Hi Shino! We had a person contact us about giving you some resources on raw food in Japan.

    “Hi Fred,
    I, as you may know, too am located in Japan, and on the raw food path since quite a while. (We met briefly at the Living Light Expo in Fort Bragg last year). Besides being a raw gourmet chef and instructor, I mainly focus on teaching raw food nutrition – in Japanese! – with a definite emphasis on high fruit low fat (combined with a lot of exericse)and of course focussing most of all on the question of why raw food is good for us from a more scientific point of view. Recently I also started a blog (also in Japanese to be accessed at http://rawfoodwonderland.wordpress.com)
    and soon I will launch my website at http://www.rawfoodwonderland.jp (which will be mainly Japanese and may also feature English in the future). So if I could be of any help to your Japanese reader please let him/her know.

    Thank you very much and all the best

  19. Quinn says:

    Hi Fred

    Recently you answered a few questions about my diet and working out. I’d given you info of my height and weight, 6’1 145lbs. You’d suggested I eat about two heads of leafy greens and the other fruit… making up aobut 3,000 calories ( I am now taking in maybe 2.000 calories) including oils and protein which whould be minimal. Since then all has been well. Today I decided to try adding other greens such as Chard, and I added quite a bit to my smoothie. Well I noticed after not feeling so well, is it possible that when adding a stronger green that maybe less would be better, or is it not necesssary to use stronger greens in the smoothie, therefore deleting them for my diet accept on occassion? Please remember my issue has been gaining muscle mass.
    Thank you for your sincere support,

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