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More Raw Food Diet Questions Answered!

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:

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 (, 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!

Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.