October 11

The Real Reasons to Eat a Raw Food Diet

Filed under Raw Food Controversies by Frederic Patenaude

My last article on the “Bad Arguments to Eat Raw” upset some people, who thought that I suddenly became against the raw food diet. I’ve received many positive comments, but unfortunately, too many negative ones. Someone even said that people like me should be “dead” for even writing this article. I hope that wasn’t a death threat from the raw food police…

What I tried to do is to show the non-sense that is used to promote raw food diets and what gives this diet a bad rap in the real world. This is why the raw food diet is NOT being taken seriously, because too many people use bad science to promote it. The reaction that many raw foodists had to this article just actually proves my point.

Let’s clarify something once and for all:

I DO think the raw food diet is powerful and can be very healthy, if done correctly. If it makes you feel great, then do it! 

I personally have found it unnecessary to stick to 100% raw food and I have included some form of cooked food in my mostly raw diet for almost 10 years, except for some episodes of a few months at a time when I ate 100% raw. This is not news! I talked about the false idealism of raw foodism in my book Raw Secrets, published in 2002!

I eat an 80/10/10 diet (although not an 100% raw one). My diet contains almost no animal products (except occasional honey). Other raw foodists should see that I’m on their side.

In my last article, I did bash some bad arguments for eating raw, but the implication was not that the raw food diet is a bad thing. I was against the arguments being used, not necessarily their conclusions.

A 100% raw food diet is appropriate for some people, but not for everybody. Yet, some fanatical raw foodists, lacking serious arguments to promote their view, are still trying to promote the idea that you’re a complete failure unless you eat 100% raw food — that it has to be all or nothing.

It’s easy to spot bad science because people promoting it are very aggressive and are always asking you to prove a negative.

Ayn Rand always said “you are never called upon to prove a negative.”

If I want to prove that there is life on other planets, I must have some hypothesis to do so. Yet, my proof cannot be, “well, until YOU prove to me that there is NO life on other planets, I am right.” That’s completely ludicrous. The burden on proof lies upon the person making the hypothesis, not the other way around.

When I say, for example, that the “life-force” argument is not a good one to promote raw foods, many people get angry because they are asking me to prove the contrary. “Fred, until you prove to me that there is no life force in raw foods, I’m right and you’re wrong.”

I personally don’t think there is any life force in food besides the raw materials necessary for human nutrition, simply because there is absolutely no credible proof to that effect. When I look at all the evidence that tries to prove that there is indeed life-force in raw foods, like Kirlian photography, it turns out that all of this evidence does not stand up to closer scrutiny.

However, you may disagree with me and still think that there is indeed life force in food because that’s what you think “must be right” or because of some personal beliefs. But those beliefs would be more on the level of faith, which is believing something without any proof at all.

That’s okay.

I have certain beliefs that are not completely rational.

For example, I do believe that everything happens for a reason. That kind of belief is based on my personal experience, and it also works for me. But I know it’s not necessarily “rational.”

Okay, now let’s jump into the top best reasons to eat raw.

Top Best Reasons to Eat Raw

Nutrient Density

I recently wrote this in my Raw Vegan Mentor Club Newsletter:

“Fruits and vegetables are the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, and most of these foods are better eaten raw than cooked.

When we say that a food is “nutrient-dense,” we mean that it has the most nutrients (such as vitamins and minerals), per calorie. Starchy foods are calorie-dense, but not as nutrient-dense as fruits and vegetables.

In other words, 500 calories of rice or potatoes will contain fewer vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals than 500 calories of kale, or 500 calories of apple.

By eating a diet composed mainly of fruits and vegetables, we take in more nutrients than if we were to eat mostly cooked foods.

There are some exceptions, however. Cooked greens tend to be more nutrient-dense than raw greens, simply because we can eat more of them.

For example, you probably remember taking a huge amount of spinach and cooking it down in a matter of seconds to almost nothing. Well that small cup of cooked spinach is now jam-packed with minerals, and will only take you a few minutes to eat. On the other hand, the same amount of raw spinach takes much longer to chew. Therefore, cooked spinach is more nutrient-dense than raw spinach because we can eat more of it easily.

Raw foodists can get around this by blending greens. Thank heaven for the VitaMix! We can make a huge green smoothie that will contain a good amount of spinach or kale and drink it down in no time. It goes without saying that having some form of processed greens in the diet, whether they are steamed or blended, is essential for getting a good balance of nutrients.

Certain cooked foods are as nutrient dense as raw foods, but usually they are  still fruits and vegetables. For example, cooked sweet potato is very nutrient dense, but the same cannot be said of cooked white pasta.

By getting enough calories from raw fruits and vegetables, we automatically take it more than enough vitamins, minerals and other essential and preventative nutrients. This is one of the main reasons why the raw food diet is so effective.”

Caloric Density 

The following is from the October issue of my Mentor Club Newsletter, on the topic of optimal weight loss:

“One of the most important concepts to understand in human nutrition is that of caloric density. Caloric density is an estimation of a food’s energy content by weight. 

For example, an entire head of lettuce weighing over one pound contains less than 100 calories. That means that the caloric density of lettuce is less than 100 calories per pound.

On the other hand,  one single tablespoon of oil contains 120 calories. So you have more calories in 1 tablespoon of oil than in a pound of lettuce. But guess which one is going to fill you up more?

The principle of caloric density is about filling up on foods that have a lot of volume but few calories by weight. Eating those foods, you’ll feel satisfied and full, and be able to eat as much as you want, and lose weight in the process.

Studies have confirmed that if you feed people foods of low caloric density, they will eat as much as they want, not be hungry and lose weight, without having to count calories.

Because those foods have so few calories, it’s almost impossible to eat too many of them.

Let’s take a look at the average caloric density of certain foods. Keep in mind that this is an average across a category. For example, we know that bananas contain more calories per weight than apples, but overall, fruits have a similar caloric density.

Food Caloric Density Per Pound
Fresh raw or cooked veggies 100
Fresh raw fruit 250-300
Cooked Starchy Vegetables, Intact Whole Grains 450-500
Legumes and Beans 550-600
Meat Products 900-1000
Dried Fruit 1200
Processed grains and Flours (even if made from whole grains) 1200-1500
Cheese 1800
Nuts and Seeds 2800
Cheese 1800
Oil 4000

 

Looking at this table, you’d be tempted to only eat vegetables, as they contain only 100 calories per pound. It’s important to note that nobody can live on just vegetables, and that you’d get so hungry on a diet of just vegetables that you’d eventually break down and eat something else!

However, you want your diet to contain plenty of raw vegetables by weight.

The concept of caloric density is to look at the overall caloric density of your meals each day.”

Experiments have shown that people will lose weight, no matter how much they eat and even if they don’t exercise, if the caloric density of their food is less than 400 calories per pound.

The reason why the raw food diet is so effective for weight loss is because of its low caloric density. Athletes can get around that by blending fruits, which increases their caloric density by breaking down the fiber. So if you want to cram the calories in and stop losing weight, start blending everything.

Low Toxic Load

When cooking carbohydrates (such as potatoes) at high temperatures (baking, frying, etc.), a compound called acrylamide is created. In animal studies, high doses of acrylamide cause cancer.

More acrylamide is created when foods are cooked at a higher temperature or for longer periods of time.

We also know that other molecules called “Maillard Molecules” are formed when foods brown and caramelize during cooking. Some people speculate that these new compounds, created in the cooking process, may affect health negatively.

While certain forms of cooking appear to be relatively harmless (steaming, for example), the surest way to reduce the amount of toxins in your diet to the lowest level is to eat foods in their raw state.

Note that sometimes cooking destroys toxins that are naturally present in the plants. So it’s important to avoid certain foods that should never be eaten raw, like raw or sprouted legumes. For more foods that should never be eaten raw, please consult my book Raw Food Controversies.

You Eliminate Everything Else That’s Bad for You

One of the main reasons why people get sick is that they eat so many “dead”, pre-packaged foods.

These foods are not only heavily processed, but they contain a long list of suspicious ingredients, including MSG, preservatives, artificial coloring, and more.

Eating a raw food diet automatically eliminates all of this junk, which means that your diet will be 1000% more clean and pure. It will be “wholesome” in the true sense of the world (not in the adulterated, misused sense of the word everywhere in food advertising).

When I started the raw food diet, there were no pre-packaged raw snacks available. All that I bought were actual foods: fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Eventually I got into olive oil, but that was a pretty simple product. The “worst” thing that raw foodists bought was jars of olives that could possibly have been marinated in salt water.

Nowadays, a variety of raw food snacks — from kale chips to chocolate brownies — are available. But because raw foodists are generally passionate about what they do, I’ve never seen any of these products contain artificial chemicals or preservatives. That is probably going to stay like that until the raw food diet goes mainstream.

There are obvious advantages to avoiding all pre-packaged foods, and that is one of the reasons why the raw food diet can be so effective.

The raw food diet also generally avoids grains, a category of food many people have allergic reactions too (especially the ones containing gluten).

I do not recommend eating sprouted grains for health either. They are very hard to digest with all the raw starch they contain.

Phytochemicals 

Raw fruits and vegetables, as well as raw nuts and seeds are packed with phytochemicals.

“Phyto” means “plant,” so the term phytochemical designates different compounds in foods that protect against illness. Some phytochemicals can prevent DNA damage caused by free radicals.

You’ve probably heard of antioxidants with cancer-preventing benefits found in many fruits and vegetables and dark leafy greens. Antioxidants are a class of phytochemicals.

If you want to learn more on the topic of phytochemicals and how they affect our health positively, prevent illness and increase our immunity, I recommend the new book by Joel Fuhrman, Super Immunity.

Some of the most potent phytochemicals are found in raw foods, and many of them are heat-sensitive. Therefore, eating a raw food diet or a mostly raw diet will give you an abundance of phytochemicals — and this could prove to be one of the main benefits of this diet.

Some notable phytochemicals are to be found in:

1) The Cruciferous Family — including cabbage, kale, broccoli, etc. These vegetables contain a class of phytochemicals (called sulphoraphane and indole-3-carbinol) that are converted into cancer-fighting enzymes by the liver.

2) Berries — This includes pomegranate, cherries, blueberries, grapes etc. They contain many phytochemicals that increase immunity.

3) Citrus fruits — Those fruits contain many phytochemicals (close to the skin), in addition to lots of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant.

Pretty much every raw fruit and vegetable contains health-enhancing phytochemicals. Cooking food sometimes enhance the bio-availability of certain phytochemicals, like lycopene in tomatoes, but in general we get more benefits from eating foods in their raw state.

It makes you feel great 

The best reason to eat a raw food diet is because it makes you feel great. Many people report a feeling of increased vitality and energy that they only experience eating this way.

If the raw food diet makes you feel great, you don’t necessarily need “proof” to keep doing it!

We may never be able to prove certain things, like what humans ate exactly 100,000 years ago, or the “life force” factor in food, but what ultimately matters are results.

I always tell people to compare themselves to themselves, not other people. You can compare how you feel from one period of your life — eating a certain diet – to another with different lifestyle choices, and come to your own conclusions.

Conclusion 

When we use bad arguments to promote a certain philosophy, it often leads us to make mistakes. Sometimes people oversimplify a health philosophy and refuse to look at new information.

When I was in my 20’s, I was convinced that the raw food diet was ideal simply because I got convinced by these weak arguments, like the “life-force” in food or the idea that all cooked food is “poison.” This led me to become so fanatical about the raw food diet that I elevated the “raw” principle above all other health factors, and ultimately made a lot of decisions that hurt my health.

There are so many GOOD reasons to eat more raw foods, that we don’t need to undermine the credibility of the raw food movement with arguments that have no scientific basis.

42 Responses to “The Real Reasons to Eat a Raw Food Diet”

  1. The ideal diet is 80/10/10 raw vegan. Eat low-fat, whole, fresh, ripe, raw, organic fruits (things with seeds) and greens (including celery). Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it 100%. The ideal is the target, much like winning all your games when playing sports is the target. Do your best to be as close to the target as you can using the above criteria. Buy in bulk so that you have a enough in your refrigerator, such as once a week. The good news is that most all diseases disappear by the body’s natural ability to heal itself if given the proper nourishment from a raw, plant-based diet. Friend me on Facebook or on this forum if you need assistance going toward 100%. I eat 100% 80/10/10 raw vegan, and it’s very easy.

  2. Marina says:

    Frederic,

    thank you for this great exlanation. I loved the previous article and was waiting eagerly to read the right reasons to go raw. I was actually really impatient and checked your site daily hoping to spot this article.

    My experience… I have been eating a lot of raw since I was little. Not because I wanted to be a raw foodist, but simply, it is normal in Serbia where I live and in my family and the fact that we had our own garden years ago contributed to just picking and eating. However, when I go all day on a lot of fruits and veggies…my stomach is bloathed and hurts so much!!! So, for me, some steamed food is a solution. I would like to read others’ experiences.

  3. kb says:

    Frederic thank you for this awesome article. I eat almost all raw vegan food but mentioned in my blog last week that I eat an egg about once a week, and I was highly criticized by the raw food nazis. It’s very annoying and I think this attitude turns people OFF the raw diet.
    The people who inspired me to eat raw in the first place are people that are non-judgmental about how other people eat.

  4. Onna says:

    I just wanted to say that if you are getting death “suggestions” and hate mail, then you are doing something right!! Don’t let others try to quiet you or make you change your stance.

    Keep it up!!

    And you are right, many, many experts on raw food say the same thing about the 80/10/10.

  5. Mike henderson says:

    The energy argument that food contains life force-when kirlian photography
    demonstrates an energy I would like to hear the argument against this view.
    I would personally be very wary of representatives of websites like
    ‘quackwatch’ or james randi con’s as these are a joke and I hope you
    are not siding with them.
    dr david jubb uses kirlian energy to differentiate organic as opposed to
    non-organic and also dr Harry Oldfield uses this in his early work.
    I think it’s good to make the points you make based on provable science
    but for assessing compatibility of any food product one could use
    kinesiology testing and I would check out the’Luminator’ a device
    invented patrick richards which uses a positive or negative photo
    outcome -clear image positive-blurry image is negative.

  6. Pam says:

    Oh, Frederic! I am so very sorry for those who have assaulted you in some fashion. I pray that they wake up and get a life and take a look in the mirror before they go around judging and mouthing off at you, and others, who are doing so much good for so many! You are a treasure, dear Frederic – don’t you ever forget that! You are loved and appreciated by many!

  7. Matt says:

    If there is no life force in our food, then where does it come from for us? If the answer is water, then it seems apparent that raw fruits and vegetables (which contain water) have life force… not to mention that fruits/veggies that are harvested and then eaten immediately have energy, based on studies like those in ‘Secrets of the Soil’ or ‘The Secret Life of Plants’. Thank You.

  8. vg says:

    I really appreciated your honesty in your past articles on raw food controversy.
    You have given me the most understanding in these issues, especially in regards to the value of both cooked and raw and not having stress over personal choices.

  9. Rebecca says:

    Hey Fred, just wanted to say “thanks” for all you’re wonderful, useful, free information! It is really appreciated. I’m glad that you do understand that not everyone can go 100% raw and that you are open-minded and courageous enough to speak up.
    Having only half my intestines, I cannot eat a lot of raw food, and it is exasperating to hear from people who have NO CLUE that what is good for them is also good for me. They should try spending most of their day in the bathroom.
    Sending much love, light and peace to you and your family!

  10. Martin T says:

    These are good reasons, but I still also believe that the live enzymes in raw food also do have some benefit, even though they are not absolutely “necessary” and are, for the most part, not “digestive enzymes”. Enzymedica, which is universally acknowledged by high-end health food stores as one of the best, if not THE best, brands of enzymes, acknowledges the benefits of the enzymes found in raw foods, even though they certainly have no motivation to do so, given that they are in the business of selling their own enzyme supplements. I recommend reading their http://www.enzymedica.com/what_are_enzymes.php page, which explains the 3 different catetories of enzymes (metabolic, digestive, and food enzymes), and says the following about food enzymes:

    “Food Enzymes are introduced to the body through the raw foods we eat and through consumption of supplemental enzyme fortifiers. Raw foods naturally contain enzymes, providing a source of digestive enzymes when ingested. However, raw food manifests only enough enzymes to digest that particular food, not enough to have any support systemically. The cooking and processing of food destroys all of its enzymes. Since most of the foods we eat are cooked or processed in some way and since the raw foods we do eat contain only enough enzymes to process that particular food, our bodies must produce the majority of the digestive enzymes we require. For these reasons it is recommended that we supplement our diet with enzymes.”

    Aside from this, one can observe that food ripens and ultimately decomposes over time, basically breaking itself down, and I would think that enzymes play a role in this process, thereby providing further evidence for the existence of “food enzymes.”

  11. Cynny says:

    Can someone clarify what 80/10/10 diet is and how that breaks down exactly? Thank you for your article!! Wanting to go raw, but know that living in the cold, cold climate where I am means little good produce for 6 months of the year, and needing (at least wanting!) something warm in the deep of winter…liking that you are open to some cooked foods that would make being close to raw possible for me.

  12. Frederic Patenaude says:

    less than 10% fat and protein and the rest carbohydrates.

  13. Susanne says:

    What is this all stress about food!? Eat what you believe is good for you.
    Food matters less, than we raw foodists think. Love and happiness is much more important!

  14. Jim says:

    Frederic, one of your countrymen John H Tobe (a Raw Food pioneer) wrote “The Natural Foods N0-Cook Book” (Out of print)

    I wish some of the Raw Food Diet Cops would take it to heart

    From the forward Tobe’s No-Cook Book:

    “Many people are of the impression when they go on a raw food diet that they are becoming something wonderful or that they are making a great sacrifice for mankind. You are not dieting, you are not starving, you are not being a martyr, and you are not even being noble…but for the first time in your life you are showing good common sense about maintaining your health and you are at long last eating proper natural wholesome health-giving food.”

    I enjoyed your articles on this topic and posted links to them in my blog.

  15. Scott B says:

    Hi Fred,
    I am a big fan of your material primarily because your your non-fanatical attitude about the raw food approach. Thanks approaching this stuff the way you do.

    Scott

  16. Teresa says:

    Hi Frederic

    I love all your articles and all your conclusions.

    I think you are one of the best, if not THE best, raw vegan there is to date.

    You were the first raw vegan who opened my eyes to raw veganism and the pros and cons to raw food. And I love your updates on Facebook as well.

    Keep up the good work <3

  17. veganfw says:

    If you cut the base of celery and stick it in a jar with water colored with food coloring, the celery will “drink” the water and the leaves of the celery will change colors. Isn’t this still a living plant?

    Will this work with cooked celery? If not, then what implication does this have for people who eat raw vs. cooked?

    The “feel great” reason is my reason for eating raw. I still had allergies when I was a cooked-food vegan.

  18. Martin T says:

    What about vitamin potency? I am surprised that this article did not mention that many vitamins in foods are destroyed by cooking; some say that the vast majority of vitamins are destroyed, but,whether it’s a vast majority or not, certainly it is widely recognized that at least a substantial portion of the vitamins are destroyed in the cooking process, with the amount of vitamins destroyed dependent in part on the length of cooking and amount of heat used. This would seem to me to be a very strong argument in favor of raw foods. I am surprised it was not included. One can debate how important the food enzymes that get destroyed by cooking are for health, since this has not yet been determined precisely, but certainly there is no debating that we need vitamins and that natural vitamins from whole foods are preferable to synthetic vitamins.

  19. Andrew Gubb says:

    I believe in the life force because I can percieve it. But cooked foods have it too. The life force seems to slowly seep out of foods in the hours and days following cooking, blending, or otherwise bringing entropy into the food. Worst are tinned foods or year old flour. Those things feel deader than a proverbial doorknob.

    Apart from that I totally agree with the last point – if it works, then it almost doesn’t matter WHY it works – just do it!

  20. West says:

    I appreciate your approach, Fred. Thank you for cutting through the BS!!

    Xo

  21. Colby says:

    I am some what new to this blog/website/emails. I am really enjoying blending raw foods the last 6 months. My wife and I fell very much alive since doing so. The email we got today from Frederic blew my mind.

    I think people need to chill out. Those making threats towards you are WAY out of line. You are/were simply showing the other side and trying help people be well versed in this topic. Thanks. You are a good man from what I see. I have really started to love nutrition and eating raw and you are helping.

    I am glad you are here to help those that care about their bodies.

    Thanks man!!!

  22. Jodie says:

    Can I just say to those people who got upset by your article(s) to find an experienced naturopath that specialises in hormones and get your hormone levels tested via a hair annalist and saliva test please!
    The reason I say this is because they obviously get easily irritated and aggravated and I too use to feel this way. I got my hormone levels checked and found out the hard way that eating raw is high in copper. My copper levels were through the roof and that upset my estrogen levels which were also through the roof. I was immediately put onto zinc supplements for 3 months (along with a few other things) even though my zinc levels were fine. And I feel so much calmer and better now.

  23. Mary Mahon says:

    Good articles. Both of them. Thank you for your level headedness in all your writing since I signed on. God bless. Mary in Duarte

  24. Susan Julien says:

    Dear Frederick, I just want you to know that, it ain’t me Babe, that is sending you bad thoughts. I have followed you sense the days of Just eat an apple and Sunfood. I have always felt you were living what I was reading. I mean that I read for five or six years exploring the raw vegan world before I jumped in. I have all your books as well as 100 or so others. My first book was Eating for Beauty. You could say I started were you did only you did it in the reality of your life. I just read David’s book first. More importantly the last book I read was Doug’s. I had burn out on David and many others who seemed to me to just want to make money not promote true health. True health was what I was really after. Doug gave me what I wanted. You validated for me what I was experiencing in my reading. I would have loved to be in your mentor club, but could not make a financial commitment that way. I am committed to support you by standing with you. Blessing, Susan

  25. ron says:

    I thought your article was excellent, one of your best. why, because I have been stating a a similar position for a long time and I do eat some greens and beans cooked.
    I do not follow 80/10/10 because I do eat small amounts of avocado and nuts during my evening meal. Some newer studies have said more nutrients are absorbed, with our salads if we include some fat along with them.
    Dr fuhrman, Dr Greger recommend eating this way.
    Have you talked about this in the past, are there any myths in the 80/10/10 that you feel need exposing besides eating 100% raw?

    You have come along way since your first few issues of Eat an apple! I don’t have copies of them, but I remember them well.

  26. shansraw says:

    Having some class and who you are is far more important than what you eat or don’t eat. Who cares what someone else eats? Other than you want people you love to be healthy and happy. I think its great you stand up for what you believe in Fred and keep it up…and I too personally love raw foods…i adore raw apples lol Ok I just wanted to say I love your emails always Fred and great articles..keep it up! :)

  27. Tina says:

    Thank you Fred for this article. I struggle to get back to a mostly raw diet, we had hard times and ended up going back to the S.A.D. diet because that is all that is given at food banks. We are now having a realy hard time coming back to raw, it seems like less than a year on S.A.D. diet and we are going through massive cleansing symptoms and withdrawls, worse than the first time we switched. So bad that we are now changing very slowly, very very slowly. I thank you for your blog, it helps me to keep motivated to take better care on my health and my families health and teach them better ways to live for they will grow up without worries of major diseases due to diet.

  28. Hi Fred, I have to say that by the time I came across your “Raw Secrets” book, I had read *many* raw food books and had dabbled in the diet. When I read your book I had already come to many of the same conclusions about the mistakes we can make as raw foodists, mainly, too much fat in the form of avocados/nuts.
    That said, I had posted one of your articles on the ning site “give it to me raw” a few months ago after a participant wrote that she was feeling really bad on the vegan diet and I recalled that I had saved an article you wrote about the mistakes people make on a vegan diet, and so I posted the article. To my utter amazement, there were many people who posted the most outrageous information. One guy, who claimed to be some sort of vegan chef, equated eating fruit with eating twinkies, and made some sort of comment that equated eating fruit with giving a cigarette to someone with lung cancer. I was blown away by the misinformation on that site in regard to fruit. however, what was fascinating is to observe the attack mode that they went into, and they were all males… very interesting in my opinion. ;)

  29. Courtney says:

    @ Mike

    I have a PhD in physics. Kirilian photography is bogus because to get those pretty pictures, you have to apply a super-strong electric field. So you what you are seeing in the photos is the very strong electric field ripping the electrons off of atoms. In more technical terms, what you are seeing is simply “corona discharge”. This process gives the “glow” that you see in Kirilian photography. You are not seeing the inherent energy of the food, but rather simply how well an applied electric field can rip electrons off atoms in the sample. And of course, different samples can have their electrons ripped off to different degrees, depending on water content, the strength of the electric field (or voltage), the types of molecules in the sample, atmospheric conditions, etc.

    Sorry, but Kirilian photography does not reveal “life force” and is bogus for revealing the quality of a food.

  30. Morgan says:

    Hi Frederic, and thanks for the refreshing take you have on raw foods. I like what you say and the way you say it, please try not to let the haters get you down.

  31. Ryan says:

    What Fred is saying here, put simply is:

    Balance is essential for a healthy diet, find what works for you
    and don’t believe blindly as he did.

    We can argue about the specifics all day and night, what’s the point?

  32. Sony says:

    Thanks, Courtney, for bringing some true science in the raw food world…(by saying this, I do not mean to criticize Fred)

  33. Erwan says:

    Interesting article, thanks for sharing.

    I do have to disagree with you regarding nutrient density. If you define it as the amount of nutrient per calorie, and you do, then the nutrient density of raw and cooked spinach is identical. This is because the caloric content of spinach does not vary, only the quantity of spinach per volume increases as it is cooked. A calorie of raw spinach provides at least the same amount of nutrient than a calorie of cooked spinach. If you defined nutrient density as the amount of nutrients per gram, only then you assertion would be correct.

  34. connie says:

    Fred, anyone who has read your materials and watched your videos knows you are a gentle soul. I am sorry for the unkindness and ugliness you have had to witness. I for one, have always admired your refined and courteous and skillful way of putting words together. If only we could all write so well!

    As human beings, we will always have things we disagree with with any person, even people whom we love like our own family. But careful tact, courtesy and respectfulness should be our underlying basis when presenting our own points of view we feel we must share. Fred, your good manners and respect for others have shown through all this. Thank you.

    I for one, have struggled and struggled with doing raw foods perfectly. Always enticed, but always failing. And when I can’t be perfect, then I go completely berserk the other way and eat every wrong thing possible. I am now 50# overweight, unhealthy and quite miserable. But your softening words and those of some others, offers a message and a helping hand, at least for me, that I may be able to dry my tears and forgive myself.

  35. Paul Palmer says:

    Great articles! Most of the replies opposing you were reasonable. However, there is no need for personal hostility. It’s a shame that we raw vegans who get hostility from the mainstream for our dissent should now show the same lack of consideration for the dissentters among us.

    I don’t completely agree with your criticism of some reasons for eating raw though they are well thought out. I don’t think Dr. Edward Howell meant to say that food increases our own supply of digestive enzymes. What he did say was that raw food had its own self-digestive enzymes that did their work in the upper part of the stomach. He did say also that some enzymes could tolerate a wide range of pH and might possibly survive the secretion of hydrochloric acid. What happens to other kinds of enzymes in plants? For example, are food sources of SOD useless because they are completely destroyed in the stomach, supposedly?

    Yes, we are different from other primates but does that mean we can’t learn anything from them, seeing as they are our closest biological relatives? Note that primates eat the 80/10/10 diet. Yes, we have to some extent adapted to a cooked diet but does that mean it’s ideal for us? Raw diet does have limits of healing. Chimpanzees get polio. Lions get TB. Your criticism about us being the only animal that eats cooked food is flawed. Yes, animals including primates may choose cooked food over their natural food, but is that healthy for them in the long run? Yes, we are also the only animal that uses advanced technology but that has nothing to do with our nutritional requirements. Does raw food have life force? Don’t know. Can’t prove that it doesn’t. You have taken the scientist’s pov that if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist until proven otherwise. Fair enough. Just my opinion but I do think we do have an optimal diet. But that needs to be qualified. We also have unique circumstances (biological pre-conditions and enviromental, social, and emotional context) that would preclude us applying it fully.

  36. Amber says:

    Frederick,
    A teacher of mine has said many times, that, when you are sharing the gift of yourself with the world, there are people who will violently oppose you, so I would say, you can take these as compliments, or, at the very least, indicators that you are ‘on the right track’. I personally have found your work to be beneficial and it has been a joy to watch you grow through your own angry rantings! (I have them myself at times!)
    Thank you for YOU. Keep doing what you do. Your ability to thrive in life while doing what you love is a gift.

  37. pedro szostak says:

    Estimado Fred: espero que entiendas español, porque para mí es más fácil que el english, pero de todos modos te felicito por tu trabajo que hacer que se interese la gente por una de las funciones más importantes para la salud: la buena alimentación. No somos iguales, pero la alimentación equilibrada y con abundantes frutas y verduras, es comprobadamente saludable. Opino que muy poca gente se hace responsable de su alimentación y de su salud. Pienso que no podemos mejorar el medio ambiente cuando no nos responsabilizamos ni tan siquiera de nuestro propio ambiente orgánico. Es un buen trabajo el tuyo y te felicito. Yo estoy en la búsqueda de la armonía psicofísica hace más de 50 años y experimenté bastante…siempre aprendo algo ! Gracias amigo Fred ! From Paraguay, Pedro Szostak.

  38. Frederic Patenaude says:

    Te entiendo bien Pedro :) Gracias por tus comentarios.

  39. Jemimah says:

    Hi Frederick:

    This is my first time responding on your blog and I would have like to comment on your traveling and applying the raw lifestyle. I just got back from a 3 week trip to Portugal and took my travel blender, cutting board, Swiss army knife and 6 rice milks that my husband and I took 3 each. Some countries only have soy like Portugal and very limited with other types of milk if you want to have a raw cereal. I found the blender came in handy to make smoothies and raw pesto sauces. I was happy to rent apartments which you can do in most countries at the same cost as hotels. Talk to Tourist “I” in each city. Portugal was very limited in getting vegetables and fruits unless you were at a market which have limited hours. Groceries stores there had a very small section for veggies and fruit. Hey, but you have to be creative and try different things. There wasn’t any organic sections in the grocery stores and health stores were really difficult to find. The only big problem we had is we had to go through the U.S. for our trip to Europe and home land security ending up looking through my luggage. I know, because they left a note inside after I landed. I wish you luck on your travels. Take care.

  40. Giselle says:

    Hi Fred,
    I just want u to know that from all the Raw Food Gurus, I favor u the best.
    Everybody else just bore me with all their information, & they all try to sell u something.
    They say u need super foods where in fact u say that we don’t. It makes sense to me that we get all the vitamins & nutrients from whole foods so y do we have to supplement with anything. U r so right Fred.
    They say u have to supplement with this vitamin & that vitamin just so they can make money., & u say we only need vitamin B-12 & D, if we don’t get any sun. It’s so true that we get all our vitamins from whole foods & the only thing u can’t get from food is B-12 & D. U show us the real way to b raw which is just the most simple diet. A diet that is eaten straight from nature not dehydrated or dried that sticks to ur teeth. & it works for me. A very simple diet.
    I enjoy reading all ur news letters which r not boring like everyone else’s. They r easy to read & understand, not like some other people out there that write so much & bore me where after a while I don’t understand a thing they say. U always have my interest, & I always tell all my friends to subscribe to ur newsletters.
    I have learned so much from u, I have read most of ur books, newsletters, listened to a lot of ur lectures. So please DON’T let anyone put u down. Continue doing what u r doing because u have helped me & I’m sure u have helped a lot of other people, & Idk what I would have done without u. U always motivate me with all ur newsletters, & lectures.
    Thanks 4 everything
    Giselle

  41. Peter Berquist says:

    Frederic,
    Thanks for continuing to provide us with this excellent information. Everyone has to decide for themselves what works best.
    Also thanks to Christopher Paulin for the info on Dr. Graham. Everything I have seen and heard from him has been nothing but the best. Not to mention how much the 80-10-10 diet has done for me and others I know.

  42. Keita says:

    There are zealots everywhere. I think the number one reason to eat raw is CHOICE. You can tell someone all the positive reason there are to eat raw – excellent health, virtually pain free because no or reduced inflammation, etc. But if that person does not make the choice to do so – all the reasons in the world become unimportant.
    There are lots of people doing drugs, drinking themselves silly and so on. They all know it is bad for them but choose to continue – food is the same.
    I sometimes do 100% raw for months at a time, then at other times I will have a slightly baked sweet potato one or twice a month.
    So far, after 8 months, I have not lost any weight, in fact I gained quite a bit (when I did not need to), on the other hand – high blood pressure – gone, borderline diabetes – gone, auto-immune disease – in remission, rheumatoid arthritis – in remission, stomach issues – gone. I could go on ad nauseum but I won’t because nothing I say will convince anyone who does not want to be persuaded.

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