“5 False Assumptions About Natural Living (From the Raw Food Movement)”

by Frederic Patenaude

In the first part of this article, I reviewed some false assumptions about natural living from the mainstream. In this issue, let's look at what's going on in the raw food movement.

“As long as it’s raw it’s okay”

When I first got into raw foods almost 9 years ago, the general advice was: “eat as much of anything as you’d like. As long as it’s raw it’s okay.”

That led me and others to some abuse especially in the fat department. 

The fact that a food is raw doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthy, just like a “natural” food isn’t necessarily a healthy food.

In my experience, the “raw foods” that people generally tend to go overboard with are: dried fruits, nuts, oils, avocados, seeds, and dehydrated foods in general.

The foods that should be emphasized in the diet are the obvious but often forgotten fruits and vegetables.

“The less you eat the better off you’ll be”

Although this one is less common, there’s definitely a tendency in the raw food movement to recommend extreme frugal eating. The idea is that since the food is“alive”, it’s not necessary to eat as much or even eat foods with calories.

This advice leads a lot of people to go on repeated fasts, cycles of restricted diets followed by binges, and generally fail to thrive on a diet that simply doesn’t give enough energy and nutrients.

Although some caloric-restriction is good and caloric requirements may be a smaller on a raw food diet, the basic principles of nutrition still apply and therefore it’s necessary to learn to eat enough fruits and vegetables in the right balance to provide us with enough calories and nutrients.

“Fruit is dangerous”

There“s a tendency in the raw food movement to discourage the consumption of fruit and recommend instead a diet of vegetables and fat (avocados, nuts, oils, etc.).

Fruit is often accused of being too high in sugar and overly hybridized. Some people go as far as accusing fruit to “cause cancer”, which has led more than one to think twice before adding another banana in their smoothie.

I won’t go into that entire discussion, but let me just say that I’m of the opinion that fruit is an extremely healthy food and there is no reason to limit its consumption as long as your diet is healthy and low in fat. If you’d like to read more information on the subject, I’ve written a “shocking report” on the fruit controversy, which is available at no charge at this link.

“You can have as much raw fat as you’d like”

Along with the idea of “as long as it’s raw it’s okay,” there’s definitely a widespread view that “you can have as much fat as you like and it’s going to be healthy for you as long as it’s raw fat.”

In my years of involvement in the raw food movement, I’ve seen many people end up in a worse state of health than they were before by eating large quantities of raw fat on a regular basis.

I’ve had raw-foodists confessed eating up to a jar of almond butter a day, or eat mixtures of coconut butter and honey by the tablespoon.

For the record, let’s say it again: too much fat is not healthy, whether we’re talking about raw or cooked fat.

“Diet is the most important factor in health”

Although not limited to the raw food movement, a common factor of people switching to a new diet such as vegan or raw is that they tend to focus on diet alone as if it was the only important factor in health.

The same is found in fitness maniacs who think that more exercise is going to make them healthier no matter what.

Health is a little more complex than that. There are so many factors that can influence it, including emotions, fitness, relationships, environmental factors, sun and air, spirituality and life purpose.

Do yourself a favor and view diet as only one aspect of a healthy lifestyle!

Mens sana in corpore sano — a healthy mind in a healthy body. :-)

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