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20 Feb 2015 15:42:00
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What Is a Raw Food Diet?


There seems to be great lack of clarity around the idea of what a raw food diet really is. In any case, we are always amazed as to how often a raw food diet is confused with a vegetarian diet. And people often believe that all a person has to do to be a raw foodist is to eat their fruits and vegetables raw. They are then very surprised to hear that being a raw foodist also means that you don’t eat any bread, chocolate, spaghetti, or other cooked or baked foods. Anything that is heated beyond 104°F (40°C) is no longer considered raw.

“Raw” simply means no baking, no steaming, no frying, and no cooking.
And the reason why you shouldn’t do these things is easy. Heat destroys many healthy substances in foods and also forms harmful Maillard molecules.


First, heat changes the chemical structure of essential vitamins and enzymes found in food in such a way that they can no longer be fully metabolized. And second, heating also changes the chemical composition of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. This means that heating foods results in molecular divisions and also in the formation of new chemicals, with the latter likely being more harmful for our body than the divisions. However, we can only eat certain starch sources, such as potatoes, in larger quantities after they have been cooked, and cooking destroys toxins that occur naturally in beans.

At this point, many people would object and say that cooked foods aren’t harmful for our body because humans have been cooking their food for a long time and we have still survived.
The only reply here is that according to science humans have only been able to use fire for hundreds of thousands of years. However, we have been on Earth for about three million years. And our ancestors first used fire for warmth or protection from predators and only later began to intentionally cook their food. It also took time for the practice of cooking to spread and become “established.” At any rate, the time span has been too short for the body to adapt to cooked food.

One thing we can say with some certainty about our history includes the time since humans have cooked their food. And we know that in this period we have suffered a lot from disease and deterioration. How it was before this time is something that we will largely never know. But it was probably not unlike how it is with animals. They don’t cook their food, and their body gets everything it needs.

The saddest thing is that in spite of new findings in modern medicine and microbiology we are increasingly suffering from lifestyle diseases, and this situation will only continue to worsen as long as we continue to distance ourselves ever further from our natural diet. It is also a fact that alongside typical lifestyle diseases, deficiency symptoms are also becoming increasingly common, and this is occurring in people who have the privilege of eating full plates of food every day.
cancer is largely a result of our diet. 
It is only getting worse. As we come to understand more about how our body works, for example, about acid-base balance, cellular metabolism, energy balance, and and and, we are distancing ourselves even further from natural processes. Any time we have health problems, we try to correct these with artificial, synthetic substances and forget that ideal nutrition is actually pure, unadulterated, unmodified foods found in nature and that these are without a doubt capable of nourishing our body so that it isn't lacking anything and stays so healthy and strong that it isn’t even susceptible to pathogens.

Putting it simply, the more natural and unprocessed our food is, the more alive it is. Live food is rich in everything that our body needs to stay healthy and function optimally.
Cooked food, and in particular foods that increasingly contain synthetic additives, is dead food that burdens and damages the body. It is constantly bombarded with harmful substances and toxins that it tries to rid itself of as quickly as possible—whether this be by converting, excreting, or storing them in deposits. These defense mechanisms of the body lead to excessive strain on the glands and organs. The substances that cannot be properly eliminated cause waste products, deposits, plaque, fatty degeneration, and poisoning, which we don’t notice because they don’t result in any health problems until they reach a certain level.

Our genetic code most certainly determines which of these unnecessary substances causes our body to experience difficulties. But in general we can say that actually all lifestyle diseases can be partially attributed to our body’s defenses against these undesirable substances or against the deposits and poisoning they cause.

There are actually two ways our body can deteriorate:

1) outer influences such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites; these pathogens penetrate into our body, which responds by developing defense mechanisms. These are either strong enough to allow the body to recover as the victor, or they are insufficient and the body suffers permanent damage or deteriorates. The struggle takes place at the level of the immune system.

2) The body is faced with harmful substances that we either intentionally or unintentionally ingest. This struggle also takes place at the level of the immune system. An overload of the digestive organs and glands causes them to become weak and injures or destroys them, which can at some point even lead to death.
Although the “struggle” in our body in these two cases has very different causes, in both cases our diet can influence the development and progression of the struggle.

Cardiovascular diseases (e.g., hypertension, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, strokes, and atherosclerosis), diabetes, rheumatism, intestinal disorders, gout, arthritis, excema, allergies, and the like are consequences of a bad diet. Recent research shows that cancer occurs largely as a result of our diet. Other factors, such as our predisposition (genetic disposition), naturally also play a role, but these shouldn’t be overemphasized.

Many people suffer from high blood pressure because their body doesn’t tolerate certain foods (likely especially in cooked form) such as milk, roasted foods, and grains. The correlations described here have unfortunately not yet been established by research, but the facts can be empirically proven.


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Author
Kathrin Seiler, image_from_year 2000
Kathrin Seiler, Switzerland
Translator
Kerstin Gackle, image_from_year 2014
Kerstin Gackle, Germany
Kerstin Gackle is a freelance translator who specializes in translations related to the environment, health and diet, social welfare, and education. She has earned two master’s degrees (Germanics and TESOL) and a certificate in translation.
Publication

20/02/2015 15:42

Updated at

20/02/2015 15:42

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