Sushi, ceviches, and carpaccios are fashionable and certain natural food currents, such as crudivorism or instinctoterapy, affirm that raw foods are more nutritious and therefore healthier. However, many of them raise the risk of intoxication if certain precautions are not taken.
The raw food diet often called rawfoodian “raw” or raw veganism consists of raw and unprocessed foods mostly or in full.
A food is considered raw if it has never been heated above 104-118 ° F (40-48 ° C). Nor should it be refined, pasteurized, treated with pesticides or processed in any other way.
In contrast, the diet allows for several alternative methods of preparation, such as juice, mixing, dehydration, soaking, and germination.
As in veganism, the raw food diet is usually plant-based and consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Although most raw food diets are completely plant-based, some people also consume raw eggs and dairy products. Even less frequently, raw fish and meat are included.
On the other hand, the intake of supplements is ruled out. Advocates often claim that the diet provides all the nutrients the body needs.
The main benefits of this diet are that by consuming a high amount of fruits and vegetables, we are getting a high consumption of fiber and nutrients important to our body, which in other types of diets is not easy to cover. In addition to being limited in terms of variety of foods, look for different recipes and preparations to not get bored.
This type of diet is usually very effective in weight control since the type of food that can be used is low caloric intake and all junk and industrialized products must be eliminated, which are the ones that produce anxiety.
Among the benefits of the raw diet should be noted that it covers the recommendations of vitamins, minerals, and fiber; it is also a source of antioxidants and phytonutrients, which are the nutrients derived from vegetables, protects against colon cancer and preserves vitamin C since the cooking processes do not destroy it.
At the same time, this diet has received several criticisms for different reasons. One of them is that consuming a lot of fiber can be counterproductive and trigger adverse effects such as inflammation and calcium deficiency.
On the other hand, there are foods that are better absorbed if they are cooked and causes a deficiency of vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and proteins, which implies that supplements should be taken.
Risks in the consumption of raw foods
Apart from food contamination by microorganisms or other chemical or physical substances, there are natural toxins, antinutritional factors, in foods that are eliminated by cooking. If the raw food is taken, it can cause harm to health. These toxic substances act by interfering with metabolic processes and the bioavailability of nutrients as in the case of antivitamin, enzyme inhibitors, anti-mineral and polyvalent antinutrients.
In most cases where raw food is consumed, the security measures are summarized in two basic tips: to obtain a product that is trustworthy at its source, which must also be very fresh; and extreme hygiene measures in terms of conservation and handling.