My first Ezine article on raw foods and weight loss! Enjoy…
Raw Food Weight Loss – Why Does it Work?
Perhaps it’s just my own exposure to it, but a
raw food weight loss diet seems to be growing in popularity. I first
encountered a raw food diet myself as a last-ditch effort to avoid
the onset of type 2 diabetes. I was developing all the symptoms, and
had been warned by my doctor that I was on the verse of developing
diabetes. I learned about people reversing their diabetes with a raw
food diet through various sites on the internet, and was desperate
enough to give it a try.
It worked. Not only did my blood
sugar normalize, but I started losing weight hand over fist. Other
health problems (such as high blood pressure) began correcting
themselves as well. Once the crisis was over, I began asking myself
questions. Why did raw food work so well? What was there in
particular about raw as opposed to cooked vegetables and fruits that
made such a difference?
In fairness, there are a lot of
experts who will tell you that it doesn’t. Doctors like Joel Fuhrman
claim to have very similar results with a vegan diet that includes
cooked vegetables and beans, as well as raw fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Fuhrman makes excellent arguments as to why whole plant-based
foods help you lose weight. It basically revolves around the density
of the nutrient ratio to calories. The mechanism that regulates human
body weight perfectly when consuming foods found in nature is
completely inadequate for regulating the system when confronted with
the food monstrosities that humans create from processed and
artificially concentrated empty calories. But this argument applies
equally well to cooked or raw foods, as long as the foods are whole
plant foods. Is there an additional benefit to eating raw?
raw food enthusiasts, including myself, think that there is. One of
the common explanations for this is that cooking destroys enzymes in
the raw plants, which are critical to digestion. This improved
digestion, the theory goes, contributes to weight loss. The science
behind this, from what I’ve researched, is a bit dubious. Yes, there
are enzymes in raw foods, but they are different from the ones used
by humans in digestion. On the other hand, it’s certain that cooking
chemically alters food in ways that are not completely understood.
They are not understood because we have only a dim grasp of the
staggering array of chemicals that even the simplest fruit and
vegetables consist of. It is this interplay of hundreds of nutrients
– some of them as yet undiscovered and not yet researched – that
contributes to health.
Perhaps there is something even
more fundamental to the effect of a raw diet. Many of the primary
changes I noticed when switching to a raw diet were mental changes –
even, if I may introduce the word, spiritual changes. Raw food simply
seems to have a “life energy” to it that translates into a
different experience when living primarily on raw food. I don’t know
that this “life energy” will ever be completely transparent
to scientific study, but many people who have tried raw food will
testify that it makes a difference to them and their quality of
Or me, raw food has been a health transformation. Yes I
have lost a lot of weight. But most importantly, I simply feel more
in touch with my health. I finally feel at home in my body.
Campbell is a Reiki master and independent priest involved in healing
and holistic health.