Raw foodism is a lifestyle which is based upon the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables as a significant portion of one’s daily intake. People are generally considered raw foodists when 75% or more of their daily food allowance consists of raw foods. While raw foodists are often vegan, some raw foodists do eat dairy, eggs, raw meat and seafood.
The types of foods consumed might vary according to the type of raw foodism practiced, but in general these types of diets might consist of raw fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, eggs, fish, meat, and non-pasteurized/non-homogenized dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. People who follow these types of diets generally believe that raw foods can help them lose weight as well as protect them against various chronic illnesses. In fact, they feel that the process of cooking foods often destroys an array of beneficial nutrients.
Scientific research into these types of diets is mixed, with some scientists finding evidence that raw food diets might be harmful and lacking in various vitamins and minerals. Other research indicates that these types of diets might help decrease cholesterol and even lower women’s risk of breast cancer. Most doctors and nutritionists do agree that a diet in which raw meats and seafood are consumed elevates people’s risk of contracting food borne illnesses such as salmonella. They also voice concerns about the lack of Vitamin D and fatty acids in a vegan raw food diet as well as the extremely low-caloric intakes of many raw foodists.