There are many famous and ordinary promoters of the raw food diet, an eating plan that encourages eating uncooked, unprocessed foods including fruits, vegetables, and some grains, nuts, and seeds. Raw food dieters say that cooking food destroys a lot of its nutritional content, and instead use juicers, dehydrators, and minimal heating of foods.
One recent inspiring story about the benefits of a raw food diet comes from a story in the August 27 issue of the Winnipeg Free Press. Truck driver Dave Conrardy went from 430 to 200 pounds after switching to raw foods, losing 100 pounds in just three months. His kidney condition and type 2 diabetes disappeared, and he stopped needing 18 of the 19 prescriptions he had been taking. Conrardy calls the raw food diet “the most healing diet on the planet” and now no longer drives trucks but gives motivational talks about his new lifestyle.
Many raw food dieters are also vegan or vegetarian, but some may eat animal products. The diet originated with the Swiss doctor Maximilian Bircher-Benner, who after eating raw apples was cured of jaundice. He began experimenting with the benefits of a raw food diet and eventually opened a sanitarium where his beliefs were practiced.
Celebrities who embrace the diet include Demi Moore, Jason Mraz, and Alicia Silverstone. Woody Harrelson also took up the diet and even made a documentary on sustainable living practices called Go Further.
Tennis star Venus Williams switched to a raw food diet after her diagnosis of an autoimmune disease, with her sister Serena choosing to follow in her footsteps to show support. Her condition has since improved, and she came back to her sport with a vengeance, winning Olympic gold at the 2012 London games in women’s doubles.
Some experts question the claims made by raw food dieters, wondering if raw foods are really healthier than cooked. The answer seems to be varied – some foods have more benefits uncooked, while some get increased nutrition by heating. The diet requires a good amount of planning to ensure you are getting adequate nutrition, but on the whole it is a very healthy, sustainable lifestyle change.