The [Actual] Truth About Raw Vegan Diets
The raw vegan diet is popular. It makes us feel clean. Feel energized. And makes us drop weight with little effort.
At least that’s what a few influencers or raw vegan documentaries preach online, am I right?
You hear it all the time: “The raw vegan diet changed my life!” or “This is my raw vegan before and after transformation!”
But is a raw vegan diet truly something that is beneficial for your health? Is the raw vegan diet the holy grail for weight loss? What do you have to look out for as a raw vegan beginner?
In this article I’d like to show you the actual TRUTH about a raw vegan diet. So if you just give me a couple minutes of your time you’ll learn all there is about raw vegan and if it is truly the best option for your specific situation.
Ok guys? Let’s just dive right into it.
1. Raw Vegan Health Concerns
Following a raw vegan diet has good sides:
- It makes us cut out most of our junk food.
- It makes us more aware of the food that we put in our body.
- And sometimes it makes us feel even more energized (similar to short-term fasting).
Sounds good? Yes, absolutely. In the short-term.
But long-term health is a different story.
A multitude of ex vegan influencers are in reality ex ‘raw’ vegans: Think Dave Asprey, Rawalignment, Rawvana, Tim Shieff, Sv3rige .. to name a few.
And there’s a reason for that.
Raw vegan diets have a STRONG issue with sustainability:
See, our bodies digestive system has evolved to ‘outsource’ parts of our food digestion to cooking.
A lot of research shows that what enabled us to have bigger brains than our fellow primates is NOT hunting – but the process of pre-digesting our foods with cooking.
Yes, you heard that right. Our digestion actually starts with cooking.
Cooking makes some (not all!) foods easier digestible, breaks down cell walls and actually increases the absorption of some micronutrients.
Think about it:
- Cooked broccoli is easy to eat. Raw broccoli is a chore.
- Cooked rice is delicious. Raw rice serves you a trip to the dentist.
While a raw vegan diet will cut out most of the junk food, it will also cut out a HUGE chunk of the healthy foods that are impossible (or unsafe) to consume in an unprocessed state.
Think whole grains, beans, and cruciferous vegetables to name a few..
Cutting out a lot of healthy foods inevitably leads to more complexity in a diet and bigger planning efforts due to a higher chance of nutrient deficiencies.
2. Raw Vegan Diet Plan For Weight Loss
As the long-term health effects of raw vegan diets are dubious to say the least, so are it’s long-term weight loss effects.
Don’t get me wrong: A raw vegan diet will help you lose weight. Which is awesome.
But it will fly in the face of the number #1 rule of effective & smart weight loss: Sustainability.
What really keeps your weight off for LIFE is long-term behaviour change and NOT fad diets.
All raw vegan weight loss efforts go through 3 stages:
- Short-term, rapid decrease in weight.
- Plateau. Switching back to cooked vegan foods out of frustration.
- Immediate regain of lost pounds (+ maybe some more..).
So, should you go raw? Does a raw vegan diet has any benefits?
While a raw vegan diet might be beneficial for the short-term – increasing our energy and our self-control – it should NEVER be practiced for the long-term.
Regarding health: A raw vegan diet adds an unnecessary layer of complexity and planning efforts for literally non-existent long-term benefits.
It also discourages supplementation of necessary B12 for vegans which can literally lead to irreversible neurological damages.
Regarding weight loss: A raw vegan diet promises immediate results while making long-term behaviour change almost impossible due to its sustainability issues.
Moral of the story: Raw vegan diets are unhealthy. Cook your food!