WHAT IS THE RAW FOOD DIET?
The raw food diet is about eating foods that involve either no cooking or cooking at very low temperatures.
It is often vegan and consists of mostly raw fruit and vegetables, seeds, nuts, sprouts, grains, beans, dried fruit and seaweed. Some raw foodies do include meat, but eat it raw or dried.
Followers of the diet refer to fresh food in its untampered state as being “alive” and see cooking as “killing” food. “When cooked, food can lose some important enzymes, minerals and vitamins,” explains Cape Town nutritional therapist Andrea Jenkins.
Preparation for some meals may involve leaving nuts to soak, drying, dehydrating, juicing and blending fruit and vegetables. If any cooking is done, temperatures should not exceed 46 °C as this helps preserve the natural enzymes in food.
It’s not surprising that appearance-conscious celebrities such as Catherine, Demi Moore, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone and Lisa Bonet have embraced this diet, says Dr Suna Kassier, registered dieti- cian and lecturer in Dietetics and Human Nutrition at the University of KwazuluNatal.
“The diet is said to be health-giving, beautifying, energising and aids weight loss,” she says. “Many raw foods are also low in kilojoules, sodium and high in filling fibre.”
It also contains less saturated and trans fats compared to many processed foods.
“Raw food also has longevity properties,” says Antonia De Luca, founder of Leafy Greens Café in Muldersdrift.
“And not only do you lose weight on the diet but you can control blood-sugar levels, leading to clearer thoughts and more stable emotions. The diet can also be enjoyed at any age and at any activity level.”
Not ready to take the plunge? You can try parts of this diet by including only some raw fruits and vegetables in your eating plan, which will up your nutrient intake. You can also adopt this diet as a temporary cleanse for a few weeks or months.
ABOVE: Catherine at a garden party in May 2013, a few months before the birth of George. RIGHT: Her flat tummy is on display while playing volleyball at a charity event in October 2013.
ONLY 3 MONTHS