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What Are the Nutritional Effects of Eating Food Raw?

Learn the nutritional pros and cons of a raw food diet from chef Ron Russell in this Howcast video.


Some of the pros and cons of eating raw food, as far as nutrition goes, there aren't too many cons. But, there are a few items. Like a Russet potato, for instance, needs to be cooked. You shouldn't eat a potato that isn't cooked. The starches don't break down, and it's hard to digest. So, there are a few foods that you can't eat on a raw food diet.

As far as nutrients goes, the only thing I've seen with some people is they get to be too monotone. They eat the same thing all the time, and they don't have a big enough spectrum of foods. And therefore, they're missing out on some of their nutrients.

If you're eating lots of greens especially you're just going to get all the nutrients possible. Greens like kale, chard, spinach, cilantro even are just packed with nutrients; B vitamins, K, calcium, all the minerals, etc. So, you're going to get all you need if you eat enough greens. And so that's the easy way to make sure you get your nutrients.

I talk about eating nutrient density. What you look for are foods that are just full of nutrients. There's actually a scale now. Someone came up with a scale called the ANSI scale. A-N-S-I and it lists how many nutrients based on the calorie count something has. Among the top were kale, chard, and spinach, the green leafies. Broccoli is another one. Carbs tend to be lower. Things like corn that's got a lot of sugar in it, not too nutrient dense.

It's not that you shouldn't ever eat these things, but you want to weigh on the side of nutrient dense foods. You can mix in the other vegetables, and fruits, and seeds, and nuts and all that, but be sure you get enough of the nutrient dense foods.

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