The premise behind the raw food lifestyle is that heating food above 115 degrees Fahrenheit destroys important living enzymes and other nutrients. Proponents of raw food believe that by preserving the living elements of the food that we eat, degenerative disease is prevented, aging is slowed, energy enhanced and emotional well-being is boosted.
There is no strict meal plan; you just eat raw food, typically, about 75 to 80 percent of what you eat should be uncooked plant-based foods. Staples include fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts and nut butters, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, raw virgin coconut oil, raw coconut butter, and freshly squeezed juices. Dehydrated foods are acceptable, and the use of a home food dehydrator can help alleviate the tedium of raw food textures. Many health and specialty stores also sell raw products, such as dehydrated crackers and chips. Although the reliance on nuts, coconut oil, and avocado can be caloric, people generally lose weight on a raw food diet since calorie intake usually is reduced.