Individuals Consuming A Raw Foods Diet
Raw foods diets are often associated with a vegan diet and this article explores the beliefs, attitudes, and practices of 17 raw foodists “considered to be leaders in the U.S. raw foods movement.”
When asked to describe their diet, participants gave answers that included “raw,” “raw vegan,” “100% raw, vegan, and living foods,” and “100% raw.” Twelve of the 17 participants reported a diet containing 85% or more raw foods. All participants followed a vegetarian diet, with 15 of them adhering to a vegan diet. The two exceptions were one occasional dairy consumer and one honey user. The major foods that made up the participants’ diets were fruit and fruit juices, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and added fats, such as vegetable oils and avocado. Typically, all participants refrained from consuming meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, eggs, commercially manufactured sweets, and alcohol.
Health benefits, such as disease protection and improved digestion, weight control, and increased energy levels, were stated as major advantages to the raw foods lifestyle. Although challenges to adopting the diet were few, 65% of the respondents reported being affected by social pressures that accompany an eating pattern outside of the mainstream. One study respondent noted that it is difficult to socialize with people in a culture when so much of this activity is done over a meal.
Sixty percent of participants agreed that consumption of 70% to 90% raw foods would meet the criteria. Three participants thought there was no cut-off, while three others believed that 100% raw food consumption was necessary. Of the respondents, 41% thought the diet could be achieved by eating as much raw food as possible in a consistent manner.[Abstract points excerpted from article]