Raw Veganism: The Most “Extreme” Diet?
The earth itself provides health and vitality; and man’s innovations often do more harm than good. This is especially true in the case of food. Though many factors are important in the increase of one’s vitality, food is a cornerstone. The most vital foods on earth are raw fruits, vegetables of both land and sea, and raw sprouted seeds, nuts, grains and beans. These are the ONLY foods that you should eat.
For more than thirty years I have used this living food diet to prevent and conquer disease. Additionally it fuels a long and conscious life for hundreds of thousands.
I often wonder how long and far we will have to drive this message. There is very little question about it – meat and dairy foods cause disease. Unfortunately, many people are still unsure.
Nutrition is a combination of many factors: oxygen, water, food, and exercise being the primary sources. Together they provide complete vitality. I prefer the word “vitality” to “health” because if you ask someone who is on the average Western diet if they are healthy, most of those not (yet) suffering from a chronic disease would say “yes.”
With this in mind I wonder how most would respond if asked about their vitality. I suspect their answers would probably be different. It’s an important question, since many people see their diet as healthy and consequently, because food is generally regarded as our greatest source of health, they assume they must be eating well.
But are you vital? And is your food vital? That’s a more difficult question, is it not?
Those who think that food’s energy is derived solely from calories, regardless of its source, are mistaken. Think about the real relationship that we have with what we eat. Who does not feel more vitality from a salad than from a piece of fried chicken?
There is, both biologically and aesthetically, more “life” in living food. It is not uncommon to hear those who are unfamiliar with raw foods refer to some food as “dead.” Intuitively, they understand this.
A recent commercial for a hamburger chain capitalized on this, showing the “dead” and unappetizing hamburger of a rival restaurant under harsh light, undressed by tomatoes and lettuce, while their own burgers were colorful, packed with raw vegetables, and in movement. “There is life in our food,” the commercial implied. We need no lessons to teach us that food does indeed have “life.”
Nevertheless, skeptics continue to frown upon the raw food diet, even when there is ample evidence supporting its healthfulness. Most criticism derives from the fact that raw food diets can make it easy to miss certain nutrients; that raw-foodism may be too extreme; and that certain foods are easier to digest when cooked. These claims are absurd.
One question I hear a lot is “can you get enough of the proper nutrients from raw foods.”
The answer is unequivocally yes.
Of course if you do not eat the proper foods in any diet, there is a risk of malnutrition. But it is far easier to eat the correct raw foods and receive a full spectrum of vital nutrients. It simply takes effort and experience. Also, one should only consume organic, fresh produce, preferably produce grown locally. There is no evidence that this diet will lack the proper nutrients. In fact, Hippocrates has seen hundreds of thousands of people thrive on this diet for over half a century.
There are some people who claim the “original” diet of humans was not raw, that we are naturally omnivorous, and that raw food advocates who claim man once ate only fruit from the trees are engaged in wishful thinking.
We may be, but I don’t think it matters. There have been vegetarian societies and omnivorous societies, and the meat-eaters invariably suffer from health problems that the vegetable eaters do not.
The one thing you can’t call me is a primitivist. After my initial intuition about raw living food (intuition is highly undervalued), I looked at the diet from strictly a scientific standpoint. Clearly, vitality comes from eating vegetables, preferably in their raw state. I don’t care if man has lived for the last 5,000 years on a diet of hamburgers and pizza; it simply is not the healthiest way to live.
As someone who values my health and the health of the planet, I cannot come to any other conclusion, and I am perpetually confused by those who can. How is it possible that vegetables (which happens to contain all the protein that meat and dairy eaters claim vegans miss) are good for you, yet they are bad for you if you eat them exclusively? If they contain everything we need and more, how can this be possible?! It simply is not!
This has been a recent criticism aimed at the “movement” (eating raw food is not so much a movement as a natural way of living). Shouldn’t the exploding weight of Westerners (even in France people are getting larger) be explained as something akin to an eating disorder? People who reduce their caloric intake to an unhealthy point and/or radically limit their food choices (for example, by eating only celery and grapefruit), may have derived their desire to eat raw foods from emotional instability, but so has someone who gorges on steak and potatoes.
If someone is on a raw food diet for the correct reasons, it is not only a good decision, it is a healthy one. And as is the case with any decision, education should come first. One should intuitively understand that raw food is, at the very least, the purist choice.
At the Institute we believe that only the things that are healthy are not unhealthy, and that seems like a fairly logical conclusion. Recently, “accepted” institutes have finally begun to conduct research on raw food, probably with the intent of discrediting the diet, and they’ve come up with some amazing research that does just the opposite. In fact, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, led by Luigi Fontana, revealed that raw foodists who had been on the diet for an average of 3.6 years had an abnormally low bone mass when compared to people who are on a diet consisting of refined carbohydrates, animal products and cooked food, – the typical Western diet.
Critics were waiting to run with this information, until they uncovered a second piece to the study, information that stunned many scientists and doctors: the low bone mass associated with a raw food diet, usually a sign of osteoporosis and fracture risk, was not linked to high bone turnover rates. In fact, bone turnover was low, and the raw foodists had less inflammation and less IGF-1, one of the most important growth factors linked to breast and prostate cancer.
There is more. Despite the warnings of many health “professionals” that cutting meat and dairy from the diet will present a risk of vitamin D deficiency, the raw food group actually had higher levels of the vitamin. Dr. Fontana tried to explain it away by claiming that: “These people were clever enough to expose themselves to sunlight to increase their concentration of vitamin D.”
Unfortunately, Dr. Fontana could not entirely abandon his skepticism, and he resorted to saying that “over the long term, a strict raw food vegan diet could pose some health problems.” (It’s a strange conclusion, given his own evidence.)
After working in the field for as long as I have, I don’t need a study to tell me that a largely raw food diet builds health. But the study was fascinating, if only because it further exposed the strange contradictions that “doctors” adopt. How can they say, “vegetables are the healthiest food, eat more of them,” and then turn right around and say, “but a diet of raw vegetables is dangerous?” It happens all the time, though, and it still puzzles me endlessly.
Another example: recently, an interesting paper was published in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society on the subject of cancer. It is thorough, and presents a varying number of statistics regarding cancer rates in the United States, information about advancements in treatment, etc. But, as always, what should be the logical conclusion was pointedly missing.
One of the most pervasive findings of cancer epidemiology is the observation that individuals who consume larger quantities of fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of developing malignancies compared to those who appear otherwise identical but eat smaller quantities of these dietary components. [Talaley]
It seems fairly conclusive to me.
Interestingly, these studies are never done with exclusively organic vegetables, which would certainly make the results even more impressive.
“Those who consume larger amounts of vegetables must, by necessity, ingest more fiber and nearly always consume less fat. Both fiber and fat effect tumor incidence in experimental animal models,” Talaley continues. “Vegetable eaters also have a higher intake of vitamins and of a myriad of secondary plant metabolites (phytochemicals) that play specialized roles in the life of the plant and have great benefits for humans. Many of these phytochemicals display varied and interesting pharmacological and toxicological properties.”
I’ve heard countless people surmise that raw food is difficult to digest, and although the claim is often made that there is evidence to back it up, none ever comes. However, there are literally thousands of studies showing that meat and dairy consumption cause nearly every non-communicable disease known to man.
So, what do the naysayers resort to? They claim that there is something emotionally or psychologically wrong with raw fooders, that it is an “eating disorder.” Given the evidence, this is tantamount to saying “I think meat is more delicious than vegetables, so eating vegetables is an eating disorder.”
Show me even a small bit of conclusive evidence that proves that everything a human needs for life is not available in a raw food diet and I will scientifically destroy that theory.
Article by Brian Clement, PhD, LN of Hippocrates Health Institute