The Raw Diet craze in eclipse.

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The Raw Diet craze in eclipse.

Postby hyksos on October 4th, 2019, 6:57 pm 

This article is about the ongoing raging debate of raw food versus cooked food.

Roughly about 4 to 5 years ago, another diet fad hit called the Raw Diet. The Raw Diet craze was mostly promulgated via youtube channels. (I do have links to such very well made personalities, if anyone wants the links to them.) Many of the promulgators were women, and they used their own physical appearance as "proof" of the benefits of a completely raw diet. Many of these attractive women bragged about how they had been eating raw for "five years". And they would spice up their claims with how cooking "destroys essential nutrients" in food or removes the natural 'essence' and what have you.

Throughout our lives we have been perpetually hearing about how healthy salads are, and we all naturally assumed that it was because you were consuming uncooked vegetables. I myself have been operating under a sort of romanticized version of nutrition, that somehow mankind is 'meant' to graze directly on uncooked fruit and vegetables. Food is best taken directly from nature like a deer or an elk. Even in my 4th decade, I felt that consuming vegetables that were just plucked from the vine would somehow 'maximize' the nutrition since the food was more "natural" having not been "processed". I beleived there is no better way to optimize nutrition than to consume a tomato just plucked from the vine while I'm still standing in the garden. It was so romantic-- like becoming one with nature and beaming a rainbow directly into your body . . .

Well I have some bad news for all of you at the forum who thought like I did. The science is coming out, and the science is showing quite the opposite of what you would expect.

Two major recent findings can be summarized as

1. Meat. There is little or inconsistent evidence that cooked meat versus raw has any differences in nutritional uptake.

2. Vegetables and fruits. There is a huge difference between cooked and raw vegetables as far as nutritional uptake is concerned. Cooked vegetables have higher nutritional uptake than raw. This is true in both nutrients, protein, and in starch and carbs.

The health benefits of cooking vegetables are multiple. Research is showing that it is harder for your body to digest raw vegetable matter. Because the starch in COOKED plant matter is more easily absorbed by the small intestine, less starch reaches the large intestine downstream. Less starch in the large intestine is better for gut microbiota.

One researcher even went as far as to claim that human beings are NOT DESIGNED to eat raw vegetables or raw fruit.

So yeah. This is bubble-bursting stuff. These findings are turn-your-world-upside down kind of facts. I do believe the raw diet craze was totally extrapolating on a romanticized version of nature and 'naturally unprocesssed' foods. They were invoking a sort of common myth that people are supposed to pick a wheat stalk right out of the ground and chew on it. There is some sort of hippie mythos about how "nature provides" and that overcooked foods are "bad for you". But is turning out to be a bunch of nonsense and urban myth.
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Re: The Raw Diet craze in eclipse.

Postby TheVat on October 4th, 2019, 9:44 pm 

I agree re the raw food mythology. Glad you posted that.

The recent red meat finding is a bit more complex, and the papers are disputed by many nutritionists.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/nutri ... 2019-10-02


The battle between the two sides of this debate, as this explainer at news site Vox shows, involves technical disputes about how to construct scientific studies in the real world, and which ones are more reliable, and why. The limitation of all these studies is that they’re all flawed.

It’s not possible to control for all variables, unless the participants were confined to a laboratory for years, if not decades. That’s why researchers frequently caution readers that their conclusions suggest correlation rather than causation.

All such studies naturally have theoretical flaws, says Jane Uzcategui, professor of nutrition and food studies at Syracuse Universities. But the observational studies about the risks of red meat are so many, and so big, that we should give them a lot of weight, she adds.

“The fact that we’ll never have any better evidence does not make it good evidence,” adds Guyatt.


I've waded into this field a bit in my past work, and it's pretty messy. There is quite a bit of uncertainty about how the way meat is produced affects its nutritional properties. Pasture-raised grassfed cattle do seem to have a better balance of fatty acids for human consumption, when compared with cattle
fed corn or other trough feeds in a confined setting. Cooking procedures also affect oxidation of certain fats in meat and other chemical reactions that can produce deleterious residues.... won't get into all that beyond to say it seems like a science in its infancy.
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Re: The Raw Diet craze in eclipse.

Postby Serpent on October 4th, 2019, 11:25 pm 

If it's edible, an omnivore can subsist on it. If it's varied, an omnivore can thrive on it.
The precise combination of raw/cooked, protein/carbohydrate/fat, soft/hard, green/yellow/red/white, aquatic/aerial/terrestrial components is inconsequential. If you obtain a variety of foods and consume them in moderation, you'll be fine. It's the M-word that most people struggle with.
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