5 Common Mistakes Made on a Raw Food Diet
So you’ve been on a raw food diet for a while now and you feel stuck. You have cravings all the time, you have low energy, you haven’t experienced the health and vitality that everyone talks about, and you definitely don’t have “the glow”.
You aren’t alone. There’s a reason you and so many like you are dismayed by your results (or lack thereof) from your switch to raw foods. You’re doing it all wrong.
But don’t worry, it’s an easy fix. Take a look at these 5 common mistakes made by raw foodists to see if one, two, or even all of them can be blamed for your raw food woes.
Mistake #1: Eating Too Much Fat
By far the biggest mistake made on a raw food diet is overdoing it on fat. You may think this is hard to do on only raw foods, but you are mistaken. Avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, and oils are all comprised of mostly fat (75%+)
What’s the problem with too much? For one, a diet high in fat is the true cause of high blood sugar, but it also interferes with the transportation of oxygen through blood and has been linked to several mental and physical ailments.
Plus, fatty foods just are not satiating. Even if you get enough calories, you will likely still experience tremendous cravings for foods like bread and pasta because your body need carbs. Lacking fuel, fatigue will set in as well.
Remedy: Limit your fat intake to no more than 10% of total calories. It’s okay to have some days that are higher in fat, but the average should be around 10%. This typically means one to two ounces of nuts/seeds or half to three quarters of a medium avocado.
Mistake #2: Eating Too Little Fruit
The reason it’s so hard to maintain a diet of mostly fat (raw or not) is because your body naturally craves sugar-rich carbohydrates. Your entire body runs on sugar and everything you eat, carbohydrate-rich or not, has to be converted to simple sugar before it can be fully utilized by the cells.
Now, I’m certainly not telling you to go chow down on pasta or garlic bread. Grains should definitely be avoided for optimal health. What I’m saying is that you need to eat more fresh, whole, ripe, raw, sweet, delicious, nutritious, and simple sugar-rich fruit.
If you want to succeed on a raw food diet, you have to get the majority of your calories from fruit.
Remedy: Eat as much fruit as you want for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Make sure all the fruit you eat is good quality and at the peak of ripeness.
Mistake #3: Eating Too Much Salt
Besides eating far too much fat in the form of avocados, nuts, and oils, raw foodists are known for consuming too much salt as well.
If you REALLY want to see your health soar, you need to severely limit or eliminate salt (yes, even “healthy” sea salt) from your diet. You can get all the minerals you need, including sodium, from fresh fruits and greens.
Remedy: Turn to ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, herbs, and celery powder to add great flavor to your savory raw salads, soups, and sauces.
Mistake #4: Eating Too Many Refined Foods
Even though many raw foodists love to claim that they eat a 100% raw and natural diet, the simple fact is that the vast majority of them eat way too many refined foods. Dried fruit, dried nuts and seeds, and refined sweeteners are used in abundance to make everything from flax seed crackers to chocolate mouse.
Remember, this is a RAW food diet we are talking about here. Refined foods, even if they are only sun-dried, are no longer truly raw.
Remedy: Keep refined foods like dried fruits to a minimum. The bulk of your calories should come from whole, fresh foods.
Mistake #5: Eating Complicated Recipes
Finally, a huge mistake in the raw food movement has to do with complicated recipes that ignore food combining. To show you what I mean check out this popular raw dessert:
- 1 cup ground pecans
- 1 cup dates
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon avocado
- 1 tablespoon agave
- 1/2 tablespoon cacao powder
Not only is this recipe high in fat (over 50%!), but it’s very poorly combined. It’s full of sugar (dates and agave) and fat (pecans, coconut oil, and avocado) which do not digest well together.
It’s okay to have a complex recipe with multiple ingredients every once in a while. But these should never make up the majority of what you eat.
Remedy: Keep recipes simple by limiting the number of ingredients used (the fewer ingredients, the better) and always remember to follow proper food combining rules.
Staying Raw is Simple
If you want to see fabulous results and succeed long-term on a raw food diet, you’ve got to limit your intake of fatty and dehydrated foods, cut out the salt and poorly combined recipes, and increase your consumption of fruit. Only then will you start to see dramatic and lasting health improvements.
Go raw and be fit,
P.S. So you’re keeping your fat intake low, your fruit intake high, cutting back on refined foods and complicated recipes, and avoiding all salt. You’re doing everything right, but there’s a problem…
You still have massive cravings!
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