Every other day a new name pops up as 'diet trend'. We all find it fascinating and the thought of giving it a shot always crosses our minds. So, why is this? It's because they promise you to achieve your goals in short time with shortcuts. 'Raw food diet' being one trend claims to reverse diabetes. This method has gained a lot of popularity now but this has been followed since ages.
What is raw food diet?
The raw food diet, often called raw foodism or raw veganism, is composed of mostly or completely raw and unprocessed foods. The supporters believe that cooking food is harmful as it destroys the nutritional content of food.
Can one reverse diabetes with raw food diet?
- Firstly, cooking food will lead to reduction in nutritional content but we can always minimise the loss. Stick to using proper cooking methods for different foods.
- Diabetes can and has been managed with balanced meals and lifestyle changes. You don't need to restrict yourself for life in order to manage diabetes. Pair your foods well so that they do not spike the blood glucose levels. A well-balanced meal has right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fibres and good fats.
- Happy gut, happy you right? Raw food diet is a gut destroyer because raw foods are difficult to digest and they hamper the composition of gut microbiome. Raw foods contribute to flatulence and bloating.
- Fibres are extremely important when we talk about gut health and even diabetes. Raw food diet is very high in fibre, excess fibre leads to gas, bloating, discomfort, cramping.
- Imagine if you didn't wash your food well enough and consumed it raw? Nowadays, pesticide and fertilizers are used in abundance. Cooking food will help inactivate or kill certain harmful bacteria and decrease the ill effects of pesticides.
- A balance is what you need for a healthy life.
- Fruits: Wash your fruits well, eat them raw, chew them well and do not juice them for maximum benefits.
- Vegetables: Meanwhile cook your vegetables like you have been always and enjoy them in the form of soups, sabzi, stir fry.
- Pulses: Soak your pulses well and cook them well for better digestion and pair them up with complex carbohydrates.
- Carbohydrates: Cook and consume whole grains. Raw diet asks you to stay away from processed food but so does a balanced diet. To manage your gut health and diabetes you will have to avoid processed, packaged foods high in refined sugars, simple carbohydrates, sodium, additives etc.
Lastly, it is very difficult to meet your daily nutritional needs if you follow raw diet. Even if nutritional content goes down slightly during cooking, cooking food well makes sure your nutrients get absorbed and assimilated well in your body. With rising cases of diabetes in India our focus shouldn't be on shortcuts and gimmicks but on overall lifestyle management which includes balanced meals paired up with physical activity for a sustainable change.
About the Author: Ms. Prachi Shah is a clinical dietitian, consulting nutritionist and the founder of Health Habitat.
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