If you are interested in following a raw vegan diet, you are not alone. Raw vegan diets have become very popular even though they are quite restrictive, and consist of eating only plant foods that have not been heated above 118 degrees. This means on a raw vegan diet you will only eat raw nuts and seeds, vegetables, fruits, and sprouted grains and legumes. All of these foods are very healthy, which is why raw vegan diets are promoted as a way to get healthy. However, even though these foods are healthy, a raw vegan diet isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t perfect.
1. High in Fat and/or Simple Sugar
One of the reasons a raw vegan diet isn’t perfect is that it tends to be high in fat and/or simple sugar. Because vegetables are very low in calories, the bulk of calories in a raw vegan diet comes from nuts, seeds, avocados, and higher calorie fruit. As a result, people who follow raw vegan diets can consume more than 50 percent of their calories from fat, and also consume a lot of simple sugar! This can spike blood sugar and raise triglyceride levels, which is not a good thing.
2. Lacking Nutrients
One of the biggest reasons people switch to a raw vegan diet is to get healthier. However, a raw vegan diet is not necessarily the healthiest diet because it is lacking in some nutrients. For example, a raw vegan diet tends to be low in zinc, which is needed for a healthy immune system.
3. Low Calorie
Raw vegan diets tend to be low in calories, which is why people often lose weight when they switch to a raw vegan diet. While this can be a good thing, sometimes people run into the problem of not consuming enough calories, because vegetables and fruits are very low in calories.
4. High in Fiber
One of the positive things about raw vegan diets is they are high in fiber, which is something most people do not get enough of. The recommended daily intake for fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Most people only consume about 15 grams! However, raw vegans can easily get over 70 grams of fiber per day!
5. Difficult to Maintain
While a raw vegan diet is high in fiber and consists of healthy food, it can be difficult to maintain, especially in the winter. Not being able to have a hot bowl of soup when it is freezing outside can be very difficult.
A raw vegan diet can be quite expensive. Although fruits and vegetables are fairly inexpensive, when you are eating a lot of them the cost can add up quickly. Raw nuts and seeds are expensive, costing 15 dollars a pound sometimes! If you are eating a lot of nuts and seeds, you can easily see your food bill rise.
7. Socially Isolating
When people follow a raw vegan diet, they can end up feeling socially isolated because they may not feel as free to go out and eat with friends. Aside from ordering a salad, it can be hard to find raw vegan meal options at restaurants. It can also be almost impossible to find options at parties. This can make the diet feel even more restrictive and difficult to maintain.
Although raw vegan diets are full of healthy foods, they are not always the best diet for a person to follow. They can be high in fat and sugar and too low in some nutrients. As a result, it may be a better idea to follow a plant based diet that includes cooked food. What are your thoughts about a raw vegan diet?