The truth about raw foodsThough these Hollywood stars and their faithful followers may think they are part of the latest diet trends by adding raw foods to their diet, many of them have it all wrong.
“Raw foods are found in their purest, most organic form”
Altering 'raw' foods through cookingAny food that has been heated above 116 degrees is no longer considered raw, as this process destroy all of its enzymes, according to McGraw Hill's online edition of “Food for Today.” Even moderate heat can be detrimental to the true living form of food that provides essential nutrients, as it can activate certain enzymes that then set out to destroy some crucial vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C. The problem with killing enzymes through cooking before food is digested is that they play a pivotal role in bringing nutrients where they need to be delivered in the body, according to Wilson. These enzymes aid in transforming proteins into amino acids, fats and oils into simple fatty acids and complex carbs into simple sugars. When the enzymes are no longer available to do so, the body does not get the proper nutrients it needs.
Raw or not?There are a number of foods that are commonly misconceived as raw, when in fact they are not. Many spices and seasonings are roasted, dried fruits such as prunes are often steamed and honey can sometimes be pasteurized or filtered. Here are four other items commonly confused as raw:
- Shredded coconut - often pasteurized, or dried at temperatures above raw standards.
- Olives - almost all are cooked unless they are deemed salt- or oil-cured.
- Oats - most likely steamed during processing.
- Tahini - if labeled "shelf-stable," it signifies that it was heated in the processing.