Gwyneth Paltrow And Demi Moore may love this raw vegan diet, but is it good for you?
Vegetarianism and veganism are gaining popularity, but the latest fashion is for people to eat only raw plant foods that can be cooked without cooking. Some won’t even eat foods that have been processed or altered from their natural state, such as oats or almond milk.
Raw vegan diet enthusiasts believe that cooking vegetables results in the loss of nutrients and enzymes and that the diet can prevent or reverse disease, increase energy levels and improve overall health – but one expert has warned that following this dietary trend could do more harm than good. for a long time.
“While following a plant-based diet can provide many health benefits, a raw vegan diet can take things too far and pose more risks if not followed carefully,” says registered dietitian and Dr. Laura Brown. Senior Lecturer in Nutrition, Food and Health Sciences at Teesside University;
Research It turns out that some raw foods, like Brussels sprouts and red cabbage, may be healthier than cooked, but Dr. Brown The conversation Some vegetables have a higher nutritional value when cooked because their cell walls break down and nutrients are released. Cooked vegetables can provide the body with additional antioxidants.
For example, cooked spinach makes it easier for the body to absorb calcium. Vegetables like asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, cabbage and kale have extra nutrients when cooked, she said.
People who follow a raw vegan diet are deficient in vitamins and minerals — such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, zinc and iron — that come from eating meat and eggs, says Dr. Brown. These vitamins support a healthy immune system and play a role in the structure, growth and production of brain and nerve cells.
Vitamin B12 levels are a concern. A 2005 study 38% of participants who followed a long-term raw diet were deficient in vitamin B12. Because of this deficiency, raw vegan diets increase homocysteine - an amino acid that is broken down by B12. High levels of homocysteine can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
“If you’re planning to go on a raw vegan diet, it’s important to plan carefully to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need,” says Dr. Brown. “It also has a lot of risks, so I don’t recommend following it for long.”