You may have heard about the incredible health benefits of maintaining a raw, vegan diet. Heat processing destroys nutrients and food, with a few exceptions. Since raw vegans do not eat food that has been heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit or 48 degrees Celsius, they are consuming more nutrients from their food. While we can say that eating raw vegan is a healthier choice in general, there is one mistake to avoid on this diet — consuming too much fat.
Raw vegan dishes often contain fat from ingredients such as whole nuts, coconut oil, avocado, and flaxseed. All of these contain healthy fats that are necessary for our diets. When preparing raw meals, these good fats are used in part to make up for not being able to use heat processing with other ingredients. For example, raw vegans cannot eat traditional pizza crust, but they can use fats such as nuts and flax seed to create a raw version like this Raw Vegan Pizza with Red Pepper Flax Crust. They may not be able to indulge in a regular piece of pie crust, but they can certainly have a crust made of crushed walnuts and coconut oil.
These substitutions are certainly helpful when you want to make raw dishes that have some semblance to foods you enjoy such as pizza or pie. However, if you are just trying out this diet, be warned that you could take in too much fat if you are not careful. Before you know it, a choice that started out with good intentions could end up backfiring.
The key to not taking in too much fat is balance. When you are planning your meals, think about each ingredient that goes into each dish you will eat. If you are having several different types of fats several times a day, you might need to cool it. Find raw, vegan recipes that focus on whole fruits and vegetables rather than nuts and oil. Some excellent, raw vegan dishes with either little or no fat include Raw Harvest Soup, Raw Massaged Kale Salad with Fresh Figs and Oranges, Beginner Green Smoothie, Asian Slaw Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing, and Cool Pineapple Basil Pops.
In addition to making recipes like those above, make sure that you are eating plenty of raw fruits and vegetables on their own without making them into dishes. Wash off that apple and take a bite; chop up a bunch of veggies and make a salad. Focus on eating fruits and vegetables more than finding cool, raw desserts.
Remember, just because a dish is labeled as raw vegan, doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want of it. A raw dessert is still a dessert, which should be eaten sparingly, not all of the time.
Image source: Raw Harvest Soup