Did you know that if you consume more than 51% of your meal cooked your body will treat it as a foreign organism. However, if your meal consists of over 51% raw food and the rest is cooked your body will not react to that cooked food as an enemy. (Resource: Food Matters) Go Raw!
The Raw Food Pyramid
Fruit and Berries
The basis of the Raw Food Pyramid is made up of ripe fruit and berries. This is because fruit should be where we get most of our calories. These give us fuel, mostly in the form of carbohydrates, which our body converts into energy. If we were to compare fruit with vegetables we would see that fruit contains a lot more calories than vegetables.
Apart from being a great source of carbohydrates fruit also contains some fat and some protein. And, of course, we get lots of vitamins and a bunch of minerals as well.
Vegetables and Green Leaves
Higher up in the pyramid we find vegetables and green leaves. Green leaves could be seen as vegetables but we have chosen to accentuate them. That is because getting enough green leaves into our diet is essential, and this is where many who try eating a raw food diet miss out. About 4% of the calories should be coming from green leaves. That is about 450 grams of green leaves per day for a person on a 2000 kcal/day diet. A great way of eating the leaves is to make green smoothies with them.
Vegetables and green leaves contain little fuel but a whole lot of minerals and a bunch of vitamins. It is usually from green leaves that we get sufficient amounts of nutrients such as calcium and iron.
Nuts, Seeds and Avocados
Nuts, seeds and avocados are at the top of the pyramid. These provide us primarily with fats and protein. It is important to get enough fat in our diet. However, the fact is that we need a lot less than most think. A healthy fat intake for an adult is not more than 10 E% (energy-percent). Most westerners on a cooked diet eat two to three times as much, and many raw fooders eat even more. When our intake of fat is higher than 10E% it becomes difficult for our body to function optimally. The uptake, transport and delivery of oxygen to the cells becomes compromised. Problems with blood sugar may start. Heart disease may form. There is a whole host of potential problems.
The total fat intake for a whole day may correspond to as little as two thirds of an avocado, for a person on a 2000 kcal/day diet.
When we eat raw foods we have the great advantage of having all of the micro nutrients mixed and served in a perfect manner for our body. By making sure that we get the fuel distribution correctly, we do not really have to think too much about individual nutrients. Fuel is found in three sources: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. According to studies on how to prevent and even reverse all sorts of chronic conditions (heart disease, diabetes, etc) the way to distribute fuel is:
- 80 E% carbohydrats
- 10 E% protein
- 10 E% fats