According to Dr Richard Nahas, a raw vegan diet combines veganism with the intake of only raw food. That means food isn’t cooked and doesn’t receive heat in any form before consumption. Let’s check out its advantages and disadvantages.
1. Advantage – Improves heart health – A raw vegan diet may help to improve your heart health since you’ll consume a lot more veggies and fruits. Research shows that fruits and vegetables are linked to lower blood pressure and reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.
This diet also replaces animal protein and conventional carbs with sprouted legumes and whole grains, seeds and nuts. Studies show that those ingredients further lower the risks of heart disease and improve your blood cholesterol.
2. Disadvantage – Weakened bones and muscles – Raw vegan diet may deprive you of vitamin D and calcium, nutrients that are required for maintaining strong bones. In one study, participants who were on a raw vegan diet were found to have a lower bone density and mineral content compared to a standard American diet.
Moreover, a raw vegan diet fails to provide a sufficient amount of protein. Research shows that the figure is less than 10 per cent of your daily calorie intake. While low protein content may allow you to maintain regular biological activity, it won’t be able to preserve your muscle mass.
3. Advantage – May help in weight loss – A raw vegan diet helps to lose weight and maintain that low weight. Studies even link a raw vegan diet with a lower amount of body fat. In one such study, people who followed a raw vegan diet for over 3 years were found to have lost around 10 to 12 kg and had low BMIs. Another study found people following this kind of diet have a low body fat of around 7 to 9 per cent.
4. Disadvantage – Tooth Decay – Raw vegan diet may also increase the risk of tooth decay. This is especially true for people who would consume a lot of berries and citrus fruits. Those food items contain a lot of acid and sugar. Excessive acid and sugar can mess with your oral health and increase harmful bacteria in your oral cavity. They also increase the erosion of tooth enamel. However, more research is required for conclusive evidence.
5. Advantage – Improved Digestion – A raw vegan diet involves a lot of fruits and veggies and hence a ton of fibre. With the high amount of both soluble and insoluble fibres in your diet, your stool would bulk up and move more quickly through the gut. You won’t need to suffer from constipation. Moreover, soluble fibres improve your gut microbiome and that leads to lower risks of Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
Dr Richard Nahas suggests that you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a raw vegan diet before you commit to it. While it may aid in weight loss and reduce the risk of diabetes, it also comes with the risks of tooth decay and weakened bones and muscles.