The raw food diet: Should I try it?

A raw food diet involves mainly unprocessed, whole, plant-based, and preferably organic, foods. Three-quarters of the person’s diet should consist of uncooked food.

Raw food dieters believe that eating a high proportion of raw foods makes them healthier.

Some raw foodists are vegan, and they consume no foods of animal origin. Others eat raw meat and raw animal products.

Weight loss is not the main aim of the raw food diet, but it is possible.


There are four broad types of raw food diets.

  • Raw vegetarians eat plant-based foods plus eggs and dairy products
  • Raw vegans eat no animal products at all
  • Raw omnivores eat both plant-based and animal-based foods

All of these people eat mainly raw food. A raw carnivore eats meat but not cooked meat.

What can I eat?

The following foods are suitable for the raw food diet:

  • soaked and sprouted beans, grains, and legumes
  • dried fruits
  • raw nut butters
  • fresh fruits and raw vegetables
  • freshly made fruit and vegetable juices
  • milk from a young coconut
  • nut milks
  • raw nuts and seeds
  • purified water, but not tap water
  • seaweeds
  • sun-dried fruits
  • green food powder, for example, dried wheatgrass or algae
  • other organic, natural, or unprocessed foods
  • fermented foods, such as kimchi and sauerkraut

Depending on the type of diet, a raw food diet may also contain:

  • eggs
  • fish, for example, sushi or sashimi
  • meat
  • milk and dairy products, but these should be non-pasteurized and non-homogenized

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