What kind of foods to avoid when you’re on a raw food diet is always a question. There are many different types of diets going around. We have the ketogenic diet, blood type diet, paleo diet, Mediterranean diet and so many more. Each diet has its own unique rules and principles that must be abided by. With the keto diet, the focus is on consuming more fat than carbs or proteins. The Paleo diet is much more stringent and has a long list of foods that must be avoided. The Mediterranean diet is laxer with a focus on healthy fats and fish.
The raw food diet is very simple in concept. You only eat raw foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Many people confuse this with a vegetarian diet… but there is one glaring difference here. You do not cook your foods in the raw food diet.
You can blend them and juice them, but for the most part, you won’t be doing any cooking. That instantly eliminates a lot of foods. You can’t eat chicken or beef in a raw state. So, most people will know how to avoid these obvious foods.
However, there are some foods that you may not be sure of. Can you use an artificial sweetener? How about margarine or salad dressing?
Below you’ll find a list of foods to avoid, and this should clear up any confusion you may have. The rule of thumb is this – if it has been manufactured, you should avoid it. Salad dressing, margarine and artificial sweetener are all man-made and best avoided. Stick to raw food.
1. Processed foods
Cereal, doughnuts, biscuits, etc. are all processed foods and should be avoided. Your raw food diet will mostly be comprised of single-ingredient foods. Broccoli or tomato is a single ingredient food. An energy bar is not. Even with the labels, you’ll not know what the different chemicals and additives went into the creation of these foods.
2. Hydrogenated cooking oils
These oils look clean, golden and healthy. However, they’re anything but healthy and should be avoided at all cost. You should stick to extra virgin olive oil and cold-pressed coconut oil.
Commercially sold oils like canola oil, corn oil and other vegetable oils have gone through high heat and other industrial processes that make them unsafe for human consumption. In the long run, these oils wreak havoc in your body and cause problems ranging from inflammation to high cholesterol and worse.
3. Corn sugar, corn syrup & white sugar
Sugar is a highly inflammatory ingredient. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) creeps into more foods than you can imagine. Even the tomato ketchup that you think is healthy may contain HFCS. The ketchup may not taste sweet, but the sugar is in there.
Other foods like baked goods, sodas, ice-cream, etc. contain loads of hidden sugars. In an article published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, it was stated that sugar might even be a gateway to alcohol and other addictive substances. It’s that potent, and more dangerous than most people realize.
4. Enriched foods
The term ‘enriched’ or ‘fortified’ is usually used in the packaging of many processed foods. This is clever marketing and is deceptive. While people think that these foods are better because of the enriched vitamins, in reality, some nutrient or another was probably lost during the processing. So, the food manufacturer has ‘enriched’ it to compensate for the lost nutrients.
These are just some of the foods you should avoid. It goes without saying that you should avoid trans fats, bleached foods such as French fries and of course, junk food. If you stick with raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, you can’t go wrong. It’s really that simple.
How to Flavor Your Meals with Raw Ingredients
One of the biggest mental hurdles that most people struggle to overcome when trying out a raw food diet is the idea that they’ll need to eat bland and boring food. They feel like they’ll need to sacrifice all the yummy and tasty dishes to eat rabbit food.
The hard truth is that there will be a slight uphill struggle in the initial stages. Your body is used to processed ingredients. It may have a sugar addiction without you even realizing it. It may crave more salt than your body needs. All these physiological cravings will arise when you switch to a raw food diet.
However, these are temporary and will dissipate over time. If you cave into temptation and eat the foods that you’re not supposed to, you’ll not be able to break free from the invisible chains of these detrimental foods.
The raw food diet does NOT have to be a boring and tasteless diet. There are many ways to flavour your food. You just need to know what to do, and this article will give you a few ideas.
There are 5 basic flavours: bitter, sweet, salty, sour and umami. You’re probably familiar with the first four. Umami, however, is a Japanese term that refers to a taste the body craves. It’s the craving for savoury glutamate that can be found in foods such as cheese, mushrooms, etc. In fact, the additive, monosodium glutamate, was created to mimic the taste found in these foods.
Now that you know what the 5 flavours are, all you need to do is a flavour your food with the right ingredients to achieve the flavour you crave.
If you prefer foods that are sour, you can use limes to flavour your salads or juices. Want a burst of sweet flavour with your vegetable juices? Add some pineapples or tropical fruits such as lychees and longans into your juicing.
You can make your food salty by using Himalayan pink salt, tamari or soy sauce. While soy sauce is not a raw food in the traditional sense of the word, a light dash of it will really help to flavour your food and is not that harmful to your body, when consumed in moderation. The umami flavour can be achieved using dark miso or seaweed.
Besides these, there are many other spices and ingredients that can make your food much tastier. Ginger, garlic, chilli, cumin powder, turmeric, etc. are all ingredients that you can use.
You can even use extra virgin olive oil or cold-pressed coconut oil to flavour your dishes. Not only will they add that little ‘kick’ to your dishes, but these oils are highly beneficial fats that your body needs. Despite all the negative information you may find about coconut oil, the truth is that it’s one of the best ingredients on the planet.
The real danger comes from hydrogenated oils which are responsible for a plethora of health problems in millions of people around the world. Yet, people are focused on coconut oil instead of removing the actual culprit from their diet.
A raw food diet can be tasty once you learn to flavour it with the right ingredients. You may even wish to be adventurous and try out using cacao butter, psyllium, dried fruits, avocado, etc.
What really matters is that you get over the initial hump at the beginning when you’re trying to make the raw food diet a part of your life. The raw food diet can be a lifestyle choice and it could change your life.
Start small and choose a raw food meal every day and over time you can substitute most of your meals with raw food. Ease gently into the diet. There’s no need to make an overnight change. Little by little, a little becomes a lot.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links to products and services I am passionate about. Purchasing via these links won’t cost you any extra but it will help me enormously.
This website is written by a regular human. I am not a Health Professional. Please get professional medical advice for your specific health needs.