by Claudia Ward, L.Ac
There is much confusion as to what is the healthiest diet for us to consume–a predominantly raw food diet or a cooked-food diet? On the one hand we have raw food enthusiasts recommending a natural diet of 100% raw food. This is based on the fact that raw food is high in nutrients, enzymes, and prana (life energy). Some raw foodists can get quite fanatical about their philosophy that cooked food equals “dead food” which has lost most of its nutrients. Others have their Chinese or Ayurvedic doctor recommend mostly cooked foods and see a lot of their health issues disappear on such a diet. Now who is right and who is wrong? I myself have experienced the benefits of raw foods and especially juicing, which manifest in increased energy, clarity of mind, radiant complexion, and weight loss, just to mention a few. There are certainly many documented cases of individuals overcoming serious health issues, some life threatening, through adherence to a raw food regime. And of course I have to agree, that some types of cooked food are not very good for you when consumed over a long period of time – fried foods, heavily salted food, over-cooked vegetables, microwaved food, etc.
However, everyone is different, and diet must be individualized. There is no one single diet that is “best” for everyone. Some people will do best on raw, others on macrobiotic diets. Also, a 100% raw food diet can be problematic – even though a good healing diet, it can create problems in the long run.