Health Beat 10-1-2005
The raw-foods diet, based on uncooked or slightly
cooked fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and sprouts, might be the
latest darling of health faddists from Santa Monica to Tribeca, but
before jumping on the bandwagon, consider the pros and cons,
according to Tara Gidus, RD, an Orlando-based spokesperson for the
American Dietetic Association.
On the plus side, the diet gets people to eat fruits and
veggies. “They provide lots of fiber, are low in fat and high in
antioxidants,” Gidus says. But the diet can be socially isolating,
since it becomes difficult for adherents to follow it at other
people’s homes, social events or most restaurants.
And while some people think cooking food kills off nutrients,
that’s not always true. “Cooking actually increases our ability to
absorb vitamins like beta-carotene and lycopene,” says Gidus.
Raw-food vegetarians also risk not getting enough calcium, iron or
Gidus’ conclusion: “Overall, I rank this as pretty extreme as
far as fad diets go and I don’t think people can stick to it that