Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Health Benefits Of Eating Raw Food

Eating Raw Food

Eating Raw Food

The Benefits Of Eating Raw Food

You have probably heard about the Raw Food Diet. There are a lot of different variations on the Raw Food Diet depending upon the person advocating it.
The basic and common feature of most raw food diets is that they all advocate eating food in their natural state – that is, uncooked, unprocessed, organic and unexposed to herbicides and pesticides.

What does a raw food diet include?

All raw food diets include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Some include unprocessed nuts and uncooked grains.
Some raw food diets are a variation on veganism which shuns all animal-based food.
Other raw food diets include eggs, milk, cheese and raw fish (sushi and sashimi).
Then there is just the simple action of eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables to retain all their nutrients. One example of this is the juicing lifestyle, where fresh homemade juices are made from both vegetables and fruits are the mainstay of one’s daily intake.

Reasons To Fill Your Diet With Raw Food

Weight Loss
The main purpose of most people who shift to a raw food diet is for weight loss. It is true – eating raw food will facilitate weight loss because eating raw food will mean that you won’t consume as much fat and calories as with a regular diet.
Disease Prevention
Another main purpose of most people who shift to a raw food diet is to fight what is referred to as lifestyle diseases. Lifestyle diseases include hypertension, coronary artery disease and diabetes. These lifestyle diseases are often caused by eating food that is too high on fat, sugar and cholesterol.
Chemical Free Eating
Some who go on a raw food diet do so because they want to avoid the accumulation of harmful chemicals in their bodies from food that is exposed to pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and hormones.
Fruits and vegetables grown in commercial farms are usually treated with pesticides and herbicides to keep insects from feasting on the fruits and vegetables.
Livestock, pork and chicken grown commercially are treated with hormones and antibiotics to prevent disease and ensure optimal growth. Seedless fruit are sprayed with hormones as well.

Anti-Aging And Increasing Immunity

Still some people who opt for a raw food diet emphasize a healthy lifestyle that will keep them looking young.
They believe that fresh, unprocessed fruits, vegetables and grains boost the immune system which keeps infectious diseases at bay and it improves the body’s circulation and systemic functioning which gives them clear skin and radiant hair.

Is It Easy To Maintain A Diet Of Raw Food?

As with all diets, you must consult your doctor to see if you may shift to a raw food diet. And if you do shift to a raw food diet, perhaps it is best to do it gradually.

 
Start with juicing an assortment of fruits and vegetables to replace colas and desserts. Replace your regular cooked meals gradually with a wide assortment of salads and grains and nuts.
 
The most difficult thing about going on a raw food diet is sourcing raw, unprocessed and chemical-free food.
If you like going out to eat, you will find it difficult to find restaurants that serve only raw food.
 
The next difficult thing is in preparing the food—it is time consuming. It is easy enough to simply peel a banana or eat an apple for a snack but if you have to subsist on fruits and veggies, you will have to carry fresh fruits and vegetables with you throughout the day.

 
Another problem most people encounter with the raw food diet is that food grown organically is more expensive.
 

Also there is a real danger of malnutrition as there are nutrients and minerals which you cannot get from uncooked fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You will have to take a vitamin or food supplement for this.
You will have to eat fruits and vegetables that are unfamiliar to you. The texture of uncooked food may be difficult to get used to at first.
  
For those who advocate eating raw fish, eggs, milk and milk products, you might need to conquer your gag reflex first. There is also a real danger of food poisoning from food that is unpasteurized such as milk and milk products, so one needs to take care, though these days it is not as problematic since the there are many quality controls in place.

  
Final Thoughts
 
Shifting to a raw food diet requires a lifestyle change as well as a change in mindset. It will not work for everyone and some people can follow a raw food diet but not strictly. Ask your physician first.

  
There are so many benefits to eating raw food and one thing to keep in mind is that it need not be exclusive of other food, you can simply add more fresh, and raw fruits and vegetables to your diet on a daily basis and cut out processed foods. That alone is a huge step to improving your health, preventing disease and curtailing the effects of aging.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Teenagers Mealtime

Teens Eating Healthier

 

Teenagers and Mealtime

It’s a familiar story in households across the country. Teens are busy with school, work or that all-important social life, and they find it tricky to fit three square meals into their busy schedules.

 

According to this study breakfast seems to be most popular to miss, with 52% of teens skipping it altogether, compared to just 3% for dinner. Perhaps mum’s cooking really is as good as everyone says, but 5 out of ten are still happy to replace their dinner with fast food and takeaways too. That’s pretty grim reading.

 

 

And, terrible as they are at sticking to regular mealtimes, the nation’s teenagers are more often than not happy to just raid the fridge whenever they come in, night and day.

Unsurprisingly, this can often lead to less than healthy eating habits. A mix of cold cuts, leftover takeaways and pieces of cheese don’t always lead to a well balanced meal…

 

 

Robert Stone is a freelancer writer and graphic designer whose interests include food, healthy eating and coming up with tasty low fat recipes.

 

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Is Cookie Dough Safe to Eat?

 

There’s nothing quite as exciting as a stolen bite of cookie dough fresh from the mixing bowl, but virtually everyone has heard the lecture about the dangers of raw cookie dough just as that delicious morsel hits the back of the throat. Is there any real danger in eating this delicious treat on occasion?

 

 

Think About the Ingredients

Not all cookie dough is created equally. There’s a big difference between not only the types of cookies you’re baking, but also premade cookie dough you purchase in the refrigerated and frozen section of your local grocery store and that you make at home. Most store-bought dough is not safe for consumption in a raw state. Many of the packages even go so far as to say they’re not safe to eat before they’re cooked. Homemade dough, though, is another animal entirely, and there’s one big factor that can make it unsafe to eat raw: eggs.

 

What’s So Bad About an Egg?

The seventies were full of movies with athletes and fitness gurus drinking raw eggs as fast as they could get them down. Most notably, Rocky downed a pitcher full of raw eggs in 1976 on the big screen, but the bottom line is that they’re just not safe to eat. They can cause salmonella poisoning which can lead to diarrhea, fever, vomiting, or even cramps. In some cases, salmonella poisoning can even be fatal, particularly to children or the elderly. One USDA study reported that 16% of all US chickens are contaminated with salmonella. While the odds of contracting this condition are fairly low, just one in 30,000 people comes down with it each year, the risk is still very real, and even at its best, it’s not a pleasant problem.

In addition to the risk of salmonella, though, consuming raw eggs can also block mineral absorption, which is certainly a danger to your health.

 

 

Other Complicating Factors

Even if you create a dough that doesn’t include eggs, there could still be a risk when you eat raw cookie dough. A 2009 outbreak of E. Coli contamination was linked Nestle Toll House prepackaged cookie dough. Over 30 different states, 77 people became ill. Of those, 55 were hospitalized. Many of them noted that they had no intention of cooking it before they ate it. Eggs, though, weren’t the culprit. Eggs are typically associated with salmonella, not E. Coli. While the exact source of the contamination couldn’t be traced, officials suspected flour as the contaminant. Almost all of the other ingredients in the cookie dough underwent a step during processing to eliminate any possible pathogens. Flour, though, didn’t, and thus was a likely suspect. Outside of that investigation, though, raw flour has not been implicated in any recent disease outbreaks.

 

 

Safe Alternatives

If you’re searching for a great way to get your raw cookie dough fix without all of the dangers. These recipes can help.

  • 1 c. oats
  • 1 c. toasted coconut flakes
  • ½ c. nut butter of your choice
  • ½ c. ground flaxseed
  • ½ c. chocolate chips
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix carefully, spoon into balls, and enjoy!

 

 

Safe Recipe #2

  • 1 c. nut butter
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 pasteurized egg
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips and mix until well combined. Add chocolate chips, spoon into balls, and enjoy!

It’s not always safe to enjoy those balls of cookie dough made with your favorite recipes, but with a few changes, you could be happily grabbing those cookie dough bites again soon!

 

 

Image by cw3283 on Flickr.

Pinkchic18 is an avid party planner and has a passion for baking. She also regularly contributes to Cookie Gift Baskets Blog. For cookie gift delivery, visit Cookie Gift Baskets’ website and shop today!

 

 

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