On Saturday, CNN Health ran a story about a woman who went raw vegan and lost more than half her body weight. Angela Stokes reached a high of 300 pounds when she began a raw vegan diet. In two years she lost 162 pounds. Wow. Way to go Angela. And most impressive, she's managed to keep the weight off for four years.
Stokes says she went "cold cucumber," from the Standard American Diet to one that consists of uncooked and unprocessed vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
"To me, the thing with raw food is that it just makes sense. It's simple and natural, eating food straight from the earth. There's no rocket science, no mystery," said Stokes. "Once you understand the simple principle that no other animal in the wild eats cooked or processed foods. That's it."
On the other hand:
Andrea Giancoli, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, says everyone could stand to eat more fruits and vegetables. "The raw diet, specifically, the philosophy behind it is scientifically incorrect," Giancoli said. "Raw foodists believe that cooking food destroys enzymes that are essential for the body. While that's true, so does the gastric acid or juice in your stomach. "So those enzymes are broken down anyway in your gastro-intestinal tract."
Giancoli believes there's a nutritional downside to a vegetarian diet. People who eat no animal foods run the risk of nutritional deficiencies such as a lack of vitamin B-12, iron and zinc and the powerful Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, she said.
Source - CNN Health
Of course, just like with any diet, if you're getting the bulk of your calories from junk food, you'll be deficient in nutrients, which is why we advocate seeing a dietician before any planned radical changes in your eating.
While Jane and I are probably not going raw any time in the near future, we know that many of you are raw vegans, or are interested in the raw vegan lifestyle. If you're simply interested in vegan weight loss, see our post "Combat the Obesity Epidemic - Go Vegan" for more information. If you'd like to hear more of what Angela has to say in her own words, you can visit her site where she's currently offering a free raw weight loss pamphlet.
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