Monday, December 11

Raw Food Definitions

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I made a discovery the other day while watching TV.

I know, pretty astounding.

Anyway, I came across one of those hour-long presentations on space exploration.  Those shows are always so fascinating to me and I like to watch them from time to time.

However, each time I try to watch one of these documentaries, I always end up changing the channel in just a few minutes time.

In this way, I’m much like a little puppy.

At first, I’m really eager and alert, soaking up every bit of information I can.  After about 5 minutes, I’m off searching for something else a little bit easier for my wee puppy brain to handle.

Why does this happen every time?  Am I really like a pea-brained little puppy dog?

It’s not because I’m stupid or a slow learner.

Quite simply, the technical jargon used is just too much for me.  I’m not an expert in the field of space exploration, astronomy, or even physics so I have to make a huge effort to understand even a tiny bit of the information presented in these shows.

What is the point of tuning in if I can’t understand a word of what anyone says?

Well, besides staring at the pretty space pictures. 😀

Then it dawned on me…

While I try to be super clear and concise in my writings, I realize that sometimes I might go into more detail than I mean to.  The topic of health is dear to my heart and it can be hard at times not to just go off on a crazy  “eat more fruit” tangent!

So I said to myself, “Self, wouldn’t it be nice to provide your readers with a list of all the common raw food terms you use, along with a short definition of each?”

So here you go!  A rather long, but not quite exhaustive list of the raw terms that you will undoubtedly see me use in my articles.

And you can even thank the boob tube for this one. 😉

Low-Fat Raw Vegan

A low-fat raw vegan is someone who, *surprise*, eats a low-fat raw vegan diet!  But what is “low-fat” exactly?

Typically, a low-fat diet is generally 20% or less of one’s daily calories from fat.  In the raw food movement, this usually means 10% of fat at most.  This is also the definition that I stick to.

High-Fruit Raw Vegan

A high-fruit raw vegan is someone who eats a diet predominated by sweet fruit.  Generally, this is no less than 80% of daily calories from fruit.

Like many people, I use low-fat and high-fruit interchangeably.  Most people who follow a low fat raw diet eat lots of fruit and vice versa.

This makes sense because if you are not getting your calories from fatty foods, your only alternative (on a raw diet) is fruit.  Vegetable foods simply do no contain enough calories to satiate you.

And if you are eating a high-fruit diet, you simply will not have enough room for large amounts of fat!

High-Carb Diet

See high-fruit raw vegan


80/10/10, also 811rv or 811, refers to The 80/10/10 Diet written by Dr. Douglas Graham.  It stands for a minimum of 80% carbohydrates, a maximum of 10% protein, and a maximum of 10% fat.  The diet is 100% raw and consists of 80-90% sweet fruit, 1-2 pounds of greens, and no more than 10% of overt fats (avocados, nuts and seeds).

The use of salts, spices, and other condiments, as well as superfoods, supplements, and colonics are discouraged on this diet.

All 811ers are low fat raw vegans, but not all low fat raw vegans are 811ers.  Some low fat raw vegans eat only fruit (fruitarians), while other eat less greens and non-sweet fruits.


A frugivore is any animal that eats/prefers a diet predominated by fruit.  This includes many primates, such as bonobos, orangutans, and spider monkeys, toucans, fruit bats, and even this adorable Maned wolf!

When the term “frugivore” is used in reference to humans, it generally means a raw food diet of 80-90% fruit, accompanied by greens and minimal avocaods, nuts and seeds.


A fruitarian is different from a frugivore in that a fruitarian only consumes fruit.  This generally includes sweet fruit, non-sweet fruit, and fatty fruit, but does not include greens or nuts and seeds.

High-Fat Raw Vegan

A high-fat raw vegan is someone who eats a diet predominated by fat.  The foods commonly consumed are avocados, nuts, seeds, and oils.

Gourmet Raw Vegan

See high-fat raw vegan

Average Raw Foodist

An average or mainstream raw foodist is someone who follows a high-fat raw vegan diet of primarily avocado, nuts, seeds and oils.  Other foods that are commonly consumed are sprouts, vegetables, vinegars, liquid amino (i.e. Braggs), and even sprouted grains and legumes.

Typically, these foods are not eaten whole but in dehydrated mixtures such as “mock” meatloaf and “raw” pizza.

Because there is so little emphasis on sweet fruit, the average raw foodist has to turn to fatty foods to satiate himself/herself.

Did you know that around 60% of the average raw foodist’s calories come from fat?

Mainstream Raw Foodist

See average raw foodist

Traditional Raw Foodist

See average raw foodist

Sweet Fruit

This one seems pretty obvious, right?  But it is important to note that sub-acidic fruits like strawberries and even acidic fruits such as oranges are also included in this list.

So whenever you see me harping on about how the majority of people do not eat enough sweet fruit, you know exactly what I’m talking about!

Mono-Fruit Meal

A mono-fruit meal consists of only one fruit, eaten in its whole state until the person is full.  This generally refers to a sweet fruit, not a vegetable fruit (see below).


By greens, I mean tender leafy lettuces.  This includes, but is not limited to, romaine lettuce, boston lettuce, beet greens, mesculin, and iceberg lettuce.

This does not include hard-to-digest vegetable matter such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower.  However, these foods are fine on occasion and in moderation.

Greens have a higher mineral content than sweet fruits do and are generally eaten in a fairly large quantity.  Think 1-2 pounds a day on average.

Non-Sweet Fruits

This includes tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, bell pepper, etc.  These foods contain a high mineral content like greens do and are included as part of the 1-2 pound daily green requirement.

I also refer to them as “vegetable fruits” because they are savory in taste like vegetables.

Vegetable Fruits

See non-sweet fruits

Fatty Foods

Fatty foods refer to foods that have the majority of their calories from fat.  When I use the term “fatty foods”, I am typically talking about raw avocados, nuts and seeds.  However, there are also other raw fatty foods, such as breadfruit.  Even durian and mature coconut meat are pretty fatty.

You will also see me refer to these foods as overt fats.  The high-fat content of these foods makes it obvious (overt) that they are, indeed, fatty foods.

Oil is also a fatty food, and you may see me refer to it when I discuss the diets of mainstream raw foodists.  However, oil is a refined product and is clearly *not* a raw food.  It is not a food that I recommend on a healthy raw food diet.

Overt Fats

See fatty foods

Covert Fats

The term “covert fats” refers to the fats present in non-fatty foods, such as fruit and greens.  These are the fats that are seemingly hidden (covert).

Many people think that fruits contain no fat at all.  They are mistaken.  For instance, did you know that bananas contain 3% fat?

Many people are often very surprised when they find out just how much fat they are actually eating.  That’s why it is always important to monitor your overt fat intake, especially when you first go raw.

Mild Herbs

Mild herbs include parsley, mint, basil, cilantro, etc.  These are herbs that do not result in a negative effect when eaten (i.e. production of mucus, tearing, sweating, burning, etc.)

I generally separate these foods from other greens because they are not typically eaten in large quantities or on their own.  However, I did recently hear of a parsley and cilantro salad, which sounds pretty tasty…


Supplements are taken in order to make up for supposed deficiencies in a person’s diet.  A Vitamin D pill is an example of a supplement.  Vitamin B12 is another supplement popular within the raw food movement.

Dehydrating a food and grinding it into a powder does not make it any more useful for the body.  In fact, this process only succeeds in *removing* the most important nutrient of all…water.

In most cases, supplements are completely unnecessary.  The best, and often times the only way to truly nourish your body is to eat healthy raw foods in their whole states.


These are “super” foods because of their supposedly high levels of certain nutrients.  For instance, the pomegranate is now touted as a superfood because of its antioxidant properties.

Some popular superfoods within the raw food movement are goji berries, acai berries, and raw cacao.

The promotion of superfoods by the mainstream raw food movement stems from the “more equals better” fallacy.  Just because a food has more of a certain quality does not mean that it better meets our own nutritional requirements.


Hopefully that helped to clear things up.  If I forgot something, which I’m sure I did, or if you have anymore questions about a healthy raw food diet in general, just say so!


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