If you’re at all familiar with today’s raw food movement – given the fact that you’re currently reading a raw food and fitness blog, I’d say that’s pretty likely 😛 – then I’m sure you’re aware of the prevailing belief that as long as it’s raw, it can (and should) be eaten in abundance.
If it’s raw, it’s healthy!
This is anything but the truth. Here are 3 raw foods that I NEVER consume and why:
SIDE NOTE: Obviously french fries aren’t raw, but isn’t that a great image? 😆
#1: Raw Cacao
You’ll see raw cacao touted on all the popular raw websites for its high antioxidant content. It’s used in various formats – nibs, powder, butter – and in all types of recipes.
I stay away from raw cacao in all its forms and here’s why:
First, cacao contains caffeine and caffeine is a stimulant. You know that awake, hyped-up, jittery feeling you get after consuming coffee, coca cola, or chocolate? That’s the body’s reaction to the caffeine.
And what comes up must come down. Once your body is done dealing with the toxin and things return to normal, the “energy boost” is gone.
Time for another cup o’ joe, right? 😉
Second, “raw” cacao is not really raw. Cacao comes from the cacao bean, the seed of the cacao fruit, which is very bitter and must be heated and processed to be eaten.
And even then it’s still quite bitter, which is why it’s mixed with fresh or dried fruit, agave nectar, or honey to make it taste good.
Third, just because a food is high in antioxidants (or any other beneficial substance) does not mean it’s the best source of that substance.
More does not necessarily mean better. In fact, often it doesn’t. There are many sources of antioxidants such as strawberries, spinach, and sunflower seeds that are actually raw and healthy.
So if you want to get in your antioxidants and other cancer-killing nutrients, don’t rely on raw “but not really raw” cacao. Stick with whole, fresh, ripe, raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
#2: Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is a non-fermented soy sauce that is loved by raw and cooked foodists alike. It is seen as a healthy alternative to fermented soy sauce that provides essential amino acids.
I do not consume Braggs because it is NOT a health food. It is really nothing more than salt. Just one itty bitty teaspoon contains 320 milligrams of sodium!
And as far as being “healthy” for its amino acid content…hogwash!
A teaspoon of Braggs contains only 620 milligrams (.62 grams) of protein. In order get any sort of significant amount, you would have to consume a ridiculous amount of the stuff. Given the sodium content, this would be an incredibly unhealthy practice.
For reference, a full pound of tomatoes contains 3900 mg (3.9 g) of protein with only 40 mg of sodium.
So if you want to get in high-quality protein, don’t rely on Braggs “high blood pressure in a bottle” Liquid Aminos. Stick with whole, fresh, ripe, raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Raw foodists love their oils! Viewed as a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, they have no problem pouring cups of the stuff onto their greens or into recipes.
I don’t consume oils of any kind, be it olive, coconut, avocado, or grape seed. Contrary to popular raw food “wisdom”, oil is NOT a health food. It’s nothing but refined, rancid, fiberless, 100% fat!
The only thing cold pressed oils are good for is keeping my skin silky and soft during the cold winter months.
So if you want to get in your omega 3s, don’t rely on olive “empty calories” oil. Stick with whole, fresh, ripe, raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Are there any popular raw foods that you avoid? Which ones and why? Leave me your wonderfully raw response below! 🙂
Go raw and be fit,