September 26, 2008

In The News: Raw Redux

Grrr. Here we go again.

So is currently profiling 30-year-old Angela Stokes, who lost 160 pounds in 2 years as a result of going vegan and raw.

As Stokes explains it, "it's simple and natural, eating food straight from the earth. There's no rocket science, no mystery. Once you understand the simple principle that no other animal in the wild eats cooked or processed foods, that's it."

Although the article shares some of Stokes' tips -- she has authored books on raw dieting, despite limited nutrition knowledge -- for interested readers (such as going "at least 50% raw," a number that is thrown out there without explanation), there is absolutely no mention of possible concerns when adopting such a way of eating.

For example -- why doesn't the article mention that some nutrients in food are more available when cooked?

Or that the reason why animals in the wild don't eat cooked foods is because they simply don't know how to start a fire or turn an oven on?

After all, if I put some broiled salmon in a dish for my cat, you better believe he's chowing that down in seconds, licking his whiskers, and meowing for more.

It's also worth pointing out that there are several healthy, "straight from the earth" foods that need to be cooked in order to become edible (i.e.: oats)

I also find placing cooked and processed foods (for instance, a simple baked potato and a can of Pringles) in the same "unhealthy" category is ludicrous.

I enjoy vegan cuisine a lot, and have had some delicious dishes at raw restaurants, so this is far from a carnivore rant (I actually haven't eaten any meat other than seafood in 10 years).

However, going entirely vegan and raw overnight for the rest of your life is not something I would put my stamp of approval on, as it can be very easy to come up short with certain nutrients.

Like the majority of articles on weight loss, this one completely overlooks the elephant in the room -- calories!

It is not that going vegan and raw holds the magic key to weight loss. It's simply that raw, vegan diets are lower in calories than the diet Angela used to have ("eating junk food all time.")

She could have still shed the weight while including a cup of yogurt, roasted sweet potatoes, or a brown rice and seitan stir fry in her eating plan.


Anonymous said...

You would think CNN would have access to people to tell them these things.

Lizzy said...

Just discovered your blog -- love it so far!

I've heard that part of the reason raw foods seem to aid so much in weight loss is because they take more energy to digest. Like, a raw carrot will in the end give you less caloric energy than a cooked carrot because it takes more energy expenditure to chew/breakdown/digest when raw?

Is this legit or bogus?