It’s no secret that the typical American diet is filled with high-calorie, processed options where the proportion of unhealthy foods far outweighs healthy ones. Hence, the obesity epidemic. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that over 35% of U.S. adults are obese, resulting in almost $150 billion (yup, that’s with a “b”) in medical costs annually.
While many people buy the latest weight loss CD collection, join a class or even pay for hypnosis, the best bet has been right under our noses all along: raw foods. Not only is raw food consumption healthy for us, but it’s also ideal for those looking to keep their weight in check or lose some pounds along the way. Win-win! Lose weight (if you need to) and still continue to eat raw, organic vegetables to get the most nutrients possible.
Raw foods and the weight loss connection
So what is it about raw foods that contributes to weight loss? According to Harvard scientists, cooking foods increases the energy (calories) in the body while eating raw foods requires the body to burn more calories in order to digest them.
Rachel Carmbody, the lead researcher involved with the Harvard study, says, “What cooking alters is the proportion of the energy that our bodies absorbs versus what is lost to gut bacteria, and what is excreted by our bodies. Specifically we believe that cooking reduces the energy that we use up in digestion, while increasing the amount that we absorb.”
In other words, a person would end up consuming more calories from cooked carrots, spinach or broccoli as opposed to eating them raw by snacking on fresh carrots or enjoying spinach in a cold salad. Learn more about the study by reading here.
Raw foods also allow people to feel fuller longer compared to the short-lived energy highs and lows of less healthy alternatives. Plus, since they are void of the carbohydrates and chemicals found in processed foods, the body does not gain weight as easily.
Numerous people just like us have realized weight loss success due to a raw foods lifestyle. For example, Luis Melendez lost 120 pounds in eight short months by making the healthy switch to raw foods. No fads, monthly pay plans or counting slowly from 100 while harp music lingers in the background (for those interested, Americans have spent about $55 billion in recent years on diet plans and products).
Here are the details on his amazing story.
Thankfully, Raw and Natural Health readers have entirely shunned eating processed, bad-for-us foods or are at least on a path towards improving their dietary lifestyle. Fresh, organic, raw fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and nutrients that keep our immune system strong and bodies functioning optimally, and they’re great for weight control too if that’s a concern.
So, skip the urge to boil those carrots and instead, nosh on them fresh from the garden instead. Yum!
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