Can eating more raw foods daily help you lose weight? Absolutely, just replace 1 cup of energy-dense grain based carbohydrates per day with 2 cups of nutrient-dense raw vegetable based carbohydrate every day. Let me explain.
When people eat a diet of raw food they naturally lose weight. Raw food is fresh, whole food that has not been refined, heated above 118° F, or chemically processed. In other words, clean food that retains the enzymes and nutrients of its natural state. The major food groups are vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables, grains (like wild rice) and raw cold pressed fats such as coconut and olive oil.
Whether 100% raw food or 50%, eating fresh whole foods in their natural state can benefit everyone and help you lose weight. Raw foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber and antioxidants, all of which strengthen the immune system, improve health and increase energy levels. Many people experience clarity of mind, happiness and greater physical functionality and endurance. Raw foods reduce inflammation, which is the basis for all chronic diseases and conditions. Most importantly for weight loss, vegetables and fruits are the most nutrient dense foods as compared to processed foods that are energy dense.
Fresh vegetables and fruits are high in water and fiber content and make you feel full longer on fewer calories than refined processed carbohydrates. Think apples versus energy bars; corn on the cob versus tortilla chips, pasta versus shredded zucchini.
Do you want to lose 10 pounds in 2012? All other things being equal, substitute 2 cups of raw vegetables with 1 cup of grain-based carbohydrates per day. For example, replace 1 cup of cooked brown rice with 2 cups shredded cabbage. It is that easy. Still not convinced? Lets do organic chemistry math.
One cup of cooked Brown Rice= 216 calories & 4 grams of fiber. Brown rice is an excellent source of manganese that is used for energy production and anti-oxidant protection. So a whole grain food with mineral benefits but energy dense at 54 calories per gram of fiber.
Two cups of raw Cabbage= 44 calories & 4 grams of fiber and excellent source of Vitamin K & C. Cabbage is a very good source of fiber, manganese, and folate. It also is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family known for their cancer prevention, cholesterol lowering, and anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant-related health benefits. Therefore, cabbage is a nutrient dense food at 11 calories per gram of fiber (80% less than brown rice) and lots of vitamin and mineral benefits.
If you replace 7 servings of 1 cup cooked brown rice (or other grain based carbohydrate, such as bread, cereal, pasta, and baked goods) with 2 cups raw red cabbage (or other cruciferous vegetable) per week you can lose more than 10 pounds per year. Vegetables, fruits and grains are all plant-based carbohydrates. So in reality we are just replacing a higher calorie processed carbohydrate for a lower calorie raw carbohydrate and actually eating twice as much!
How do we lose more than 10 pounds in a year?
216 (rice) – 44 (cabbage)= 172 less calories per serving
1204 less calories per week (172x7 days/week)
62,608 calories per year (1204x 52 weeks/year)
62,608 calories/3500 calories* per pound= 18 pounds
*When you burn 1 pound of body fat you release 3500 calories
We know that you are not eating red cabbage everyday but imagine if you made these small substitutions at every meal- collard greens for slices of bread, fresh fruit in place of a candy bar, jicama sticks instead of tortilla chips, even Hail Merry Grawnola versus a bagel. You would naturally lose weight because the raw food diet is a nutrient dense versus an energy dense diet. Feed Your Body Royally!