Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Raw vs Julia : your genes win

I have no doubt that eating a raw plant based diet has health benefits. The nutritional benefits of eating a wide variety of vegetables and nuts are clear. There are some drawbacks of course. It is very difficult to go out to eat and find something besides a green salad, which means you need to eat before or after you go out. If non raw friends find out they will be afraid to have you for dinner or stress out trying to prepare you something special. The prep time requires you to plan ahead for things that need to be sprouted and dehydrated. I do not get the purpose of making raw substitutes for dishes that do not exist like pasta or bread. I do feel from my personal attempts so far to eat fairly raw that I did digest things well without bloating (except for the raw broccoli) and was very satisfied and not hungry.
I am not a huge cream fan and actually do not tolerate it well alone. But Julia Child's movie did inspire me to look more closely at some of the recipes. Butter makes everything better. Cream and gravies. Beef and pork. Sauteed vegetables. Potatoes. Of course the prep time for good French cooking can be extensive. I think the main thing with French cooking is portion size. If one were to consume the traditional American portions, the caloric intake would become a significant problem.
This does not even bring into other favorite ethnic foods such as pastas and breads.
So what to do.
One argument I read for the raw diet was that humans were the only ones to heat their food so it must not be necessary and domesticated animals get similar diseases as humans. To my knowledge wild animals do not live as long as humans. Julia Child and her husband, as well as a lot of French, live quite l0ng and productive lives eating cooked food with all the bad things we were not meant to eat. We all know people that developed diseases young and those who lived to be very old eating a horrible diet. I have definitely seen people and been one of them that drops weight and cholesterol with a vegan diet. I have also seen overweight vegetarians who consume a lot of dairy and sugar. I have never seen a study comparing cooked vs. raw so it is hard to say that a cooked vegan organic diet is worse than raw.
The answer: check your risk factors. If everyone in your family lives to be 100 you can probably live on donuts. If your relatives die young of cancer or heart disease you would be better off with more of a raw diet. I also think the French diet that Julia Child writes about is much different than the antibiotic, pesticide, poorly fed plants and animals we consume today. So again, we are probably better off leaning more toward the plant based diet with organic ingredients. That said the words of Julia are still pertinent. Eat small portions and don't snack.
My plan is to eat mainly vegan (cooked and raw) with a little of Julia and Nuni thrown in there. Keep the portions controlled and run until I cannot.

No comments:

Post a Comment