Raw is trendy! This is evidenced by the growing enthusiasm for many methods (paleo, Seignalet, Kousmine, raw food…) Which totally or partially ban the consumption of cooked food, and the success of cookbooks for eating everything raw. According to its followers, this way of eating would be the solution to our ills because it would allow us to benefit from the “living force” of food. So should we give up our pots?
What are the benefits of the raw food diet?
Raw vegetables are a excellent source of fibers, essential for good intestinal transit. Thanks to their richness in water (the green salad contains 90% of it for example) they allow togently ensure our hydration. But raw food has many other benefits!
Minerals and vitamins are preserved
the micronutrient capital is nearly optimal when food is raw, provided it is eaten fresh and quickly after washing, peeling and / or slicing.
“Vitamins are vulnerable to heat, in particular those of group B, provitamin A and vitamin C, notes Dr. Gilles Demarque, nutritionist. For the latter, the destruction can be up to 60% of the inputs depending on the temperature and the cooking time. “
The environment in which food is cooked also promotes loss: vitamins A, B and D, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids are soluble in water and / or fat. For the minerals, the loss is 20% to 30%. “As for oils, some may see their fatty acid intake modified during cooking.”
Finally, eating raw is good for a better intake of prebiotics, in particular in heat sensitive inulin.
Eating raw aids digestion
“Foods contain enzymes that facilitate their digestion, explains Dr. Jacqueline Warnet, gastroenterologist. Some disappear from food when cooked, forcing the body to compensate with its own enzymes. This gives it additional work and consumes its enzyme capital. ”
- By coagulating during cooking, the proteins meat, fish and eggs would be less permeable to digestive juices and therefore less digestible.
- Finally, cooked fats (especially fries) see their modified molecular structure giving the digestive system a hard time.
Raw food protects against cancer
“Toxic substances can be produced during the cooking meats, certain fats (butter, rapeseed oil, etc.) and, to a lesser extent, fish, emphasizes Gilles Demarque. Especially if the heat is high and / or there is contact with the flame. ”
Under the effect of heat, certain fatty substances change little by little and can generate the formation of carcinogenic substances, most of them volatile: this is the case with so-called unstable oils (rapeseed, hazelnut, grape seeds, etc.).
Furthermore, grilled meats and fish develop carcinogens when in contact with a flame. Conversely, raw foods could protect many diseases, including cancer, by increasing the body’s defenses.
We are more satisfied
Raw fruits and vegetables require a greater chewing effort and fill the stomach better than when cooked, therefore stall more.
Furthermore, cooking increases the glycemic index of many foods, making them less filling and easier to store: those of carrot and beet go from 15-20 to more than 50 when cooked and that of pasta can almost double, depending on whether they are al dente or very cooked.
Crudivorism: what downsides?
Some micronutrients are only revealed during cooking
“This is the case of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant whose absorption is facilitated when the food is cooked and crushed “, underlines Dr. Demarque. 100 g of canned tomato sauce contains almost six times more than 100 g of raw tomato! Others carotenoids protectors (cryptoxanthin, lutein, etc.) are also more present in cooked vegetables (such as peppers, carrots, etc.).
Eating raw can cause bowel problems
In sensitive subjects or those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, the fibers of certain raw plants, which are more irritating, can generate bloating, gas, abdominal pain. “These disorders can also occur when one suddenly switches from a food cooked to raw,” notes Dr. Warnet.
To avoid them, it is advisable to peel and seed the fruits and vegetables, to favor the most digestible varieties (beware of cabbages!), To eat them ripe and, above all, to gradually increase the quantities. The discomfort will decrease: it is a matter of habit. ”
Eating raw: what risks, what precautions to take?
Exposure to germs and bacteria is greater
Meat, fish, shellfish and eggs, if they are not consumed fresh and handled according to strict hygiene rules, can develop germs that cause food poisoning.
Only high temperatures can overcome germs, germs and bacteria such as salmonella, the staphylococci where the tapeworm, carried by meats, and anisakis, fish parasites.
The raw milk cheeses may also contain a bacterium, listeria, responsible for an infection, listeriosis.
“These risks are however limited, reassures Dr. Demarque. We now have legislation which guarantees high quality hygiene and traceability. It is more at home that we must be vigilant: do not break the cold chain, washing hands, cooking with clean tools … “
Prioritize freshness above all!
It is essential that the food is fresh. If you fancy a steak tartare, don’t take no prepackaged meat. Tell your butcher that you are going to eat it raw and ask him to chop it in front of you. Then for do not break the cold chain, carry it in an insulated bag, place it in your refrigerator at less than 4 ° C upon arrival and consume it within twelve hours.
For the fish, buy it already frozen or, if it is fresh, place it in your freezer for at least forty-eight hours, because the cold kills the worm. If you have a craving for shellfish, it is best to eat them within three hours of purchase.
More generally, avoid preparing your meals raw in advance, because the proliferation of bacteria on raw food is very rapid. If, however, you like your carpaccio to be very fresh, the only solution is to place it in the refrigerator, or even in the freezer, just a few moments before consuming it, without forgetting to cover it with a plastic film.
Pregnant women, beware!
As a precautionary principle, the health authorities recommend that pregnant women cook animal products well (meat, fish, shellfish), do not consume raw egg preparation (mayonnaise, mousse …) and ban raw milk cheeses, cheese rinds, smoked fish and most cold cuts. Objective: to avoid any contamination by bacteria or microbes. As for fruits and vegetables, they can be eaten raw, provided they have been carefully washed.
If the vintage has serious advantages, it is therefore not free from reproaches. Our specialists agree to say that, in the same way asyou have to diversify the foods, you have to vary the way of preparing themr. This remains the best way to ensure a balanced and healthy diet.
Our best raw food recipes
Starter: dandelion salad with strawberries Starter: black radish salad and sprouted seeds Dish: cauliflower tabbouleh Main course: salmon poke bowl Dessert: watermelon and strawberry granita Dessert: chia seed pudding with figs
Want to let yourself be tempted? Find other delicious raw food recipes!