Can eating raw foods help with weight loss?

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics

Raw foods are a great way to eat fewer calories. I recommend eating raw fruits, veggies, seeds and nuts. Never eat raw meats due to the bacterial levels. Raw sushi grade fish is the only raw animal protein I recommend eating. When you include raw fruits veggies in your diet, you increase fiber, water, and enzymes. These foods are filling and can cause you to eat less. Watch the amount of salad dressings and don't overeat on nuts. Snack on raw veggies and fruit instead of packaged salty, fried snacks. Add seeds and nuts to salads. Add veggies to your smoothies. You cannot eat too many raw vegetables!

Joel H. Fuhrman, MD
Family Medicine
Eating a huge, delicious salad is the secret to successful weight control and a long healthy life. Since they have a negative caloric effect, the more you eat, the more weight you will lose. A negative calorie effect means that the food contributes so few calories and is so bulky that it displaces space in the stomach, leading to a full feeling, which has the effect of limiting the consumption of other, more calorie-rich options. The high levels of micronutrients and fiber also help to retard appetite. Typically, you eat fewer calories at meals that feature lots of high-nutrient and calorie-negative foods. Some foods, especially raw green vegetables, supply fewer calories (even if you filled your stomach with them) than the total number of calories needed for their digestion and other important metabolic processes prior to eating again. This means that you can eat large sized portions of these foods and still lose weight because your body will need to burn its excess fat to meet basic metabolic needs.

Raw foods also have a faster transit time through the digestive tract, resulting in more weight loss than their cooked counterparts. The objective is to eat as many raw vegetables as possible, with the goal of one-pound daily. An easy way to accomplish this is to eat a salad at the beginning of your lunch, and then have some raw vegetables with dip before dinner. This could be an entire head of lettuce with one or two tomatoes and some shredded peppers, beets, or carrots. Or, you could have cucumber and shredded cabbage with shredded apples and raisins, or raw broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and snow pea pods with a delicious humus or salsa dip. The possibilities are endless, and my menus and recipes detail many ways for you to reach this goal.

Though it may seem daunting, it is far from impossible to consume one pound of raw vegetables, especially if it is split between two meals. Believe it or not, an entire pound is less than 100 calories of food.
Eat for Health: Lose Weight, Keep It Off, Look Younger, Live Longer (2 Volume Set)

More About this Book

Eat for Health: Lose Weight, Keep It Off, Look Younger, Live Longer (2 Volume Set)

Dr. Fuhrman's scientifically proven system, Eat For Health, enables you to finally conquer your cravings and food addictions, while steering your taste buds toward healthier food choices. Medical...

Continue Learning about Nutrition and Weight Loss

Food Additive That Makes You Fat?
Food Additive That Makes You Fat?
To keep your waistline trim, you might want to make sure this flavor enhancer doesn't make its way into your mouth: MSG, or monosodium glutamate. MSG...
Read More
Can eating peanuts help me lose weight?
Hard to believe that rich-tasting, calorie-packed peanuts could help you lose weight. But they j...
More Answers
7 Effortless Eating Hacks for Summer Weight Loss
7 Effortless Eating Hacks for Summer Weight Loss7 Effortless Eating Hacks for Summer Weight Loss7 Effortless Eating Hacks for Summer Weight Loss7 Effortless Eating Hacks for Summer Weight Loss
Shed pounds without ever having to break a sweat.
Start Slideshow
Imagine Yourself Eating Healthier
Imagine Yourself Eating Healthier

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.