Surprising Natural Foods to Avoid on a Raw Food Diet

Part of the Raw Food For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When you hear the words raw food diet, you probably correctly assume that it doesn't include fried, roasted, baked, or grilled foods. You may also realize that most raw foodists avoid highly processed, sugary, salty, and oily foods. But that's not the whole story.

Here are a few more foods that may appear healthy at first glance but don't measure up to raw standards:

  • Roasted nuts and seeds: Select raw varieties of seeds and nuts to avoid free-radical damage to your cells. Soak these foods before eating them to enjoy maximum nutrition.

  • Soy foods: Common allergens often hidden in prepared foods like veggie burgers and soy meat analogs (fake meat) can be replaced in burgers and meat substitutes using soaked nuts, mushrooms, and root vegetables.

  • Wheat (except wheat grass), breads, pastries, pastas, and "wheat meats" (seitan): Use sprouted grains, soaked nuts, and vegetables such as zucchini to make breads, crackers, and even pasta.

  • Vinegar: Use citrus juice and other acid fruits in dressings, marinades, and sauces in place of vinegar, which can cause digestive problems.

  • Honey: Using agave nectar, date paste, or coconut syrup is a better option for small children and others with immune system challenges.

  • Refined sugar: Use dates or other dried fruit, agave nectar, coconut sugar, or stevia instead to keep your blood sugar at healthier levels.

  • Iodized salt: Use Himalayan crystal salt and avoid chemical additives.

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