Raw Food Diet Overview
The raw food diet involves eating only plants, fruits and seeds that have not been heated past 116 degrees. (Some raw foodists give different "top" temperatures.) The raw food diet is typically entirely vegan and no animal products may be eaten on the diet, with the possible exception of honey.
(There are a few raw foodists who do eat raw animal products, like milk, shellfish and eggs.) Raw foodists theorize that the enzymes in plant foods break down if heated above 116 degrees, making them nutritionally empty.
They also believe that eating only raw foods creates an alkaline environment in the body that promotes health. Raw foodists are free to process foods in ways that do not involve heat that exceeds 116 degrees.
Some allowed methods include drying, dehydrating, pickling, sprouting, fermenting and juicing.
When invented: Raw foodists like to claim that the raw food diet is the oldest diet on the planet, predating the invention of fire, and is the most natural and healthy way for humans to eat.
Who invented it: Presumably the first Cro-Magnon to devour an uncooked fruit was a raw foodist. However, the raw diet first gained popularity in the early 20th century. A "living food" cafeteria called Eutropheon was founded in Los Angeles in 1917.
Length of diet plan: The raw food diet is meant to be a lifelong commitment.
Former supermodel Carol Alt has been an advocate of the raw foot diet for many years. Other raw foodists include Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore.