Fats are crucial for a well balanced raw food lifestyle.
One thing I discuss quite a bit in this video is the importance of fats in a raw vegan diet. These days there's quite a bit of discussion on YouTube about the low fat approach to the raw food lifestyle. Generally, I do not like to advocate one way or the other; but lately, the low fat approach is getting so much attention it is really starting to concern me.
I've been eating raw food for the last 17 years. I've tried every approach there is to raw food - fruitarianism, low fat raw vegan, high fat raw vegan, and the balanced approach. For me, the balanced approach makes the most sense and works most successfully long term. If you're curious why I take this position ... read more here.
You feel satisfied and balanced all day long. When I first discovered the raw food lifestyle, I began by eating strictly fruit, greens and very little fat. I had spent so many years on a low fat diet - brainwashed by the media about the dangers of fat - that I did not feel comfortable eating avocado, nuts and oils liberally and on a daily basis. I think I mostly feared getting fat. I did not appreciate the value of these super foods and was convinced that they were bad for me. I was not very educated on the issue. I ate this way for 3 years. I recall never really feeling satisfied. I was always hungry and obsessed about fat. If I ever ate a morsel of fat, I binged on it, uncontrollably. Years later when I surrendered to the balanced approach - eating fruit, vegetables, greens, nuts and seeds to my heart's desire - I finally felt free. I finally felt truly satisfied and never craved fat the way I had before. Today, I eat fruit, vegetables, greens, nuts and seeds each and every day to my heart's desire. Some days I eat more fat and others less. I listen to my instincts which I trust know what my body needs. As it turns out, I feel the most comfortable and balanced eating about 30% of my calories from fat on any given day. This way of eating keeps me at a very comfortable and levelled equilibrium.
Addiction to sugar is conquered. Many or most people are addicted to sugar in some way, shape or form. White sugar, processed and refined carbohydrates, breads and flours all translate into sugar in our bodies. When I first discovered the raw food lifestyle, I had spent 11 years as a vegan consuming primarily a diet of complex carbohydrates. I was addicted to sugar. I rarely ate sugar itself, but I could not go a day without eating bread, pasta or flour. Naturally, when I first began eating raw food exclusively all I wanted to eat was fruit. Fruit satisfied my cravings for complex carbohydrates. But I ate fruit in horrendous amounts! I would eat large amounts of fruit until my stomach would hurt from being so full. Eating fruit this way did not feel liberating nor did it feel healthy. I knew eating raw food was in tune with nature and just made sense, but my approach felt wrong. I knew I had to try something different. Years later when I began incorporating more fats and greens into my diet, I felt completely free of any addiction to sugar. Today I enjoy eating fruit, but I do not overeat or binge. I'll enjoy a fruit based smoothie at breakfast time each day and then a few pieces of fruit throughout the day, but I never sit down to a massive bowl of fruit - I just don't crave it. I feel completely satisfied and balanced throughout my day when I consume greens and fats in larger amounts with some sweet fruit intermittently throughout the day. Some days I feel so satisfied that I feel the need to skip meals. If I skip a meal it is often the end of the day meal. I believe that my digestion system is stronger, now 17 years into eating raw food and I need less to achieve the same level of health as compared to years prior.
Kids thrive. I have been adhering to a balanced raw food diet for about 7 years now. During such time I have raised 4 children (today ages 2, 4, 6 and 8). What I've noticed during such time is that kids love fat. They love fruit - but they equally love fat. They enjoy greens as well, but in smaller amounts. If I enforced a low fat approach to the raw food lifestyle in our household, I do not believe that my children would thrive. I take direction from them when they tell me what they need to eat. Provided their choices are healthy, I give them exactly what they ask for. I believe that their bodies know - better than I'll ever know - what is needed for their proper growth. There are times when my kids will eat inordinate amounts of fat - more then I could ever imagine eating at one sitting. But kids are growing exponentially as compared to us and they need to respond to their body's needs. Fat is a huge part of my kids' diets, as is fruit, and I could never limit either.
Makes sense practically. I have seen on YouTube how much fruit a person on an 80-10-10 diet eats in one day - 15 bananas at one sitting, a crate of berries, a big salad bowl of grapes, etc. I have 4 kids. If I had to buy that amount of fruit weekly for my entire family it would be incredibly expensive and practically impossible to store and manage. I've thought about how I would go about it; I'd have to shop daily and even then it would be near impossible to keep my fridge stocked without spending the entire day shopping for food. With the balanced approach, I shop once per week for my family of 6. I buy large amounts of fruit, vegetables, greens, nuts and seeds in season, and have noticed that my entire family eats in a week what one person on a low fat raw vegan diet would eat in a day! It's simple. Fat keeps you fuller longer. So, if you incorporate more fat into your diet, you will need less overall to get you through your day.
Ensures long-term success. At times the raw food diet can be quite trying and difficult to stick with. There will be days when the last thing you want to see is another salad and that's exactly when old cravings kick in. Trust me when I say that raw vegan sources of fat kick cravings in the but like none other! If you plan to stick with this program long-term, including more raw vegan fat sources in your diet will help you along the way.
These are just a few reasons why I think adhering to a balanced raw food lifestyle is the smarter approach. Try it for yourself and decide what works for you.