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The raw truth about healthy diet : How to reverse chronic ailments with Whole Food Plant-Based Diet

by Bijal Maroo
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The Raw Truth About a Healthy Diet

The raw truth about healthy diet is that it is alive. The striking difference between the raw seed and the roasted one is the difference between life and death. Heating food destroys enzymes and other vital nutrients, so increasing the proportion of raw foods in your diet can be a game-changer in staying healthy and reversing chronic ailments in a natural way

True Health means a medicine-free life

We seem to have accepted the limiting belief that chronic ailments are to be managed with medicines for a lifetime. What if you were told that it is possible to reverse them and live a medicine-free life? 

The difference between raw and cooked is the difference between Life and Death.

Victoria Boutenko ( teaches classes on healthy living and raw food all over the world. In her book 12 Steps to Raw Foods, she says, “Let us compare two almond seeds – one raw and the other roasted. They look identical, and many nutritionists claim that they have the same nutritional content. However, when put in good fertile soil, the wise raw kernel will start growing into a beautiful tree that will yield thousands more almonds each year. Nothing will ever grow out of the roasted seed. There is one big difference between the raw seed and the roasted one. It’s the difference between life and death.”

How a Whole Food Plant Based Diet can reverse chronic ailments

I spoke to Shanu S, a Natutarian ( who runs an organic fruit farm in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Shanu shared how a high raw diet helped him reverse his diabetes and hypothyroidism. He explains that humans are actually frugivores (fruit-eating), but have adapted to eating as omnivores.  We consume survival foods like meat, milk, and grain. Survival foods are only to be consumed in the paucity of raw foods. The simple fatty acids, amino acids, and simple sugars present in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds make for easy absorption.  The natural enzymes in raw foods aid digestion freeing up energy which is redirected towards healing and reversing chronic diseases.  

Saurabh Patil, a 30-year-old digital marketer, shared his story with me. He was plagued by severe obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) in his twenties. Inspired by Shanu, he quit dairy, oil, and non-vegetarian food and never needed medicines again. 

raw truth about healthy food

“The safest and healthiest way to enjoy raw foods is as part of a WFPB (Whole Food Plant Based Diet) diet that is rich in raw fruits and vegetables, as well as cooked lentils, beans, grains, and vegetables,” says Dr. Vanita Rahman, the clinic director at Barnard Medical Centre in Washington, D.C.

The raw vegan diet follows the raw truth about healthy diet

Pradeep Shah, an electronic design and development engineer by profession, shared his story with me. He realized that with time while the medicines increased, the ailments were getting worse as well. So, he studied the raw diet and found that it was the most aligned with nature’s laws. His entire family rid themselves of their ailments thanks to this diet. Now, he actively educates people about the importance of a raw vegan diet as advocated by B.V. Chauhan (

Cooked food fosters various ailments through poor ‘internal hygiene”

 Pradeep Shah’s logic behind a raw vegan diet is as follows:

  1. No other animal drinks the milk of another species. 
  2. No other creature cooks their food nor do they use spices to flavor their food.
  3. Animals do not observe any hygiene such as washing fruits and leaves before eating, yet they remain healthy. In contrast, humans observe external hygiene but continue polluting their innards with cooked food, milk products, and non-vegetarian diets. They also harbor a mind-set of greed and hoarding. This poor internal hygiene is a hotbed for all kinds of bacteria, viruses, and chronic ailments.

“The food that enters the mind must be watched as closely as the food that enters the body,” says Pat Buchanan, an American political commentator and politician.

The middle way is the best 

Extremes are to be avoided, however. My sister and I embarked on our journey of eating a 100% raw diet a year ago after completing a raw challenge with SHARAN – India ( I realized salads did not satiate my hunger. So, I switched to a 70% raw diet. Even my sister couldn’t sustain the full raw diet. She lost a lot of weight, and during the festive season, she ended up binging almost twice her appetite on cooked meals. After this lapse, she added about 30% cooked elements to her diet to keep the cravings at bay.

Dr Michael Greger advocates a balance between raw and cooked foods so that you reap the maximum health benefits from your diet. ( 

Shilpi Singh, a holistic life coach at the Auroville Clinic in Pondicherry, India, let me know that unaddressed emotional issues are the reason we fall off the raw diet. Hence, she allows 40-50% cooked elements as comfort food for all her clients.

Asha Rao, a Mumbai-based entrepreneur-chef saw excellent health benefits on a 70% raw diet. She shared with me that not only did her hunger pangs vanish, but even her thyroid levels normalized.

raw truth about healthy food

The growing number of chronic diseases afflicting our generation is directly proportional to the increased consumption of packaged and restaurant food. While experts are divided on the proportion of raw versus cooked, they all emphasize avoiding processed foods with their high sugar, salt, and oil content, as well as additives and preservatives.

Whole Food Plant Based Diet is the safest and healthiest 

“The safest and healthiest way to enjoy raw foods is as part of a WFPB diet that is rich in raw fruits and vegetables, as well as cooked lentils, beans, grains, and vegetables,” says Dr. Vanita Rahman, an internal medicine physician and clinic director of the Barnard Medical Centre in Washington, D.C. (

Seek trained experts to guide you on your Raw Vegan Diet

I interviewed Rananjay Pandey, who runs Yovana, a naturopathy cum ayurveda center near Mumbai ( ) He narrated an interesting anecdote. The Buddha was asked, ‘What is Poison?’ He answered, ‘Anything in excess is poison.’ Pandey advocates a balanced approach of 50-50 raw and cooked food.

He advises patients to eliminate non-negotiables such as wheat, dairy, and sugar while reducing the intake of table salt and oil. Cooked food addresses our food cravings and counters the excess weight loss that many people on an 80-100% raw diet might experience. According to him, when the patients are initially put on a raw diet, they experience a ‘Healing Crisis’ (also called detox or withdrawal symptoms).

He educates his patients so that they can endure its symptoms like fever, rashes, diarrhea, headaches, and vomiting which last for 2-3 days. When the body has finally purged itself of all the toxins, the disease parameters start reversing, and gradually health is restored. However, it is pertinent to undergo this process under the strict supervision of trained experts specialized in a raw vegan diet or a WFPB diet. 

“How you cook your food is as important as whether you cook it, in terms of the nutritional content of your meal,” says Victoria Taylor, a registered dietitian who leads the British Heart Foundation’s work on nutrition. ( 

It is now widely known that lycopene from tomatoes is enhanced as a result of steaming, as are lutein, carotene, and tocopherols from cooking broccoli. However, onions, garlic, and bell peppers are better when consumed raw.

What causes chronic ailments

Sixty percent of all adults in the US have at least one chronic ailment, while 40% of them have two or three such as Alzheimer’s, heart ailments, cancer, diabetes, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease, and stroke. Poor nutrition (diets low in fruits and vegetables and high in sodium and saturated fat) constitutes one of four risk factors, alongside tobacco use, excess alcohol, and physical inactivity.

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the food industry was estimated to be worth $1.26 trillion in 2021, marking a 16.6% increase over three years from approximately $1.05 trillion in 2018.

Avoiding packaged foods is the first step towards health

The increasing number of chronic diseases afflicting our generation is directly proportional to the increased consumption of packaged and/or restaurant food. While experts are divided on the percentage of raw versus cooked elements in our diet, they all concur on the importance of avoiding processed foods with their high sugar, salt, and oil content, as well as their additives, synthetic food colors, and preservatives.

My sister Jinal’s pun “Instead of processed food, get a food processor,” gets straight to the heart of the matter. If you still lean towards microwavable dinners because they’re ready in just five minutes, Dr. Nandita Shah, founder of SHARAN, invites you to consider this: “Raw is nature’s ready-to-eat food.” So, wash fresh fruits and some vegetables too and dig in!

 Frequently asked questions about raw truth about healthy diet

What is healthy food?

Healthy food is food that provides the nutrients your body needs to function properly and stay healthy. It includes a variety of foods from all food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.

What are some of the most common myths about healthy food?

Myth: You need to eat three meals a day to be healthy.
Truth: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some people may do better eating three meals a day, while others may prefer to eat two meals a day or graze throughout the day. The most important thing is to listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry.
Myth: All carbohydrates are bad for you.
Truth: There are two main types of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are found in processed foods and sugary drinks, and they can cause your blood sugar levels to spike and crash. Complex carbohydrates are found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and they provide your body with sustained energy.
Myth: You need to eat a lot of protein to build muscle.
Truth: The average adult needs about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. This means that a 150-pound person needs about 54 grams of protein per day. You can easily get this amount of protein from a variety of foods, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, and nuts.
Myth: Fat makes you fat.
Truth: Not all fats are created equal. Saturated and trans fats are unhealthy fats that can raise your cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are healthy fats that can help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.

What are some tips for eating a healthy diet?

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Aim to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal.
Choose whole grains over refined grains. Whole grains are a good source of fiber, which can help you feel full and satisfied after eating.
Choose lean protein sources. Lean protein sources include chicken, fish, beans, tofu, and nuts.
Limit unhealthy fats. Unhealthy fats are found in processed foods, fried foods, and full-fat dairy products.
Drink plenty of water. Water is essential for good health, so aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.

What are some common roadblocks to eating a healthy diet?

Cost: Healthy food can be more expensive than processed food. However, there are many ways to save money on healthy food, such as cooking at home and buying in bulk.
Convenience: Processed food is often more convenient than healthy food. However, there are many healthy convenience foods available, such as pre-cut fruits and vegetables and frozen meals.
Taste: Some people may find healthy food to be bland or tasteless. However, there are many ways to make healthy food taste good, such as adding spices and herbs.
Lack of knowledge: Some people may not know how to eat a healthy diet. However, there are many resources available to help people learn about healthy eating, such as books, websites, and cooking classes.

If you are struggling to eat a healthy diet, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can help you create a personalized meal plan that meets your individual needs.

Photos courtesy: Tholaal Mohamed/Pexels and  Hatice Bbaran/Pexels

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