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Friday
Oct162009

Raw Mistake # 2: Eating too much dried fruit, nuts and fats.

Today we're going to look at the second of The 7 Biggest Raw Mistakes.

Raw Mistake # 2: 
Eating too much dried fruit, nuts and fats.

Years ago, when I first started going raw, I found myself eating a lot of dried fruit and nuts.  If you're eating a vegan diet, there's a pretty good chance that you've felt this urge yourself.  Let me tell you right away that this isn't the path you should be heading down.  It took me a while to break the habit, but now that I eat an optimal raw vegan diet I keep very little dried fruit or nuts in my house.  I rarely eat them and I don’t crave them.  In fact, with very few exceptions, I feel much better when I don’t eat them.

Nuts and dried fruit really aren’t that much better than cooked foods.  They’re dense and dehydrated, and hard to digest.  To explain that a bit better, just think about the basics of what happens when you eat.  You chew and swallow, and the food ends up in your stomach.  Then, in order to be absorbed, the food needs to be broken down into a liquid. Depending upong what you're eating, this can either be a lot of work, or a little. 

Let me give an example here.  Which do you think would be easiest for your body to turn into a liquid: A handful of trail mix (nuts and dried fruit), or an orange (fresh fruit)?  It’s no contest.  The orange is most of the way there already.  The amount of work that has to be done to liquify and digest the fresh fruit is comparably minimal.  Eating large quantities of dried fruit and nuts will be very taxing on your energy levels.  The process of digestion is one of the largest energy drains for your body, so if you can minimize the work load you’ll definitely notice the extra energy you save.

It’s not just the dried foods, though.  Fats are very much the same story.  That still means nuts, but also means oils and yes, even avocados to a certain extent.  It's significantly harder for your body to digest fat and protein than carbohydrates (such as fresh fruit) because, before it can use the food as fuel, it has to convert these energy sources into a simple sugar which is a usable form of carbohydrate.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying you shouldn't eat any of these foods at all.  I eat four or five medjool dates a few times per week, for example.  (As far as dried fruit goes, medjool dates are your best choice because they dissolve quite nicely.)  I also have half an avocado a few times per week -- usually mixed into a salad. 

What I am saying is that you definitely shouldn't be getting a majority of your calories from these dense foods.  You should give yourself a break.  By eating lots of fresh fruit, your calories come from the simple carbohydrates that your body needs in the first place.  Minimize the amount of dried fruits, nuts, oils and avocados you eat and you’ll feel much more energetic because of it.

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Mike Dillman has lived a raw-vegan diet since 2004. Because he's experienced the learning curve firsthand, he wants to save you from making the same mistakes yourself. You can visit Mike's blog at Real-World-Raw.com to learn how easy it can be to make a raw-vegan diet fit your busy lifestyle. You can also download his free eBook, "The 7 Biggest Raw Mistakes", where Mike lays out the major missteps beginning raw foodists make that undermine their success and tells you how you can avoid them. To get your free eBook click here.

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