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Is eating a raw-food diet a healthy choice?

Most of us love a crunchy salad or a carrot stick dunked in aïoli. But a fully raw diet? The trend has gathered momentum in recent years, as adherents swap frying pans for dehydrators in their quest for health. Yet is there any nutritional advantage? Sue Quinn considers the facts


Many people believe the raw-food gospel. Raw food restaurants and websites have sprouted like alfalfa, proffering the likes of raw pad Thai made from kelp noodles or pizza with a chia and potato crust. The Instagram hashtag #rawfood has 3.2 million posts, a rainbow of raw berry cheesecakes, avocado ‘tacos’ and spiralised courgette ‘pasta’. Meanwhile, sales of dehydrators – appliances that use low heat and fans to remove moisture from food – have steadily increased in recent years, according to online retailer Andrew James. Celebrity endorsements from the likes of Demi Moore and Sting, reported to have dabbled with raw diets, have fuelled the trend – which is actually an old food fad reprised. Healthy eating hippies first switched off their stoves in 1975 after the publication of Survival into the 21st Century: Planetary Healers Manual by Viktoras Kulvinskas. The former computer consultant turned holistic health practitioner claimed raw – or ‘living foods’ as he dubbed them – can cure a range of ailments and improve longevity. It’s not surprising raw food is enjoying a resurgence, as it fits neatly into the modern wellness philosophy that advocates eating whole, minimally processed foods.

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About delicious. Magazine

Ease into autumn with the October issue of delicious. magazine. Cosy up with Ottolenghi's simple comfort food, Debbie Major's satisfying sausage casseroles and the perfect autumn dessert – sticky toffee apple pudding. Follow the MasterChef finalists' guide to running your own supperclub and perfect your baking with our ultimate scone recipe and DIY garibaldi biscuits (aka squashed flies!). Our hearty vegetarian midweek dishes and main-meal soups will also keep you toasty and warm this month. Plus, don't miss all our fab foodie competitions and reader offers.

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