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The Official Newsletter of Bodyfatguide.com
Updated: February 15, 2011


            ***********Special Report*************
Maintaining Healthy 
Body Weight on a 
Raw-food Diet

by Ron Brown, Ph.D. candidate, author of The Body Fat Guide 

"Ron Brown is a certified fitness trainer who doesn't have an inch of flab on his body. He'll tell you what you can do to become fit and trim too." 
TALK TO AMERICA,
Washington DC


PEOPLE unfamiliar with the concept of eating a diet composed exclusively of raw food often find the idea strange at first. Why would anyone restrict oneself to raw food? The answer to this question is provided in numerous sources that describe the health value of a raw diet for humans as well as for animals. The basic idea is that all living creatures, except humans and the animals that humans feed, take their nourishment directly from nature in an uncooked state. Likewise, human physiology is designed to function at optimal levels on an uncooked vegan diet of foods that are "natural" to human anatomical structure: fruits, nuts and vegetables.

In addition to health benefits, a raw-food diet can provide survival advantages during an emergency when cooked food is not available, such as occurred during the power blackout that affected northeastern North America on August 14, 2003. Although this outage was relatively brief, access to a raw food diet could be critical in the event that people needed to survive a much longer power outage resulting from a major catastrophe. 

Some Health Benefits of Raw Food

Pet owners have reported improvement in the health of their pets who are switched over to a raw diet. Animal experiments, such as Pottenger's famous 900-cat experiment, corroborate the health effects of an uncooked diet on some animals. 

Other than bacteria, one of the few types of organisms that are claimed to actually thrive better on cooked food are cancer cells. Ann Wigmore claimed to have witnessed human cancer cells thrive in the laboratory when nourished with cooked food, and starve when provided with the same food uncooked. In cases claiming recovery from some forms of cancer with raw food, it is often noted that complete abstinence from cooked food is essential to avoid a relapse in the patient.

Although scientifically controlled studies of the health effects of a raw-food diet on humans are woefully lacking to support these claims, there are many studies pointing to the carcinogenic effect of certain cooked foods on human tissue. Conventional authorities also now recognize the importance of consuming fruits and vegetables in the prevention of cancer. Dr. Ralph Vance of the American Cancer Society says, "...30% of cancer can probably be prevented by exercise and good diet, another 30-60% can be prevented by not smoking cigarettes."

However, the additional specification that a healthy diet is best consumed in the uncooked state is implied in the following statements from Dr. R. A. Holman, M.D., University of Wales, "One of the few well-established facts about cancer is that the important enzyme, catalase, is progressively diminished in the host as well as in the tumor...It is now realized that the widespread distribution of catalase in living cells is essential for their ability to live aerobically." 


In other words, cancer cells thrive anaerobically in an environment. that lacks catalase. 

Dr. Holman continues, "Man is the only species of animal now deliberately taking a large part of his food in a form devoid of catalase." Man is also the only animal who cooks his own food, which is known to completely destroy enzymes like catalase, even at relatively low temperatures.

Dr. Holman goes on to say, "It would be to everyone’s great advantage if the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables were to be markedly increased, thus insuring an adequate intake of catalase and peroxidase."
Since cooking destroys enzymes like catalase, we may qualify Dr. Holman's statement with the condition that fresh fruits and vegetables must be uncooked in order to preserve their catalase and peroxidase. In addition, obviously, raw food should be thoroughly cleaned and uncontaminated with environmental pollutants and pathogenic organisms. 

None of this implies that an exclusive diet of raw food by itself is adequate for health. As this article will show, many people have attempted to follow raw-food diets which did not provide all the essential nutrients for health. Supplementing an inadequate raw diet with cooked foods may improve and correct the deficiencies of the diet, but this does not prove that cooked foods are indispensable for health.

Are Cooked Foods Necessary to Maintain Healthy Body Weight?

One of the most respected sources of health information that advocated a raw-food diet was the American Natural Hygiene Society. The ANHS was founded in part by author Herbert Shelton, an authority on the history and development of the Hygienic movement in America. A few years ago, the American Natural Hygiene Society officially began recommending cooked food to maintain healthy body weight. As the author of The Body Fat Guide, and a long time member of the American Natural Hygiene Society, I wish to offer a few observations.

Perhaps the leaders of the American Natural Hygiene movement recognized that in the recent past there has been an overly restrictive attitude in the ANHS regarding calorie intake. Many of the people first discovering Natural Hygiene are either overweight, ill, or both, and many professional hygienic practitioners earn a living by putting people on fasts. Thus, the emphasis has always been on eating less and restricting one's diet to healthy uncooked food. Little attention was given to the specific caloric value of one's diet, which I believe was an unfortunate misinterpretation of Shelton's warning about feeding by calorie.


In rightly discouraging the conventional practice of feeding an ill patient according to a standard number of calories, Shelton pointed out that calories are no more important than any other health or nutritional factor, such as vitamins, minerals, rest, water, etc. A diet may be adequate in calories but inadequate in nutrients. 

However, a sufficient amount of calories also isn't less important than any other health factor, especially over long periods. Shelton points out that for ongoing superior nutrition, each health and nutritional factor is as important as the next factor. All factors, including calories, should be considered together and regulated accordingly.

Although it has been demonstrated that feeding animals on barely adequate amounts of food improves their health and lifespan relative to overfed animals, this doesn't imply that feeding inadequate amounts of food is beneficial. Even if a diet contains a proper balance of nutrients, if it is fed in inadequate amounts to meet energy needs, it may be harmful in the long run. 

There are, of course, conditions where severe calorie restriction and even complete abstinence from food for brief periods is beneficial. But, these are only temporary measures. They are not a substitute for proper lifestyle habits. 

Avoiding Excess Protein

We in the ANHS were particularly warned about the dangers of eating too much protein food, including

nuts (see Not Getting Enough Protein? Consider Breast Milk). And so we limited our intake of nuts to one serving of no more than 3-4 ounces a day. However, calculating one's daily caloric intake on a diet of uncooked fruits and vegetables, with 3-4 ounces of nuts, reveals a problem. Since raw fruits and vegetables are generally low in calories and high in fiber, it is difficult to meet the calorie requirements of normally active people by eating mainly fruits and vegetables in sufficient quantities.

Alas, although well-intentioned, many people found it hard to comply with such advice, for they were either losing too much weight or they were not fully satisfying their hunger. Not being permitted to eat more concentrated raw foods like nuts, some raw-fooders have turned to "fruitarianism," and have attempted to rectify the calorie inadequacies of a raw diet by eating very large amounts of concentrated sweet fruit. In some cases this has resulted in clinical deficiencies ranging from dental problems to severe blood pathology. Other people have reverted to adding a wider range of foods back to their diets, which invariably included cooked foods.

If the ANHS recognized that people often need to increase their calorie intake to maintain a healthy body weight, why turn so hastily to cooked foods to provide those calories? What exactly is wrong with including 2-3 servings of nuts along with other raw fruits and vegetables to meet energy needs? Will a person overdose on protein if they eat so many nuts?


Measuring Protein by Calorie

Past recommendations for servings of nuts and other protein foods have been based on measuring the percentage of protein in the food by weight. We in the ANHS followed charts that classified individual foods according to the number of grams of protein they contained. Pound for pound, nuts are right up there on the charts alongside meat when measuring protein and amino acid content. Despite this, many people outside of the ANHS, especially athletes, still believe you must eat a cow to get enough protein to build muscle. 

For instance, a former Mr. Olympia once criticized my training diet as being too low in protein because I relied on nuts instead of meat for my main source of protein. As proof, he showed me a nutrition almanac that listed the protein content of nuts and meat.

"See," he said, "meat contains much more protein than nuts." 

When I examined the almanac I found it listed the protein content of 1 pound of meat compared to only 1/4 pound of nuts. I explained to Mr. Olympia that since these units of 

measurement were not equivalent, his conclusion was invalid. He quickly changed the subject. 

The point of this Mr. Olympia-anecdote is that a careful consideration of units of measurement is essential in drawing correct conclusions. (Remember NASA's recently failed mission to Mars which was done in by a failure to convert units of metric and imperial measurements?) I believe this also applies to the questionable conclusions drawn by the ANHS.

As an alternative to measuring a nutrient in a food by weight, the old ANHS-way, scientists today recognize the importance of measuring a nutrient in a food according to the percentage of calories it provides within one's total diet. Thus, when measured by calories, the percentage of protein in nuts is significantly lower than when measured by weight, mainly because nuts contain so many additional calories from fat and from some carbohydrates. In other words, when nuts are considered as a whole food, all of nuts' other valuable nutrients that contribute to a healthy diet must be taken into account, not just protein. It's time to look at those old food-classification charts with a new perspective.


For example, consider one of nature's most plentiful source of calories, pecans. These nuts contain more calories than most other natural foods, and they contain about 9-13% protein by weight. But, doing the math reveals that the percentage of calories from protein in pecans is approximately 5-7%, which is about half of their percentage of protein calculated by weight. (To calculate the amount of calories from protein in a food, see Calorie and Gram Requirements at Fat Talk!) Thus, if you ate nothing but pecans all day, your total protein intake would only account for approximately 5-7% of your calorie intake.

If you replaced some of those calories from pecans with calories from low-protein foods like fresh fruits and raw vegetables, as you should, for pecans alone do not form a balanced diet, you might expect your total percentage of calories from protein would drop lower. You would be wrong. Surprisingly, even if you add low-protein foods like fruit and vegetables to your diet, your overall protein intake would remain at about 5-7% of your total calorie intake. That's because many types of fruits and green vegetables are as high or are much higher in their percentage of calories from protein than pecans! More on that later.

Eat More Nuts

Approximately 5% of daily calories from protein has been scientifically proven to be the adult daily maintenance requirement. When you consider that 10% of calories from protein is recommended by health authorities as a safety factor for growth and repair purposes (to meet the extra protein requirements of growing children, pregnant mothers, convalescent patients and people training for muscular development), it becomes apparent that one would have a difficult time exceeding healthy protein intake levels by eating large amounts of pecans as part of one's maintenance caloric intake. 

Incidentally, an adequate supply of protein for growth and repair purposes is provided by slightly increasing one's overall caloric intake of a balanced diet, not by directly increasing the percentage of calories from protein in one's diet. For example, pregnant mothers need a maintenance amount of a balanced diet plus approximately 300 extra calories daily (depending on trimester) and lactating mothers need about 500 extra calories daily.


Nutritive Value of Nuts

Nuts are very high in minerals, many containing rich sources of calcium. In this way, increasing one's intake of nuts will help meet energy needs, and simultaneously provide one's diet with an abundance of calcium, essential fatty acids, and an assortment of vitamins, including the B vitamins. 

Similar to grains, legumes, and animal foods, which are high in protein, phosphorus, and other acid-forming elements, most nuts also tend to be acid forming in the body. Therefore, it is essential that an adequate supply of nuts are balanced with nutrients provided in fruits and vegetables, which include, along with calcium, a greater supply of alkaline minerals, such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, and iron, in addition to vitamins C and A. 

Alkaline minerals in fruit and green vegetables help buffer any slight excess acidity caused by nuts, thereby protecting the body's skeletal system from sacrificing calcium, and prevent osteoporosis and dental problems. Scientists suggest our diet should have a balanced weight ratio of 1.3 calcium: 1 phosphorus. Coconuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are examples of nuts that are relatively low in phosphorus per calorie, and these nuts provide the best sources of energy while keeping overall dietary phosphorus intake low. 

Measured by weight, dairy products appear to rank high as a source of calcium. However, the following chart shows that most green vegetables outrank dairy products when measuring Calcium per Calorie. By calorie, romaine lettuce outranks skim-milk yogurt, broccoli, and spinach in calcium. Even celery outranks whole milk in calcium by calorie. Many fruits surpass or rival the calcium in human milk. The calcium in fruits and vegetables helps explain why Asians, who traditionally eat little dairy and an abundance of green vegetables, have low rates of osteoporosis.

 

Nuts should be taken in proper amounts at mealtime (somewhere between 3-5 ounces, depending on digestive capacity) and in proper combinations with other foods, such as green vegetables and/or acid fruits. Of course, nuts should also be fresh, unsalted and un-roasted. Shelton says "The skin covering the kernels of some of our best nuts is poisonous to man, and must be removed before the nut is eaten." Almonds and other nuts with a  brown skin may be blanched to remove their skins, which contain tannin. Another way to improve the absorption of nutrients in nuts with skins is to soak the nuts in water for several hours or overnight, which eliminates harmful enzyme inhibitors that keep the nut in a dormant state before germinating.

A documentary aired by an educational TV channel displayed chimpanzee mothers living in the wild, teaching their offspring to crack open nuts with rocks and sticks. You may prefer to use nutcrackers, or you may wish to buy your nuts already removed from their shells (shelled).

Having already mentioned pecans, the table below shows several other examples of nuts and their percentage of calories from protein. 

By the way, peanuts are classified as legumes, and so are not included here. People with peanut allergies and other food allergies should consult a physician before switching to a raw diet containing nuts. With the exception of coconuts, all these nuts have a higher percentage of calories from protein than are contained in pecans and in most other fruits and vegetables. Therefore, adding fruits and vegetables to a diet containing these nuts will usually decrease the overall percentage of calories from protein in one's diet.

Nuts

100 grams

Calories

Protein (grams)

% Calories from Protein

Almond

598

18.6

12%

Brazil nut

654

14.3

8%

Cashew

561

17.2

12%

Coconut

346

03.5

4%

Filbert

634

12.6

7%

Pistachio

594

19.3

12%

Walnut

628

14.8

9%


Notice also that coconuts, which are fairly low in protein by weight, actually appear higher in protein when its protein is measured as a percentage of calories. This illustrates a previously mentioned point about many foods traditionally classified as low-protein foods, like fruit and green vegetables. Since these foods are also relatively low in calories, the amount of protein they provide is much higher when measured as a percentage of their caloric value, as the table below shows.

Interestingly, according to this table, if you were to eat an exclusive diet of romaine lettuce and celery, your diet would provide 21-28% calories from protein! 

This table also shows that some fruits, like oranges, provide as high a percentage of calories from protein as many nuts. Some people claim the amino acid content of the protein in oranges is not as adequate for growth and repair as the amino acid content of the protein in nuts, or in conventionally recommended sources of protein such as meat, milk and eggs. However, it is the amount and combined adequacy of amino acids in the total diet that counts most, and every natural food, including oranges, contributes to that.

Raw Fruit and Vegetables

100 grams

Calories

Protein 
(grams)

% Calories from Protein

Romaine

18

1.3

28%

Banana

75

1.1

5%

Date

274

2.2

3%

Grapes

67

0.6

3%

Avocado

171

2.2

5%

Celery

17

0.9

21%

Orange

49

1.0

8%


By contrast to the above table, consider the following table below showing the percentage of calories from protein in cooked foods commonly recommended by the ANHS. Ironically, many of these foods, especially the legumes, increase the percentage of calories from protein in one's diet far more than nuts! This clearly shows the ANHS's failed objective of reducing dietary protein by substituting cooked foods for raw nuts!
Cooked Foods

100 grams

Calories

Protein 
(grams)

% Calories 
from Protein

Lentils

340

24.7

29%

Brown Rice

360

7.5

8%

Potato

76

2.1

11%

Corn

96

3.5

14%

Wheat

330

14.0

16%

Green Peas

84

6.3

30%

Red Beans

343

22.5

26%


Low-Fat Myths

The current low-fat craze is another factor that has discouraged people from properly balancing a raw diet with an abundance of nuts. For along with protein in nuts comes plenty of fat, which many people associate with cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Despite the popularity of low-fat diets that are claimed to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease (CHD), Harvard researchers published findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2002, "Optimal Diets for Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease," in which they stated: "...simply lowering the percentage of energy from total fat in the diet is unlikely to improve lipid profile or reduce CHD incidence." The researchers added, "An inverse association between nut consumption and risk of CHD has been seen consistently in prospective studies."

The research of experts like Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University showed that animal protein is the real dietary culprit associated with cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Although Campbell had previously advocated lowering dietary fat to prevent cancer in 1982, he admitted later in his bestselling book, The China Study, that researchers back then got it wrong. He cited studies that showed no correlation between cancer and plant sources of fat. Most high-fat diets associated with disease contain high amounts of animal protein. On a vegan diet, however, one can add as much fat from nuts and avocados as one needs to meet energy, nutritive and satiety requirements, and maintain a healthy bodyweight while avoiding the adverse effects of animal foods.

The fat in raw nuts and avocados is emulsified, which means it is not sticky, and doesn't clump together or cling to other objects. This is easily verified in comparison to fats contained in animal foods and refined oils. The emulsified fat that coats dishes from chopped nuts and avocados simply wipes clean with water. Not so the fat that coats dishes and cooking pans from animal foods and cooking oils. 

Writing in Tufts Nutrition, published by Tufts University, Marin Thompson says, " Nuts, the nutritional superstars, can help you live longer, keep off extra pounds, and provide you with the nutrients necessary for optimal health."  Thompson explains how calorie-nutrient-dense nuts keep you satisfied longer on less overall food, making it easier to manage your weight.  Obviously, however, indiscriminately adding nuts to a diet that is already high in calories will result in excess body fat storage.

Dr. Rui Jiang, a nutrition researcher at Harvard, says, “people should not simply add nuts on the top of their diet. Instead, they should substitute nuts for less healthy foods like refined carbohydrates and red meats." Dr. Jiang's Harvard research team found that women who ate nuts most frequently reduced their risk of diabetes by almost 30 percent compared with those who rarely or never ate nuts. Data for the research came from 16 years of the Nurses’ Health Study, organized by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

A study from the University of Toronto shows that after a mere one week on a diet of our early ancestors, based solely on fruit, vegetables and nuts, total cholesterol levels decreased by about 20 per cent while the level of bad cholesterol, LDL, went down about 30 per cent! Such results equals the effect of drugs used in lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease. 

This study, published in the April 2001 issue of the journal Metabolism, was lead by Dr. David Jenkins, professor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine's department of nutritional sciences, and director of St. Michael's Hospital's Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre. He comments, "In effect, we can attribute about one third of the cholesterol reduction in the plant-based diet to nuts."

However, commenting on the drawbacks of the diet used in the study, Jenkin adds, " A diet consisting only of fruit, vegetables and nuts would be difficult for most people to adhere to...The diet of our early ancestors may not be considered compatible with contemporary lifestyles.'"

It is important to note that this and other studies by Dr. Jenkins arbitrarily limited daily nut intake to no more than 50-100 grams as part of a 2700-calorie diet, much as the ANHS diet. Therefore, the same problems occurred, i.e., participants found it difficult to eat enough food to maintain adequate calorie intake. Thus the diet was deemed not applicable to meet human needs in our contemporary society. However, one way to make this diet more suitable for human needs would be to increase the percentage of calories from nuts, as this article attempts to demonstrate.

Field observations prove that humans today can live on the diet of our early ancestors, provided nuts supply the principal daily staple in a diet that is abundant in vegetables. Anthropologist Richard Borshay Lee studied the African Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in the early 1960s. Known as the Ju/hoansi-!Kung tribe, these people were described as living long and fruitful lives on a daily diet that included about 7.5 ounces of mongongo nuts, or about twice the amount of nuts that Dr. Jenkins used in his studies. Mongongo nuts provided 1260 calories and 56 grams of protein each day. The Ju/hoansi-!Kung balanced nuts with large amounts of vegetable foods, which provided 9% of their calorie intake. These so-called "undeveloped" people may have been light years ahead of us in dietary wisdom! Lee mentioned that mongongo nuts are drought resistant, and may be stored for a year, making them more reliable than cultivated crops or hunted prey. Unfortunately, the tribe now eats a Western diet, and suffers the consequent health effects.

In 2008, researchers in Spain published a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, showing that nuts increased the cardiovascular benefits of a Mediterranean diet. Also in 2008, Penn State researchers published a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which showed that two daily handfuls of pistachio nuts (totaling 3 oz.) reduced cardiovascular risk factors more than one daily handful of pistachios, even though two handfuls increased total fat intake more. The researchers attribute this beneficial dose-dependent effect of nuts to cardio-protective nutrients contained in nuts that reduce vascular oxidative stress, vascular inflammation, and vascular constriction.

Read this scientific research report on the health benefits of nuts: Nuts and Coronary Heart Disease. The authors, Kelly Jr. and Sabaté, reviewed four major epidemiological studies, and found that coronary heart disease was reduced by 23-40% by simply eating nuts. This is the strongest relationship ever found in nutritional epidemiology between a single food and a chronic disease! Clinical interventions, as mentioned above, further demonstrated that reductions in coronary heart disease were not merely related to nut intake, but were actually caused by the nuts themselves. The scientific evidence is in! An adequate intake of raw nuts is an essential part of the human diet.


Gaining Muscle on a Raw Diet

By now you may be thinking a diet of raw fruit and vegetables with some nuts is best after all to help meet calorie requirements, but the question still remains: How much should one plan on eating to maintain a healthy body weight? In particular, how much should one eat on a raw diet to gain muscle?

The principles of energy balance apply to any diet, raw or not, so one should consult The Body Fat Guide to determine one's specific calorie requirements. Digestion and metabolism is generally much more efficient on a raw-food diet, and raw food is more nutrient dense with no nutrient losses from cooking, so energy and growth needs may be more easily met on less calories from raw food than cooked food. Researchers in a study published in the Southern Medical Journal (1985) examined the effect of a raw-food diet on obesity and found that subjects felt more satiated on fewer calories from raw food. Cooking causes losses of up to 90% of water-soluble vitamins and 40% of fat-soluble vitamins while keeping calories the same. 

Shelton said animal tests showed regular cooking reduces the nutritional value of food by at least one-third. The amino acids lysine and glutamine are destroyed in cooked protein, and calcium absorption is reduced by two-thirds in pasteurized milk.

As an example of using a raw-food diet to gain muscle, the table below shows a raw-food meal plan to gain healthy muscular bodyweight with a resistance training program. It contains 2,773 calories, which should provide enough surplus calories on a raw diet to allow muscle growth to occur. It also contains 1,316 mg calcium and 1015 mg phosphorus with a Ca:P ratio of 1.3:1

Although coconut and macadamia nuts are used abundantly, notice that total protein in this diet is no higher than 5% of calories. Divided over 6 smaller meals, this raw diet plan provides all the calories and balanced nutrients any active, athletic male could ever want. Some people can make excellent gains on even less raw food and fewer meals than this. Obviously, less-active people who do not require food in these quantities should not attempt this particular plan; they should construct their own plan based on their needs. 


Muscle-Gaining Plan

Food Item

Calories

Green Smoothie:
250 grams Grapefruit

500 grams Oranges

120 grams Collard Greens


105

235

36

(Post-Workout Meal)

300 grams Apple

300 grams Pear

125 grams Dried Figs



156

174

311

200 grams Coconut Milk (66 grams mature coconut meat + 2 parts water)

200 grams Mango

 

236


130

200 grams Grapes

130 grams Avocado

100 grams Celery

138

208

16

 

Food Item

Calories

Green Smoothie:
200 grams Banana

300 grams Coconut_Water 

120 grams Kale


178


57

50

85 grams Macadamias

100 grams Romaine

50 grams Tomatoes

610

17

9

TOTAL CALORIES

2773

TOTAL PROTEIN (grams)

40

TOTAL % CALORIES from PROTEIN

5%


Summary

As a certified personal fitness trainer with a university and college background in the health sciences, I approached the raw-food diet issue from an energy-balance point of view. This, combined with my background with Natural Hygiene, allowed me to fill in some missing spots in the advice usually dispensed about a raw-food diet. Health and energy-wise, I personally get the best results when I eat the best quality raw foods, according to Natural Hygiene, and when I get enough balanced calories to meet all my energy needs according to more standard nutritional authorities. An adequate supply of nuts balanced with an abundance of green vegetables and raw fruit makes that possible. 

Once one knows one's energy requirements, only then is it possible to secure an adequate intake of a nutrient-balanced raw diet. For example, people interested in improving their diets often ask me how many grams of protein, fats and carbs they should eat. I respond by asking them how many 

calories they burn off each day, to which they usually reply that they haven't a clue. I then explain that a person needs to start with basic energy requirements before they can calculate the actual amount of each nutrient required. Without that knowledge, the organization of one's diet lacks an important foundation. This applies equally as much to raw-food diets.

Shelton anticipated a need for this type of information when he wrote, "We tell these people, when they attempt to reform their eating habits, to eat only what food their bodies require. But we might as well tell them not to get wet while they are standing in the rain. We never supply them with a knowledge of how much food their bodies require."

A knowledge of how much food one requires applies to those who under-eat as well as to those who overeat. That's where my book The Body Fat Guide can help. It provides a method for people to measure their energy requirements according to their body composition and activities. 


When the raw-foodist first learns how to calculate his caloric requirements, he is often surprised by the amount of food it takes to lose weight.

"Hey!" he exclaims, "That's the same amount of food I've tried to live on for years."

Is it any wonder he always shrank to an emaciated one-hundred-and-nothing pounds or less on his inadequate raw-food diet? Is it any wonder he would dream about food at night and obsess over food all day? Is it any wonder his ravenous appetite would eventually force him to break away and binge on "forbidden" cooked foods? Is it any wonder he would immediately feel better when he broke away from his raw-food diet? Is it any wonder he would isolate himself from social situations in order to attempt to maintain control of his eating?

 

No, it's no wonder at all! The raw-foodist needn't abandon his quest for a healthy life, nor live as an outcast from the rest of society. As with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, the kind of knowledge Shelton spoke of will eventually replace the raw-foodist's obsessive behavior with healthfully balanced living habits.

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