There is a lot of discussion about the benefits of eating raw foods. So we asked Dr. Fuhrman the question "is raw food better than cooked food?"
Raw vegetables are dramatically low in calories and we probably only absorb about 50 calories a pound from raw vegetables. Our caloric needs cannot be met on a raw food diet without consuming large amounts of fruits, avocado, nuts and seeds. This may be an adequate diet for some people, but in my 15 years of medical practice catering to the community of natural food enthusiasts, raw foodists and natural hygienists, I have seen many people who weakened their health on such raw food, vegan diets. Frequent fungal skin and nail infections, poor dentition, hair loss and muscular wasting are common on such fruit-based diets.
Unfortunately, sloppy science prevails in the raw-food movement. Raw food advocates mistakenly conclude that since many cooked foods are not healthy for us, then all cooked foods are bad. This is not true.
The idea that stirs the most enthusiasm for this diet is the contention that cooking both destroys about fifty percent of the nutrients in food, and destroys all or most of the life promoting enzymes. It is true that when food is baked at high temperatures—and especially when it is fried or barbecued—toxic compounds are formed and most important nutrients are lost. Many vitamins are water-soluble, and a significant percent can be lost with cooking, especially overcooking. Similarly, many plant enzymes function as phytochemical nutrients in our body and are useful to maximize health. They, too, can be destroyed by overcooking. However, we cannot paint with this brush of negativity over every form of cooking. Click here to continue reading the article: