If you have been following a raw foods diet for any period of time, you may have considered going vegan as well. We will break down the advantages and considerations of going vegan to help you answer the question of whether your raw foods diet should go vegan once and for all.
Raw Food Diets Go Vegan
A raw foods diet and a vegan diet are so closely associated that the two are often used interchangeably. Yet despite the common link between the two styles of eating, a vegan diet and a raw foods diet are not one in the same.
In their simplest terms, a vegan diet prohibits the inclusion of any and all animals and animal products. A raw foods diet consists of a majority (or entirety) of foods that have not been cooked above 118 degrees F (Check out my free raw food meal plan).
Because many animal sourced food and drink choices are commonly heated to temperatures above 118 degrees, a raw foods diet can work well with vegan diet standards.
- Easier Shopping
To safely eat raw meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy products, it is critical to get high quality options that are not necessarily available at just any store or market. Additionally, the sale of raw dairy products is strictly regulated or prohibited in some areas, thus making it hard or impossible to obtain. Raw fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds on the other hand are typically pretty easy to find, making shopping for a raw foods vegan diet a simpler task.
- Healthy Approach
Though a vegan diet is not for everyone, most health experts would agree that it can be a very healthy diet for most people.
- Environmentally Friendly
Choosing vegan based raw foods can have a positive impact on the environment as well as your health. Raising animals for food sources leads to decreases in CO2 emissions and saves resources like water.
- Protects Animal Rights
One reason many vegans site for following their diet is because of a deep passion for animal rights. If you already follow a raw foods diet and have a passion for animal activism, marrying the two diets could be an ideal match for you.
- Adds Challenges to Getting Need Nutrients
While careful attention to getting balanced diet can allow those on a raw foods diet to get all the nutrients they need, adding vegan restrictions to a raw foods diet can make it challenging to get all the needed nutrients each day. In fact, some vitamins, such as vitamin B12, are only available naturally through animal sources. For this reason, it can be a smart idea to choose a supplement to help assure a balanced diet. In choosing a supplement, look for a quality option with no artificial fillers that contains no animal products.
- All or Nothing Approach
On its own, a raw foods diet allows some flexibility. Someone can be considered to follow a raw foods diet as long as he or she consumes at least 70 percent of his or her food in its raw state. However, to be considered a true vegan requires strict compliance. One cannot eat, drink, use, or wear any animal products whatsoever.
- Further Limits Diet
If you have followed a raw foods diet for some period of time, you likely don’t even notice the restrictions of the diet any more. On the other hand, if you are new to the diet, it may still feel as though it requires a bit of a learning curve. Adding the extra limitations of a vegan diet may seem overwhelming if you are new to a raw foods diet.
- Encompasses More than Just Food
If you are looking primarily for dietary improvements rather than a whole lifestyle change, veganism may not be the right choice to add to your raw foods diet. This is because veganism also means abstaining from wearing leather clothing, shoes, or purses. It also means avoiding cosmetics and personal care products that use animal products like beeswax. If you’re focus is on your diet, you may want to begin by adding vegetarianism to your raw foods diet.
Ultimately, the goal of a raw foods diet is to fill your diet with nutrient dense, antioxidant rich, healthy foods that provide optimal fuel to your body far more so than it is about attaching different labels to your diet. Even though the true definition of veganism requires complete commitment, incorporating vegan practices as much as feels comfortable to you holds the potential to further add healthy benefits to your diet.