Raw vs. Cooked

Posted on October 20, 2011 by


Dieting can be dangerous territory. Of course, there are good and bad ways to diet, but in many cases our diets set us up for failure.

Sure, Barb lost 16 pounds in 36 hours from the Wheatgrass and Pinecone diet. That’s great, but how long can Barb survive on wheatgrass and pinecones? Is she ever planning on going out to dinner again with friends, shopping at a grocery store or having a slice of cake on her birthday? Of course she is, and as soon as he starts eating regular foods like a normal person, she’ll gain back those 16 pounds. And possibly some additional pounds.

Though some diets may be a little wild, there are ways we can incorporate good foods into our daily eating and keep the bad foods out – always aware that bad foods can sometimes be marketed as good foods.


Now that you’ve ditched the faddish diets, it’s time to start making healthy food choices that are also sustainable. In other words, you can start choosing foods that you can buy from the grocery, order at a restaurant and eat on a regular basis without depriving your body.

We all know that fruits and vegetables are great for our bodies, but many people avoid buying them – claiming that they’re too expensive. Many people buy processed or frozen items because food coupons are more abundant and easier to find. The truth is, yes, you can find ample coupons for frozen Snickers bars and not so many for broccoli, but there are ways around this potential roadblock.

Each fruit and vegetable has its own season, meaning that during a specific time, you’ll be able to purchase certain produce items at less cost, and the quality will be better. If you love corn, you’ll get the best quality and cheapest prices from June through November. Plan to eat whichever fruits and veggies are in season and you’ll be amazed at how much you can save.

To Cook or Not to Cook?

A second area of concern for many is how to prepare veggies. Many people are afraid to pick up a squash and take it home because they have no idea what to do with it. Should you cook it or eat it raw? Is it dangerous to eat veggies raw? Does it lose its nutritional value if I cook it?

While some health experts claim that cooking vegetables robs them of natural vitamins, minerals and enzymes, cooking actually aids our bodies for both chewing and digestion.

Cooking veggies helps to break down the plant walls, which gives our bodies easier access to all of the nutrients. When cooked, red vegetables like tomatoes release more lycopene, a nutrient that can help prevent cancer and heart disease.

Carrots, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, cabbage, peppers and other veggies release more antioxidants when cooked, boiled or steamed. Carrots release more beta-carotene when cooked, which the body can easily convert into Vitamin A. The only drawback to cooking vegetables is running the risk of losing some of the Vitamin C, which is easily destroyed by high heat and oxidation. However, Vitamin C is easier to get from other sources than many of the vitamins and antioxidants we gain through cooking veggies.

Raw or cooked, incorporating fruits or veggies into your daily eating habits is a much needed and more sustainable alternative to the Oats and Mulch diet your aunt is thinking of trying.

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Posted in: Family safety