An excellent diet should:
- be vegetable-based
- be built on a foundation of leafy greens
- include high amounts of raw fruits
- include raw nuts, seeds, and avocados for healthy fats in their natural states
- minimize animal products (no more than a couple of servings/week)
- focus on organics as much as possible
- minimize cooked grains
- minimize sodium
- minimize processed foods, including oils of all types, (yes, even olive oil)
The last 2 points are often neglected in the raw food world. Personally, I hadn't emphasized them enough in my own diet until I was reminded by Dr. Fuhrman's lecture. If you're not sure why reducing sodium and oil consumption matter in a raw food diet, please follow the links for more information. As always, the best way to decide is by doing your own research.
While Dr. Fuhrman doesn't advocate a raw food diet, the plan he advocates can easily be tailored to a high raw eating-style. The man is telling people to eat a pound a day of raw vegetables, in addition to high amounts of raw fruits, and a healthy portion of raw nuts and seeds each day! The main difference is that he also encourages high consumption of cooked beans and legumes. Soups and stews are also big in his diet plan as a means to help people consume enough calories from high nutrient vegetables. Dr. Fuhrman argues that this balance of raw and cooked vegetables allows one to benefit from a wider variety of nutrients, as some nutrients are destroyed by cooking and others are made more available.
Dr. Fuhrman's new two book set, Eat for Health, is well worth reading. Book 2 includes many raw recipes,--smoothies, juices, salads, and dressings--and other recipes that can be converted to raw, or included in whatever percentage of cooked food you choose to eat. Book 1 is a primer in nutrition-based health, and even if you know a lot about nutrition, I'd be willing to bet you'd discover something new among those pages.