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Danger In Consuming Too Much Raw Food

For the past four Health Tips I have been attempting to share with our readers the positive and negative aspects of various diets.

In Health Tip #760 we looked at God’s original Genesis 1:29 diet, the diet God told Adam, and through Adam, the diet all of us should consume. God’s original diet is the gold standard by which we should weigh all other diets.

In Health Tip #761 we looked at the standard American diet (SAD), the most dangerous of all diets consumed today and in Health Tip #762 we looked at what made the SAD diet so dangerous. In Health Tip #763 we looked at the dangers in consuming too much food in cooked form.

These previous Health Tips are also available as downloadable PDF’s in the Health Tip Archives.

In today’s Health Tip we will take a serious look at another diet danger: consuming too much raw food.

GOD’S ORIGINAL INTENT

There is absolutely no way anyone can argue against the fact that “God designed every animal he created, as well as His human creation, to consume all food in its raw and uncooked form.”

You just can’t argue with that! And if consuming food in its RAW and UNCOOKED form was God’s original intent, would that not be the very best way to consume our food today?

I’m sure by now you’re thinking, “Then why write a Health Tip with the heading ‘Danger in Consuming Too Much Raw Food’?”

Today, I am going to share with you why I no longer consume a 100% raw plant-based diet and why Hallelujah Acres discourages it.

What I am about to share is based on over 36 years of personal experience and the personal experiences of tens of thousands of others who have written to share their experiences.

I trust you will seriously consider what I have to say here.

A RAW, 100% PLANT BASED DIET IS NOT OPTIMAL

I will concede that God’s original Genesis 1:29 diet consisted of 100% raw, plant sourced foods. These were indeed the very foods found in the garden into which God placed Adam and which God told Adam (and through Adam, us) that all humans should consume for the proper nourishment of the human, physical body.

I will also concede that it was on this Genesis 1:29 diet that man lived sickness free and to an average age of 912 following creation and for the next 1,700 years of biblical history, right up until the flood that destroyed all garden foods. And there is no question that these raw garden foods have been the very best source of nourishment for our physical bodies since creation to this very day.

But having said that, in the day in which we live, I am somewhat against consuming 100% of our plant sourced foods in their living and raw form. What I am about to share will probably shock many of you but –

My nearly 40 years of personal research and experience has brought me to the conclusion that a 100% raw plant based diet is not the optimal diet for today. Nor is it the diet I would place on the top rung as we continue evaluating the various diets available to us.

I am not coming to this conclusion and making these apparently contradictory statements simply for the purpose of trying to draw attention or as a novice. Rather I have some very strong reasons for questioning a diet consisting of 100% raw, plant-sourced food in today’s world.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

It has been over 36 years since, at age 42, I adopted a 100% raw plant-based diet, along with an abundance of freshly extracted raw vegetable juices, in an attempt to rid myself of a colon cancer.

Almost immediately after adopting that diet I began to recover my health, but in the process I lost too much weight and became extremely skinny, dropping from 155 pounds to 115 pounds in just a few months. This all-raw diet also sent my body into a rapid detoxification, forcing me to go to bed for a time due to weakness.

So, I added some cooked food back into my diet and within less than a year of making the diet change and without any medical intervention, my cancer was GONE.

Not long after my cancer was gone I left the pastoral ministry and took a job as a lecturer and head organic gardener at the beautiful Shangri-La Fasting Resort in Bonita Springs, Florida, a natural hygiene fasting resort ran by Mr. and Mrs. John Cheatham, that taught a 100% raw, plant-sourced diet with lots of raw fruit but no vegetable juices.

I remained on staff at the Shangri-La for the next two years building their gardens, providing organic produce for their kitchen and lecturing several times each week to their guests. While there I became enthralled by the writings of Herbert Shelton and T. C. Frye and read everything they and other natural hygienists had written. While at the Shangri-La, I also listened to natural hygiene doctors who lectured frequently on the dangers of animal-sourced foods and the benefits of distilled-water fasting and a plant-based diet.

But my time at the Shangri La was also a time when I was able to observe the way people with various physical problems were responding to a 100% raw, plant-based diet and extended, distilled-water fasts. This was a tremendous learning experience for me.

I am a results-oriented person and am not nearly as interested in theory or what is supposed to be the best way. I want to know what really works. As the old saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding.”

I SAW OTHERS EXPERIENCING WHAT I HAD EXPERIENCED

At the Shangri-La I saw most of those who made the diet change to a 100% raw, plant-based diet and some distilled water fasting, lose weight too rapidly and often forced to go to bed due to weakness as a result of too rapid detoxification – just as I had experienced when I had gone all raw.

I also saw people go on exclusive, distilled-water fasts from three days to 40 days. I also saw a few people die while practicing these water fasts. These people had experienced extremely rapid detox that caused me to seriously question whether distilled-water fasting was the best route.

SO WHAT DID I LEARN ABOUT THE NATURAL HYGIENE DIET?

1. Dangers of Too Much Fruit

At the Shangri-La, I saw people go through distilled water fasts, break their fast on raw fruit, and often continue to consume large amounts of raw fruit along with lots of seeds and nuts every day.

All this fruit proved to be disastrous for many. The large intake of sugar, even though it was naturally occurring sugar coming from organic fruit, sent many into hypoglycemic symptoms.

Many of these people remained too skinny, failed to regain their weight, and were often seriously lacking in energy. In an effort to obtain more fat and protein and to gain weight, they often consumed too much fat and difficult-to-digest protein from seeds and nuts which hindered their recovery.

I have since learned that fruits are the cleansers of the body, while nutrients in vegetables feed and rebuild the body. I have also learned that a high intake of raw fruit can be hazardous to a person’s health. On The Hallelujah Diet we encourage the limited use of fruit, no more than 15% of our daily calorie intake, and in some cases discourage the use of fruit entirely.

2.    Dangers in Consuming Too Few Calories

Some find it difficult to eat enough raw vegetables in order to receive sufficient calories. If we do not consume sufficient calories we can suffer from a lack of protein. Lack of protein can produce new symptoms and problems.

I have learned that by juicing a percentage of vegetables, especially carrots, along with blended green smoothies, and by adding a small percentage of cooked foods to the diet, it becomes easy to meet caloric needs and thus protein needs. The juices, blended green smoothies, and cooked vegetables eliminate the need for consuming copious amounts of whole, raw foods.

3.    Danger in Not Including Vegetable Juices

In all the natural hygiene books I have read and in all of the lectures given by natural hygiene doctors that I attended during the two year I was at the Shangri-La, vegetable juices were never promoted. Sadly, they were often discouraged.

I have learned through observation and personal experience that any diet that does not contain raw vegetable juices cannot rise to the top of the ladder in our search for the diet that best nourishes our physical bodies.

In all the natural hygiene books I have read and in all of the lectures given by natural hygiene doctors that I attended during the two year I was at the Shangri-La, vegetable juices were never promoted. Sadly, they were often discouraged.

I have learned through observation and personal experience that any diet that does not contain raw vegetable juices cannot rise to the top of the ladder in our search for the diet that best nourishes our physical bodies.

4.    Cheating Can Hinder Healing

I also saw a lot of people who claimed to be consuming 100% of their foods in their raw form cheating by eating cooked foods. Most people are literally addicted to cooked food from a lifetime of eating it.Attempting to remain 100% raw was emotionally challenging and prompted a lot of cheating. The cheating often prompted criticism which only amplified negative emotions, causing additional stress and hindered healing.

CONCLUSION

While in theory, The Natural Hygiene Diet makes a lot of sense, I found some weaknesses in its practice.

When Hallelujah Acres began promoting a diet that consisted of 15% cooked food, we were severely criticized. However, most of the raw foodists who criticized us then, today encourage a portion of the diet to consist of cooked, plant-sourced foods.

To the best of my knowledge Hallelujah Acres was the first to break ranks from a 100% raw food movement to encourage a small amount of cooked food be added to the diet in order to obtain the best healing results and in maintaining health long term.

I will never forget my experiences at the Shangri-La. It was a tropical paradise where I was able to meet a lot of wonderful guests, meet some great natural hygiene doctors, and enjoy raw, right-from-the-garden veggies, tropical fruits and lots of sprouts.

ENTER THE HIPPOCRATES DIET

Later, I journeyed to the Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston, Massachusetts where I spent considerable time with Dr. Ann Wigmore. There, they not only taught and practiced a 100% raw, plant-based diet with fresh, tray-grown wheat grass, sprouts and fermented foods, but they didn’t even have a stove in their kitchen.

This Hippocrates Diet discourages the use of a lot of fruit, which is a huge positive. The Hippocrates Diet also promotes the use of the concentrated nutrients and chlorophyll found in freshly extracted cereal grasses (tray-grown wheat grass) and the inclusion of fermented foods that provide the body with friendly bacteria.

Many have experienced tremendous improvements in their health on this diet, but I still have a few things that prevent me from placing this diet on the top rung of the best diets ladder.

PROBLEMS WITH THE HIPPOCRATES DIET

  1. It is a very difficult diet to follow unless you are home every day to grow the foods used, and it fails to include any cooked foods which we talked about previously under the Natural Hygiene Diet.
  2. On the Hippocrates Diet I have seen many people become too skinny, just like I witnessed by those at the Shangri-La Resort and as I personally experienced my first year on a 100% raw, plant-sourced diet.
  3.  Also, just like I personally experienced and saw others experience at the Shangri-La Resort, a failure to consume sufficient calories sometimes led to low energy and potentially insufficient protein.
  4.  Although B12 is often not an issue with the Hippocrates Diet, because of the friendly bacteria in the fermented food, some on the Hippocrates Diet, the Natural Hygiene Diet, and almost every other diet which does not encourage B12 supplementation, are deficient in B12.

SUMMARY

As we sum up the two most prominent of the 100% raw plant based diets, the Hippocrates Diet rises to the top as being the best diet we have evaluated thus far and stands on the highest rung of the diet ladder, but we have not as yet reached the top rung.

Next week if the Lord tarries and the creeks don’t rise too high, we will divulge the diet that has made it to the top rung of the diet ladder as well as what qualifies it to be placed in that top rung position. Trust you will join us. 

Comments

  1. Diaakrisy July 10, 2012

    It’s so nice to be able to share your experience. I’m often low on protein cuz’ I have a problem preparing my food or shopping (tho I have an assistant cuz’ I’m disabled). Too often, I’m just not eating enough and this explains why I sometimes really, really, really NEED to have some tofu or a can of black beans. Thank you for making it clearer. Fortunately, at the moment, I have some cooked barley and some cooked whole wheat pasta in the frig. Looking forward to combining them with some fresh fruits and vegetables. Thanks!

  2. Diaakrisy July 10, 2012

    ps – really curious about Ann Wigmore. Looking forward to next week!

  3. For people who are concerned about detoxing too rapidly, I would seriously consider cleansing the colon with colon hydrotherapy to aid the body in ridding the toxins faster. In fact, Dr. Ann Wigmore taught this.

  4. Kathleen July 10, 2012

    Thank you for your article today; there are so many voices out there and ultimately what I have discovered is that ‘balance’ is the key! I have been reading many articles and teachings of Frederic Patenaude and like what I read, however, the balance tips far too far on the consumption of fruit. Common sense tells me this is not a balanced diet and that some cooked food is essential for health and growth. So, thank you for clearing up questions so many of us have today.

  5. Marketqueen July 10, 2012

    Thank you for this informative article. Now I know why my husband and I have been bombing out of energy during the day and his blood glucose levels are high! To correct we have cut back on the amount of fruit and will start incorporating into our meal plans the sprouted wheat grass! God bless your continued ministry, brother!

  6. Ms42000 July 10, 2012

    Hi:
    I have read from different authors about the importance of ‘colon cleansing’. They recommend aenemas and colon hydrotherapy.

    In an article from one of the Hacreas centers, the owners wrote about practicing aenemas or colon cleaning once every year. How come the health ministers course does not mentioned anything about colon cleansing? What it is, does it work.

    I believe Anna Wigmore also taught and practiced colon cleaning.
    Thanks.

  7. I wonder if a baby, fed only mother’s milk, would be able to grow well, feel healthy, and be full of energy if started on a raw food diet during and after weening.

    Could there be some enzymes that we’re missing from growing up on cooked food? What about dogs, descendants of wolves, who eat a mostly cooked diet today? What would happen if they were switched to a totally raw food diet? Obviously their ancestors, the wolves, do very well on it and do not appear to be weak. Dawn

    • FYI: I changed my older cats to a 1/2 raw meat (ground turkey or chicken from food store) and 1/2 dry food diet (commercial brand food — Blue Buffalo) and all their health problems disappeared — they rarely throw up and their stools are better — they also have beautiful coats now, no dry, flakey skin. I bet it would work for dogs, since they need raw, too.

  8. Donna Matts July 10, 2012

    I appreciate your research and honesty; also your willingness to adjust details as you learn more! Thank you for allowing God to use you to BLESS me and SO many others!!

  9. it is amazing to me how you all say one thing and then turn around and change your minds. That is the problem with all these people around the world saying “something”. Make up your minds and stick to it! These are peoples lives you are messing around with!
    I wish those who believe in Jesus would stick to believing Him instead of man’s words…….

  10. Smithcharma July 10, 2012

    Thanks for sharing. I have followed the HACRES since 2004. As a health minister I lost the weight I desired and stick with the 85% 15% cooked foods. I do take B12 supplements. My weight is holding steady and I now incorporate exercise which is sclupting my body. I have no regrets on what I learned several years ago at HACRES.

    Charma Smith

  11. Joshua July 10, 2012

    Dear Brother George
    I have a soul-ution
    to your losing (too much) weight – on an all raw diet
    Nut & Seeds and Super Foods . . . would prevent too much weight loss
    and increase your energy . . .
    if one cannot digest nuts (easily) they can be soaked
    I’m a believer in God’s Word . . . if we divert from “it”
    You Know –
    I’m preaching “to the choir”
    God Bless Shoe – Socks ‘n Footwear
    Brother ~
    Keep sending me those enlightening “articles”
    which I’ve been sending to unenlightened folks
    Brother Joshua

  12. Dianneasaur July 10, 2012

    Some years ago I tried the “Fit for Life” diet, eating just fresh fruit and fruit juices in the morning. At first I felt quite good and perhaps it was because my body was cleansing. I don’t have a very large body and I got skinnier too. For some time I managed to convince myself that eating a lot of fruit was healthy. But I did become weak and eventually incorporated cooked foods, gained back weight and felt better. Now days I still have some fruit but not such in abundance. I notice that greens help me with energy such as spinach so tend to grab for that when I feel hunger coming on and either unable to prepare food or in the process of cooking.
    I appreciate learning of your experiences. Thank you for sharing them.

  13. Wish I could afford (money wise and time wise) a trip to a HA lifestyle center. I need some help to have a successful living food lifestyle. Some of it is that I don’t have the energy/time to juice all the time and then don’t eat enough in the evening. Problem is that I have actually gained weight and can’t loose it. I eat a vegan diet and still can’t loose weight.

  14. Chris Califano July 11, 2012

    I love George Malkmus and Hacres. Always have. He is the best speaker and kindest educator of proper eating, based on primarily raw foods that I have seen or met, and I have been raw since 1999. Vegan since 1985, and seriously applying nutrition to my life and those I have counseled for 30 years. In a nutshell I have discovered that the calorie issue is by far the most important, everything else equal. The only detriment to an all raw diet is getting enough calories. Only sweet fruits can provide sufficient calories since they are the most efficient carbohydrate foods. The macronutrient we call carbs must make up the largest percentage of your diet for proper health and functioning to take place. Personally I have found that a diet that relies on fruit for the majority of my calories works best. By far. The only time I will have steamed sweet potato (totally plain), or quinoa, cooked, plain is when there is a shortage of ripe fruit for me to eat. Here in the North East where I live, February is the worst month for fruit. I do not consume any other fatty foods other than avocado and the occasional nut/ seed dressing for my large salads, again with no salt or spice, or even garlic or onion. My total fat consumption averages to about 5% or less, so I do not experience any sugar rushes, blood sugar reactions, or any unstable health whatsoever from eating what most people would consider to be very large amounts of fresh ripe fruit. Of course they think nothing of eating heavily flavored and salted SAD foods. I also consume vegetable juices- fresh of course- made with dark greens and some carrot or apple on an almost daily basis. Again, in my experience with body composition. strength, and functional weight and muscle gain (which is my specialty of training for the last 38 years), I have found that, without a doubt, not consuming enough calories is the biggest obstacle for most who try to follow a raw food diet. When they finally “get it”, and experience the weight gain from eating the proper amount of fruit, they are amazed. But most people can not keep up the “food management” since it is work to buy and maintain ripe fruit on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Year after year. So they turn to cooked tubers such as sweet potato (hopefully not choosing bread or pasta for their carbohydrate- calorie staple) in order to keep their weight and energy up. It is easy to sustain yourself on cooked food! It takes a true health crusader to maintain and even build muscle on a truly raw fruitarian/ greens diet, but this provides the best results in terms of health, I have found, and I really do things right and test things inside and out for years before I make statements such as this.

  15. Pat Sheppherd July 11, 2012

    what goes into green smoothies?

    • Carey Clark July 13, 2012

      A favorite green smoothie of mine is grapes, watermelon, spinach, a little cold-pressed olive oil, bananas and strawberry.

  16. Carey Clark July 12, 2012

    I have been on a raw food diet since going on a 40 day juice fast as a missionary in Germany in August of 1996. It changed my health. At the end of 2008 we left Germany to join our second son in San Diego. I love Mexican food and began making compromises with the raw food. The compromises got bigger and bigger, even though I was continuing to eat lots of fruits and salads, and making fresh juice.

    We moved to Minneapolis a year ago where I was offered a teaching position. In March at a yearly physical I found I had an enlarged prostate and my PSA was up to 10 and 3/4. I immediately went back to a total raw diet. After a lot of research, I added raw milk (had to join a cooperative to obtain it) and raw eggs. In 11 days my PSA dropped to 5 and 3/4 and a month later it was 3 and 3/4.

    I know raw milk and raw eggs get really bad press form government agencies and other interests, but I find them to be a wonderful addition to “all raw”. What do you think about this? Are there others with experience in this area?

    Carey Clark
    wmcareyclark@gmail.com

  17. Michael Todd December 27, 2012

    interesting article, the rapid detox can indeed have negative effects, you should take a look at gerson therapy, he cured many cancers by having his patients take 13 juices a day and the most effective method to prevent toxic shock to the liver was to use coffee enemas to allow the liver to open its ducts and empty of toxins.

    I have always been skinny and am now on a 80% raw diet and for the first time have actually started to put weight on. brocolli has more protein than a steak, using lots of nuts and seeds mixes with dressings makes very substantial protein building snacks. x

  18. Thank you for sharing. I’ve been trying to go but I feel bloated all the time and very tired 🙁 so you’re helping me realize this isn’t the way

  19. I am on the Recovery diet, due to having cancer……….. and I seem to be losing too much weight. I am strictly going by what you say, but don’t understand why I continue to lose. How do I gain some back without eating the wrong foods. Pleas answer my question. Thank you!

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