Update: Raw Food Vegan Diets

Dr. John McDougall often points out that “people love to hear good news about their bad habits.”

Indeed, we do. And if eating cooked food is one of your bad habits, you might be interested in the most recent update of my article Raw Food Vegan Diets.


14 Responses to “ Update: Raw Food Vegan Diets”

  1. beforewisdom Says:

    Brenda Davis has a new book out on raw foodism called “Becoming Raw”.

    I haven’t read it.

    I did see one informal review of it, which made me think it was worth reading. The person who read it was a raw foodist. He was disappointed that it was fact based and moderate.

  2. beforewisdom Says:

    I read your article before. Which part of it is updated?

  3. Jack Norris RD Says:


    I have rewritten parts of almost all of it. But the biggest addition is the Is Raw Foodism Healthy? section.

  4. Lisa A. Says:

    Thank you. Interesting perspective. I found the videos about orthorexia to be especially shocking. I have never heard of that before.

    Jack, have you heard of Kris Carr? I realize that food is not the only factor responsible for development of many modern diseases, including cancer. But it seems critical for people like her (she was originally diagnosed with stage IV cancer, and I think 7 years later in her case it is still considered stage IV) to maintain the cleanest diet possible. And that includes a lot of raw foods and possibly some lightly prepared cooked foods.

  5. Jack Norris RD Says:

    I hadn’t heard of her, but I looked her up.

  6. beforewisdom Says:

    A few weeks ago a friend of mine died of cancer. She was a vegan and a raw foodist. My non-expert opinion is that a whole foods vegan diet does reduce the risk of cancer, but it isn’t a magic shield.

  7. Jack Norris RD Says:


    Did she become a vegan or raw foodist in response to getting cancer?

  8. beforewisdom Says:


    I never asked her about the vegan part, but I believe she went raw for the cancer. She lived for many years with all three: the vegan diet, the raw food diet and the cancer.

    Looking at her, you would have never known she had cancer. She was very active and positive.

    Her cancer went into remission several times with chemotherapy, but would come back after a couple of years when she stopped to try alternative therapies.

    She didn’t want to face chemotherapy anymore, so she refused treatment and died shortly afterwards.

  9. Jack Norris RD Says:

    I’m very sorry that she died.

  10. beforewisdom Says:

    Thanks Jack.

    FWIW, in the same crowd where I met my friend is a woman about the same age who recently gave a talk at a social gathering that included a story of how her cancer went into “permanent” remission by going from a SAD to a mostly macrobiotic (cooked) diet. The woman, a semi-well known cook is far from pure in her diet, but is still cancer free years later.

    I am convinced that a vegan diet does help with cancer, it is just not a magical shield.

    Having watched one vegan friend die of cancer and now, watching another vegan friend battle cancer too( lifelong vegetarian, health nut vegan for decades ) I have to confess that I get irrationally angry at the zealots that talk about diet as a magic bullet. It is just a very good bullet.

  11. Valerie Says:

    Hi Jack.
    Have you read “Becoming Raw” by Brenda Davis RD and Vesanto Melina, MS,RD yet?

  12. Jack Norris RD Says:


    I have not read Becoming Raw.

  13. Mike Says:

    It should be a criminal offence to spread untruths that cost lives. People should be jailed.

    I knew of a swami from an ashram (from Wales) who was vegan and ate mostly raw food. She died of cancer. She did yoga, obviously to a very high level, and lived in the countryside too.

    Other people smoke for decades and don’t get cancer.

    The truth is that the chance of getting cancer relates to lifestyle AND genetics.

    People need to stop talking about these so called ‘natural’ cures. Cancer occurs in ‘nature’ too and is therefore ‘natural’. People seem to forget that the human body is not a perfection machine, this is because it evolved over time which doesn’t lead to 100% perfection, but it does lead to a very strong organism on average.

  14. Rita Says:

    I know this discussion is a bit old now, but I was researching raw foodism in connection with the visit of a friend to a Gabriel Cousens lecture. (I find truly alarming the nature of most crudiveganism sites and wished to inform myself on the real pros and cons of crudivorism – not that I would dream of bothering with it myself).

    I thought this study might be of interest since the teeth business was mentioned – although later in the article this is pronounced to be not connected with raw foodism, but still: It comes from a conversation on a veterinary blog about dogs’ dental health: I had asked if there were studies on feral dog populations:
    “There is one study that looked specifically at oral disease in African Wild Dogs and found that there was no evidence that their natural diet prevented the occurrence of the same kinds of disease seen in domestic dogs:

    Steenkamp, G. Gorrel, C. Oral and dental conditions in adult Afircan Wild Dogs skulls: A preliminary reportJ Vet Dent. 1999 Jun;16(2):65-8. ”

    We tend to think that nonhumans don’t have dental problems, but evidently dogs do – “domestic” horses also need dental care, but the case for feral horses is controversial. At any rate, eating one’s “natural” diet in its “natural” state seems to be no guarantee of avoiding the dentist, whatever one’s species.

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