Too much fat on a raw food diet?

Posted by on March 24, 2014 at 7:12 am.

One thing that became glaringly obvious, when observing some ‘raw food gurus’ raw food snacks was the high fat/calorie content in some of their preparations. Many of them were made using their food dehydrator.

Nuts and seeds

Avocados, oils, nuts and seeds were used (seemingly) without a thought about the high percentage of fat or calories that was being introduced into the diet. My daily fat intake is about 10% or less. It seems how my body responds best and there have been great research information from a variety of sources that shows the benefits of adhering to this plan.

The high fats I see promoted in some raw food recipes always left me wondering if the creator has any idea of the fat or calorie content that are contained in these healthy foods? Perhaps some do and are simply not bothered by the high fat content? And while I’m not one to count calories, the amount of fats that I’d see (from a variety of nuts and seeds that were going into one recipe) made me pause. Healthy fats are great for us; Fats help with absorbing nutrients, nerve transmission and maintaining cell membrane integrity etc. But we can overdo it also.

Have you ever checked the nutritional info on the natural but high fat foods you consume? You might be in for a surprise.

Let’s take a look at 1 cup of raw almonds…

Raw Almonds – Ground, 1 Cup

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup of ground

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 433
Calories 549

% Daily Values*
Total Fat 48.11g 74%

One cup has 549 calories and 433 of that is from fat.

Let’s take a look at raw cashews…

Raw Cashews – 1 Cup
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 170g or 6oz

Amount Per Serving

Calories
940 Calories from Fat 624

% Daily Value*

Total Fat
75g 115%

How about flax seeds? I frequently see this used as a binding ingredient within raw snacks. I do use it, but I reduce the amount I use by a lot.

Flax Seeds – 1 Cup

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 550
Calories 774

% Daily Values*
Total Fat 61.13g 94%

While, it’s true that there are health benefits in the good fats, using them excessively might cause issues also.

Possible issues with too much fat in a raw food diet…

    • Fat remains in the blood stream a long time – Raw food diets high in fat remains in the blood stream for an extremely long time. If our raw food diet (or any other diet for that matter) is high in fat it successfully interferes with insulin production. Why is this important? Under ideal circumstances, our bodies insulin would latch on to sugar molecules within the blood so that it could transport them to our cells. However, consuming a high amount of fat, makes it very difficult for the insulin to reach the insulin receptor.  Because of this, our pancreas becomes tired from producing the additional insulin. This means that our blood sugar levels remain high since the sugar can’t be carried out of the blood by the insulin. Did you know that conditions like type 2 diabetes aren’t caused by the lack of insulin, they are directly related to too much fat.
    • Slows Digestion – consuming too much fat can slow down the digestive process of other foods that are consumed. Some folks might also experience bloating or gas. I’ve experienced this in the past, it’s not pleasant at all!
    • Interference with red blood cells – A diet high in fat will hinder the transport of oxygen by our red blood cells. When our body is low in oxygen, it makes the perfect environment for cancer to survive.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some raw food snacks, and I’ll even make sure to measure so I can actually have a recipe, but you won’t see an excessive amount of fats in any of my recipes. Raw food snacks can be just as delicious without the excessive use of healthy fats. For me, it’s all about balance. Over the years I’ve learned to really pay attention to my bodies cues. Everything within moderation, you know?

References:

  1. Fat Secret: Flax Seeds
  2. Fat Secret – Almonds
  3. Skip the Pie.org – Nutritional Data for Nuts, cashew nuts, raw
  4. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine – Analysis of Health Problems Associated with High-Protein, High-Fat, Carbohydrate-Restricted Diets Reported via an Online Registry
  5. Heart Information Network: A Diet That Restricts Daily Fat Intake to 10% Can Help in the Fight Against Heart Disease: A Discussion of Fat, Myths, and Dr. Dean Ornish’s Diets
  6. Body Enlightenment: Hold the Almonds and Pass the Arugula: What You Need to Know About Omega Fatty Acids in Oils, Seeds, and Greens!

8 Comments

  • Jennifer says:

    YUP! My post will make you pause…I used nuts! Cashews and Brazil for my first Dehydrator post! BUT…I only ate a few of the crackers as they were VERY filling!!

    I think I am going to try and ‘dry’ some watermelon tonight or this week. I have a bunch of other ideas, too!

    I wish someone did a weekly Blogging Meme for Dehydrating Ideas 🙂 I found one but they ended the ‘run’ last November.
    Jennifer recently posted..Foods Of The Weekend

    [Reply]

    Opal Reply:

    @Jennifer, I could set one up if you like, it would be a good way to keep me posting dehydrated foods weekly. No worries about me not posting, since I tend to post something every single day.
    Opal recently posted..Excalibur dehydrator: three snacks; banana, mixed fruit and veggie chips

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    I would LOVE it if you could 🙂 Which day would you like to do it on???

    [Reply]

  • Jennifer says:

    I’ve been thinking on it most of the day…doing some things without nuts for this week’s challenge! I have a few ideas! ALSO…have an idea or two to KIS – Keep It Simple – and am thinking about an Onion in Balsamic for example…also have a Zucchini idea, too!
    Jennifer recently posted..Pups & Plants of the Weekend

    [Reply]

    Opal Reply:

    @Jennifer, How about something with onions, my next dehydrated snack will have a lot of onions too.
    Opal recently posted..Something unexpected; 9 tray Excalibur dehydrator

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    YUP! It was ONIONS 🙂 Just saw this! LOL – Genius Minds think alike, eh!? teehee

    [Reply]

  • suituapui says:

    Yes, nuts have a high content of oils = fat! Plus uric acid too = gout. Best thing is to eat everything in moderation. Too much of a good thing may turn out to be bad.
    suituapui recently posted..Photogenic…

    [Reply]

    Opal Reply:

    @suituapui, You are correct.

    [Reply]

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