Should you eat your food raw or cooked? This has been debated for over a decade now. There are two sides, they both have valid points, and they both are extremist in their view. So I will lay out the pros and cons, and discuss how you might use the 2 to achieve your goals.
Lets start with the benefits of raw food:
-the same food is less calorie dense (both because of the fats added to typically cook food and because cooking breaks the food down and releases nutrients better)
-raw food contains more enzymes
-cooking denatures proteins, increasing the likelihood of immune system reactions
-raw fruit and veggies have more fiber (cooking breaks down fiber)
Benefits of cooking food:
-essentially “predigests” foods making their energy, nutrients, minerals and antioxidants more available
-more calorie dense
-less risk of pathogens
So which is better? Well, that depends on your goals.
-If you are healthy, have a healthy gut, and would like to loose some weight; eating raw food (especially fruits and veggies) in their raw state is a great way to reduce caloric intake and drop a few lbs. This is the preferred way for most people to eat fruit as fruits tend to be more nutrient dense than vegetables.It is particularly useful to eat your raw veggies and fruits first, then move on to your meats (medium rare to rare is best for most non poultry meats, but be sure of the freshness and quality of a meat if you chose to eat it raw as it is a high risk of pathogens).
-If you have poor gut health, cook your food to improve digestion and reduce pathogen risk
-If your trying to put on muscle, and you are already lean, cook everything (meats actually digest best when cooked to a medium for most non poultry meats, but be sure of the freshness and quality of a meat if you chose to eat it raw as it is a high risk of pathogens)
-For the average healthy person in good shape, a mix is probably best.