Diabetes expert Dave Mendosa on "Raw Food People"

I came across this today surfing around the net on Dave Mendosa’s site. He’s a fantastic and well-respected source of diabetes information on the internet. His blog post is not an attack on raw food diets, he’s writing about a study.

In a nutshell he writes how some “raw food people” may not be entirely correct when they say raw food is better for you. I agree with this and don’t.

I Agree: I agree there was a reason why primitive peoples took the time to cook certain foods rather than eat them raw. They had to avoid pests & poison. Some foods had to be prepared a certain way to become safe.

In the raw food circles, I wish there was more information out there about the need for proper preparation or limited eating of: Raw kidney beans, buckwheat greens, spinach, prickly pear pads, unpeeled potatoes, alfalfa sprouts, some types of raw cassava, unfertilized raw eggs, apricot kernels, and parsnips.

For example, spinach and prickly pear pads are pretty high in oxalates which can be detrimental. They are better in limited raw amounts or cooked to reduce the amounts of oxalates.

I Don’t Agree: The blog post did not talk about these foods, it talked about everyday foods like broccoli, carrots, and zucchini. It referenced a study that said cooking allowed certain nutrients to become more available, “probably because of matrix softening and increased extractability.”

This is a big misconception people have about raw food (just like how some people think raw food means sushi, haha).

Most raw fooders don’t eat a lot of broccoli, carrots, or zucchini in it’s whole state. I personally am not going to bite into it like an apple. It will get stuck between my teeth and feel like hell going down if I eat a lot of it.

These things I either juice…or blend or grate or slice into paper-thin slices and marinate them. This causes the aforementioned “matrix softening and increased extractability.”

Anyway, I wanted to throw my 2 cents into the fray as I felt this touched on a major misconception of eating common raw foods while ignoring other foods which could realistically pose a threat in their raw state.

I don’t have anything against Dave and I think he has provided an INVALUABLE service to the diabetes community. Thank you Dave.

If you have an opinion on this, feel free to comment at my blog: http://www.bjaysblog.blogspot.com

oh dear i live off of raw veggies, spinach etc. nothing has happened to me yet, lets hope it stays that way :stuck_out_tongue: haha

I’ve never heard that eating raw spinach might be bad. I’ve been eating some every day. I don’t even know what oxalates are. Guess I better do some googling!


Great write up, I hadn’t read David’s post yet. I do agree he is great and well-respected. I’ll have to read Dave’s post before fully commenting. But like you said it’s probably less of an “anti-raw foods” post as it is his interpretation of a study (which I’ll check out as well)

I know he did have things to say about Gabriel Cousens, M.D. when the Raw for 30 Days documentary came out, not sure how his views have changed since then. Most likely David had some concerns and wanted to address some things in this study due to the hype and buzz around this “crazy new raw food diet” in general. Even though it’s been around for decades and really centuries.

I can only speak from my own personal experience, but I’ve been “mostly” raw for a year and a half and it’s the best thing I could have done, not just for my diabetes but for my entire life. Too many benefits to list really. But yes, there are some things that benefit from being cooked and primitive people recognize this. Mainly as a solution to not kill themselves eating raw meat.

In general I think it’s just about balance, though it’s easy with society today to take anything to an extreme. It’s about having a balance of both macro and micro-nutrients that work the best for your body.

Great blog btw, I’ve subscribed and will recommend it to the SugarStats community.