Raw Food Craze Tackles
Cholesterol Problems

TORONTO - A new food fad has dethroned veganism as the most rigid diet in North America. Some people thrive on a diet of uncooked foods, and a new study has found that eating this way actually reduces cholesterol to the same extent as cholesterol-reducing drugs.
Vegetarians eat no meat, and vegans take that regime one step further by avoiding dairy products and many other processed foods.
The "living foods" enthusiasts are trying to stay healthy by not eating any cooked foods.
Erika Wolf has gone beyond vegetarianism to raw foodism. She eats a diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, sprouted seeds and nuts.
The idea has been around for decades, but the message is just now catching on, with Web sites and books on how "not" to cook.
Bill Nasby frequents super sprouts, Canada's first store to promote raw foodism. Nasby, 72, used to tire easily and was overweight. He went on the raw food diet four months ago, lost 30 pounds and gained energy.
"With this type of diet, you're totally alive. It's unbelievable," Nasby says. "I want to get out sometimes and run down the road beside my car."
Catererer George Zuwala says raw foodists feel an energy boost because cooking kills enzymes in food that the body needs for digestion. "We take more energy to digest that food, and instead of doing whatever it is that we want to do, like spend more time with our family, with our friends, we're sitting there after a three or four-course meal, we're just kind of dead."
Nutritionist Carol Greenwood of the University of Toronto says the raw food concept is flawed, because only the body's enzymes break down food. She does agree that the diet is healthy, but doubts it will catch on.
"Just from that long-term perspective of palatability, it's unlikely that somebody would be on it for a long period of time," Greenwood added.


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