The Healthiest Diet on the Planet?

I came across this documentary called “Health Food Junkies” this weekend – It’s been around since 2008, however I hadn’t seen it. It’s about a group of individuals living in England who only eat raw food and don’t eat wheat, dairy, sugar, meat or fish.

While I wouldn’t undertake all the habits adopted by these “junkies” – One part of the film really inspired me! The scenes with the little kids talking about their favorite food was INCREDIBLE! This series will grab your attention! And it’s only 24 minutes long.

I would LOVE to hear your opinion, thoughts, perspectives on raw food and this documentary in the comments below or on my Facebook Fan Page.

Viva Raw!

Food Babe

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38 Responses to “The Healthiest Diet on the Planet?”

  1. Gillian

    There are a lot of things of a raw and healthy lifestyle I think are worth embracing, and I’ve even dabbled in moments of raw foodism. This documentary however highlighted the downside of taking it to extremes in my view and made me question how radical one should go. I liked that the kids loved healthy foods, but their lives also seemed really sheltered and sad. I’d be interested to hear other views on it.

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Gillian)

      Those kids were adorable – There’s got a be a way to make eating health food less paralyzing, so one doesn’t become so sheltered!

      Reply
  2. Claire Dupuis

    Even though I know our food is sadly laden with deceiving and concealed chemicals, and though I try to eat reasonably healthy, I think the folks depicted here are truly extremists. What tells me they have NOT achieved the perfect diet is that NONE of them has a physical condition (muscle tone, skin quality, hair quality, build…) that I’d want for myself, my husband or my daughter ! Those poor secluded and friendless kids are skinny and pot bellied and they really made me sad, despite the obvious genuine good intentions of their mom. The colon washing lady appears older than she probably is, with poor quality of skin. I see no radiant health, no vibrancy in those supposed super healthy people ! I also believe goodies and gathering and social life around food is among the true and important pleasures in life. It is no surprise if every single civilization gathers, bonds and celebrate around food !
    So to answer your questions, IMHO those purists have just gone off the cliff is sanity over food. Personally I avoid fast foods as much as possible, I try to eat as many vegetables and leafy greens as I can, fruits, whole grains… But I would NEVER in a million years say good bye to fresh warm bread, good cheese, salted butter, fine chocolate or my Mama’s pastries, all in small portions but still an important part of enjoying life. To me being mindful of my food is about figure, self esteem, well being and health, but I don’t want to become a food ayatollah !

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Claire Dupuis)

      Hi Claire – I agree, the film does show the extreme side of eating raw… Thanks for your thoughts. What if family gatherings and socials started to be centered around the best goodies this earth has to offer without harmful man made chemicals, hormones, and genetically modified ingredients in food. Now that would be something!

      Reply
    • vicky (to Claire Dupuis)

      i thought they looked great for being ALL natural and no makeup on tv. you have to put that in thought also!

      Reply
  3. SHane Pigg

    FOOOD MATTERS but addiction is addiction!!! I have been around healthy living for a while I think 70% or so raw is where its at.Most people I have seen that are 100% raw dont look all that healthy to me. I know a very select few that do! They study and it is the complete lifestile pretty much thier addiction but you dont need all raw to be a clean and healthy person But bottom line is GREENS GREENS GREENS and other water rich foods is best and suger is the devil you keep that in mind and you will probably be ok..Its all about feeling good Have a great day!!!!
    If you want to get in to it deeper come to BE Yoga and we can chat moore

    Namaste
    Shane

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to SHane Pigg)

      Thanks Shane for stopping by! I could sing songs about GREENS, GREENS, GREENS and sugar being the devil all day long! :)

      Reply
  4. Mary Beth

    Although I am happy for these people and fully respect the diet that works for them, I believe that too much emphasis is put on being 100% raw, 100% vegetarian, and/or 100% vegan. I have been eating a mostly raw, mostly vegan diet for years now and feel better than I ever have before. Not only because I’m getting all the nourishment my body needs, but also because I’m very flexible with my diet and can enjoy an occasional piece of fish, cheese, or even a bite of crème brûlée if that’s what I truly want at the moment. The original emphasis of the raw food movement was not to be dogmatic and self-righteous about excluding any cooked food and deeming it unfit for the body. It was about understanding that we are beings of energy, and therefore must realize that it is necessary to consume energy – at any percent – to sustain ourselves.

    Reply
  5. Jessica Britt

    I agree that these people featured in this series just don’t look healthy. I also agree that 70% raw is great. I am not completely raw. I eat cooked pasta (not white), brown rice, quinoa, and some desserts that I eat are cooked. The rest of the foods I eat are raw. I am vegan, but I don’t think the focus should be placed on veganism. The focus should be placed on holistic health and wellness. I personally don’t like meat or dairy. Regardless, the young children enjoying healthy food is inspiring. I focus a lot more on holistic health now because of you, Vani. I’ve learned more from you than I’ve learned from anyone else. So, thank you!

    Reply
  6. farmer_liz

    Thanks for posting this video, it was interesting to watch an extreme diet. I understand that eating raw food is beneficial as the enzymes and some vitamins and proteins are destroyed/altered by heating, but I don’t see the logic of excluding ethically raised, organic, pasture fed meat, dairy and eggs, which can all be eaten raw if that’s what you want to do. Personally I eat lots of raw salads in summer and cooked food in winter, I think there’s a place for both cooked and raw food and for a whole range of food that can be produced locally to achieve a balance diet. I’ve been trying to add more fermented and sprouted food recently, for more enzymes and vitamins. From what I’ve read it pretty difficult to achieve a balanced diet without meat, and I don’t like the idea of buying lots of processed powders in little bottles to add to my food! I don’t know that the enemas were necessary, or that gadget to “zap” parasites, or the metaphysics behind pendants to protect from electromagnetic radiation! But I think even my own diet (avoiding processed food and making my own sauerkraut) is a bit strange to some people, so I can’t really judge them if it makes them happy! It does show that you can take it all too far though :)

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to farmer_liz)

      Hi Liz – I’m with you on eating more cooked foods in the winter time. I also follow Ayurvedic Medicine – I don’t talk about it much on the blog, but should. I am a Vata Dosha and I need some warm foods and certain spices to balance me out. If I eat too many raw foods and not the right combination – I get completely out of balance and start to feel anxious, have dry skin, etc…

      Have you determined your dosha before? or if you are a fast, slow, or balance oxidizer? These tests have helped me gain a great deal of insight on the type of diet right for me.

      Reply
      • farmer_liz (to Food Babe)

        I haven’t investigated Ayurvedic Medicine at all, I don’t really know it is and I doubt anyone around here (ie rural small town) would be able to help me! I would be interested in reading more if you do a post though!

  7. Katie Mahon

    There are too many vegeys I would miss if I only ate raw. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, squashes, they are yuck raw. The grass powders, and algae stuff are processed in ways otherwise the hard cells are undigestible by humans. I want to be healthy, I don’t think raw and enemas are the way to be healthy. OCD can occur in relation to anything one allows to control them. I will make mistakes in every facet of my life but I won’t be controlled by compulsion. My body has amazing healing potential, I’m sure I live through all things in moderation. Science has found genetic markers on mitochondrial DNA that control how long energy is produced at a cellular level. Face it the only way to avoid death is to avoid birth. Healthy is good in body mind and spirit, all 3 integrated. Compulsion is the result of something being out of wack, I don’t think one can live 30, 40, 50 years without controll and then decide to become a raw foodest and repair all the damage you allowed to occur, by reining your self in tight. But different strokes for different folks. My low low consumption foods are cane sugar, saturated fat, salt, then I try to avoid preseratives, chemicals, and plastics that’s as OCD as I go.

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Katie Mahon)

      Katie – Sounds like you take care of yourself better than most people – especially on the plastics front. I’d love to see more data and studies on people reversing disease in their bodies from diet, especially in older age.

      Reply
      • Katie Mahon (to Food Babe)

        Data = studies=$$$$ and time The stats of these studies are harder too acquire then the reviews of the studies. I don’t look up those often. If a friend with a specfic asks I will otherwise I just read a lot. The vitamin and mineral counts of vegys currently organically grown are much lower than they were 50 years ago and that is a concern to me. I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering why. Soil depleted of minerals should be brought back to a better state with organic farming practices, I don’t understand why it is not giving the expected results. I saw the GMO video GREAT My daughter is a biology high school teacher and is into heritage seeds. That’s all I plant in my garden. On the sill the herbs are heritage also. That damn apple on the tree of wisdom, didn’t give enough wisdom just a lot of intelligence!
        Most any disease outcome can be affected by diet either good or bad. Age related diseases cannot be reversed with diet. Many would argue there are no age related diseases. The body wears out and cellular regeneration stops. Osteoporosis, senility, these occur in young or old, when you don’t use it you lose it. Your brain, your joints, muscle strength all need to be worked daily. Avoiding the bad stuff is more important than seeking all the good stuff and not eliminating the bad, with food, with life.
        The NWO and global ecomnomies they should be put on a track that brings food growing and distributing back to the a smaller scale locally. Only way to avoid mass really mass famine, also safer for containment of terrorists threats, pestilence, crop disease. Stop trying to make plants that can protect themselves, from disease and bugs, because my body does not recognize those molecules as food and doesn’t know what to do with them. This will lead to increasing autoimmune responses which has a cascade effect in the body and can lead to many illness or symptoms,and less health for us. Put more people to work caring for crops. When did food growing as a job get to be so undesirable. No phones no paperwork, I know when it became mass production, large scale fast fast fast low low pay no benefits, I remember Chavez. When more concern is put forth toward the the T.V. show you will DVR than what is going into your body for fuel well what are your expectations for your fuel fast and cheap I’ve got to get to the DVR.

  8. Rian Harris

    Mother nature provides all living beings with everything they need to maintain an optimal physical existence…for free…not for a profit. Water, Air, Food, Sun is provided all in a usable form. Food is provided by nature in the manner which it’s intended to be consumed. When we learn to trust, honor, and harmonize ourselves with nature, we will start shifting into a new experience of health. My experience of vegan & raw foods has been a journey from close to 0%-100% and now only about 95%. I know what all those places feel like, in my body, mind, and spirit, through experience. My experience has led me through complexes, imbalances, extremes, and judgements, but also into awareness, intention, sensation, healing, alignment, gratitude, and clarity. Life is a journey/path, and health is an experience, not a conversation. There’s nothing extreme about eating what nature provides without cooking/adulterating it…it’s natural…it’s how all other sentient beings naturally exists…even the ones we consider acceptable to consume. Cooking/processing food and consuming animals is a socially conditioned habit. I’m an advocate of inquiry. We should question what we eat, and why, and whether it serves us on an individual and societal level to keep our conditioned and habitual practices. Maybe yes. Maybe no. But if we want a new experience of life, we have to be willing to try on new experiences in life. Honor your living being with living foods…see what happens! Namaste

    Reply
  9. Jamil Ami-El

    Ehhhhh! It was ok. Kind of depicted raw foodists as a group of crunchy cosmic crazy crazies. And we are!! LOL !! Drink ur pee pee people. Its good for you!!

    Reply
    • Mary Beth (to Jamil Ami-El)

      hahaha… that’s the only part that caught me off guard. my pee is good for me? isn’t it leaving me for a reason?

      Reply
      • Anon (to Mary Beth)

        Oh my god, please do not drink your own urine. It IS leaving your body for a reason.

  10. Tash

    Hi Food Babe,

    Sorry for the OT question, but I was wondering where you get your water from and/or how you purify it? I have been paranoid lately of the plastics in water bottles and jugs and I also wonder how effective certain filters are. I just wanted to get your take. Thanks for all the great info!

    Reply
    • Stefanie (to Tash)

      i’d be interested in your input on this as well! I must admit you’re blog has made me extremely lazy with researching on my own, i tend to come right to your page now instead of google!

      Reply
  11. liz brody

    okay, so I LOVE fresh green juice, raw vegetables, etc. I also don’t eat ANY FORM OF DAIRY..ew. No meat, fish ONCE a month at most. My sugar intake gets as wild as a piece of fruit or a cup of blueberries once a day. With that said, I’m a fitness obsessed athlete, and stay VERY lean 365 days a year..therefore, egg whites, canned tuna, and vegan protein formulas are ESSENTIAL for my diet in order to maintain and build lean muscle mass (i avoid anything SOY at all costs as well.) But i cant help but look at the people in the film and think ummm WHERE ARE THERE MUSCLES? How bout some pigment in the skin, some shine in the hair?! They just don’t look healthy. And the pee? That’s where I’m guilty of being close-minded i suppose, but thats a bit extreme. Cool expository clips for sure.

    Reply
  12. Michelle (Health Food Lover)

    Hey there Food Babe (love the name by the way),
    Even though these lovely people in the video have a great passion for what they believe is a healthy lifestyle, it does seem like for many of them it has almost taken over their life (not being able to occasionally have a treat like coffee or ice cream seems like a shame).But each to their own. We all find health in different ways!

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Michelle (Health Food Lover))

      Thanks Michelle for stopping by – I agree we all find health in different ways!

      Reply
  13. Sonia

    Wow, I had not heard about this series! My Master’s thesis was inspired by a book called “Health Food Junkies” by a medical doctor Steven Bratman. It was about the concept of “orthorexia nervosa.” I’m surprised I did not come across any of these videos- though I was mostly searching journal articles. I will have to check them out! What are your thoughts on “orthorexia”?

    Reply
  14. Fiona

    I’m all for eating healthy, because otherwise, why would I follow you? However, I think some people think that if they completely control their food, they will be controlling their body and their fate. Food can definitely affect your health, but it’s not magic. Someone who does everything “right” can still end up with cancer.

    Reply
  15. Jessica

    Wow what an interesting and kind of crazy look into these raw food extremists. I’m not really sure how drinking your own pee, enemas, and isolating your children really help. I love vegetables and eating well, but I’ve found that I really like to eat certain veggies because of how they are cooked/ roasted/ grilled. I think the nutritional value is still there. They did not seem to mention about exercise which is equally an important part of being healthy and balanced. Hari, thanks for sharing this and many other articles. I love following you and have made some small changes such as the daily lemon with water and the green drinks!

    Reply
  16. Todd

    As someone said before cooking certain vegetables increases their nutritional value. That alone seems void the logic behind a raw food diet. Aside from that, it seems odd to me that anyone would conclude that everyone should be following a vegan diet to be healthiest when a number societies existing solely on a meat diet and were very healthy. In addition, someone who is vegan would need to supplement to ensure they get certain nutrients that are absent in a vegan diet.

    Reply
  17. Susan Srour Chiang

    The 54 year old guy looks exactly his age. Funny because I was thinking “he’s probably in his 50s” before he even mentioned his age. He does not look any younger than that. The others look pale (maybe it’s the weather in London?) and lifeless. The urine-drinking lonely woman just made me sad… It’s already hard enough to find a suitable mate in life, but to limit it even further by excluding any man who is not raw? She can smell the meat and cheese on people? How about others smelling the human urine on her?

    The mother sheltering her kids to the point that they have no friends is really doing a disservice to their mental health. She might be giving them optimum physical health by feeding them only raw (I would dispute that though… kids need cholesterol, fat, protein in higher amounts than what they get from a raw diet), but what about their mental health? To compare eating cooked food to smoking heroine shows her level of ignorance! It was very hard for me to watch those lonely kids lament about not having any friends. Social and mental well-being is so important to the development of a human being… it’s not all about the physical well-being.

    Reply
  18. vicky

    I’ve seen many documentaries on health, i believe as long as you eat 50% raw during the day it creates a great balance for your body. I am a Vegan ‘health nut’ and feel great!

    Reply
  19. Tara

    Daily I am making our families food choices healthier. I have eaten many raw food options and loved each one. That being said, when we go to a party we get to let loose and eat what we want…with words of warning that if they “eat those cheesies, they have to be responsible for their actions afterwards. One daughter is highly effected by things like MSG, food color etc while the other is not as outwardly effected. I am like the outwardly effected daughter so have to watch it too

    Reply
  20. Marilyn

    I contracted Clostridium Difficile while in the hospital after giving birth to my son who is now 2 1/2. Because I was resistant to the antibiotic, I went on a completely whole food diet, nothing processed, no white flours, no sugar of any kind and no yeast for a year. We have continued to live this way 80% of the time meaning that we have also adopted many raw food recipes into our repertoire. My son is allergic to eggs, nuts and soy, so we just don’t give him any processed foods and he knows nothing but healthy wonderful foods, but he also does eat chicken, beef, chicken or lamb one to two times per week. He is never sick, nor my 10 year old daughter. We decided that going extreme and only eating raw was not for us, even though in the beginning we did it 85% of the time. I am so grateful for you and your site, as you have continued to help me navigate through a lot of different things like this video and the info on Panera! I used to think a salad from Panera was safe!!!
    I definitely think that raw foods are great, but any level of extreme can be unhealthy for the mind and our emotional stability is important to our health. Having some flexibility lets us feel like we don’t have to live within such restrictive confines. And I don’t have to feel stressed out when I go out to dinner, I just need to be informed so that I can order the right things.

    Reply
    • Assistant to Food Babe (Krista) (to Marilyn)

      Thanks for sharing your story – sounds like you are doing a great job!

      Reply
  21. emiliak

    i think you are kind of right because people used to eat more fresha dn raw foods e.g. radishes, carrots etc and they were pretty healthy but on the other hand, they also had dairy and meat because that is what is natural and good, GOD given in a way so that is what we should be eating what GOD gave us but we shouldnt be exploiting this e.g. factory farming, fast food and sugar packed smoothies!!!

    Reply
  22. Ian

    “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit..” Romans 14:17

    Eating healthy is one thing. Being consumed by what you eat is not.

    Reply

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