Ever since supermodel and actress Carol Alt converted to a raw food lifestyle, she says she's never felt better. In her books Eating in the Raw and The Raw 50, Carol shares how to follow the raw food diet that she says helped her become slimmer, healthier and full of energy. "It's incredible what food can do," Carol says. "It's the most powerful medicine I know of." Dr. Oz talks with Carol about the basics of eating raw foods and some simple ways to incorporate them into your diet.
For Carol, a raw diet means eating foods that have not been heated above 110° or foods that have been irradiated. She says eating raw rather than cooked foods helps preserve the food's life force as well as the essential fatty acids and amino acids necessary for good health. In addition, she says raw foods contain more beneficial enzymes and are easier to digest. "It's very important to get the proteins and essential fatty acids in the purest form," Carol says. "That's the easiest, stress-free way for your body to digest it."
Carol says going raw doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing proposition, nor does it have to mean giving up meat and dairy products. Carol says you can find almost any food in raw form these days. For starters, Carol recommends making a few simple substitutions:
Use cold-pressed olive oil instead of cooked.
Use evaporated table salt instead of a cooked table salt.
Make your own raw hummus, guacamole and salsa at home instead of buying them pre-made.
Eat nutrient-dense, raw salads.
For breakfast, have raw kefir or yogurt and granola.