Skip to Content

Reasons why raw food is healthy for people

I was interested in raw food diets for people years before I thought about the benefits of raw food for dogs.

I chose to try feeding my dog raw food because I’m also trying to eat more raw food. I don’t see this as some sort of fad diet. I see it as a lifestyle change and a natural, healthy way of eating.

Real, live foods contain live enzymes that benefit our digestion, nutrient absorption and health. When food is heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit or so, these enzymes are destroyed.

Some people go as far as eating 100 percent raw food. That would be a diet of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, grain, legumes and maybe even some jerky.

There is no possible way I can maintain a 100 percent raw diet at this point in my life. I’ve tried 30-day raw food trials and failed. I love cooked food too much, and I also require a high amount of calories per day (about 3,700). When I try to eat 100 percent raw, I don’t get enough to eat. Although I’m sure there are athletes who thrive on a mostly raw diet, I do not have the time to prepare and eat all that food. It’s also expensive.

What I can do is try to eat 50 percent raw. I am definitely not there yet, but it’s a goal.

Some easy ways to eat more live foods are to make a large fruit/veggie smoothie or a salad with every meal. I also try to snack on fruits, veggies and raw nuts throughout the day. The more live foods I eat, the less interest I have in fatty and processed foods.

I became a vegetarian in August 2007. This was an extremely easy switch for me, and I’ve had no second thoughts. I still eat eggs and seafood and on rare occasions, venison.

I originally stopped eating meat for ethical reasons, as I am deeply disturbed by the way animals are raised for food in the United States. But lately I am more concerned with my own health than I am with the well-being of these animals. Their bodies are extremely unhealthy and unnatural, and I definitely don’t want to be eating toxic animals.

If someone wants to eat hamburger or chicken or pork, that’s fine. But I do believe it should be a conscious decision. Unfortunately, for most people, it is not.

People live their lives on autopilot and consume whatever is most easily obtained. Where that food came from is of little importance. Most of us are so far removed from the factory/slaughtering process that we forget ham comes from real pigs and hamburger comes from real cows.

That is where we are losing.

So before you worry too much about what your dog is eating or whether or not you should switch your dog to raw food, look at what you are feeding yourself.

Obviously I’ve been writing about raw dog food a lot lately – thanks for sticking around to read my posts.

Here’s an example of a raw smoothie I made for an afternoon snack yesterday:

1.5 C. water

1 banana

1 C. frozen strawberries

1/2 C. baby carrots

1 C. spinach

There’s no science to it. Just pour some water into the blender, add whatever fruits and vegetables you happen to have and blend. No need to add any sugar, yogurt, milk or ice cream. Don’t worry, you can’t taste the spinach.

Here are just a few more reasons to make a salad and buy a bunch of fruit:

Reasons for people to eat more raw food

1. Raw foods contain more vitamins and minerals.

Americans are deprived of vitamins and minerals because we eat mostly processed, nutrient-deficient foods like mini corndogs and white bread. You have the option to make better choices for yourself. For more info, I highly recommend the documentary “Food Matters.”

2. A raw food diet is friendlier to animals.

I don’t think this needs explaining. A good documentary to watch on this subject is “Food, Inc.” For a more disturbing take (one that makes me want to throw up, actually), check out PETA’s Meet Your Meat video. I purposely didn’t link to it, but you can easily find it.

3. Raw foods will give you healthier skin.

Your entire body will be healthier if you eat more live foods, including your skin. I am always worried about sun damage and skin cancer because I am blessed with freakishly white skin, and I’m outside all the time. If the antioxidants in raw foods will help my skin, I’m in!

4. Raw food will give you more energy and mental clarity.

People who eat 100 percent raw food swear they have more energy. And dog owners who feed their dogs raw swear their dogs have more energy. One of the reasons for this is because raw food is easy for the body to digest. That means more energy is left for the rest of the body and mind. Just make sure you are getting enough calories. If you’re not eating enough, you will not have a lot of energy. Quite the concept, I know 🙂

Keep in mind that if you switch from a highly processed diet to a mostly vegan or raw diet, you will likely experience a period of detox where your body will get rid of all that extra crap, and you will temporarily feel tired and/or sick.

5. Eating more raw food will help you lose weight.

When you eat raw food, you don’t have to worry about counting calories. You can never get enough fruit or vegetables. So eat up! The more raw food you eat, the less hungry you will be for fried and processed foods. Eventually, cravings for those foods will decrease and some cravings will go away. I no longer crave hamburgers, fries or chicken strips, for example.

My dog eats raw dog food – day 64 update

Note: This is week 10 of a 12-week raw food diet for dogs trial for my dog Ace. Stella & Chewy’s is sponsoring this trial by providing Ace with 90 days worth of pre-prepared raw food.

Ace has tried several kinds of Stella & Chewy’s frozen raw food and he’s done just fine with each one – chicken, beef and duck.


My main concern right now is my dog’s lack of energy, but this started before he began eating raw food.

So many dog owners claim their dogs have an increase in energy once they switch to raw.

Well, my dog is a complete pile. Like, all the time! Usually, he’s snoring. Loudly.


I don’t have a scale that works, but Ace looks like he’s lost a pound or two. I increased the amount of food he’s getting since he did not need to lose any weight. The recommended amount for a dog his size is 3 patties a day (24 ounces). I’ve increased it to 3.5 patties per day (28 ounces).

Ear infections

Ace is fighting off an ear infection, and of course that might be why he is low on energy at the moment. As I’ve said before, I don’t know if his ear infections are caused by allergies or not.


Ace’s eyes are runny, especially in the mornings. I’m assuming this is allergy related – not sure if it’s something in the environment or his food.


A lot of dog owners say their dogs’ teeth begin to look whiter once they switch their dogs to raw food. Ace’s teeth definitely aren’t any whiter, but I do not give him raw bones to chew. I don’t brush his teeth, either. I plan to buy more bones for him or start brushing his teeth. Hopefully that will help his bad breath go away, too.

Lip smacking

Ace has been licking his lips and swallowing an awful lot. I’ve noticed this ever since I switched him to raw, and it seems odd to me. I realize dogs will lick their lips when they are feeling stressed, but I don’t think Ace is stressed. Even when he appears completely relaxed – like when he’s passed out on his bed – he seems to swallow and lick his lips a lot. I may mention this to his vet.


Ace is scratching less. His coat is starting to look really shiny, and he just looks lean and muscular. He is one handsome boy!

Less poop!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the poop is small, kids! He poops less often, and it magically starts to disappear if I don’t pick it up right away! Ace has never had diarrhea or signs of an upset stomach while eating raw food except when he was on antibiotics for pneumonia. I am over my fear of Ace getting sick from bacteria in raw food. He’s a dog. Dogs are meant to eat a raw dog food diet.

My dog is always thirsty

The mutt is still drinking a normal amount of water without obsessing over drinking the entire bowl like he did when he ate dry food. I feel bad that his dry food was possibly keeping him dehydrated.

All in all, I’m happy with the raw food for Ace, and I’m happy with Stella & Chewy’s. I am worried about his lack of energy and the odd lick smacking behavior, so those are some things to watch in the next couple of weeks.

What about you? Do you eat a lot of raw food? Does your dog eat raw food?

Click here for more raw diet for dogs recipes

May Affre

Saturday 17th of March 2012

I am french. I grew up in Paris, France. My dad's mom grew up on a farm in the country, so while I grew up eating meat, I was made aware of its quality. Since, I moved to the United States, I was amazed how much meat people consume here. I am vegetarian though I occasionally eat fish (mostly raw though) and once in a great while some meat (only if organic and raised freely). I also eat eggs, which are expensive as cage free and vegetarian fed as well as hormones free. Being french, I am aware of food. One rule most french live with is "only eat what is in season and fresh". In France, in winter, we do not find tomatoes or berries like here in the US. As a result, I try to eat fresh products according to seasons. While I do not eat processed food or avoid high fructose syrup, I am addicted to sweets. My one rule is to eat sweets that are quality made (raw sugar, unbleached flour...). Won't buy any packaged candy bar, soda can or cakes from a grocery store, instead, I'll bake with fresh and raw products, cut sugar down and or will drive a way to go to a bakery that has "real" sweets as I see it. I strongly believe we should avoid "artificial" products in our diet as what we eat is what provides for our body. I don't diet (eat too many sweets including dark chocolate) but I watch what I eat in term of quality. Like you, I believe in eating healthier. Great blog and posts as usual.

Lindsay Stordahl

Saturday 24th of March 2012

Thank you so much for your insight on this. I will try to be more like you! My goal right now is to eat a large salad at least once a day and a smoothie at least once per day. At least that sets the tone for my other meals. I'm sure you've noticed that when you eat healthy, you want to continue eating healthy. Your body craves healthy foods. I have such a sweet tooth, though. And I love chips, bread, pasta and such. It's a work in progress. Every day is a new day!


Tuesday 17th of May 2011

I'm addicted to smoothies. It's surprising what you can add and not taste!

Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 17th of May 2011


Dog Training Girl

Monday 16th of May 2011

That smoothie looks amazing! Why does no one believe me when I tell them that you really can't taste the spinach!?

I'm interested to continue reading about your dog's raw food diet. It seems like such a great idea and I bet the dog loves it!

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 16th of May 2011

Thanks for checking out my blog!


Friday 13th of May 2011

Since my cancer diagnosis, I have been trying to include more raw foods into my diet. It's getting a bit easier now as the produce quality is improving with the season. Just made up a huge bowl of fruit last night so that is readily available! yum. I still have a long ways to go, old habits are hard to break so I'm just going for small changes. Why does that smoothie look choclatey?? Mine never look like that! And I just cannot put spinach in a smoothie. In a salad, yes. I'm glad Ace is continuing to do so well. Great post.

Lindsay Stordahl

Friday 13th of May 2011

I tell myself that my balance of healthy and bad foods will all even out :) The smoothie looks chocolaty because of the spinach. I suggest adding a small amount of spinach to your smoothie next time - you won't even taste it.

moparg1rl- Amy

Thursday 12th of May 2011

Great blog! I've been trying to go vegetarian for a few months now. I've cheated a few times. I'm not a big meat eater. I do like chicken and sometimes a cheeseburger. I am disgusted by the way animals are treated in the United States. I've been trying to know where my meat comes from and only buying from local farms who treat their animals humanely. But, lately I've been thinking no meat is the way to go. It's a nice boost to read that after a while you no longer crave fried foods and french fries, two things I love! Also, I'm freakishly white as well! :) I'll be bookmarking this to come back to. I'll look into the dog food, too!

Lindsay Stordahl

Friday 13th of May 2011

Thanks for checking out my blog! SPF 50 sunscreen for me all the time! :)