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A vegan diet that is very high in fat cannot be good, right?

I am very new to eating mostly raw, non-processed foods. Actually, for most of my life, I ate quite the opposite. I made the change a month ago and decided to switch to a vegan, mostly raw lifestyle. It has been going well so far, besides one exception. I eat completely raw almost every day, which means that I eat an abundance of fruits, vegetables, but also nuts and oils because I feel very tired if I do not consume enough protein. I have heard of people who choose to omit the "legume" and "oil" groups who do just fine, but I'm not one of them.

The problem I am having is balancing my diet. When I try to get all my calories from fruit and vegetables (I try to eat between 1200-1600), it just doesn't happen. When I incoorporate nuts and oils into my daily intake, my calories are fine but over 40% of them end up coming from fat. According to most nutritional guidelines, 40% of fat is bad, even if you expend more calories than you consume, and even if you are eating wholesome foods that are healthy. I am currently taking a nutrition class and the books keep saying that, without exception, fat should be consumed in amounts no greater than 20-35% of your daily caloric intake. I consume as much as 50% sometimes when I eat completely raw. Is this really that bad? What can I do to lower my fat intake? What else can I do to enchance adequacy and balance in my diet? What are some other foods I can eat besides nuts (which are really convenient when you go somewhere you can't eat but get hungry and need a snack)?

Thanks! As of now, I am very confused as to how I should be eating.



  • About 80/10/10: The "Doc" is not a medical doctor. He is a doctor of chiropractic & trained in Natural Hygiene. And, people are different. What is bad for one is good for another, and what is good for one may not be so good for the other. For me, raw fats are INFINITELY better than cooked fats, and I do NOT do well on lowfat raw. The key is learning to pay attention to your body. Here's something:

    2002: 100% Raw In 2 Days

    After 12 years of struggling, going back and forth between cooked and Raw, I went 100% Raw in two days. Since then I've done one week-long experiment with cooked food, to see how it affects Raw people, which I'll write about in the future. Yuck. Never again!

    Here's how I went 100% Raw in 2 days and you can too. Most people go Raw by just eating salads, fruit and nuts. This sounds good on the surface and can be deadly. In Oriental Medicine, salads and fruit embody cold/damp energy. If a person eats only cold/damp energy their bodies undergo a specific progression of decline:

    First there is exhilaration and massive energy as the body begins building up steam to detox.

    Next there are various degrees of detox. All manner of strange, transient experiences which can look rather bizarre to doctors.

    Eating a continual Salad/Fruit diet pushes the body toward alkalosis (extreme alkaline pH), which is just as bad as acidosis. Eating Raw, inactive nuts along with this slows down and clogs up digestion. If cashews are eaten consistently, many people have massive sinus inflammation and lung congestion.

    At some point, the body becomes so "cold and water logged", the spleen shuts down. Oriental Medical Doctors may refer to this as a cold/damp humor.

    A body will only tolerate spleen shutdown for a short period, as the spleen is the center of the immune system. At the point of spleen shutdown, cravings for food to heat and dry out the body become intense.

    People then begin eating baked potato, butter and sour cream; salsa and chips; massive quantities of salt or pastries.

    These cravings are life savers meant to immediately heat up and dry out tissue, so the spleen can turn back on and immune response restarts.

    I went 100% Raw in 2 Days by increasing my intake of nightshades like peppers and tomatoes, which are salt rich and heating to me. I started sun bathing, taking hot baths and piling on covers at night. I started started eating other heating (spicy) veggies like Arugala, onions, garlic and radishes. I started eating drying foods like salt, seaweeds, activated nuts and dehydrated, golden flax crackers.

    The combo of salt and fat to taste, solves many of the strange cravings I just mentioned. Using combos of hemp seeds, pine nuts, olive oil and avocados feeds the body much like salmon and tuna do, so these cravings pass quickly too.

    It took me 12+ years to learn how to go Raw in 2 days. You can skip the years of experiments by using salt and fat to taste, then using Super Foods as much as possible. Many of Yemiah's and my preferences for Super Foods and Super Nutrients are in our catalog - RadicalHealth.com/order.

    This was from http://radicalhealth.com/raw-food-diet/people/favor-david.html#2days and when he says he went 100% raw, he means raw vegan - no animal products.

  • Advice from a Doctor of Chiropractic is just as valid as from a Doctor of Medicine. Typically, neither medical program (MD nor DC) provide any substantial nutritional training. Dr. Graham's understanding of human anatomy/physiology paired with his extensive personal and professional experience with food and it's effect on his patients does lend him a certain degree of credibility...even if I don't agree with him 100% of the time.

    I do agree with Angie that everyone is different and has different needs, especially during a time of transition. We all have different biological needs and we all have different toxic loads based on our unique experiences. The most successful raw foodists that I have read and listened to have all gone with a general approach that focused on respecting what their bodies were saying to them at the time.

    If eating high fat feels good right now, do that, your body may be needing fat to deal with the stress of detoxifying. If you suddenly dislike the taste for a certain veggie, listen to that and stop eating it for a while. If you are trying to get a certain number of calories each day, but you feel sick trying to eat enough to get there, your body is telling you something. Stop eating so much. Eating raw is a process, and anyone who tries to impose a specific doctrine on you without understanding your individual needs is not going to help you much.

    Also...a note on the alkalosis (extreme alkaline pH) that was mentioned in "100% Raw in 2 Days" clip.

    The body's need for a PH balance is very important and you do not want to be either too acidic or too alkaline. Here is something to think about when worrying about high acidity and high alkilinity. If we are too acidic our body uses calcium to counteract it. The number one source for that calcium is our bones. We have a finite amount of calcium in our bodies unless it is properly replenished.

    If we become too alkaline then our bodies utilizes carbon dioxide to counteract it. The number one source for carbon dioxide is the metabolic waste of all the cells of our body. Our body's homeostatic controls simply expel less CO2 in our breath to fight alkalinity. As long as your lungs are working correctly you shouldn't be concerned about becoming too alkaline. (there are some disorders that could also cause alkalosis, but those are very rare)

    Our bodies can deal with alkalosis much more efficiently than they can acidosis. I wouldn't ever worry about eating too many salads or fruits.

  • Hi Sultaria!

    Our diets can evolve, and almost certainly will as you stay longer and longer raw.

    Most probably, you will start to eat simpler and simpler.

    When I first went raw, I would never think I would not be eating oils or the gourmet raw stuff.

    My fat consumption was probably over 40%.

    But now, nearly a year later, I eat very simply, whole raw foods only, no oils, dehydrated food, salt or those so-called superfoods. Most of my food is blended and I eat up to 4 heads of lettuce a day!!

    The secret is that I LOVE what I eat, and since I let my diet evolve naturally, I don't feel like I'm restricting myself at all! :)

    Anyway, back to the point ... :)

    No, 40% fat is not ideal for long-term, but it is most likely that if you listen to your body and carry on with the raw diet (lifestyle), your fat and oil consumption will most probably go down with out even noticing it!!!


    Hope this helps,


  • What is wrong with fat? I can see the problem with cooked fat and animal fats but what's wrong with vegetable fat? I think that people naturally gravitate to fatty foods because their body needs them! Some people don't because they don't need them. I think it's that simple. Eat what your body needs. My body loves avocado, coconut, olive oil and seeds. They're warming, filling and stop cravings. I also eat lots of veg and fruit. I think an excess of anything long term can be bad so just mix it up. Eat what appeals to you, especially if it's completely unprocessed. Anyone will enjoy a good raw pie but if you really want a banana just solo then you know it's what you need.

  • I feel the best when I eat copious amounts of greens in fruit smoothies. Yummy! My body switches from craving fats to craving the smoothies. And smoothies are just easier to digest, and it's then possible to get the required protein by consuming tons of greens (which are about 10% protein themselves).

    Remember, nothing tastes as good as feeling good feels! A little bit of self restraint for a day or two and the body will switch to wanting lower fat.

    This is just my opinion, but it's after a lot of experimentation. I am an athlete and burn a lot of calories and I do great on just fruit and tons of leafy greens in smoothies.

    Good luck! Raw is so worth it!

  • Raw canadian said "fat is fat" and that the fat you eat on raw is just as bad. Not true. You are not eating partially hydrogenated crap. You are eating "good fats" - monounsaturated fatty acids with olive oil and avocados and nuts, medium chain fatty acids in your coconut (said to promote weight loss). High omega 3 in walnuts. You are getting nutrition from your fat, not just cholesterol and artery cloggers like with SAD diet (well, typical obese american SAD). This fat isn't bad for you. Eat how you feel like. You have to think on a sad diet the percentage of fat would be advised to be lower because they are eating other high calorie foods. If you eat low cal foods like a rabbit you'd have to spend your whole day eating to make eating an avocado not look like the majority of your cals are from fat. I hope that made sense.

    Eat the fat! It's not the same.

  • I agree, I havent counted fat or calories since the beginning of Nov. just stuck to the 'eat what you want as long as it's raw' philosophy. I feel like I am actually in control of my weight for the first time ever. I went from 170 lbs. to 150 and am 5' 7''. Sure wish I found this in my 20's like a lot of you lucky ladies (I'm 40's).

    I agree w/ previous that you will taper off naturally on your own. And please, I dont think I'm an expert. (maybe on myself now) ;D

  • leahcelesteleahceleste Raw Newbie

    I agree, raw fats have alot more in them then just fat. It's not like this raw fat foods are a %100 fat and nothing else. They have fiber and vitamins and minerals and omega fatty acids and really a whole complement of things that make them a whole food. We know that whole foods are good for the body because they are a complete package.

    I eat avocados and some nuts or seeds and about a tablespoon of olive oil everyday and it's works great for me. I do take breaks from this to just drink juice and green smoothies. Also I have noticed that in the wintertime I really need these fat calories. If I don't eat them then I will turn to cooked food. I have also read some raw food teachers talking about how calories are the wrong way for us to think about food and we need to move away from addressing our food in terms of calories. I really think that the term calories apply more to cooked food then they do to raw food.

    I agree that nuts are an easy snack but they may not be what your body really needs. Victoria Boutenko talks about buying her kids crates of fruit to consume everyday. They just craved it and so would eat 15 mangos a day. Eat as much as you need to right now to feel really satisfied. Your body may be trying to correct nutritional deficiencies.

  • Yes, leahceleste is right about the foods being more than just fat. I did a blog post about avocados for this very reason:


  • Here is an interesting post on the same subject:


    Long read --- you better be ready!!!


  • Thanks for all the feedback. AJ, I think it's amazing that you are actually able to like eating very simply. For me, it will be a much longer journey simply because of family traditions. I was raised in Asia for part of my childhood, and the standard diet there included plenty of fats, white rice, and tea. It does require getting used to it, but I am making small steps towards cutting my fat intake by halving the portions.

    ~*~*~Thank you~*~*~

  • I can relate to the white rice, fatty entree, and lots of sugary tea!! I was raised on similar foods... Huge platters of heavy dishes, eat till you drop and then have dessert! Until I found raw, I was sure i'd follow my relatives down the path of weight gain, diabetes, high cholesterol.

    I'll contribute my two cents to the fat discussion while I'm here. There may be people ONLINE who can claim anything they want. They can preach to you about the benefits of raw diet A, raw diet 80-10-10, high fat, low fruit, low veg, high avocado, high melon, low greens, etc etc etc. But what REALLY works? Why do SO MANY PEOPLE claim so many things?

    Perhaps... just consider... that every person has a different body and needs to find out what works for them. You can gather information here, that's fine, but then experiment - keep an open mind. I'm eating 40% fat, at times less (in summer, when i eat higher fruit) - but it changes weekly, my whole raw diet changes weekly depending on what my body wants. I've eaten VERY high raw (typically less than 2 cooked meals a month) for the entire past year. No cooked food cravings. Raw is easy peasy. I feel great. Great energy, great skin, digestion, hair, nails, vitality, emotions, everything's superb! But i've had to adjust my diet almost weekly depending on what felt good THAT WEEK for me - more nuts, then less, then none, now some - less oil, a bit more, now less, but more avocados - more greens less fruit at the moment, but i'm getting back into a bit more fruit and less veg. Keep an open mind, and eat those greens, and raw WILL work for you. (I met some folks at a raw potluck last sunday, who have been trying to do 80-10-10 for a couple years, and most of their diet is cooked food because they're so afraid of fat. They were shocked/impressed that i could eat very high raw without a problem! Perhaps they should try out different styles of raw and find the one for them, instead of dogmatically following 80-10-10 and failing to eat raw for the better part of 2 years??)

  • I agree with Winona - people are different.

    I'm grateful for all the varying opinions & books out there, because they give me IDEAS of things to TRY.

    The only thing that works for me is to do what works for me. ;)

  • I'm so glad the people on here are accepting of others and that what works for *them* might not work for everyone. I see other raw forums where 80-10-10 followers claim people who eat more fat aren't doing it right, aren't doing this, that, and they fail to see that not everyone WANTS to do low-fat, number one; and number two, it's not best for everyone.

    Kudos to the open-minded; you'll have more friends that way and be happier. :D

  • Its so worth it to do what it takes to keep this a positive site. I think we could all try hard to become un-offend-able, so to speak. Most often bad feelings rise from misunderstandings, pure and simple. Then it keeps spiraling in the wrong direction and poof, enemy's where friends could be standing. People leaving the site that could be a help to others.

    There are many here who are strict vegans and sometimes may say something that a great person that is content with their choice of enjoying raw milk or whatever could take as an offense but they don't. They just realize we are all different. Not only from each other but from ourselves 5 yrs. ago!

    Pretend it wasn't a shot at you cause it probably wasn't. I'll do the same =)

    Am I the only one who has missed Rawkidchef of late?

  • Hey , what did happen to Rawkidchef???

    Did he go 811??

  • I miss RawKidChef too!!! Haven't seen her in quite a while!

  • *She* and the cute Blueberry may have :(

  • I have not seen RawKidChef in a while too!

  • Please forgive me for my ignorance but how much is 20%-35% or 40% fat intake? How many cups /spoons? Any advise?

    Thanks in advance :-)

  • edited November 27

    The % of fat intake is your total percentage of fat in calories for the day. So basically you must total all your calories for the day. Then total all your fat calories for the day. The divide the total fat cals by the total cals.


    1000 fat cals / 2000 total cals = 50% from fat.

    The only way to know is to write down what you eat, weigh it and then figure it out.

    There is software and websites that can help you accomplish this


  • I didn't say raw fats are bad.

    I just said not to worry about your fat % for now, as it will probably go down naturally in time :)

  • the strawberry girl - you can use nutridiary to find out your fat percentage. you just enter the foods you ate that day, and it tells you the percentages if you're curious.

  • Looks like RawKidChef's most recent post was on January 9th. Maybe they're taking a winter vacation?

  • I had a lot of schoolwork going on which is why I haven't been on here.

    I guess you could say I have gone 811, but now that I think about it, I've been pretty much 811 the whole time! About the fat, I like eating predominant amounts of fruit and minimal fat, (avocado seems to be the most digestible fat for me).Oh and I am in love with The Date People now! Just got my dates and they are like butterscotch, they are fresh(not dried) dates that are just incredible!

    Blueberry is still eating mice and birds, doing great! :)

  • Yea! Happy to see you. m

    ps between us & school. Go for school!!!!

  • I was wrong to say Fat is Fat. But too much of even the good stuff is most likely bad for people.

    But as far as people being different, so that some thrive on 50% fat and some thrive on 10% fat, I don't believe that.

    No other animals in the world change their diets individually, and our natural diet shouldn't be changed either if you want optimal health and energy.

    Other mammals don't decide to go on high fat diets because they think that fat is good for them.

    Most animals stick to a few simple foods and just eat those for optimal health.

    A cow eats grass, a cat eats mice and birds, a bird eats small insects, fish eat smaller fish, primates mostly eat fruit.

    I think it is funny that people need to eat hundreds of different things in the "right" proportions.

    It simply goes against the laws of nature.

  • I guess you're forgetting about climate and what foods are available locally, etc., when you try to claim what's "natural" for other people.

  • "I guess you're forgetting about climate and what foods are available locally, etc., when you try to claim what's "natural" for other people."

    Climate - if you take a lion from Africa, move him to Canada, his diet stays the same.

    If you take a polar bear and move him to Miami , he still needs to eat the same types of foods to thrive.

    Next time you go to a zoo, ask the zoo keepers what type of diet the animal in question eats, and compare that to what they eat in the wild. It should be quite similar.


    If an animals food source no longer exists , then there is a good chance they will die. But locally in Canada , I can purchase food from all over the world.

    I'm not claiming anything. Just look how other animals eat, mono meals, limited options, and no thought into this. They just do it out of instinct and thrive in the wild. Of course thanks to man, we destroyed most of this.

    I'm not claiming what is natural. In fact if 50% fat is natural, then we should ALL thrive on it. That is how mother nature works. The species eats the same foods and thrive. Not all different diets. That just makes no sense. If your talking about different cultures that moved away from the equator, that period makes up a very small percentage of mans existence.

  • rawcanadian - A sick horse will seek out & eat healing herbs (comfrey) if it is available, instead of just eating the grass the other horses are eating. A healthy horse doesn't focus on comfrey (I don't know if they EVER eat it if they're not sick). Maybe if all humans had the exact same genes, were raised in the exact same climate/environment, had no health problems (or all the same exact health problems to the same degree), had no polluted air or water, did the exact same kinds of activities for the exact same amounts of time, etc. then one specific diet would be best for every single person? My chickens have a choice of various grains, veggies, greens, etc. in the winter & will additioanlly have access to bugs & worms in the summer, but they don't all eat the exact same things in the exact same amounts at the exact same time.

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