Is Raw Vegan Diet Same as Whole Food Plant-Based Diet?

А girl recently asked me what is the difference between raw vegan diet and whole foods plant-based diet. She is not the only one who is asking, because this is a hot topic. Yes, there are too many diets and lifestyles around as and now we will make it clear.

Raw vegan diet

A raw vegan diet consists of unprocessed raw vegan foods that have not been heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit or 46 degrees Celsius. Adherents of this diet, believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost their enzymes and thus a significant amount of their nutritional value and are harmful to the body, whereas uncooked foods provide living enzymes and proper nutrition.

Proponents of a raw food diet claim that there are many benefits to eating raw foods, including weight loss, more energy, clear skin, improved digestion and improved overall health. The raw diet has seen an increase in popularity in recent years with raw food restaurants open in most major cities. It remains to be seen if this trend is here to stay or is another passing fad.​

So, what do a raw vegan diet includes?

The raw vegan diet includes these foods in their unprocessed and uncooked state and omits most other foods. It includes all raw fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, sprouts, roots, root vegetables, and squashes, fresh herbs and raw spices Seaweeds. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices and herbal teas are also acceptable.

Most people who follow a raw vegan diet include a limited amount of foods that have undergone some processing, as long as the processing involves does not involve heating the food over 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some of these processed raw vegan foods include:

  • Cold pressed oils,
  • Unprocessed olives,
  • Raw nut “milks”,
  • Fermented foods such as miso, kimchi, and sauerkraut,
  • Pure maple syrup,
  • Unpasteurized raw soy sauce,
  • Dried fruits and vegetables,
  • Vinegars and foods cured in vinegar,
  • Unprocessed raw cacao (raw chocolate)

Whole Food Plant-Based diet

On the moment these two diets may seem like a same diet. So, a whole food plant-based diet also is focused on eating whole fruits and vegetables, consuming lots of whole grains for health reasons. The two of them also include minimally processed food like fermented foods such as miso, kimchi, and sauerkraut.

But there are some differences. For example corn tortillas, whole-grain bread (e.g. whole-wheat bread), and pasta (e.g. whole-wheat spaghetti or brown rice noodles) are generally accepted within the definition of “plant foods” and are included by most people following a “whole food plant based diet.” Whole food plant based diet doesn’t include any kind of oils even cold pressed with explanation that it is only an empty calories.

Maybe the biggest difference between a raw vegan diet and whole food plant based diet is a cooking temperature. If the food is cooked above 115 degrees Fahrenheit it can be called whole food plant-based. In other hand it is considered as raw vegan food.