The Low-Fat Diet in a Nutshell

by Dr. Graham

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Understanding the low-fat diet (where a maximum of roughly ten percent of total calories come from fat) can be a bit tricky for some people, as even small volumes of fat can provide such high quantities of calories as to be misleading. One tablespoon of oil, for example, provides more calories than an entire head of lettuce—two to three times as many, in fact.

In the raw world, where the average person eats 65% of daily calories from fat (based on nutritional analyses of more than 5,000 people over the last 20 years), eating low fat means consuming a diet that is predominated calorically by fruit and predominated in terms of volume by vegetables.

Few people realize that it is physically impossible to consume a sufficient quantity of calories from whole, green vegetables to meet daily caloric needs. In order to do so, the average woman would have to eat over forty heads of lettuce daily and the average man would have to eat more than fifty. If they were physically active, they would have to eat an additional ten to fifty more heads of lettuce. Obviously, even forty heads of lettuce per day is not realistic.

Granted, lettuces are among the lowest-calorie vegetables; however, vegetable matter across the board tends to contain very few calories. While it takes about 30 lbs. of lettuce to make 2000 calories, you would need "only" 13 lbs. of broccoli, or 9 lbs. of kale to reach that same total. And any mixture of vegetables is likely to fall somewhere in that range—expect to consume 15 to 30 lbs. of food each day if you try to fill up on vegetable matter while avoiding fruit.

Even a diet that is 50% greens by volume is likely only about 3 to 4% greens by calorie. When too much vegetable matter is eaten, one is therefore driven to consume more fat as a source of calories, as there is no physical room for any other source.

Fruit must therefore predominate the diet, in terms of calories, or else fats will totally overrun it. In contrast to vegetables, you can obtain your 2000 calories from fruit with far less food—perhaps 4 to 8 lbs. per day.

Some tout sprouted grains as a higher-calorie healthful raw option. I adamantly disagree. In fact, using the carbohydrates in sprouted grains as a substitute for fruit makes no sense at all. One raw leader explained to me all his reasons for avoiding fruit, essentially because of the inherent sugars. He then went on to tell me that what he does instead is soak oats in water for four days, changing the water every 12 hours or so. Then, on the fourth day, he adds the appropriate digestive enzymes to break the complex carbs (starch) into simple carbs (sugar.) This renders the oats far more digestible, and, in his words, "as sweet as fruit." Personally, I would rather avoid all that effort and simply eat fruit as is. I invite you to refer to my book Grain Damage if you are less than 100% clear about the health problems that accompany the consumption of grain in any form—cooked, soaked, sprouted, dehydrated, etc.

Ten percent of calories (or thereabouts) from fat is widely recommended by health experts and nutritionists for maximum health and fitness results. Among them are renowned professionals such as Pritikin, McDougall, Harris, Heidrich, Fuhrman, Greger, Barnard, Klaper, Campbell, Esselstyn, and most others who consistently reverse degenerative disease in their patients and clients. Yet most teachers in the raw movement dismiss their advice. This is scientifically unacceptable, especially when one considers the fact that few raw leaders have the requisite medical or nutritional training to justify such flagrant disregard of accepted physiological facts.

If you would like to see your health and fitness blossom, it is time to merge science with philosophy by eating a low-fat raw vegan diet. This common-sense approach uses fruits and vegetables as staples, items that have been recognized as health food for over three thousand years.

Are you ready to experience the health and vitality expressed by our anthropoid cousins? If so, you must be willing to eat a low-fat raw vegan diet, similar to what they follow.

My book, The 80/10/10 Diet, gives an in-depth explanation of how to create optimum nutrition for fitness and health and also responds to the program's detractors with common sense, well-referenced research, and hard science.