Think Raw Veggies are Best? Think Again

by Sarah Healthy LivingComments: 475

Raw veggie smoothie
I stopped by one of my favorite healthfood stores today to pick up a large cup of organic raw vegetable juice for an early lunch on the go.   As usual, I asked for the a carrot, celery, beet, spinach and cucumber blend – hold the spinach.

While this request is usually met with a simple nod by the juice bar attendant, this time the guy looks up and says, “Why no spinach?    We have a lot of Raw Foodies that come in here and love the spinach in their juice.”

Ah!   Great question!    I could feel a blog coming on ….

Raw Foodies, I love you, I REALLY REALLY DO (but, PLEASE eat some meat!  You’re looking a wee bit pale).

Not everything should be eaten raw, especially vegetables!

Some raw vegetables must be cooked else you are actually harming yourself.  Below is a rundown of what veggies should not be eaten raw either in whole or juiced form.

Cruciferous Raw Vegetables

cruciferous veggiesSorry to be the bearer of bad news, but cruciferous vegetables should be cooked before eating as they contain chemicals that BLOCK the production of thyroid hormone in your body! Considering that 2 out of every 3 Westerners are either overweight or obese and this is projected to jump to 75% by 2020, this is of particular importance as folks struggling with weight usually suffer from borderline to full blown hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone, so someone suffering from this condition surely does not want to be eating foods that will block what little thyroid hormone is being produced in the first place!

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include cold hands and feet, thinning hair, fatigue, reduced or nonexistent libido, coarse dry hair, constipation, difficulty losing weight, and depression among many others.

Cooking crucifers reduces the goitrogenic substances by about 2/3.   Fermentation does not reduce goitrogens in these veggies, but since fermented crucifers such as sauerkraut are typically eaten as a condiment and, hence, in small amounts, consumption is fine if the diet is rich in iodine.

Here is the list of common cruciferous vegetables that you do not want to be eating raw if you want to protect your thyroid gland!

Arugula, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, turnip, collard greens, bok choy, brussels sprouts, radish, rutabaga, and watercress.

Notice that many of these vegetables are commonly included in fresh veggie juice blends or in salads.   While an occasional arugula salad or cup of coleslaw is not going to do harm to most folks, it would be wise not to make a habit of eating/drinking any of these vegetables in raw form.

Raw Vegetable Greens

Some veggie greens contain a chemical called oxalic acid.  Oxalic acid is a very irritating substance to the mouth and intestinal tract.    It also blocks iron and calcium absorption and may contribute to the formation of kidney stones.

The good news is that oxalic acid is reduced by a light steaming or cooking – just be sure to discard the cooking water.

Veggies containing oxalic acid include spinach, chard, parsley, chives, purslane and beet greens.

Hmmmm.    Spinach is known for being high in iron, yet eating it raw will not necessarily give you the iron you want because of the oxalic acid?

Yep, that’s right.  Cook that spinach first if you are seeking an iron boost without the indigestion and don’t get hooked on the raw spinach salads!

Don’t stress about munching the parsley garnish on your next gourmet dinner, though.  A little bit here and there is not going to cause a problem. Eat a big spinach salad everyday and it is virtually certain you will eventually succumb to kidney stones, according to Dr. William Shaw, Director of The Great Plains Laboratory for Health, Nutrition and Metabolism.

Other Raw Vegetable Cautions

Other vegetables that are best to avoid eating raw include:

Raw potatoes contain hemagglutinins that disrupt red blood cell function.

Raw sweet potatoes will give you gas.

Raw, edible mushrooms such as the common white mushroom contain toxic substances such as agaritine, a suspected carcinogen.   These substances are heat sensitive and are neutralized by cooking.

Alfalfa sprouts are mildly toxic and inhibit the immune system.   Eating them on a frequent basis can even contribute to inflammatory arthritis and lupus!

Dr. Weston A. Price’s Take On Raw Vegetables

A good rule of thumb when considering the best way to consume your veggies is to remember the letter that Dr. Weston A. Price wrote to his nieces and nephews in 1934. In this letter, he strongly urged them to eat their vegetables cooked in butter.   His research found that the bulkiness (fiber) of raw vegetables interfered with the human body’s ability to extract minerals from them via the digestive process.

So, should you drink your veggies raw?   Of course. Raw vegetable juice made from veggies that are safe to consume uncooked is a wonderful way to get a fast infusion of easy to digest, colloidal minerals.  It is also highly alkalizing to the body and a proven way to gently detox the gut.

The great thing about veggie juice is that the fiber is removed, which is the “bulkiness” that Dr. Price found interfered with the mineral absorption.

However, if you are going to eat the fibrous portion of the vegetable, it is best to cook them in butter as advised by Dr. Price to enhance the availability of the minerals.    The fat in the butter permits greater absorption of the minerals, and besides, buttered veggies taste fantastic!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Sources and More Information

Nourishing Traditions

How Green Smoothies Can Devastate Your Health

Power Shot: The Best Green Juice for Congestion

Are Nightshade Vegetables Worsening Your Pain?

Top 4 Cleansing Myths to Watch Out For

Yet Another Reason to Cook That Broccoli

The Role of Oxalates in Chronic Disease, William Shaw PhD (Director of The Great Plains Laboratory for Health, Nutrition and Metabolism)

Picture Credit

Comments (475)

  • JT

    You lost me at “Raw Foodies, I love you, I REALLY REALLY DO (but, PLEASE eat some meat! You’re looking a wee bit pale).”

    what does not eating meat and looking pale have to do with each other? and I’m sure raw foodies everywhere will be forever thankful that you love them though. Seriously, advice like eat some meat is such a load of crap.

    March 25th, 2016 3:26 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      Ummm, maybe because folks who don’t eat meat are generally very very pale and have a handshake like a wet fish. I can pick a vegan out of a crowd in a heartbeat.

      March 27th, 2016 5:11 pm Reply
      • kelly

        BAHAHAHAHA true dat!

        July 22nd, 2016 11:12 am Reply
  • رژیم لاغری

    I think your info on oxalic acid is a bit off. It doesn’t oxidize, it combines with calcium and/or magnesium and precipitates in your bloodstream or kidneys. The crystals can aggregate and cause kidney stones. If you precipitate the oxalic acid with calcium or magnesium (say from milk) in your food preparation then you are unlikely to absorb it. Drinking plenty of water so that your time isn’t too concentrated also helps. Dehydration is a big factor in oxalate kidney stones.

    January 31st, 2016 11:36 am Reply
  • David Robb

    …..I’ve Eaten raw veggies all my life and nothing has ever happened to me. Also, if this was a major issue, it would be made public. Chances are is that it’s not common enough to be worth looking into. Especially when most people should have the tolerance to be immune to these chemicals. I know I am, otherwise I would have been affected. The fact that barely anyone is affected means it’s probably the person, not the veggie.

    December 30th, 2015 10:27 pm Reply
  • redstagehippo

    this is great, very informative. Raw vegetables definitely gave my hypo-thyroid this year. it was horrible. I switched to a fruitarian diet for a little while to get my hormone production back. I have since added some steamed/cooked veggies, but only a few.

    November 3rd, 2015 12:12 am Reply
  • Cathy

    They don’t mention….how cooked is “cooked”? Is steaming adequate? Not a fan of stinky cooked veggies but steamed isn’t as bad as fully cooked down.

    August 4th, 2015 1:24 pm Reply
  • Carol

    I was eating raw spinach and getting terrible headaches. My Naturopath told me to stop and all headaches stopped. I have low thyroid and the raw spinach was causing my thyroid to basically over fire and give me headaches. Great article by the way. Love it.

    July 7th, 2015 11:45 pm Reply
  • Jennifer

    I was drinking spinach in my smoothies every day to get a good dose of magnesium to help ward off my menstrual migraines. Although this really helped with my migraines I developed awful kidney stones twice that sent me to the hospital. I’m not entirely positive that this was due to the spinach but I would bet my life savings it was. And yes I drink tons of water every day. This may work for some people but beware the kidney stones.

    June 8th, 2015 1:32 pm Reply
    • Natalie

      I assure you it was the spinach that caused the stones. Exact same thing happened to me twice. Saw a specialist who told me to cut the spinach from my smoothies. This was 3 years ago. Haven’t had a stone since.

      May 6th, 2016 11:37 am Reply
  • Leeloo

    Both cooking veggies and eating them raw have benefits. Ideally, you want to eat a mixture of both.

    And eating some spinach or cabbage every day is not going to affect your thyroid. You’d need to eat very large quantities of cruciferous veggies, in addition to already having a lazy thyroid, for it to count

    April 29th, 2015 12:51 pm Reply
  • amcken3

    STELLAR ARTICLE! I agree with you on ALL POINTS! Thank you.

    April 9th, 2015 12:57 am Reply
  • Craig

    Does anyone know for sure if V8 is legit or would a cocktail like carrot, celery, beet, spinach and cucumber blend – hold the spinach be the better route?

    January 7th, 2015 4:50 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      V8 is pasteurized veggie juice … not beneficial so hold the V8

      January 7th, 2015 5:03 pm Reply
      • Taylor

        What an informative article..So what veggies are safe for me to include in my salad??

        July 16th, 2015 7:54 am Reply
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  • Richard

    Cooked carrots are far better than the rabbit ones!! The cooking process releases enzymes which are bound in the veg. Cooked carrots, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, cabbage, peppers and many other vegetables also supply more antioxidants, such as carotenoids and ferulic acid, to the body than they do when raw. Just dont overcook!!

    July 17th, 2014 6:21 am Reply
  • ace

    Good article except for the asinine “please eat some meat” comment. It is true that due to their varying compositions some vegetables are optimally eaten raw, and some are best cooked. That should have been the extent of the author’s article. Plenty of people who eschew meat for both ethical and environmental reasons are not necessarily raw foodists. And it is not difficult to be healthy and still eat in a responsible, non-selfish manner.

    July 6th, 2014 7:08 pm Reply
    • Leah

      Very true. I’m a meat eater myself, but for anyone wanting to maintain a healthy diet, while not compromising on any moral or ethical issues they have with the conmsumption of animals or animal products (incl. eggs and/or dairy), there are plenty of foods out there containing the necessary protein, iron and calcium for their daily needs.
      There are plenty of reasons that some people may be pale, not limited to medical problems or genetic traits, I certainly wouldn’t blame it all on someone’s diet.

      April 17th, 2015 11:39 am Reply
    • Helen

      I dont agree with you. My opinion is that meat ís essential and irreplaceable

      April 29th, 2015 2:38 am Reply
      • John

        Too bad. Science doesn’t care about opinions, it cares about facts. You can be perfectly healthy abstaining from meat.

        June 28th, 2015 8:28 am Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          True, but not perfectly health abstaining from animal foods. If you don’t want meat, seafood and eggs will do just fine :)

          June 28th, 2015 1:25 pm Reply
      • Cathy

        I agree with you Helen, it has been established that humans are omnivores. Vegetarians have to find ways to adapt their diet to meet their needs, the holes left in their diet by not eating meat proteins. They say it’s not needed….yet there are obvious deficits in their diets and they search for alternatives but the best choice is what nature intended.

        August 4th, 2015 1:33 pm Reply
  • Julia

    Well, I know I may be in the minority here but I do completely disagree with the article. I’m a holistic nutritionist that have not only completely normalized my thyroid function (after being on thyroid medication for 12 years and being told by my doctor I’d be on it “for life”), but I’ve done it by eating a predominantly raw food diet filled with all the foods you are recommending to be cooked.

    Not only that, I’ve recommended the same for many of my clients whose thyroid functioning has also improved. We may all be strange anomalies, but I highly doubt it. I eat very large quantities of chard, spinach, and nightshades in raw form, as well as many other foods. I personally think that one of the worst things you can do to leafy greens is to cook them – based on my own health from going from 200lbs to 130lbs and resolving every health issue I had, and on the feedback from my clients.

    But it’s just my opinion to add to the mix!

    June 26th, 2014 4:54 pm Reply
    • Dianne

      I too have normalized my thyroid condition and eat raw spinach almost everyday and don’t seem to have any problem with it. I can not eat raw broccoli but the spinach is great.

      August 23rd, 2014 12:11 am Reply
    • Donna

      Julia my experience of eating predominantly cooked veggies and then going to a predominantly raw diet is that the raw diet gave me superior health, energy, stamina and mental state. I was at those times having fresh raw juices every day, and huge raw salads. As a holistic nutritionist I was wondering if you had any insights as to why the research and information out there says that these raw veggies contain substances that suppress thyroid and create other health issues, yet so many people experience the exact opposite.

      December 30th, 2014 10:44 pm Reply
    • Rain

      Thank you for adding this in. The author doesn’t include any references to case studies or research to support her claims. I recently added in fresh, homemade coleslaw to my diet, and I’ve had nothing but fine results… with the exception of a strange “fiery tongue” side effect from the sudden influx – it’s kinda like tasting hot sauce in my mouth throughout the day without having eaten any hot sauce. Otherwise, my scalp condition has decreased in intensity (seborrheic dermatitis) and I lost almost 5 lbs last month without having to add extra physical exercise (I get around 20 minutes cardio daily, usually light). Plus, I just feel spunkier! And homemade coleslaw is DELICIOUS!

      March 7th, 2015 8:44 pm Reply
    • soni

      hi ,

      i started taking half bowl of spinach everyday with black salt at night while doing my work. is that fine with me or not. i have thyroid , cervical, spondylities,

      March 16th, 2015 4:20 pm Reply
  • Ben Kleschinsky

    Actually, I’ve read that it’s bsd for you to cook vegetables. When you cook anything thats a plant or a grain it releases a chemical called Acrylamide. Its a carcinogenic. Its a natural process of when cooking vegetables. So the best way to cook a vegetable is to steam it.

    This does not happen to meats so grill your meats to a crisp.

    So my friends cooked toast is crap. French fries are the worst Acrylamide offenders. Chips.

    Anyways everything in moderation. You can drink raw vegetable juice just wash it down wit a bunch of water.

    In my opinion the benefits of drinking raw vegetable juice outweigh the risks.

    Plus if you avoid vegetables juice that doesn’t have spinach and the others your not supposed to have raw then your good to go.


    June 8th, 2014 7:17 pm Reply
    • natnat

      You have a point, but you’re forgetting the fact that the vegetables that release the most acrylamide by far are starchy. Almost all the veggies mentioned here are low carb and are fine to eat blanched, steamed or lightly sauteed.

      June 24th, 2015 9:56 pm Reply
      • Adam

        You can eat all edible plants raw, contains enzymes that built the plant up, so when you intake them, you’re giving your body something it does not normally get, it will enhance your immune system and digestive tract, cooking destroys these enzymes and destroys vitamins, denatures aminos/proteins, period.

        November 2nd, 2015 2:14 am Reply
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  • ImNotADoctor

    Just drink plenty of water in addition to the juices and smoothies and you’ll be fine.

    April 30th, 2014 3:57 pm Reply
  • Becky

    Are you actually joking? Cook your vegetables in butter. Thats the most unheathiest thing you could do! Saturated animal fats? No thanks, don’t fancy heart disease or cancer!
    Also cooking most of your veg – they lose the nutrients. What do you think humans ate before eating cooked food! – raw plants! – vegetables legumes, nuts, seeds and fruit!

    April 25th, 2014 11:05 am Reply
    • ozzy

      Thats why humans died at the very young age before they learnt cooking. trust me eating things raw does not mean it is healthy or it will cause losing its nutrition. I am a personal trainer and dietitian I can definitely can tell you that what you said is partly wrong. Well cooking with butter is not ideal but eating all veggies raw is not good eaither.

      April 29th, 2014 12:29 pm Reply
      • Matt

        Really? I thought they died at a younger age due to the lack of modern medicine… Guess I’m wrong.

        April 30th, 2014 4:26 pm Reply
        • Klouw

          Really??? I even thought they died of young age cuz they were eaten by a dinosaur. 😀

          June 24th, 2014 7:31 am Reply
          • Paul

            Humans and dinosaurs never existed at the same time.

            April 15th, 2015 2:12 pm
    • stassi

      Before humans cooked their food, along side with raw vegetables and fruits, they also ate raw meat and animal brains…. i don’t see you eating animal brains and raw meat (of course, unless i’m wrong). I don’t agree with the whole butter thing (because i have not read the study, perhaps i’m wrong i don’t know) but i do agree with cooking/steaming the certain vegetables listed above in the article. The author isn’t saying to cook EVERY SINGLE VEGETABLE you eat, author simply lists vegetables that need to be cooked in some type of form in order to gain full nutrients they offer. …..
      @Becky: i would recommend you taking couple of health science, anthropology and history courses!
      its great help with understanding a lot of things, among why humans can’t digest certain raw vegetables like some herbivore animals can. Why we humans started cooking food. Why certain portions of certain clean meats are very important for a human species well being, etc. i can go on for hours….

      May 5th, 2014 2:50 am Reply
      • sara

        Do you know any good books on the anthropology of food? I find it so interesting.

        August 14th, 2014 12:53 am Reply
    • Keith

      Yes butter! Cooking in oil is a killer. Saturated fats are actually good for you. Look it up. We’ve been lied to for two generations. The trans fats in cooking oil are what contribute among other things to sclerotic arteries, obesity, and cancer. Cooking animal fats does not turn them into trans fats. Just don’t burn the butter or lard. For vegans try coconut oil. It splatters a lot but it is much more heat resistant.

      August 25th, 2014 5:15 pm Reply
      • dude

        I would be a millionaire by now if I get a nickel for every vegan/vegetarian that say saturated fats are bad for you.

        April 20th, 2015 11:18 am Reply
    • XiaoHei

      Cooking vegetables in butter is not unhealthy. It is outdated information that eating fat makes one fat or causes heart disease. Check out various scientific studies referenced on the website ‘Diet Doctor’. Fat has been the best source of energy for thousands of years before humans began eating simple carbs.

      May 27th, 2015 12:37 am Reply
    • eddie

      The whole saturated fat thing was based on very poor studies that have been thoroughly debunked now. You should however limit your intake of meat, especially red meat.

      August 7th, 2015 11:13 am Reply
  • Michael Waite via Facebook

    April 24th, 2014 8:14 pm Reply
  • Darcy Ford via Facebook

    This is true, we have been drinking veggie and fruit juice daily for breakfast for close to two years and both of us got kidney stones so are keeping the spinach and oranges out now.

    April 24th, 2014 8:10 am Reply
  • Ali B Minor via Facebook

    Allison Scheckner

    April 23rd, 2014 8:30 pm Reply
  • Jen

    So, I eat a lot of raw veggies, but I also have at least 1/4 tsp of powdered kelp every day — would this eliminate the problem of eating these foods?

    April 23rd, 2014 7:59 pm Reply
    • Walter

      That is correct. The problem with cruciferous vegetables is that “they compete with iodine for uptake in the thyroid.” Sorry to the author of this article, but seems she hasn’t checked the latest research. See this article by Dr. Furman:
      So if you supplement iodine, just like I do, this simply is not a problem.

      May 9th, 2014 12:50 am Reply
      • Mike Ellwood

        That might be fine for the thyroid aspect, but what about oxalates and kidney stones?

        Seems like you still have to be careful.

        March 13th, 2015 4:46 pm Reply
  • rina.mane

    Really, It’s actually better for you.Over boiling to the point where the vegetable looses it’s colour ruins the nutrition value. Raw vegetables are filled with vitamins

    Of course you have to wash it like any other produce. This question is just like is it healthy to eat carrots or celery raw?

    April 23rd, 2014 7:57 pm Reply
    • eddie

      Then don’t over boil it. The total of nutrients is higher in raw food, however much harder for your body to absorb. By shortly (!) cooking it it becomes much easier to digest and absorb for the body and it is a FACT that the total net of nutrients that are adsorbed is higher in cooked food. I personally like to combine both, but i would at least eat one cooked meal.

      August 7th, 2015 11:37 am Reply
  • Brenda Bean Dufour via Facebook

    Where did you find your information? I would like to do further research.

    April 23rd, 2014 7:41 pm Reply
  • Dorsey

    It seems my first comment didn’t make it so am trying again. I was wondering if using raw spinach in soups that you make in a Vita Mix constitutes “cooking” since they get nice and hot?

    April 23rd, 2014 6:56 pm Reply
  • Ryan Ballantyne via Facebook

    Glad you were able to appreciate that satirical blog post, Gloria. That’s my new favorite site.

    Here’s another article with similar wisdom:

    April 23rd, 2014 6:43 pm Reply
    • Anna

      Funny article. I loved it. Been there. Done all of it. Ha Ha. Of course after 3 years of research and investigation, I’m still juicing, down 110lbs and never felt better. Rotate your greens, my doc told me, when I informed him of my new journey. Never had an issue.

      July 20th, 2015 9:01 pm Reply
      • What do you mean “rotate your greens”?

        What do you mean “rotate your greens”?

        February 16th, 2016 6:12 pm Reply
  • Gloria Cotton via Facebook

    This is a Fantastic & Hysterical article! A must read!

    So many truths – folks who are upset by this information (read comments) are in denial. Thanks Ryan & Erica! 😉 xoxox

    April 23rd, 2014 6:32 pm Reply
  • Danny Garcia via Facebook

    Great article!!

    April 23rd, 2014 5:51 pm Reply
  • Lisa Being

    “Raw Foodies, I love you, I REALLY REALLY DO (but, PLEASE eat some meat! You’re looking a wee bit pale).”

    Nope! They should eat some cheeeeeese…. because….

    April 23rd, 2014 3:58 pm Reply
  • Dorsey

    Would the heating in the vitamix when you make “instant” soups be sufficient to make spinach “more safe”?

    April 23rd, 2014 3:38 pm Reply
  • Rachel Faralan-Mingo via Facebook

    It’s so hard to keep up with all the mixed information.

    April 23rd, 2014 3:00 pm Reply
  • Laura Villanueva via Facebook

    Cook radishes?! Hmm… any recipes out there for them?

    April 23rd, 2014 1:11 pm Reply
  • Reina Victorious via Facebook

    What a great article. I’ll be altering my diet.

    April 23rd, 2014 10:47 am Reply
  • PC Knapp via Facebook

    Caitlyn Jeffery per our conversation.

    April 23rd, 2014 10:43 am Reply
  • Shannon Wood via Facebook

    Sue Boersma

    April 23rd, 2014 9:45 am Reply
  • Madeline Hamilton via Facebook

    That was an awesome read!!! Ebony Wynne

    April 23rd, 2014 8:39 am Reply
  • Cindy Cisneros-Smith via Facebook

    Thank you!

    April 23rd, 2014 8:37 am Reply
  • Cindy Cisneros-Smith via Facebook

    I was thinking about going raw, wow! I woke this morning to this information! Not going raw on these vegetables!!

    April 23rd, 2014 8:37 am Reply
  • Elena Roberson via Facebook


    April 23rd, 2014 8:25 am Reply
  • Rick Johnson via Facebook

    Megan McIntosh

    April 23rd, 2014 8:24 am Reply
  • Stephanie Garrett via Facebook

    Wow… the cruciferous vegetable thing is quite surprising. I wouldn’t have thought eating those raw would be bad. And some of those I like to blend into smoothies. Guess they need to be steamed before blending. Thanks for the information. This really changes the way I’m going to look at some of these veggies from now on.

    April 23rd, 2014 8:21 am Reply
  • Carolyn Bryant Schaub via Facebook

    Gerry Bryant

    April 23rd, 2014 6:48 am Reply
  • Ebony Wynne via Facebook

    Madeline Hamilton

    April 23rd, 2014 5:34 am Reply
  • Katie Condon via Facebook

    Letty Otero Condon

    April 23rd, 2014 3:56 am Reply
  • Cleo Campbell via Facebook

    Great read! Thx for the article.

    April 23rd, 2014 3:27 am Reply
  • Shelly Lopez via Facebook

    Im hearing recently, that if your iodine levels are good, that support a healthy thyroid, that eating the cruciferous veggies are no big deal when eaten raw.

    April 23rd, 2014 3:03 am Reply
  • Innesa Zavulunova via Facebook

    Angela Koinov

    April 23rd, 2014 12:35 am Reply
  • Jenna Wright via Facebook

    Ryan Ballantyne! Lol!!! That was a great read :)

    April 23rd, 2014 12:16 am Reply
  • Toran Schmidgall via Facebook

    It seriously is a full-time job keeping up with the do’s and dont’s of healthy eating. Sometimes The stress of it all does more harm than just eating the food itself.

    April 22nd, 2014 11:58 pm Reply
  • Sharrah Moss-Hackett via Facebook

    Kevin M Hackett check it out

    April 22nd, 2014 11:39 pm Reply
  • Angela Marlin Miller via Facebook


    April 22nd, 2014 11:33 pm Reply
  • Aviva Klein via Facebook

    Danny Akalepse

    April 22nd, 2014 11:33 pm Reply
  • Missie Schachtschneider via Facebook

    Sandy Kane

    April 22nd, 2014 11:32 pm Reply
  • Kristy Bundy via Facebook

    great article!

    April 22nd, 2014 11:32 pm Reply
  • Eliza Jayn via Facebook

    Interesting thanks Amanda

    April 22nd, 2014 11:25 pm Reply
  • Amanda Peters via Facebook

    Eliza Jayn and Tony Sprackett here is what I was talking about

    April 22nd, 2014 10:59 pm Reply
  • Lydia Schutter via Facebook

    Great info!

    April 22nd, 2014 10:37 pm Reply
  • Hannah Esparza via Facebook

    Why is it so complicated to eat nowadays…don’t eat this, don’t eat that, only eat this with that and no that with this!!! Grrr

    April 22nd, 2014 10:37 pm Reply
  • Nik Paul via Facebook

    Does anyone know if this same info applies to microgreens?? I recently started growing them and sprouts to make green smoothies.

    April 22nd, 2014 10:28 pm Reply
  • Angela Bowack via Facebook

    Jesse Hudson

    April 22nd, 2014 10:27 pm Reply
  • Tessa J Meyers via Facebook

    Very interesting.

    April 22nd, 2014 10:02 pm Reply
  • Marquita Luciano via Facebook

    What do you put in a smoothie with your fruit?

    April 22nd, 2014 9:58 pm Reply
  • Melynda Munro via Facebook

    Yes Ayurveda and good naturopaths agree !

    April 22nd, 2014 9:57 pm Reply
  • Ryan Ballantyne via Facebook

    Good information, but I feel the urge to share a little satire.

    I post this with love. ; )

    April 22nd, 2014 9:53 pm Reply
  • Michelle Karwatt Anstadt via Facebook

    Awesome good to know!

    April 22nd, 2014 9:45 pm Reply
  • Larry Underwood via Facebook

    Personally, I think both raw vegans and the cooked is best proponents are wrong. I think there are benefits to eating the same vegetables raw and cooked. Variety is best not a one extreme or the other approach.

    April 22nd, 2014 9:44 pm Reply
  • Kelly Barker via Facebook

    Ayurveda has been saying this for centuries :). I enjoyed the article!

    April 22nd, 2014 9:43 pm Reply


    I would not be eating seafood now, and that includes fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and seaweed. The only exception might be NZ green-lipped mussels, at the moment. And Dr. Wahl’s protocol was a little more involved than four cups of greens, and she now recommends Paleo…

    April 16th, 2014 12:11 am Reply
  • Dee Doanes of Health Plus Style

    Very interesting and informative article. I have heard many people debating this issue. I’m a former vegetarian and I didn’t eat all my veggies raw. However now I eat mainly fish and veggies(40% are raw) I have much more energy. I know that eating some veggies raw can heal. Dr. Wahls cured her MS by eating four cups of raw greens.

    April 16th, 2014 12:03 am Reply


    Quoting a HMJ article which promotes the use of microwave ovens won’t garner any points here…. instead of trying to find fault (and failing) try opening your mind, setting your ego aside, and actually learning something which might just benefit you in the long run…

    April 4th, 2014 11:10 am Reply
  • Kayla

    I really hope some one has a chance to see my comment….

    First and foremost, spinach is not a part of the crucifer family. So your argument that spinach could be goitrogenic (inducing goiter formation) is simply not valid. Furthermore, you should not discard the water you boil your vegetables in, it contains lots of nutrients that are leeched out in the cooking process. This can be corroborated by a Harvard Medical Journal, that you can find here….

    April 3rd, 2014 10:06 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I didn’t say spinach was a crucifer. Spinach has a different problem .. the problem of oxalic acid. Please read the article more closely.

      April 4th, 2014 7:29 am Reply
  • Jimmy

    The fact that this article sources another article that also happens to source this article. Oh and, the article that this one sources is from the future. This one was written in 2010 whereas the source is in 2012. Starting to question the validity of this..

    April 3rd, 2014 2:48 am Reply
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  • jaime

    so far most medical journals online say that eating raw spinach is good for you.I don’t know who to believe now

    March 20th, 2014 7:42 pm Reply
  • Alda

    Hi Jacquii,

    Sorry, I forgot to mention… regarding your thyroid.
    Perhaps you had a high consumption of soy (contains goitrogens) before when you where consuming processed foods and your elimination of them helped your thyroid condition.
    Also, as Mr. Paleo posted, be aware of the vegetables you are juicing and watch out for the goitrogens! :)

    March 5th, 2014 7:39 pm Reply
  • Alda

    Hi Jacquii,

    Being a conventional meat eater does not mean consuming loads of processed foods and sugar!
    Bad dietary habits span all food restriction fads.
    Actually, sugar is the killer of modern man, not saturated fats and salt.
    There is a high amount of sugar in fruits, fructose, which should really only consumed in large quantities, seasonally, as in the warmer months (summer).
    Meat contains LOADS of minerals, all in very digestible form. Meat (and bone) is a much better source of minerals for human consumption than vegetables – see why, my previous post.
    Saturated fat, as from animal source, butter, lard, help the human body absorb minerals.
    Meat naturally contains saturated fat, vegetables do not.
    Therefore, saturated fat is beneficial to add to vegetables to increase the absorption of their minerals.
    Do the research.
    Talk to your grandmother.

    March 5th, 2014 7:21 pm Reply


    What one eats, DOES matter… we are designed a certain way, and our bodies function according to the same basic rules. Most people (like Joe Cross) often regain their “health”, not because of what they eat, but because of what they STOPPED eating… that does not infer that it is applicable to the “long-term”. PLEASE, if you really want to know, do your homework, learn the science….

    p.s., don’t mix fruit and vegetables in your “smoothie”, and avoid consuming goitrogenic vegetables on a daily basis… but then, what do I know… I only spend every day of my life doing this…

    p.p.s., juicing is an integral part of my “recovery” program, but CERTAIN items for specific reasons…

    March 5th, 2014 6:16 pm Reply
  • Jacquii

    Oh dear… what the hell does it matter if you are vegan vegetarian a meat eater etc… the point is… eating healthy and enjoying what you put in your mouth can only be a good thing. I feel the reason for so many people with cancer now and obesity is down to processed food. I am a meat eater… I was once also 26 and a half stone and on a lot of medication for this and that INCLUDING under active thyroid… until I changed my life around and started eating healthy by juicing. The first 4 days were like coming of some sort of drug….. that was the effect of coming off sugar and salt..I was obviously addicted to them.
    Not only have I lost 8 stone and still losing… I am off ALL my medications, my skin is amazing and has gone back as I have lost and NOT saggy like those on ridiculous diets!. I now sleep incredibly well. I had a blood test a year ago and they ALL came back healthy…INCLUDING my thyroid. That is back to NORMAL. In my juices I have an array of fruit and veg… mostly spinach or Kale I limit my intake of meat as since I have introduced fruit and veg smoothies and juices I now longer feel I need a lot of meat. I now longer crave for food. So this lady who wrote the article should be better informed. Maybe she should watch Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and get in touch with Joe Cross… he would teach you and other idiots who THINK they know what they are talking about a thing or two.

    March 5th, 2014 5:16 pm Reply
  • Alda

    This thread on the original article has degenerated into a war.
    If anyone cares to look at common sense, and not the latest food craze, they would plainly see what foods were used to guarantee the survival of the human species. Think of your ancestors and what they ate, because it is what they ate that has enabled you to post on this thread today.
    Your ancestors lived in harsh and good times and had to adjust their food choices according to climate, famine (weather), war times, strife and abundance.
    In all cultures, across the globe, their was NEVER a society that survived on pure plant foods as sole sustenance. The poor of societies had to rely on less or no meat because of the status quo in that era, and they suffered for it with an early, and forgotten, death.
    Vegetables are best digested by herbivores. Mankind are not herbivores. Crude fiber is very hard to digest. Cooking (steaming preferred) some vegetables makes good common sense if you look toward nature and how carnivores utilized this, which is, carnivores eat the stomach contents of their kill, pre-digested plant materials, cooked veggies! Mankind are Omnivores, some meat and some pre-digested, or cooked, vegetables!
    Sure, nibble on some fresh non-fiberous tender greens and some juicy apples and berries, onion, garlic, and all the accessible veggies that would appeal to the tastebuds of your ancestral history! Yet, still, most root and fibrous vegetables are much easier to digest (and vitamins and minerals are more accessible) if gently steamed or cooked in a broth alongside meat and fat. Sorry. That’s how your ancestors did it and they survived. That is the PROOF. That is the STUDY.
    This new experiment in food science, call it paleo, call it vegetarian, call it whatever, is just new stuff, it’s just STUFF, which is not proven, it has no substance, no history.
    A war about new STUFF!

    Talk to your grandmother, or her mother, and ask her what she cooked for your family. Eat that.

    February 28th, 2014 9:55 pm Reply
    • Donna

      This isn’t the first comment with similar advice, “Talk to your grandmother, or her mother, and ask her what she cooked for your family. Eat that.”

      That’s only good advice if you want to go down the same path as them. I certainly don’t!

      I can’t ask any of my family ancestors, like my grandmothers because they are all dead. My parents too. They didn’t live long lives, they were overweight, had multiple health issues, senility… no thanks! I will do things very differently. I may or may not live a longer and healthier life, but you do the same old thing you get the same old result. I’m willing to take a chance, listen to my body and do things differently than my grandparents.

      December 30th, 2014 11:11 pm Reply


    I seem to be quoting George Carlin lately…

    “Never argue with idiots, they will only drag you down to their level, and beat you with experience”

    To Geraldine, Jump, et al… get an education in nutritional science, human biochemistry, and reasoning, then come back and we might have an intelligent discussion… until then, continue buying into the government-sponsored CON AGRA/ BIG PHARMA bullshit.


    February 28th, 2014 1:28 pm Reply
  • Jump


    February 28th, 2014 1:24 pm Reply
  • Jump

    “EAT SOME MEAT” Really??
    Well, I must say, I’d choose a little gas over a coronary ANY DAY.

    BTW raw foodies who dehydrate at low temps or blanch their veggies to expel toxins, increase digestibility and enhance nutrient content without killing valuable enzymes, still consider this raw because it is UNCOOKED.

    February 28th, 2014 1:18 pm Reply
  • Geraldine

    You lost me at cook your vegetables in butter. What a joke. Ha! and yes I’ve read the comments

    February 10th, 2014 9:09 pm Reply
  • Melissa

    What if i use raw collard greens in my smoothies?

    February 9th, 2014 12:11 pm Reply
  • stacey

    Ha! I love the amount of people on here, claiming what REAL science is. How many of you are actually scientists? Or even food scientists/nutritionists? The fact of the matter is that there are studies to support both sides of the fence when it comes to diets and what is good/bad for you. One study can show one food is great for you then another will come along and show it isn’t so great for you. Nothing is all that concrete in the world of nutrition unfortunately so none of you should be toting anything as fact, especially since I assume none of you commenters (or very few of you) are actual scientists or have actually read any actual scientific journal articles. At the end of the day people can survive and reproduce living on the crappiest rubbish junk food, smoking and drinking their whole lives. They may have health issues along the way, but they can still survive (I have numerous family members who fit this bill). It doesn’t mean those diet choices are good for health, or good for animal welfare or good for the planet overall.

    February 4th, 2014 9:52 am Reply
    • MR PALEO


      Yes, what you say has some truth to it… however, some of us ARE professionals, and do care about saying current with the available science…

      Arnold Wiseman (on LinkedIn)

      February 4th, 2014 10:55 am Reply
    • Samain

      Stacey, you sound pretty ignorant about everything. Why should we care about our health when we can survive eating whatever we want? Why should we care about animals? We are obviously superior to them. We might kill the planet but who cares we won’t like so long to know about it.
      Every so called diet has a proof that it works right some fat doctor telling you this or that is good for you. Sorry but most of the people who are trying to help you are doing it for the money and don’t really care about your health.
      This article saying that raw veggies are bad for you, but tells you eat meat and dip your veggies in butter they are more healthy this way … I have to laugh.
      It’s like don’t eat too many bananas because of the potassium …. but do you know how many you would have to actually eat and how fast to be dangerous to you?
      Eat your veggies raw or steamed if you like, but don’t eat the same stuff over and over. Have some variety in your eating habits. Cut the crap out from your diet! No processed foods and go vegan. There are so many health benefits in vegan lifestyle..if you do it the healthy way. If you live compassionate lifestyle and yes its better for you, for the animals and for the planet too. I’m healthy and my food doesn’t have to suffer or diet for me to eat it. Peace and love.

      February 6th, 2014 4:41 am Reply
      • Diana

        Thank you and well said! This article was a complete joke to me, starting from the part where she tells raw vegans to eat meat. Every green in the world has a toxin to some degree and it’s Nature’s intelligent way of getting you to rotate your foods and not eat the same thing all the time so that you can get you can get your complete nutrients from VARIETY. This is why it’s ideal to eat according to the season and what your local environment has available for that season.

        February 11th, 2014 5:11 pm Reply
  • Cathy

    Wow! This post sure stirred up the pot, didn’t it? There is an overload of information on the web and the search for the truth can easily get muddled and confusing. I’m not a doctor. I’m not a scientist. I just want to be healthy. It comes down to, IMHO, a matter of preference and what works best for my body. Not everyone can tolerate milk. Not everyone can tolerate gluten. Some are perfectly healthy no matter their diet. I eat mostly vegetables, I like dairy, and I enjoy a small piece of meat now and then. Some veggies are raw, some are baked, and some are blended raw. For me it’s finding the balance and listening to my body. Let’s try just to do the best we can for ourselves, whatever form that takes – and be kind to each other.

    January 5th, 2014 10:40 am Reply
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  • Atsuko

    Hi Sarah, thanks for the informative article! I understand that cruciferous vegetables should be cooked first, but what about sauerkraut? Are cruciferous veggies OK if fermented? I hope they are, as I LOVE sauerkraut!

    December 1st, 2013 9:27 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Unfortunately, fermenting does not reduce goitrogens in crucifers. If you have normal thyroid function and are eating an iodine rich diet, for example, including grassfed butter, then you should be fine with enjoying your sauerkraut :)

      December 1st, 2013 10:05 pm Reply
  • Leah Unverferth

    Thank you for this article! It’s nice to have clarity on this issue that I’ve been wondering about for a while, especially since the documentaries on Netflix like Foodmatters and Hungry for Change push a raw food diet. Thanks again!

    December 1st, 2013 12:25 pm Reply


    Neither Sarah nor I are allowed to give “medical” advice on a blog. That being said, if it were me, I would not take synthetic thyroid, nor would I eat cruciferous vegetables.

    December 1st, 2013 9:41 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I agree with Mr. Paleo. If I had any sort of thyroid condition, I would avoid all crucifers, especially raw.

      December 1st, 2013 12:55 pm Reply
  • stacy

    I have hypothyroidism and take a synthetic replacement daily, wondering if my intake of broccoli will effect my levels since I am on medication? trying to eat more kale and broccoli for health benefits and prevention of cancer. thanks!

    December 1st, 2013 9:36 am Reply
  • Shawn

    Too much of anything will make you sick. If I eat only raw veggies, I will get sick. Same with butter or fruit or bread or wine or tea or meat or cooked veggies or fermented veggies. Our bodies are designed to take nutrients from the variety. All of these studies give mono diets to mice and look for disease. Of course they will find disease. Moderation and less stress about your food will cure more than cooked broccoli any day. Avoid the GMO, buy organic when possible limits the sugars, do whatever seems appropriate, but quit stressing and beating yourselves up. Stress is the number one cause of disease. Sit down with your family have a interactive conversation and savor whatever is on your plate, even if it’s Taco Bell. There will be a new study out tomorrow telling us something different. Life is simply to short.

    December 1st, 2013 9:26 am Reply
  • Myriam

    I believe this all comes down to bioindividuality. We are not all exactly the same nor is our biochemistry. Some people do just fine as a vegan or vegetarian and others can be very healthy while eating meat and dairy. I’m a blood type O and actually believe all the raw green smoothies I’ve been having for the past 18 months may have taken a toll on my thyroid. You need to listen to your body and learn to eat intuitively. I have no desire for meat even though I digest it perfectly well. It’s a personal choice of mine not to eat mammals, but I do eat fish or shellfish on a regular basis besides fruits, nuts, seeds and lots of greens. When I eat only raw, I actually gain weight and do not feel well. I have tested this several times.

    November 16th, 2013 8:00 pm Reply
  • Branon

    I would like a clarification- so is it ok to eat juiced versions of cruciferous vegitables but not whole versions?

    November 12th, 2013 11:32 am Reply
  • thyroid diet

    Yes, raw is always better. no preservatives, no heating, no cooking. although i’m not sure with veggies cooked in butter. i’d rather not.

    October 19th, 2013 9:06 am Reply
  • Kevin Gibbs

    Sorry, but..

    October 19th, 2013 12:22 am Reply
  • Ebony

    Cook vegetables in butter? Are you bleeping serious? disgusting. Your leading everyone down the wrong path.

    October 1st, 2013 8:41 pm Reply
  • J

    Thanks for the article Sarah. Without going into the passionate debate of raw versus the rest, just a question regarding one of your remarks. You say eating raw veggies blocks thyroid hormones, which I am sure it does. But then you also say that if you have a problem with your thyroid then eating raw cruciferous veggies is a bad idea. Not foregoing the presumable downsides for people with thyroid gland issues, or for that matter the beneficial issues for everybody, it seems to be that under normal circumstances (ie a functional thyroid gland) eating raw cruciferous veggies do not seem to cause too much harm in this thyroid gland respect. However there are crucial benefits related to eating raw cruciferous veggies in relation to some forms of cancer such as demonstrated in this research: “Consumption of Raw Cruciferous Vegetables is Inversely Associated with Bladder Cancer Risk” by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. What’s your take on this?

    September 6th, 2013 7:15 am Reply
  • Laura

    I am confused, you stated The great thing about veggie juice is that the fiber is removed, which is the “bulkiness” that Dr. Price found interfered with the mineral absorption.

    so can you have all those juices raw if you juice them?

    September 2nd, 2013 1:26 am Reply
  • Dr. Virgilius Faris

    You site no sources and it’s common knowledge most of the phytonutrients found in green veggies is destroyed during heating. That whole thing about spinach is complete nonsense.

    August 25th, 2013 1:03 am Reply
    • arnold

      That would be “cite”, “Dr.”….

      August 27th, 2013 10:39 am Reply
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  • phil

    Hey great article but it has me worried as I have been consuming a green shake called GREEN VIBRANCE for the past 3 years. It includes greens in raw form, for example spinach. What is your take on this? I appreciate the effort you put on this blog, thank you in advance.

    July 28th, 2013 9:46 pm Reply
  • Johnny

    Hi! Just wandering as I am currently following Dr. Fuhrman’s diet which is a mainly plant based diet. Dr. Fuhrman present his information systemically based on scientific research and how about yours? Are they backed by scientific research or a personal research?

    Thanks and hope for a prompt reply.


    July 28th, 2013 1:03 pm Reply
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  • amy

    About 11 years ago, I had a diet high in soy (tofu!) and soon enough, I developed kidney stones in my late 20’s. They were excruciating painful and I went to a naturopath and a urologist and I had stumped the doctors. I was also extremely tired during the day. My father-in-law, an internist, sent me an article about oxalic acid in soy and after contemplating this for a while longer, I finally stopped eating soy and I have no had a kidney stone since. I feel better than ever now on a WAPF diet.

    May 25th, 2013 11:35 am Reply
  • Lep

    How about just eat a little of everything – some carbs, some fats some dairy, some meats, some legumes, some greens, some crucifers, some fruits, some raw, some cooked – and call it a balanced diet?

    May 4th, 2013 3:07 pm Reply
  • Sean

    Come on. Look at all of the contradictory information regarding health and nutrition. It is really ridiculous. Vegetables cooked in BUTTER is now supposed to be the way to go. Doesn’t that just sound like a load of BS? What possible health benefits are there in the butter?

    What all these nutritionists need to do, is scientific study to show the real evidence of their opinions, otherwise they are nothing more than opinion

    May 3rd, 2013 10:54 pm Reply
  • jjj

    Ah, this is a bit of a relief if it’s true, since I enjoy cooked broccoli a lot more than raw. :) However I’m sure I’ll continue eating raw spinach but since I only go through about one bunch a week I think I’ll be okay.

    Oh how confusing this whole controversy is. Everyone means well but nobody has all the info. I think I’ll continue sticking to a diet of variety, moderation and whole foods. It seems to be working out okay.

    April 16th, 2013 11:11 pm Reply
  • Halfistic Polly

    So happy/enthralled/alarmed to see this thread is still going. I started out searching for an easy way to pack some veggies into my green-averse husband and came upon the Great Green Smoothie Skirmish, part of the Raw/Cooked Battles.

    I don’t know what else humans are programmed to do, but our warlike natures seem pretty evident. I will say that the person upthread who blithely asserted that raw veganism would prevent cancer should make sure to get regular colonoscopies, if she can get her head out of the way.

    This morning, greenophobic DH happily slurped down a berry smoothie with three cups of arugula in it — cooked down to abt a half cup. Another reason to cook the veggies in your smoothies — you can fit in much more! I tried two versions, both raw and cooked, and can report that the cooked arugula smoothie was more palatable to boot. I put organic lemon wedges in the blender with each to further override the arugula, which seems kind of a shame — it was Trader Joe’s Wild Rocket, A little salad with some nice vinaigrette is sounding rather good right now. ; – >

    Thank you, Sarah, for a sensible and useful post.

    April 12th, 2013 3:20 pm Reply
  • Zak

    wow so if we follow your “i’m so much better than you” thoughts, steve jobs should be immortal and ouldn’t die nor have any disease but, the REAL truth, is that he did have illness and not a small one : cancer. You’re miraculous vegan diet didn’t save him, veganism killed him just faster.

    April 11th, 2013 5:39 am Reply
    • Jump

      Actually, vegetarianism more than likely PROLONGED his life!
      He was exposed to carcinogenic toxins in his youth while at a tech processing plant. We all have cancer cells living inside of us, what kills us is how active they are. A vegetarian diet does’t give the cells anything to live and grow off of… however MEAT DOES, so he kept these cancer cells INACTIVE FOR YEARS. When he was diagnosed, they gave him RADIATION. This activated new cells in his body more rapidly that it killed them. After that, his health began to rapidly deteriorate.

      LOOK IT UP.

      February 28th, 2014 3:03 pm Reply
      • Alda

        Actually, John, a vegetarian diet does help with someone diagnosed with cancer, but he reason is:
        A vegetarian diet does not utilize the enzyme protese which is naturally a part of the bile released by the gall bladder/liver.
        Protese helps digest cancer (which is a protein) in the body.
        Actually, protese helps digest and dissolve the protein coat (protection) that cancer uses to help protect it.
        So, a vegetarian diet would help in this case.
        Although, it could be called a double edge sword because protein from animal sources provides nutrition that is also needed when fighting an invader, such as cancer, in the body.
        One therapy that could be useful is to continue to eat meat yet also supplement with extra protest in-between meals to help digest the cancer.

        February 28th, 2014 10:44 pm Reply
  • Jenn

    I’m not sure where the “pale” myth came from.. I’ve been a vegetarian for 12 years and am perfectly healthy. I just want people to know that eating meat is not as healthy or natural as our society thinks it is… I don’t know a lot about eating raw, but I’ve heard good things. I’ll watch for the ones with the chemicals, though.

    April 4th, 2013 10:48 pm Reply
  • Natural vitality

    Meat does cause heart disease, proven! And look at the Eskimos and their short life expantancy from so much animal fat. There’s way too much ignorance with both meat eaters and vegans. You can get vitamin d, a and k if you are eating a balanced diet and get sunshine. Plant based/fruit eaters get more minerals and vitamins/phytonutrients than anyone else hands down. Anatomy wise by science we are frugivore. New Harvard fossil studies proved our earliest ancestors were frugivore! However we would have eaten small insects too.

    March 16th, 2013 2:04 pm Reply
  • Ben

    Interesting piece, it is worth directing people to the following sit by the USDA on oxalic acid content of various vegetables. I draw attention to the data for kale at 0.02g/100g, similar to cucumber! , Spinach on the other hand is quite high at 0.97g/100g.

    So not all greens are created equal!

    March 10th, 2013 7:00 pm Reply
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  • Peter

    Can you please provide your citations from credible scientific sources? There are a LOT of unexplained, and unsupported claims in this piece. At this point, I believe that most of your advice is nonsense.

    February 27th, 2013 2:16 am Reply
  • Arnold

    Dear Sarah,

    Well, you sure stirred-up a hornets nest, didn’t you ? (LOL)

    I am an “alternative” health-practioner working in conjunction with a retired MD, and together, we practice what I like to call, “functional medicine”. They say the “proof is in the pudding”, which seems appropriate for this site… we have over 100 patients from all walks of life, all ages, races, and genders. We have had phenomenal success with everything from bipolar disorder to cancer, based on a nine-step healing protocol which starts with the dietary plan. Humans originally were hunter/gatherer/scavengers who did not cook their food, however, so much has changed since then that we only use raw with cancer patients, all the other conditions are put on Paleo. I must tell you that we see an inordinately large percentage of “long-term” vegans and vegetarians who develop auto-immune diseases, particularly women who consumed unfermented soy (e.g., tofu ) on a regular basis. I have no wish to argue with anyone… The results speak for themselves.

    February 23rd, 2013 4:47 pm Reply
  • Liz

    Do your research people! Cruciferous vegetables are only bad for your thyroid when you are ALSO low in iodine. Ridiculous the myths that spread round the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

    February 20th, 2013 12:35 am Reply
    • Liz

      The same is true for the oxalic acid claim. High levels of oxalic acid is found in more than just the vegetables listed, it is also found in berries, black tea, cocoa, purple grapes, nuts, wheat bran, and soy food! Try cooking all of those things before consuming (not). Drinking lots of water is the key to preventing build up of oxalic acid, otherwise if you have a family history of kidney stones (or a personal history and are looking for treatment) then yes, eat lower doses of those foods. However, for most of us, piling on some raw spinach in our salads or smoothies is not going to do us any harm. I was truly shocked and depressed reading this article at first, thinking that all the healthy things I had been doing more of (serving a raw veggie tray to my kids with snacks and lunch every day) was harmful, but I am glad I did my research first. These claims are highly misleading.

      February 20th, 2013 11:17 am Reply
      • Frances W.

        Well said Liz.

        They love generalising certain claims thinking that everyone is the same!

        Know what is best for your body and go with it. The only thing that has benefited sarah with this article is that she has had website traffic. It’s ignorant claims like this that frustrate me.

        February 20th, 2013 8:22 pm Reply
  • Laura Inman

    One word: Bioindividuality. We are an intuitive species. Listen to your body. I eat a mostly plant based diet and occasionally I’ll crave some baked chicken or eggs. When my body tells me I am in need of a food I eat it. Let your body talk. It will never steer you in the wrong direction. After years of chronic blood clots, pulmonary emboli, a completely blocked inferior vena cava as well as seizures, I healed my body with food. Not with theory or with fad diets but with common sense and intuition as well as a strong desire to be free of disease. One size doesn’t fit all in any circumstance and nutrition is no different. Light and love everyone.

    February 4th, 2013 10:49 pm Reply
    • Alda

      “One size doesn’t fit all” = look to your ancestors (grandmother and beyond) to find what foods are required to nourish your body!

      February 5th, 2013 9:59 pm Reply
  • Gigi

    The other thing that is troubling is that vegans and raw foodists are consuming lots of copper which is not balanced by diets that contain zinc from meat sources. When you start to become a vegetarian most people feel better-that high feeling and that’s from the excess unbalanced copper, however without zinc your adrenals become depleted and that often is a side effect of hypothyroid that can lead to adrenal fatigue and can block adrenal function which blocks thyroid, so if you’re hypothyroid it would insanity to be a vegetarian! In addition to the weight issues caused by high carb diets without adequate zinc based proteins. I’m so sick of being lectured about eating meat from strangers, and the soy issue…don’t even get me started…

    February 2nd, 2013 4:40 pm Reply
    • Alda

      You start to feel better or ‘good’ on a vegetarian diet because you free-up your pancreatic enzymes to cleanse the body. The veggie diet is a CLEANSE. The veggie diet does not SUSTAIN. There is a huge difference. Because the pancreatic enzymes are not burdened by consuming protein, the veggie diet can be good for cancer/tumours (aid to digest unwanted proteins – tumours), however, this veggie diet will not help repair or heal the body due to lack of complete protein. There is NO complete protein in plant foods. Food combining is a weak link towards consuming protein the body can use.
      Certain vegetables are better assimilated by the body when they are cooked. The cooking process mimics the digestive process. Carnivores (and omnivores, us) do not have the ability to digest (cook) certain vegetables. Carnivores and omnivores, in the natural state, rely on herbivores to digest the vegetable protein/fibre for them – they eat the stomach contents of their prey, and utilize the conversion of vitamin K1 (from plants) to K2 from the herbivores digestive process through products such as meat, dairy, and their saturated fat.
      Saturated fat aids our bodies to digest vegetables, such as in the the natural state – as explained above – digested (cooked) plant fiber/material was always consumed with the saturated fat of the animal (prey). In traditional cultures, vegetable matter was cooked or eaten with fat or soups/broth that contained the carcass/bones/fat etc. from the hunt (animal).
      The ideal is to consume/cook vegetables with fat and animal gelatin!
      Observe the laws of nature, or at least go the library and read a good book on human vs animal (herbivore) biology.

      February 3rd, 2013 10:23 pm Reply
  • click here

    Hey there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

    January 30th, 2013 1:08 pm Reply
  • Alda

    I agree with you Betty~

    You are a very wise woman.

    January 28th, 2013 11:11 pm Reply
  • Alda

    Oh, and BTW, in case anyone wants to know, I am in my mid-50’s and I have worked in the health food industry for over 30 years.
    Let me tell you right now, that very much of what the younger food fad victims are falling for is what you call ‘marketing’. It’s so sad that people are not realizing that ‘health-food’ companies are just trying to make a living and promoting their wares just like any other industry does. There is a lot of misconception out there, and the new ‘green’ food push/ads (disguised as articles), smoothies and ‘superfoods’ etc. are all a money making grab.
    Not to say all items in a health food store are not valid. Just beware the hype and do your research.

    January 28th, 2013 8:46 pm Reply
    • David Roth

      Speaking of which, the “paleo” or “ancestral” diet is the biggest and phoniest fad out there. It was designed so that poor schmucks could rationalize gorging themselves with meat every chance they can get. Lol, it’s really nothing but unabated addiction.

      January 28th, 2013 11:17 pm Reply
      • Alda

        Paleo diet is not the same as Traditional diet. I am assuming you are referring to ‘ancestral’ as being the same as ‘traditional’.
        Either way, each are more nutritional dense than approximation of a “poor schmucks” third-world country diet, such as vegetarian. If you understand world history and civilizations, then you would understand this.

        February 5th, 2013 9:49 pm Reply
    • jasmine

      This includes organic stuff. When I hear /see people talk/wrote about organic this and that I say to myself organic is no more different than the non organic items. But that goes to show how mind control is a powerful thing.

      September 27th, 2013 12:02 pm Reply
  • Alda

    Dear Betty~ That’s so sad to hear!
    However, I know of many elders in their eighties and nineties who, aside from being a bit frail, are still eating their meat and potatoes and Butter!
    My point was that there is absolutely NO guarantee that the new fad diets are even going to take anyone into their 50’s. There is NO proof ‘in the pudding’! It’s all a gamble.
    Do you want to take the gamble?

    January 28th, 2013 8:22 pm Reply
    • Betty Richard


      I agree with you, I do. And you are correct. There are many elders that have thrived on meat, potatoes and butter.

      But my thinking is why can’t we just do both? Why does it have to be pro-meat or pro-vegan? I think it’s all about balance. Both types of eating have their benefits and downfalls. A balance of both styles of eating is the key and not extreme one way or the other. Kind of like not “putting all your eggs in one basket”.

      With all the problems going on in the world today (some people with absolutely nothing to eat at all or not knowing where their next meal will come from, let alone having the luxury of deciding whether or not they will eat meat or raw veggies tonight), it’s just sad to see people arguing back and forth that one way to to eat is better than another.

      We are all just trying to make it through life the best way be know how – staying abreast of ever changing research and studies, trying to avoid doctors and the medical establishment and trying to navigate our way through the poisoned foods that line our grocery shelves, processed foods, chemtrails, fluorinated water, vaccines, etc and just simply make it to another day. All the while trying to preserve our health and the health of our families.

      We are all going to die one day regardless of what we eat – meat eaters, traditional foodists, vegans, vegetarians and raw foodists. Some traditional foodists will get cancer and so will some vegans and raw foodists. Some traditional foodists will have heart and cholesterol problems and some vegans and raw foodists will have vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

      Neither diet style is fool-proof. Neither of them are a guarantee for perfect health. And neither will ensure we will live forever. Some of us will live healthier and longer than others based on what we eat and don’t eat, but we will all die. Heck, even our ancestors that ate sacred foods died.

      I just wish we could all share what we know with each other (regardless of our beliefs or diets) instead of having to pick sides. It should be traditional foods/vegans/raw foods vs gmo/big corporations/factory farms and not traditional foods vs vegans/raw foods.

      We should be on the same team using our energies to fight against the evil food companies instead of each other.

      Traditional foodists want to eat healthy. Vegans want to eat healthy. Raw foodists want to eat healthy.

      Can’t we all just get along? :)

      January 28th, 2013 9:18 pm Reply
      • jasmine

        I concur

        September 27th, 2013 11:59 am Reply
      • Bunny

        Betty Richard, I agree whole-heartedly! We need to group together-those who care about healthy eating one way or another. The big companies using GMO are “playing God” with our food system for $$$. They don’t give a “rats____s” about our health! Remember when they started using sugar in “cookies” which by the way were biscuits and not cookies many moons ago (check out the history of big companies like Nibisco) because sugar is addicting? Then to save money they started putting poisonous high fructose corn syrup in just about everything. These corporations are our “true enemy” stemming from greed. When will we “wake up” and get united about the things that are truly killing us and killing our future generations. Because processed food will at some point cross our lips or of those we love. Because who of us is truly that enigmatic about anything we do when life dishes out those “impossibly imperfect” moments that we cannot control?

        February 17th, 2015 4:28 pm Reply
  • Betty Richard

    All four of my grandparents ate the “traditional” diet and foods (meat, dairy, organs, animal fats, butter, etc) and all four died from cancer. Fail.

    Think I’ll try a different approach, thank you.

    January 28th, 2013 7:51 pm Reply
    • Betty Richard

      Oh…and three of my four grandparents all had false teeth, too. Thanks Dr. Price!

      January 28th, 2013 8:03 pm Reply
    • Tanya

      Yep. While I don’t have cancer in my family other than my grandmother having breast cancer, my mother’s father was a farmer who ate TONS of lard, butter, meat, dairy, etc, and he had to have a triple bypass surgery in his 60’s, and even after that he refused to change his diet and died a few years later. Now my mother’s brother just had to have a bypass surgery as well, and he is around the same age his father was when he had his surgery. He also eats a diet high in animal fat. On the other hand my mother eats no meat and only small amounts of dairy and eggs and is in perfect health.

      February 2nd, 2013 11:29 pm Reply
      • Alda

        To Tanya~
        Farmers are not fool-proof from illness, mainly due to the herbicides and pesticides they use on their crops. If your mother’s father used these chemicals no amount of good food would save him, especially if he was the one doing the spraying/application and inhaling all the fumes.
        It is very typical for mainstream farmers to be ill.

        February 5th, 2013 9:35 pm Reply
        • Gord

          Yes it’s true, my father’s brother died early of cancer, years ago because he was a conventional farmer and used pesticedes like the Agripharm told him to.
          My father is still alive and kicking.
          Raw vegan-ism is a teeny-bopper fad of ignorance,arrogance and fake spirituality.

          March 1st, 2014 1:36 am Reply
    • Lep

      My greatgrandfather ate roast pork, rare beef, cracklins, crawfish, any meat that you could dredge in an egg/milk wash, coat with flour, and drop into hot grease, bacon, eggs, and whatever vegetables he felt like growing, drank several pots of black coffee a day, enjoyed beer and whiskey, and died at 104 with all his own teeth.

      June 5th, 2013 8:31 am Reply
      • jasmine

        You know what Lep?Yes dieting is very important from what we put in out bodies, on our bodies. But another thing is what’s in the cards. Everyone has their purpose in life whether is minor or whether its to be here long or not. There are those that could have a great diet it all the minerals and vitamins they are suppose to without all the chemicals that’s out there and still live a short life. And then those who can eat all the things that defy a healthy diet and live to be long. Look Im an atheist but I do believe there are high powers of some kind good/bad. Like I said its all in the cards. Some people smoke dont get lung cancer , some people dont and get it go figure. Lifes a game and it’s not fair, pick and choose your character

        September 27th, 2013 11:58 am Reply
  • Alda

    Sarah is advocating a Traditional diet. What does that mean to you? It means a diet that your ancestors for hundreds/possibly thousands of years have adhered to and SURVIVED so that You could be here today to comment and/or complain.
    Understand that the ‘new’ diet plan of this vegan/vegetarian generation has only been constructed in the last 30 years or so. It is NOT a proven plan for success to old age! Sure, all 20/30 year old somethings are going to look and feel good – but, what are you going to feel like in your 50’s and beyond? You have no proven track record, and the studies that exist, such as the China Study, have all been disproven.
    What did your grandmother eat? You should try eating like her. Her eating plan is the reason you are here today.

    January 28th, 2013 7:42 pm Reply
    • Gigi

      I really believe the cause of disease is pollution and chemicals in our land, water, day to day encounters. My parents ate butter and meat and potatoes everyday, other than heart disease and cholesterol issues that developed late in life they were fine, but the prevalence of cancer has more to do with hormones and chemicals and GMOs in our environments than just the food itself. People stop smoking to avoid cancer, but they use HFCS and margarine and all sorts of premade foods to eat everyday but they never get curious about what’s in the water or what’s seeping under their house, or what they’re breathing in, I don’t know why people are so blind to the pollution around them. Ridiculous.

      February 2nd, 2013 4:46 pm Reply
      • Bunny

        Gigi, Remember too that the produce and meat our forefathers ate were more nutritious because the ground wasn’t as depleted of nutrients and they didn’t use sludge for fertilizer. Therefore the cattle ate better too. But what you said is a factor of course.

        February 17th, 2015 5:18 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    Sorry but this is BS, and frankly very irresponsible to be doling out such lame advice without citing your sources for drawing such nonsensical conclusions about the healthiest most nutritionally dense superfoods available. I hope people are smart enough to verify what they hear before putting it into practice because some of this advice is counter to current medical science and could be harmful. Shameful.

    January 28th, 2013 6:53 pm Reply
  • Ashley

    Half this information is a bunch of crap! I agree with what Julie said. Whoever wrote this has no idea what they are talking about, and it is just her biased opinions on things with no credibility to is what-so-ever. Don’t get your facts from this person, because they are it is not factual information, and she has no credentials. “Cook vegetables in butter”!? Butter is the most nasty processed fatty thing to ever cook anything in! This woman is off her rocker.

    January 27th, 2013 5:01 pm Reply
    • David Roth

      It’s ironic that Sarah rationalizes her exclusion of raw cruciferous vegetables from her diet by proclaiming them to be harmful to the thyroid (of which there has never been found a link in healthy humans), and yet in the same article gushes about how she cooks all her vegetables in butter. For, as a matter of fact, a ‘significant direct association’ has been found between the consumption of butter and the risk of thyroid cancer. Oopsie!


      Francesci S, et al. (1991) “Diet and thyroid cancer: a pooled analysis of four European case-control studies.” Int J Cancer. 48(3):395-8. PMID-2040535

      January 27th, 2013 11:29 pm Reply
  • Seek The Truth


    Sarah is a not a doctor or someone with any type of medical credentials. She is just a housewife with a blog. Please, for the love of God, do not make decisions on your health based on one article from one individual. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH.

    There is lots of information and documentation that raw foods and plant based food can and has indeed healed cancer. Please get the movie “The Gerson Miracle” and watch it. One of the best investments in your health you could have ever made was getting your Vitamix. Use it – and use it everyday!

    Sarah is very critical of raw foods, vegans and anything or anyone that contradicts her personal agenda and beliefs – which is that you HAVE to consume animal products to be healthy and we all know this is not true.

    She has no documentation or research to back up the claims in this article except for her “Weston Price Foundation” (a DENTIST from over 100 years ago) of which she is affiliated with. That’s it. Nothing else.

    Please do not risk your health and the health of your family because of this article. Leave this blog and seek out other information that is not so biased and that is supported by facts and research. This is not it.

    January 27th, 2013 2:32 pm Reply
  • Julie Westhoff


    my family and I do drink raw milk and love it. But, we aneed to get healthy. I am prediabetic, my son, age 7, has reflux (he was a premie baby), and my husband had low thyroid and low hormones.

    My husband and I are overweight and need to get healthy so I just spent 800 dollars on a vitamixer!. A friend of mine’s dad had cancer and he went to a raw diet and between that and getting treated at md Anderson. He is cured now. They are convinced his diet helped him.

    So I was going to start making green smoothies. I was not going to go crazy bit just add it in a couple times a week. While researching which ones to try, I found your blog. I am soo disappointed. Do you have any suggestions for smoothies? It does heat the vegetables on higher speeds I think? Does that help? How can I use this expensive piece of equipment?

    I hope you are still answering posts. I never post anything but this is so important to me.
    I am so confused now.

    Thank you so much !


    January 27th, 2013 10:49 am Reply
    • Seek The Truth


      Sarah is a not a doctor or someone with any type of medical credentials. She is just a housewife with a blog. Please, for the love of God, do not make decisions on your health based on one article from one individual. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH.

      There is lots of information and documentation that raw foods and plant based food can and has indeed healed cancer. Please get the movie “The Gerson Miracle” and watch it. One of the best investments in your health you could have ever made was getting your Vitamix. Use it — and use it everyday!

      Sarah is very critical of raw foods, vegans and anything or anyone that contradicts her personal agenda and beliefs — which is that you HAVE to consume animal products to be healthy and we all know this is not true.

      She has no documentation or research to back up the claims in this article except for her “Weston Price Foundation” (a DENTIST from over 100 years ago) of which she is affiliated with. That’s it. Nothing else.

      Please do not risk your health and the health of your family because of this article. Leave this blog and seek out other information that is not so biased and that is supported by facts and research. This is not it.

      January 27th, 2013 2:32 pm Reply
  • Amor Sin Dios

    What a load of dung. You should be ashamed. Your research skills are horrible and you are doing your audience a great disservice by perpetuating such scientifically unsupported and unhealthy misinformation. Shame on you.

    January 23rd, 2013 6:33 pm Reply
    • rev

      All the author is saying is one should “listen” to their body when it comes to what one eats . For example, there are studies out there that say peanuts are good for you. If you are person with a peanut allergy ( and common sense, hopefully ) you are not going to out and start eating peanuts. The same is with raw greens. One can’t deny that body chemistry varies from person to person, and this variance can have a profound affect on digestive health. One can argue that cave men ate raw, but there is also archaelogical evidents that show they cooked some of their food too. If cooking was really that bad none of us would be here to talk about it. Also cooking is really a chemistry experiment. Now ask yourself, how many of us out there are wizards at chemistry ?

      June 5th, 2014 8:05 pm Reply
  • Beth

    Hyperthyroidism fits with obese people… yes.
    Raw veggies fit with healthy, happy people… yes
    Raw foodists normally don’t have Hyperthyroidism… right?!

    Please don’t be telling people who need to lose weight, or otherwise, to kill their food! Open your eyes!! Look up The Gerson Miracle, enlighten yourself!! Watch it on Netflix. There are also many other recent documentaries on America’s food problem, look them up, everyone should watch these!!

    January 19th, 2013 2:46 pm Reply
    • David Roth

      Lol, I doubt Sarah is willing to let go of her view that raw vegetables are dangerous. See, it all starts with her laziness, her addiction to cooked food, and her personal dislike of raw vegetables. (It is actually well documented that raw vegetables, especially crucifers, contain certain bitter tasting compounds that are despised by children and adults with child-like brains.) Next comes Sarah’s intuitive guilt for failing to provide for herself and for her family the one thing capable of counteracting all the oxidative insult and heme-iron related damage caused by her poor food choices, i.e. raw cruciferous vegetables. And, finally, comes Sarah’s refusal to correct her mistake and instead her desire to drag down everyone else who will listen to her by scaring and misleading them into thinking that raw vegetables are dangerous.

      In other words, if Sarah is going to force her family to be unhealthy pigs for the sake of her own mental and courage-related shortcomings, then you best not dare be any healthier.

      January 28th, 2013 2:42 am Reply
      • Alda

        Heme-iron is the most bioavailable iron. Iron is a necessity to the human body. Most people (especially women) cannot secure iron from plant based diets. It is LIFE THREATENING not to have enough iron stores in the body. Certain raw vegetables contain chemicals that inhibit and interfere with iron absorption. Spinach is not a good source of bioavailable iron.
        Heme-iron is ONLY secured from animal products, mainly red meat.

        February 5th, 2013 10:15 pm Reply
  • Joe

    According to data from the USDA the Oxalic Acid Content of kale is fairly low. Spinach is high but so are carrots, chives and parsley.

    January 18th, 2013 1:03 pm Reply
  • jen

    they ate raw veggies for hundreds of years. it does both hurt you and there are a lot of studies that prove it but then there is this ONE. sorry luv but your wrong.

    January 14th, 2013 4:06 pm Reply
  • Deller Trask

    “There is NO food that is worth consuming that benefits from burning/cooking it…” – totally true; turning living food into dead matter and then consuming it is never ideal and is not what our bodies are designed/evolved to recognize as anything other than the invasion of potentially desease-causing substances. (It’s an experiment started by the human species 6,000 years ago – a failed experiment.) Not to say that there are not many who feel quite healthy eating lots of cooked brown rice or quinoa – including myself.

    regarding the whole meat thing – relax, everyone. “we are omnivores”, some say. well, let’s say instead, we are humans, we can do any thing we want. we can eat each other, for example. no one claims we are carnivores: we’ve no fangs like cats and vampires 😉 …so, i would say to those who like to live as omnivores, perhaps you should look at carnivores to guide your meat-eating practices. they like the internal organs, preferably raw & wriggling – and that is where (in a healthy, natural beast) the nutrients are. eating the muscles is not their preference. eating dead muscle executed 5 days ago, which would and should be grey (even at whole foods) is even less their preference.

    btw, i and many others will tell you that having got on a healthy or even relatively-healthy vegetarian diet, can awaken your spirituality… don’t look to science; just try it if you really want to know.

    again, those still stuck in trusting scientist, western philosophy, doctors, et cetera – idk, read pirsig’s zen & the art of motorcycle maintance for starters. or just look at people who are healthy – like the Japanese for example. Look at the healthy ones and what they do and don’t do – and be sure to note How they do what they do (soaking grains first, for example) and listen to the quiet voice of sense in you and be adventurous and find the health and bliss that is our natural state.

    And – I like Sarah’s article. Good info there, I think. A raw carrot/celery/beet/cucumber juice sounds delightful!

    Finally, best thing I have found so far (in terms of this big thing we call, food), is blue-green algae. Spirulina & Chlorella – raw powders, to be specific (from z natural foods – I’m not connected with them). Best way to acquire a taste for them: mash a teaspoon or tablespoon of either in a nice raw honey, make an emerald-gold paste (technically, it’s closer to black in color ;), and try it, maybe for desert. And sea vegetables are gold. Find one you like. Nori is the easiest. & Wakame is particularly nice.

    And yoga or meditation is worth more than all of our thoughts on food, all put together.

    January 6th, 2013 6:17 pm Reply
  • Jonathan

    This woman does not know what she is talking about.

    January 3rd, 2013 7:48 pm Reply
  • jane

    what an appalling article.. written by a foolish dishonest and remarkably ill informed person
    what a dozy trollop! ..”(but, PLEASE eat some meat! You’re looking a wee bit pale)”… for someone who is supposed to have a handle on food and nutrition doesn’t the nitwit know that the carentoids are how to get a healthy skin tone.. the flabby skin colour of heme iron/ blood from eating dead animals can actually make folk appear mildly repulsive..
    There is NO food that is worth consuming that benefits from burning/cooking it.. this is not up for debate it is fact and poor weston price must be curling his toes with the emnbarrassment of seeing his work so misused……doh

    December 29th, 2012 12:24 pm Reply
    • ShivaD

      Wow you know when you have hit a sore spot when someone’s response is riddled with insults and no facts…

      January 22nd, 2013 5:20 pm Reply
  • Heather

    You mentioned alfalfa sprouts are slightly toxic and shouldn’t be eaten raw. Does that include other types of sprouts, too? Broccoli is mentioned to not eat raw, so no broccoli sprouts either? Great article! Just need a bit more details on this. Thanks!

    December 29th, 2012 10:34 am Reply
  • Adelynn

    Hi Original Writer,

    can you please provide references to information and scientific studies to back up your claims about

    1) oxalates, how cooking reduces them, whether the amounts present in raw veggies is actually enough to cause kidney stones;

    2) raw cruciferous vegetables and HOW MUCH is necessary to reduce thyroid function

    3) whatever dr price says

    thank you

    December 8th, 2012 10:17 am Reply
  • LaDonna

    So Are you saying its OK to still eat spinach as long as we steam it first? I really love all the nutrients and i have raw spinach anyway! I usually blanch it a few minutes per side in butter. Or is it best to avoid this if you have symptoms of leaky gut?

    December 5th, 2012 9:11 pm Reply
  • C.Frances

    I’m a vegetarian and certainly not pale. Getting pretty sick of people picking on Raw Foodists and Vegetarians. Stop being so against it. It works for some and not for others.

    December 5th, 2012 12:36 am Reply
    • Jump

      Lol.. Uh, you do look a little pale in your profile pic (nice btw)… but whats more important than that is you look happy and healthy. Really, I think the pale statement was just as ignorant as saying someones eyes are too blue or hair is too brown. Some people NATURALLY have pale skin, its not an automatic indicator of bad health! On the other hand if she had said jaundice, then that’s a real health problem. But her post is filled with so much uneducated information, I don’t think she knows the difference.

      February 28th, 2014 3:15 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    And to add : pasteurized (heated) diary is EXTREAMLY toxic!!! So when you cook your vibrant alive veggies in butter, it makes me sad! thats horrible!! at least cook it in coconut oil!!

    look into it people!! the HUGE difference between organic raw dairy and pasteurized diary!!

    the dairy industry is owned by the most evil people on earth…. it is making everyone sick, even more than the meat….

    November 29th, 2012 9:43 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    Sarah, you don’t really sound so smart with all the claims you make…..

    I come from a Standard American Diet being raised as a child with a parent who didn’t know how to cook. I was very very sick growing up as a child.

    Now, im 30 years young now, eat a mostly raw vegan diet with occasional organic raw cheese and i also eat organic and local clean beef or bison about once a month. I feel the best i have ever had in my whole life. I used to be full vegan raw and i felt just as amazing. If im totally vegan, i just need to supplement my diet with lots of spirulina and hemp seeds and i don’t have the need for animal protien. 10 years ago when i started eating vegan, i was a “junk food vegan” eating lots of fake meat and soy products and other processed foods. During this time i was not feeling so great yet. It took me having to make a total life change and let go of what was no longer serving me; gluten, sugar, pasteurized dairy, sick meat and diary from sick animals and all processed foods and alcohol. Cutting all of this out of my diet for years, i truly feel the best ever! Also, detoxing helped allot and taking out my silver fillings in my teeth full of mercury helped also. I drink allot of water, go on walks and stretch every day. Over the years, i have educated myself through trial and error and research and conversation. i feel like i have now finally gotten to a place of knowing in my body. Before you do ANY detox or diet transition or change, please educate your self about it first. And research for your self with an open and neutral mind. THEN, truly experience it for yourself before making such claims towards other uneducated people.

    November 29th, 2012 9:39 pm Reply
  • marisa

    the idea of steaming or worse sautéing in butter all the spinach i get out of my garden makes me physically ill. it goes from sweet crisp fresh and delicious to a horrible limp wilted buttery tragedy. all the nutrition “science” in the world couldn’t convince meat that veggies sautéed in cows’s milk fat is superior to leaves out of the garden? i use to milk cows on my grandmothers farm and its one of the most disgusting processes i can think of, the cows smell to high heaven as you’re trying to milk them and even though it doesnt affect the taste of the milk its just impossible not to associate the sh*t covered hind end of the cow, and their dirty uters with what comes out. And yes we had healthy, happy, grass fed, open pasture cows, still dirty with flies hovering about and such. i still have no idea on earth why someone would drink milk from cows, if my neighbor offered me her breastmilk id probably throw up even worse its from dirty animals – same way i feel about cows milk or anything made from it :O and I’m not a vegetarian. Even the best organic, natural farm, milks cows when pregnant and then keeps them continually pregnant the level of hormones you’re getting in that cows milk are astronomical, for anyone with hypothyroid, pcos, or any other hormonal imbalances that seems way worse than a little raw spinach.

    November 14th, 2012 7:05 pm Reply
    • Rox

      Ha, I love your comment! I always wondered why people are so disgusted with human breast milk, and probably wouldn’t even taste it if they were offered a million bucks, but don’t even give a second thought to drinking milk from a dirty cow, probably filled with pus, hormones and antibiotics(because let’s be honest, most people don’t buy milk from happy organic grass fed cows, they just buy the cheapest milk at the grocery store). I find it repulsive to be honest, and feel sorry for the cows. Actually the whole dairy “process” makes me feel ill.
      I’ll take the raw spinach, thank you very much!

      December 22nd, 2012 9:46 pm Reply
  • marisa

    I think I’m willing to risk it. what kind off salads are you actually allowed to eat? i love greens, granted kale is always cooked, but i can’t imagine life without raw spinach. thats like life without sunshine!

    November 14th, 2012 6:51 pm Reply
  • Val

    I’m confused, if you said not to drink the water that the vegs are cooked in why is it ok to eat the butter they were cooked in?

    October 24th, 2012 7:02 pm Reply
  • Pingback: The Raw Food Myth | Modern Alternative Kitchen

  • Julia

    What about lettuce? Is it ok to make salads from romaine lettuce?

    I’ll definitely not be doing spinach/arugula salads anymore! (Which is fine–i love them both cooked anyway!) Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I knew some vegetables, like cabbage and Brussels were goiterogenic, but didn’t know it was such an extensive list.

    October 9th, 2012 10:21 am Reply
  • Charles

    What a load of absolute RUBBISH and harmful twaddle! I eat nearly all vegetables raw whenever I feel like it and they do a great deal of good, especially the raw greens which help my aging kidneys perform very much better. I have an astonishingly high IQ.

    There are just one or two simple cautions. Yams must be cooked as they are otherwise poisonous. Do not eat raw kidney beans in any quantity. Spinach in smoothies or as baby spinach is absolutely fine, Just don’t eat masses of the stuff or drink a lot of spinach smoothies in a day. Avoid giving spinach (even cooked) unless specially processed to babies and very young children. Their kidneys being small can’t cope with much oxalic acid. Don’t eat vast quantities of cabbage/kale raw as very large amounts of raw cabbage/kale can poison you. A few leaves at a time will do you nothing but extreme good!

    I eat all of these raw, and in decent amounts – carrots (don’t eat older carrot leaves) , leeks, onions, spring onions, cabbage, savoy (curly) cabbage, red cabbage, garden beans (all kinds except not haricot beans) including young runner beans, peas, Chinese greens, Chinese (Napa) cabbage, swede, young white potatoes (never eat potato leaves nor potato fruits, nor green potatoes), broccoli (green and sprouting), cauliflower, young cauliflower leaves, red radish, commercially grown watercress (home gathered might contain dangerous liver flukes) and of course capsicum (sweet peppers – any color), cucumber, lettuce and tomatoes, chicory, mushrooms, bean sprouts, salad leaves (radicchio, young beetroot leaves, young kale leaves, other edible green leaves, lamb’s lettuce) and celery including celery leaves (amazingly good for keeping your kidneys and liver healthy and functioning well). I also eat a good mix of nuts and bran products and of course plenty of fresh fruit when I can. (Avoid the ‘nuts’ in peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots unless cooked – these are poisonous in quantity if uncooked)

    You can if you wish also eat wild blackberries (have multi berry heads), wild blueberries, bilberries, wild mountain berries (be sure to know which varieties are SAFE to eat), rose hips, beech nuts (not too many at a time), dandelion leaves (avoid the bitter stems), clover, young sheep sorrel leaves, wood sorrel, chickweed (in small amounts, otherwise it acts like figs or prunes!), burdock stems and taproots young stripped of their skins, amaranth, young plantain leaves, purslane, wild asparagus, garlic grass, cattail (bullrush), curled dock stalks (boil leaves -bitter otherwise), field pennycress, fireweed aka willow-herb (better young leaves), green seaweed (!), kelp seaweed (!), prickly pear cactus (remove spines!!), white mustard, arrowhead root. BUT if you can’t safely identify these yourself, do NOT eat wild plants.

    Also never as in never ever collect wild mushrooms or wild fungi unless you are an EXPERT or have an EXPERT with you. There are two mushrooms that look very like field or horse mushrooms that are deadly poisonous, as are many fungi, if wrongly identified, which is exceptionally as in exceptionally easy to do. Also avoid any wild plants that might have been sprayed with pesticide or herbicides.

    There are a few other wild plants that are edible or tolerable in smaller amounts, but I haven’t mentioned most of these as they are or can be easily confused with more poisonous plants.

    If I ate nothing but any one of these raw I would no doubt have problems but by eating plenty of raw vegetables as an assortment, they are astonishingly as in incredibly good for me (and you!!!!)

    October 3rd, 2012 9:07 pm Reply
  • Jen

    I can’t believe anyone believes this crap.

    September 26th, 2012 10:36 pm Reply
    • C.Frances


      December 5th, 2012 12:37 am Reply
      • David Roth

        Amen x2! I’ve enjoyed some of the articles on this blog, but Sarah loses pretty much all credibility with this one. And I clicked on her “source” and it took me to an Amazon ad for a Paleo cookbook. Lol, more like Sarah-the-Home-Fear-Mongerist. Rationalizing poor personal choices is about the only “tradition” she’s following.

        January 27th, 2013 5:08 pm Reply
  • Raw Vegan Mom

    Cooked. Anything heated over 118 degrees is cooked…aka “dead and lifeless” because the living enzymes have been destroyed.

    Just reduce the temp on your dehydrator to 118 degrees or less and they will be “raw”, that’s what I do.

    Try them with some olive oil and a pinch of pink Himalayan salt…yum!!

    September 11th, 2012 5:10 am Reply
  • Lisa

    I have been eating alot of kale chips I dehydrate them at about 140 degrees for 4-5 hours is that considered raw or cooked

    September 6th, 2012 10:14 pm Reply
    • Oliver

      Cooked. For many, raw simply means from the earth, sky, ocean, river, to your mouth. kale was a living organism. Once dead it is already breaking down, starting with the vital nutrients – cooking further challenges any chance of molecules that are nutrients (vitamins, proteins etc) remaining intact. Some minerals may still remain unless there is some soaking and rinsing dynamic – along with the heat.

      September 6th, 2012 10:39 pm Reply
  • Lisa

    Wow. People like you crack me up. Where do you get your info? Please if your going to tell people why you are right and others are wrong, please cite your information. Oh, and by the way, something a little more current than 1934 would be better. I love how you try to blame hypothyroidism and obesity on raw food. I can’t decide what is more amusing, that or the part about cooking things in butter. Are you going to reference a 1950s article on the health benefits of smoking next? Here’s a fact that you can find proof of almost anywhere. Americans are the most obese group of people on the planet. Another is most eat terrible diets. Maybe that has something to do with obesity and illness? Could be. By the way, if you also cite sources, a little research would be good. That way readers could see its not just another person making far fetched comments

    August 30th, 2012 10:38 pm Reply
    • Leesa

      Perhaps Lisa, Sarah’s going to tell us to go out and eat McDonalds because it doesn’t contain any oxalates. Oh yeah, it doesn’t contain any nutrients either. But I guess for her that’s better because you won’t risk toxic levels of oxalates. Honestly, what nonsense. OK there may be an issue with oxalates. But to tell people not to eat raw leafy green vegetables is so laughable it’s ridiculous. I don’t believe everything I read, because frankly these days you can find a ‘convincing’ argument for and against everything on the internet. Case in point: Sarah tells us not to eat raw broccoli. What is broccoli touted for? Anti-cancer properties. However those particular properties are wiped out with … you guessed … cooking. Ha

      I agree with you too Nicole, K.I. S.S. rules. Now, I am off to read other CREDIBLE websites. Bye. Won’t be back. :) To be that dogmatic is dangerous to you and to others.

      September 10th, 2012 9:44 am Reply
      • Oliver

        The topic also reads that we should make sure to drain the water when we steam the vegetables. Minerals leach out in the water – iron, etc.
        Still- no website is perfect and they all offer up something – even in the disagreeing we learn. Sarah may appear to be “locked in” and perhaps she is – we will never know because we don’t know her personally. While she may appear to be a die hard “cult leader” – she probably just wants what she thinks is best for everyone based on what she knows and what she has learned – which one of us is not like this?
        Not everyone is gullible and will start raising their intake of butter (raw or otherwise) – the wise folks will continue to rail against eachother – and we will all grow and learn and hopefully all get to a place where we have figured out our true original human diet.

        September 10th, 2012 10:39 am Reply
  • Nicole

    There are a couple commenters above that posted questions and never received a response. I would like to follow up with their commenters. I work 45 hours a week and am a mom. I feel when I am home, I am always in the kitchen trying to prepare what I thought was healthy food (WAPF/Paleo). I pretty much avoided grains and nuts because of the time it takes to prepare them. I am so confused now on what I’m supposed to eat and feed my family? I have hypothyroidism and I have developed an alergy to nightshade vegetables. Everything is conflicting on what is healthy and what isn’t. I keep thinking I’m doing the right thing, but I keep finding out that healthy isn’t necessarily healthy. I have also talked to a nutrionist who never heard of these problems and actuall promotes a raw vege drink everyday (he has his own powder mix)… not saying I agree with him, I do agree with this posting, but I am just so frustrated that everthing that I eat could be causing more problems. we love cruciferous vegetables cooked with butter/olive oil (especially brussel sprouts) and eat them several times a week how much is too much? Can you post what you eat for like a month?

    August 30th, 2012 10:49 am Reply
    • Keep it simple

      Nicole — The best approach is to really keep it simple. Simple for me means, simply eating foods that have nutrients in them. If you only seek nutrients everything becomes simpler (and cheaper).
      When you shop with “only nutrients” on the brain, you will never have to read a label again. After a while you will come to know that only things, plants and animals, freshly killed (or eaten alive even) will provide proteins and certain vitamins — many minerals don’t have to be fresh.
      It doesn’t matter what type of veggies you eat — just eat them. But don’t cook them or else you will destroy the nutrients. And yes, even steaming damages nutrient molecules. Steaming also allows for many minerals (iron, calcium etc) to leach out into the atmosphere and the water.
      Raw nuts provide great protein and great fat. Seeds are good as well. Fruit has plenty of great things.
      I am not saying you have to be a raw foodist ( I am not one), although it is the only way to get real nutrients. The key again is twofold — eat real nutrients, and eat few of them. Marketing has led us to believe that we need 3 squares a day to “survive” —modern humans and especially Americans take in way more calories than we really need. It actually takes more energy, and wasted energy, to process and digest all of that food — especially when the body doesn’t even recognize most of what comes down the hatch — cookies, Twinkies, coffee etc.
      The body also does not recognize cooked food. It does not recognize all of those damaged molecules that you ingest. I am not into “cleansing” persay, but perhaps you need to flush out your system, and fast for a day or so with just water, and then slowly introduce real nutrients back into your system. A walnut here and apple there and so on and so forth. Once you regained some semblance of normal health — you can once in a while, have a dirty down and greasy bacon cheese burger – your body might instantly reject it at that point but that would be a good sign and a good thing.
      Ultimately, it is simplicity that your body needs. Not one elixir after another or your neighbors concoction of 12 ingredients tastefully mixed in a blender etc. Your body needs a few simple recognizable ingredients each day — and water — and exersize.
      My shopping is so “hype free” these past years. I don’t bother with reading labels to check for fat or salt or sugar or anything — broccoli has no label on it — other than GMO or not. So too with nuts and seeds and watermelon — and water.
      Good luck with everything Oliver

      August 30th, 2012 11:35 am Reply
  • Oliver leslie james

    It is important to remember that when we speak of raw vs cooked that it is nesscesary to understand what is happening from a molecular perspective. When we cook an egg, all manner of molecular changes occur. The taste, smell, texture/feel, look (size, shape), color etc all transform (irreversably at that). These are molecules, molecular changes – we forget however, that nutrients, vitamins and proteins, are molecules as well – they too undergo change.
    While the taste has changed for the better, the nutrient change results in a damaged nutrient. A damaged nutrient is not more “bio available” to the body or anything for that matter.
    If we have to cook something then it is a good chance we should be leaving it alone, like we do with the oak tree (or a rock). When we have to cook kale, to “break it down”, we are damaging nutrient molecules as well. Move on from the kale thus and find another plant that you can eat raw that has the same nutrients in them. I eat my broccoli raw. It is chilled and then I rinse with warm water and chop them onto my hot pasta and sauce – i mix it in and the surrounding heat is truly minimal yet gives me the feeling of a fully cooked meal.
    Oliver Leslie James

    August 19th, 2012 3:29 pm Reply
  • guy

    Listening to this type of “advice” is damaging to your health

    People just say anything without any proof whatsover

    You’ll find completely contradicting advice next week by another person who loves to give advice just like this author

    August 19th, 2012 2:57 pm Reply
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  • R K

    Since when did we evolve to eat cooked anything? Cooking is choice, not nature. All foods have natural toxins and all animals that eat vegetation have natural antitoxins to deal with them. Eat plenty of raw food and never listen to those who tell you to cook everything! Pasta, yes. Potatoes, maybe. But not cabbage of broccoli or even spinach. If you must, steam. Don’t boil, don’t fry. Thanks.

    June 27th, 2012 5:43 pm Reply
  • Kim

    I’m actually glad I found this article, although as some others have said, it is just absolutely exhausting trying to keep up with what is healthy and what is not.

    I am 32 years old and have been a vegetarian since I was 12. I don’t crave meat – ever. (And that is completely honest – I do stop and think about whether or not I want it on a regular basis). I was vegan on and off, but that did not work for me. High-raw made me feel absolutely miserable and I now think I know why. Lately I’ve been eating more and more organic, pastured butter, cheese, and eggs. I really like the way I feel when I eat those things. I do think I’ll start cooking my kale and other cruciferous vegetables, though. I do eat a lot of raw cabbage – maybe that’s not such a good thing. And I had a green smoothie with spinach for breakfast. Maybe that’s not such a good thing, either.

    Thanks for the food for thought. It’s just so, so frustrating always getting new and contradicting information, though.

    June 19th, 2012 6:19 pm Reply
    • oliver

      the truth about man (??) is that like the other species, we should only be eating a few things. We have, over time, forgotten what those things were. If something is not agreeable to you that is a sign to leave it alone. keep leaving things alone til you have those few things and water that work for you. Every single plant can provide pretty much every nutrient you need.

      June 19th, 2012 8:14 pm Reply
  • oliver

    He’s right – some things must be cooked. However cooking, while making things easier to digest and can kill harmful toxins, it also destroy nutrients. You can’t have it both ways. For nutrients, raw is the only way to get them. If it means searching for those few plants that are harmless then so be it. Many mammals exist on few vegetations and water.

    June 18th, 2012 7:35 pm Reply
  • Jack

    This is an excellent article. I just wanted to point out one thing, though. Sally Fallon (author of Nourishing Traditions) does not recommend juicing. It’s not something that traditional societies practiced anyway. It’s OK to do it occasionally, but juicing really should not be a regular part of one’s diet.

    June 11th, 2012 7:32 am Reply
  • havenstarr

    I’m quite happy someone wrote this so thank you for this blog post. You see, I was having thyroid issues, Hashimoto’s which is autoimmune (and common), when I’d heard that people were ridding themselves of autoimmune conditions by juicing, namely the writer of the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” If you have 1 autoimmune condition, you are likely to have or develop others and that was true in my case, I developed autoimmune issues affecting my skin and it seemed every few years another autoimmune issue would pop up. I’d had enough and decided to try juicing.

    The number one thing they say is to juice fresh leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, so I ran to my local health food store and stocked up on organic fruit and veg for juicing. I would drink about 32 ounces of fresh juice daily, using the “mean green” recipe which is celery, cucumbers, apples, spinach and kale with lemon and ginger for flavor enhancing. The drink tasted delicious and I thought wow, I’m on my way to radiant health.

    WRONG! Within a few weeks I developed tightness and pain in my throat and upon thyroid palpitation felt multiple nodules and an enlargement of the right side of my thyroid. I palpate my thyroid quite often so I know these nodules weren’t there prior to juicing. So I did some research and found out that if you have thyroid issues, you should not eat raw cruciferous vegetables or drink juice from raw cruciferous vegetables.

    I wish I’d known that before-hand because it made my thyroid issues worse not better. I find people completely irresponsible, i.e Joe Cross. I know he meant well but he should have done HIS research so that he could tell viewers of the documentary that if you have thyroid issues you should NEVER drink juice from raw cruciferous vegetables. Why does everyone think everything is best raw? WRONG!

    June 9th, 2012 4:12 pm Reply
  • Jonathan

    If you think raw broccoli is going to cause people to gain weight, you’re an idiot.

    June 1st, 2012 1:58 pm Reply
    • havenstarr

      Youre the idiot because she NEVER said raw broccoli was going to cause weight gain. She said that people with thyroid issues (which is common in overweight people) should NOT ear or drink raw cruciferous vegetables because it could exasperate their condition. AND THIS IS TRUE AS I HAD TO FIND OUT FIRST HAND!!! I have a thyroid disorder and it was exasperated after I drank 32 ounces of raw green juice daily for several weeks. I developed a multinodular goiter.And if you look up Multinodular goiter on medical sites, such as under causes of Multinodular goiters, crucifereous vegetables are CLEARLY listed. You can look on ANY medical site you dumb ass. Educate yourself!

      June 9th, 2012 5:32 pm Reply
      • C.Frances

        She’s aiming this at everyone though. Sure, if you have a thyroid issue then so be it. You know what works and what doesn’t. Generally saying it’s bad for everyone is clearly wrong.

        December 5th, 2012 12:41 am Reply
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  • marinette

    It does seem to me, Adam, that you know nothing about detox whatsoever. Any body tissues can be assisted in the elimination of wastes, which may accumulate due to tension, lack of movement, poor circulation, and a diet which does not offer a variety of fibers and fluids. If you would “love” to see proof of tissue cleansing, I suggest you take the time to read books on the subject, and to study natural healing with living teachers who practice this healing tool.
    The simple process of increased elimination of accumulated matter in the gut, facilitated by increased liver/gallbladder function (release of bile, for example) is an example of detoxfication at work. Removal of accumulated fecal matter, parasites, and other more abstract tissue accumulations can be observed and measured, and felt within the body as increased vitality, clearing of skin, and improved systems function.

    May 24th, 2012 8:56 am Reply
  • Michael

    I ate too many raw green’s is there anyway to help stop the stomach pain its killing me :(

    May 18th, 2012 9:36 am Reply
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  • Kirsten

    I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. Many SDAs are vegetarian or even vegan. We eat a large amount of beans and nuts, as well as many veggies and whole grains. Loma Linda, California was identified as one of the few Blue Zones in the world, where people live much longer than others. SDAs in Loma Linda specifically live 8-10 years longer than other Americans.

    Research such as the China Study have shown that animal protein is directly linked to cancer. Inject a rat with cancer cells, and then feed the animal casein, and the cancer grows. Stop feeding the animal casein and the cancer shrinks.

    What do you do with this research?

    May 9th, 2012 3:50 am Reply
  • JACK

    I’m kind of vegan. voice actor. i never get sick, and work clearly productively. i see no point in eating meat for protein; only for the stable saturated fat. i eat cheese whenever i poison myself with raw veggies like (tomato) did that today.

    pretty much every raw food is useless except for ICEBERG, and the lettuce family.

    i’ve realized this food journey has been letting go of “food”, and relying on ahem; lettuce for organic hydration. plus it’s protected from pesticides. i don’t really need anything else.

    April 29th, 2012 7:18 am Reply
  • Marilyn

    How do you make a green smoothie? Do you make it in a blender or a special appliance? How often can I have them? I have kidney stones and have began having frequent UTI’s.

    April 10th, 2012 7:34 pm Reply
  • Eve

    What do you think about green smoothies with ingredients like raw English spinach or kale with water and some flavouring such as fruit?

    April 7th, 2012 12:29 am Reply
  • Gudrun B

    so purslane should be added to butter cooked other greens and it will still have the good omega 3’s? the vitamin C i know is not heat resistant and will go by the way side… once it comes up and before it blooms, or just as it blooms i pick the tender tops off and add it to salads….

    April 1st, 2012 5:57 pm Reply
  • Kimberli

    I am a raw vegan and I am not pale or underweight….Please go to to see what you are REALLY eating! I feel so much better without it now.

    March 26th, 2012 4:54 pm Reply
    • Magda

      How do you know what I’m eating? As a matter of fact, that website represents all that the WAPF and people like Sarah are AGAINST. Typical CAFO, if you know what I mean… The animals I choose to eat are not treated like that and are not killed in a way to prolong suffering. I really do take offense at that. Vegans and vegetarians are not the only ones who care about what they eat. Humanely raised, pastured meat IS NOT BAD FOR YOU!!!

      April 16th, 2012 2:20 pm Reply
  • amy

    So… I read this and found myself in tears after I was done. I’m pretty much the only one in my family who attempts to eat healthy and I don’t have many friends that do either. I’ve been so proud to make a green smoothie every single day for my toddler (and myself). Spinach and kale are one of the main ingredients. Now, I’m so discouraged and have no idea what to put in his smoothies.

    March 20th, 2012 3:48 pm Reply
    • Magda

      I used to eat kale and spinach raw in smoothies – now I simply lightly steam them, then freeze and use in smoothies. It does require a small extra step, but it works nicely!

      April 16th, 2012 2:21 pm Reply
    • Vita Medium

      Every single thing in mass amount can be harmful. Too much alkalinity can also be bad for the body. You are best off if you add a few light seasonings not add fatty butter every single time , and some days don’t freak out about veggies and fruits and simply allow yourself a tuna sandwich, pb&j on sprouted bread and or soup 😉 Soup can also be delish and there are still many webpages under raw food and healthy eating that will benefit everyone. Including those that own dehydrators , juicers and blenders 😉

      Do see : Gerson therapy documentary and Fat Sick and Nearly Dead for extreme health cases but otherwise treat your body like the temple that it is 😉

      May 2nd, 2012 12:29 am Reply
  • Anna

    This seriously frustrates me! Every time I turn around SOMETHING ELSE is bad for you! Grains are bad, grains that aren’t done a certain way are bad, dairy is bad unless it is raw, too much fruit is bad, now eating raw vegetables are bad! AGGGGGHHH
    I’m ready to give up and crawl into a hole. I am trying to change my family’s eating habits, but the more I read, the more frustrated I get because nothing seems to be good for you. Everything has to be done this way or that way or else it will do more harm than good. Sorry to gripe, but I’m seriously feeling like too much information is just not a good thing. I just want to be able to feel confident that I’m feeding my family right. And lately all I have been doing is second guessing myself because of all the conflicting information.

    March 20th, 2012 8:04 am Reply
    • amy

      I just read your post after I submitted mine. I am feeling the same exact way you do. So sorry for your frustration! I feel so discouraged as well. :(

      March 20th, 2012 3:50 pm Reply
      • Anna

        Thanks Amy for your kind comment. I always think I’m on the right track, and bam, something else that I thought was good is not. I hope your journey gets a little easier. :-) Anna

        March 20th, 2012 6:42 pm Reply
        • lauren

          i feel the exact same way! i’ve been trying to go down a path towards health for the past 3 years. i was a raw vegan, then just raw (brought back in raw diary) and that didn’t work. just went back to eating ‘normally’ which for me meant not too much thought, but all whole foods. i’m currently eating an scd/traditional foods/paleo hybrid… i love these 3 because there is SO much overlap which makes me feel like i must be on the right track…
          but it’s really hard when there’s so much conflicting information out there and i’m constantly second guessing myself. i love food and don’t have a hard time sticking to a certain plan, i just wish i could feel sure…

          April 28th, 2012 10:49 pm Reply
          • MRPALEO

            Lauren, Anna, Amy, et al…

            PALEO/PRIMAL is state of the art, knowledge-based, scientifically the best general form of human nutrition known, at this moment….


            November 12th, 2013 2:04 pm
  • find au pair in the usa

    Can you email me with a few hints on how you made this website look this cool , Id be thankful!

    March 9th, 2012 6:04 pm Reply
  • Anon

    This info is frustrating. 1. Fiber is BAD?? 2. This contradicts the paleo diet info. That doctor who overcame MS (can’t remember her name) specifically recommends kale and cruciferous veggies to help mitochondria thrive. She just says you need to rotate your veggies rather than eating heavy amounts of a single one at a time and you’ll avoid the kidney stones. Ah i think her name is Dr. Wahls.

    Thank you, there is a lot of contradicting info out there for anyone!

    March 3rd, 2012 1:44 pm Reply
  • Niki

    Sarah, I really enjoy your information, I am however having a very hard time with this article and am trying to understand. What are the chemicals in these vegetables that are harmful for the thyroid? Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

    February 23rd, 2012 10:39 pm Reply
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  • Susan

    Um, Steve, If you want to swap movie suggestions, then I strongly urge you to watch “Fat Head.” Seriously. There is nothing wrong with butter. There is not one study that proves saturated fat is bad for you. The reason everyone believes it is is because we’ve been lied to.

    I think its terrific that your health is so superior. But don’t come to blogs that follow a lifestyle that you don’t believe in and then bash on us. We don’t follow WAPF principles because we have nothing else to do. We do so because the proof we have seen is enough to convince us that this is THE way to live. We don’t come to Vegan websites and bag on your lifestyle, please show us the same respect.

    February 18th, 2012 12:56 pm Reply
  • Steve

    for those knocking on the vegans…I’ve been one for years…6’2′ 210lbs, avid cyclist, workout 5-6 days a week, and I am never sick, my blood tests which I get yearly are in perfect ranges, not “pale” as some of you clowns think vegans are, and I am sure I am a lot healthier than some of you that takes this absurd advice of cooking your veggie’s in butter! BUTTER! I would love to see the inside of your arteries. For the ones that think a vegan diet is a good “short term” diet I wish you could meet my sis, who has been a vegan for 20 years, and has zero issues. Anyway, healthy vegans eat a balanced diet…which is key in any “diet” (and I use that term loosely as being a vegan is not a diet, its a lifestyle). I personally shoot for a 30-30-30 diet everyday…30% HEALTHY fats, 30% Protein, 30% HEALTHY carbs…well we will say 40% carbs since I am very active. Anyone wondering about how I get around the animal protein, since they have full chained amino acids you need for muscle repair, I use a plant based protein powder that has those essential amino acids added to it for proper uptake of protein into the muscle fibers. All you haters check out forks over knives on netflix…you may think about eliminating a lot of the crap you put in your body.

    As far as the not eating raw broccoli/spinach I agree and disagree, but I do know the best way to cook it without losing nutrients is boiling a pot of water, throw the leaves in for just a minute, then remove, or throw the broccoli on a tray sprinkled with olive oil for 5 mins. If you consume your greens (raw) with olive oil the fats from the oil will allow the nutrients to be absorbed just fine, olive oil encourages your intestines to absorb more of the vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat, which makes it beneficial for individuals suffering from digestive disorders. There are many ways to combat the high levels of oxalic acid in some greens without saying that they have to be cooked….but for the love of god people if you do cook your veggies, use a healthy fat packed oil…not freaking butter!

    February 18th, 2012 6:19 am Reply
    • Bee

      Can u be more specific on what u eat daily (like ur typical bf, lunch, dinner, snacks)? It’s awesome to see a thriving vegan and giving out ur example may help some naysayers see how do able it is!

      October 10th, 2013 11:53 am Reply
  • Jenni

    Celery is also high in oxalate. Cooking does not always decrease the oxalates — for example it increases it in collards. The right bacteria can break down oxalates. See

    February 7th, 2012 1:29 pm Reply
  • Steph

    This article is RIDICULOUS! You are GROSSLY misinformed and spreading this news to people who are otherwise uninformed and looking to you for correct information. Shame on you for posting this.

    February 3rd, 2012 11:16 pm Reply
  • sara

    Are dandelion’s okay for juicing? I see them alot at the health food store and wheat grass? Thanks,

    January 30th, 2012 12:08 pm Reply
  • Margo

    Do not agree. I eat those veggies all the time raw and never had any problems with my body! I’m skinny and pretty! :)) Stop lying to people! Eat raw vegetables&fruits! More vitamins, more healthy nutrients! Cooked food=dead food

    January 29th, 2012 12:32 am Reply
    • Magda

      Not everyone can digest raw vegetables… and Sarah never mentioned fruits in the above article, either. Plus we’re only talking SOME veggies, not ALL of them…

      April 16th, 2012 2:23 pm Reply
  • Clare Bray

    Thank you! I have Hyperthyroidism and don’t get along with my medication. ~I will now be adding raw cruciferous vegetables to my diet….just not too much.

    January 11th, 2012 6:54 pm Reply
  • Billie

    Someone asked but there was no answer so I’m asking again…can you juice cooked spinach, kale, cilantro, etc? My 2yodd has sever decay and according to Cure Tooth Decay we should be juicing. I was lucky enough to get a juicer for Christmas and am going to start soon. I’m just trying to get a few things clear before I do…I guess if they can’t be juiced I could just blend them up with the juice. Thanks for your blog/website!

    January 2nd, 2012 12:27 am Reply
  • Cheryl

    So, instead of all this juicing, how about just making a thick soup? With buttah, of course.

    December 13th, 2011 12:44 pm Reply
  • Onika

    I’m concerned about cooking with butter. I read that cooking it will oxidize the cholesterol.

    November 30th, 2011 11:07 am Reply
  • cria

    I guess I should be more specific about the smoothie question. Smoothies seem like a great way to get leafy green into babies and toddlers. do you suggest cooking these item sand then throwing them into smoothies? Are there ant commercial brands of green drinks that are prepared properly?

    November 29th, 2011 2:47 pm Reply
  • cria

    Hi Sara,

    I’m wondering your thoughts on peppers, peas, green beans? My toddlers love to eat these raw and boy, i was so proud that they like eating them raw. I didn’t see them mentioned on your list and was wondering if I should be concerned? I have Nourishing Traditions, but find it vague sometimes. Do you prefer to cook all your veggies or do you have a list that you enjoy raw, also?

    What is your thoughts on green smoothies?

    Thank you for your help!

    November 29th, 2011 2:36 pm Reply
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  • Beth Ann Senderak

    I am vegan and so are my kids. I am in perfect health. Sarah, I am pretty sure that I could run circles around you and Dr. Weston. Any day, any time. Bring it.

    September 9th, 2011 2:58 pm Reply
  • Annie

    I have repeatedly read for years that cooking Spinach strengthens the oxalic acid.. Please address this and references please.
    Thanks for your article!

    September 9th, 2011 1:45 pm Reply
  • Sandpunk

    I stopped reading at “Iron boost”. It has been proven that the supposed iron rich quality of spinach was a myth. I hate articles like this anyways. all it ever seems to add up to is: “DON’T EAT ANYTHING! EVERYTHING’S POISON!”

    September 9th, 2011 3:52 am Reply
  • Kaytlin Speer

    You lost me after “Raw Foodies, I love you, I REALLY REALLY DO (but, PLEASE eat some meat! You’re looking a wee bit pale).”.

    September 9th, 2011 12:30 am Reply
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  • Dana

    Research backs up Dr. Price on fibrous foods interfering with mineral absorption.

    If you think about it, one of the selling points the “plant-based diet” advocates have come up with for eating a diet higher in fiber is that the fiber moves matter through the GI tract *more quickly.* Stands to reason, then, that if you eat food high in fiber, your body will not have enough time to absorb all the nutrients it could possibly absorb from that food matter. And that is not even getting into the fact that so many “plant-based diet” advocates are also low-fat advocates and they depend too heavily on plant foods for their fat-soluble vitamins–this despite increasing evidence that human beings are poor converters, at best, of fat-soluble vitamin precursors found in plants.

    So. Fiber’s moving the food too fast, usually there’s not enough fat there to help with mineral absorption either, and on top of that they’re probably short on the fat-solubles (definitely short on vitamins A and K2)–and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Not just hypothyroidism but also diabetes (at least two mineral deficiencies seem to be associated with the disorder, chromium and magnesium) and osteoporosis.

    On top of that the fiber causes faster cell turnover, which is also acknowledged by high-fiber-diet advocates. They say it prevents colon cancer. But where are we most likely to find cancers in the body? Any place there’s a high rate of cell turnover, that’s where.

    Food for thought. (No pun intended.)

    August 6th, 2011 11:56 pm Reply
  • audrey shannon (@mumpussy)

    July 19th, 2011 5:35 pm Reply
  • Natschultz

    “Good” vs. “Bad” foods: one person says this food is the healthiest thing in the world, the next claims it is a toxic poison. Seems a LOT of people here are “offended” by this article – either they believe All veggies should ONLY be consumed raw, or they believe that Oxalic veggies are deadly to “everyone.” Sorry, the Raw Foodies lose the argument with statements that claim ALL cooked foods will kill you (the Human specieas would have died out long ago). Now, the Oxalic-Sensitive people do have a point, but I do NOT think that this entire post must be re-written. However, perhaps a *Disclaimer* should be included that states that some people ARE Oxalic-sensitive and that they must avoid such foods altogether as cooking will not remove all the Oxalates. Commenting that this advice is bad for “ALL” people and Oxalic Acid should “never” be consumed by “anyone” is absurd! That’s like a Celiac chiming in on a whole grain recipe and claiming that it should be re-written because “Everyone can / will be negatively affected by gluten.”

    This article is accurate, in my opinion. I TRULY believe that you should primarily consume a diet based on the traditional diet of your ancestors – that’s why I CAN eat tons of crucifers and have no problems – Eastern and Northern Europeans have been doing this for eons!

    This article is good general advice for HEALTHY people!

    July 16th, 2011 7:54 am Reply
    • Dana

      While there may be oxalic acid in crucifers (I haven’t looked that up), if you actually *read* the above article you will see that the HHE classifies crucifers and high-oxalate vegetables into two different categories, not the same one.

      You may or may not wish to take note, also, that good health as relates to diet appears to arise from two different behaviors: one, avoiding foods that cause disease but also two, eating foods that encourage good health. Not all of the ancestors followed ideal diets–we could not have figured out which foods were healthy if no one ever chose the wrong foods!–but of those who did, clearly some of them ate foods that cause or contribute to health problems in our population today. There are people who react badly to wheat, for instance, and yet ancestral populations could eat wheat. What’s the difference? Well, we could talk about new strains of wheat and this toxin and that personal habit, but at the end of the day, look at Dr. Price’s numbers. Ancestral people who followed healthy diets got so many times more the animal fats and the minerals and the fat-soluble vitamins compared to Americans *of Price’s day* and it’s even worse now. There are people now who *never eat a food with vitamin A in it.* There are people who never touch the foods he considered most important, and yet they still eat the foods that we know to cause or contribute to health problems.

      Do you think there might be a connection there? I sure do. If you’re eating more than enough of the demonstrably healthy foods, you have more wiggle room to eat the foods that perhaps are less healthy. Probably why people could get away with eating sugar in the early part of the 20th without so much obesity and diabetes. They were still getting lard and tallow and butter and milk and liver at home!

      That said, there’s an easy rule of thumb for when people should be more careful of cruciferous veggies at least: If they taste bitter to you, eat fewer of them. Scientists have found a link between people finding broccoli bitter, and people whose thyroids are slowed down by it. Apparently their ancestors lived far from the sea and, therefore, far from reliable sources of iodine.

      That said, even someone with coastal ancestors could possibly take it too far. We have a high population of people in the United States with Irish ancestry. Broccoli derives from a Gaelic word. The Irish clearly have had long experience with this vegetable so why is the rate of hypothyroidism so high?

      August 7th, 2011 12:04 am Reply
    • Dana

      Scratch that about broccoli coming from Gaelic and I’m embarrassed now. It actually comes from Italian, but the Irish adopted the word into their language. That said, Italy is largely coastal too, and we also have a high Italian population here. No idea how they experience hypothyroidism compared to the rest of us but quite a few of them *do* become overweight and have other hormonal issues. So… there you go.

      August 7th, 2011 12:13 am Reply
  • Natschultz

    Hmm, I’ve been reading though all the comments (LOTS ;)) and began thinking about something regarding RAW Oxalic Acid being good, and about consuming LOTS of fermented sauerkraut (cabbage).

    I’m including the entire oxalic acid quote below for reference.

    Upon first reading I thought to myself ‘Hey! Good point! Schav is a VERY Oxalic Sorrel soup! And it is a VERY TRADITIONAL Eastern European staple food!’ Schav is a cold (usually) soup made by boiling cultivated garden Sorrel (not Sheep or Wood Sorrel) in a pot of water. This is allowed to cool and it is poured into bowls and into the soup is added a chopped up hard-boiled egg and a dollop of sour cream. It is served with a boiled potato with either butter or sour cream on the side (personally I chop the potato into the Schav). This is how it is eaten. ALWAYS! Usually the sour cream content is so high that it is more like a cream soup. The Sorrel soup alone is SO SOUR you cannot possibly consume it alone.

    So, anyway, at first I thought – HEY! You do NOT discard the water from Schav – if you did you would not have any Schav! And, since they’ve been eating this forever in the summer months, then it can’t be all that bad, right? So, it must be that the added calcium from the sour cream is what makes it edible! And maybe the added protein and fat from the egg as well.

    So, you see, at first I though Dr. Walker’s argument made sense. BUT, in fact, if you think about it, the key is that the Sorrel is COOKED! So, even though you are consuming the Oxalic Acid water, it has been cooked AND in combination with the DAIRY and EGG, perhaps it IS ok for humans to consume. Now, this sounds to me like a valid hypothesis worthy of further investigation!

    As for consuming LOTS of sauerkraut, specifically kimchi, I must admit that I consume a LOT of sauerkraut – just like ALL Germans and Poles – but, it is actually FRIED with pork chops or a Wurst (as a Vegetarian I replace the meat with carrots – NO TOFU / Soy EVER!). So, if you really LOVE sauerkraut then you can consume all you want if you fry it up in fat! YUMM!!!

    Anonymous October 15, 2010 at 9:51 pm
    “Organic oxalic acid, defined as that which occurs in nature in its raw form, can actually be beneficial to the system. Once foods containing oxalic acid are cooked, according to the dean of juice therapy and author of Raw Vegetable Juices, Dr. Norman Walker, the oxalic acid becomes dead and irritating substance to the system. He feels that in its cooked form it binds irreversibly with the calcium and prevents calcium absorption. An excess of cooked oxalic acid may also form oxalic acid crystals in the kidney. In the live organic form of oxalic acid, Dr. Walker claims oxalic acid stones and calcium blockage do not occur because the organic oxalic acid can be metabolized appropriately. according to Dr. Walker, oxalic acid in its raw form is one of the important minerals needed to maintain tone and peristalsis of the bowel.”

    July 16th, 2011 6:57 am Reply
  • Natschultz


    You can still eat these greens to get your fiber – just cook them first. Cooking does not eliminate the fiber content! In fact, fiber is meant to be CHEWED! I do not understand why people think you can “drink” your fiber?!? I also hate that suddenly “fiber” has been added to the oddest foods nowadays – my mother recently purchased Polaner Jam (no HFCS) and it had “added fiber” – Oh my, it was VILE! The texture was like Jello (YUCK) overloaded with cornstarch grains! Umm, am I crazy or does “whole fruit” jam / preserves not already have plenty natural fiber in it to begin with?

    Just eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and even cooked and you should be fine. And you can still eat non-grains like Quinoa. Oh yeah, don’t forget to drink PLENTY OF WATER! That should help with any constipation problems! And avoid SUGAR, especially sodas and drinks with added sugar (and avoid all NON-cane /honey / maple syrup /Stevia “sweeteners” all together) – too much added sugar will cause constipation – humans cannot digest Fructose, so avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup and AGAVE at ALL COSTS!

    July 16th, 2011 4:25 am Reply
  • Natschultz

    I have to cook Purslane and Chives?!?! YIKES!

    Hmm, Sorrel (cultivated) contains HIGH levels of Oxalic Acid – my mother tried to convince me to eat a “Sorrel Salad” the other day – NO WAY! I could barely consume one entire raw leaf! That’s what Schav is for! But chives and Purslane? Purslane is a bit bitter, but more “spicey” in my opinion, and chives are not bitter at all. I just “harvested” a whole bunch of taller (~12″h) larger leaved purslane from a crab-grass weed patch that I was tilling – it was SO JUICY and yummy RAW! The normal creeping small-leaved variety is less juicy and a bit more bitter.

    Well, to add to the Oxalic Acid list there is Wood Sorrel – it looks like Clover, but the leaves are heart-shaped (Shamrocks are actually Wood Sorrel) and it has yellow flowers – it is a common “weed” but totally edible (the entire plant) – I went harvesting White Clover and accidentally picked Wood Sorrel instead – it tastes like a cross between lemons and crab apples! I ate some in my “Wild Salad” the other day (the heat killed off all my cultivated lettuce, so I went wild “weed” harvesting); it was good with a simple dressing of EVOO and Apple Cider Vinegar and just some salt and pepper.

    As for the White Clover, I tried one leaf – it is a very short plant, so difficult to harvest, but the entire plant is edible (including roots). I don’t know if it has to be cooked, but the one leaf was quite tough and tasted like spinach. I’ll probably try sauteeing some in butter this weekend. The fresh flowers are edible, but apparently once they turn brown they become poisonous. Red Clover (purple flowers) supposedly tastes better, but my garden has yet to be graced by that “weed” or Chickory or Burdock, for that matter :(

    What about Common Plantain (Plantago Major)? Not the banana – the weed that grows in grass, almost like a dandelion – does that need to be cooked? I know you can use the fresh juice to cure a whole host of ills, but what about consuming it on a regular basis as a veggie? Should it be cooked? I dug up a whole bunch from a gravel parking lot and planted them in a pot – I won’t actually eat those until new leaves form next year though. And Lamb’s Quarters? I think that is supposed to be cooked, but it just makes such a yummy salad!

    Ah, well, I guess I’ll have to start making a lot more omlettes with all these veggies that must be steamed / sauteed first. 😉

    Actually, that is a good question: Do you have to actually steam and dump the water first, or is simply sauteeing the fresh veggies in butter enough?

    Great blog, btw: it is a fun, short and sweet take on W.A.P / Traditional / Whole Foods diets!

    July 16th, 2011 3:56 am Reply
  • Kathryn

    If the greens are lightly steamed (like kale) can they safely be juiced?

    July 11th, 2011 2:23 am Reply
  • mezzovoice

    Part of the trouble seems to me that these days nobody learns to cook anymore. Instead people fall victim to all sorts of nutritional fads, especially those promising eternal life, a life free from cancer etc. Man discovered cooking and preparing his food early on – and then made some progress. We are not designed to live on raw food – our digestive system is not up to it. Most of the nutrients are absorbed in the small gut so we need energy-dense food to nourish us. Plant eaters have a large colon (as opposed to ours) where they can absorb nutrients from raw stuff and from roughage. We cannot – once the food it out of our small gut, almost no more nutrients will be absorbed. Eating too much fibre can damage the very sensitive gut tissues and lead to a number of problems.

    July 5th, 2011 5:44 am Reply
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  • Claudia

    Unfortunately, Faith didn’t provide a way to reply to her comment. What I wanted to ask her was how long she and her family have been vegans. I have heard short-term vegan success stories, but not too many long-term.

    I’m most definitely not supportive of vegan diets, especially not for children, but we can’t dismiss the benefits of a (very) short-term raw fast.

    June 7th, 2011 2:26 pm Reply
  • Nathalie

    I wonder if they are some green leaf varieties that are low in oxalates and therefore suitable for salad.. any clue about this?

    June 7th, 2011 9:35 am Reply
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  • Christi

    I struggle with chronic constipation caused by Celiac’s disease (I have been GF for 5 years). I have found that green smoothies help the most with it. This list knocks out all the greens I use for my smoothie! I also have hypothyroidism, which makes me extra worried about the cruciferous What greens do you recommend in order to get the fiber I seem to need without the added harm? Thanks!

    May 28th, 2011 10:23 am Reply
  • Audrey

    I love fresh, home-grown, raw spinach. I can’t stand it cooked, even a little wilted – I just don’t like the taste, but love it crisp. I had never heard anything bad about eating it raw, so this is something totally new to me! I read somewhere that eating certain things with the spinach (protein, citrus, etc.) would neutralize this problem. I eat spinach most days for breakfast on my bean and egg burrito with bell peppers and salsa, on sandwiches for lunch and in a mixed green salad for dinner.
    As for the increased kidney stones, I had the opposite experience. I have a propensity for kidney stones, used to get them almost every year (and they are INCREDIBLY painful, and there is nothing that can be done about them except live through it – childbirth was not that big of a deal in comparison). Since I’ve been on a healthier diet, including no caffeine, lots of water, healthier eating all around, and this eating spinach (when I never ate spinach before) I haven’t had a stone in more than two years. I know this is only anecdotal, but if anyone should get kidney stones from eating raw spinach, I think I would.

    May 6th, 2011 2:44 am Reply
  • WFTMom

    I love adding kale and spinach to soups – raw and letting them wilt from the heat or stir into quinoa with tomatoes again for a couple of minutes to wilt. Is this enough cooking or should I steam or saute them for a couple of minutes first?

    April 12th, 2011 10:47 am Reply
  • Lara

    Hi Sarah

    Wow what alot of great info. What are your thoughts of wheatgrass juicing and eating sprouts like sunflower, brocilli, lentils etc.

    March 16th, 2011 8:10 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      I enjoy a shot of wheatgrass juice from time to time! :) It’s quite high in sugar so best to not overdo. Sprouts of sunflower, lentils are wonderful foods to enjoy on a salad or whatnot but I would skip the broccoli sprouts for the reasons listed above in the post.

      March 16th, 2011 8:17 am Reply
  • Pam

    Hi All,
    I know for me I didn’t know for years I had an Oxalate issue. I have had IC and Vaginits for over 18+ years in HORRIBLE Pain. No Doctor seemed to beable to help inthe first few years. I then Got rid of all the Specialist……. I went to school. I became an Iridologist under Dr. Jensen. I learned about nutrition. went to other Herbal classes in seattle, did all RAW foods which made me worse. I couldn’t figure it out I was cleaning,Raw food,Organic I did everything I learned!! :) Still peeing Razor Blades and vaginal issues were bad, there would be few times they were good. So I figured it was how I had to live for the rest of my life in Horrible pain.
    I am in good health. 5’5 120lbs never sick except Bladder and vaginal pain.
    Over 3 years ago I learned about Oxalates in food. I had to turn all of my eating around. I found The Vp Foundation, ordered all there info. I then found the Low Oxalate Group, I started Low Oxalate Diet. in a week I noticed a differance in 3 weeks my bladder was 1/2 the pain. I then started taking calcium citrate before I ate……. WOW is all I can say. in 3 weeks all my pain was GONE!!!! I could sleep. I didn’t have to get up and pee 10x at night. I was so happy I cried. All the pain after all those years GONE!!!!
    See I never knew I had an issue with Oxalates I am so glad I experimented and found out that is what all my pain was from. I am leading a great life! I have a NEW lease on life now :)
    Hope this helps someone find there health :)
    Thank you

    March 14th, 2011 4:17 pm Reply
  • nancy j

    My nutritionist told me not to worry about the thyroid issue in juicing kale, chard, etc. as the amount is very small. In fact he has me doing a liver cleanse juice with comprises celery, beet greens, 1 beet, kale, and an apple. He is VERY knowledgeable and I totally trust him!

    March 14th, 2011 2:19 pm Reply
  • Karla

    I agree that you cant avoid oxalates alltogether, its in practically all foods to one extent or another. The key is to avoid the REALLY high stuff like almonds, spinach, chard, rhubarb and a few others, consume the high and medium oxalate foods in small amounts that are offset with more low oxalate choices.

    I love spinach, chard and almonds but I wont ever eat them again and certainly wont feed them to my child again. The potential nutirtional value is offset buy the poison they contain. Oxalic acid is basically what is used to flush radiators, and these foods have high amounts of it. We do however enjoy kale, macadamia nuts, pistachios and sunflower seeds in moderation and eat plenty of other healthy low oxalate greens like broccoli raab, collard, mustard, pea greens and cress. We dont lack for a variety of healthy food options and my family feels much better now that we’re watching our oxalate intake.

    March 14th, 2011 2:17 pm Reply
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Moderation certainly is the key. Overconsumption of any food can certainly lead to problems.

    March 14th, 2011 1:56 pm Reply
  • Ellen


    Even people who do not seem sensitive to oxalates can be asking for trouble down the road by consuming too many of them. The body sequesters them. They can build up unnoticed over time and can cause damage in all parts of the body, depending on the individual. I also suspect, based on my own experience, that this kind of gradual oxalate damage may be at the root of numerous problems attributed to “aging” such as poor sleep and irregularity.

    I am not saying that everybody should avoid all oxalates. That is almost impossible anyway. But I am saying that it is helpful to have accurate information on how much oxalate is being consumed. For example, going by the list accompanying William Shaw’s article, one would think that pecans and peanut are the only high oxalate nuts to watch out for. Per 100g of nuts, raw pecans contain 46.5 mg., raw spanish peanuts contain 142 . But almonds contain a whopping 465! Without this kind of accurate information people may be eating a much higher oxalate diet than they realize.

    March 14th, 2011 1:17 pm Reply
  • Toni

    Notice the influx of low oxalate diet people? :-)

    Although one may think they are not sensitive to oxalate, at the very least oxalate is absorbed at 22%. That’s for the “non-sensitive,” normal people, without leaky gut syndrome. If you have any chronic condition or auto-immune disease, the amount you are absorbing is likely more.

    Oxalate cripples mitochondrial action by botching up enzymes and transporters, that your body needs for detoxification.

    You can learn more that the website I included
    or access the latest spreadsheets on oxalate content by joining a great group of people from all walks of life who are on the yahoo group trying_low_oxalates.

    I did not know I had an oxalate problem, and had no kidney stones or any symptoms which I would have related to oxalate. I probably consumed thousands of milligrams of oxalate a day. I thought the condition of my health was typical of a 40 year old mom. That is stressed, anxious, harried, “losing it,” tired, etc.

    Going low oxalate, for my children, who are “not quite neuro-typical,” has allowed me to get off Wellbutrin, has allowed a chronic skin condition to heal, has allowed me to get off allergy medication, has gotten rid of my brain fog for the most part. My carpal tunnel is GONE!!! I feel at least ten years younger.

    I know there will be people who cannot believe they could be healthier and they continue to have a salad of spinach leaves, beets and almonds (Oh my!) Which by the way would have been something I would love, back in the day.

    If you refuse to give up your oxalates, that is your choice of course :) Please consider taking a calcium citrate supplement about 15 mins prior to eating. This increases circulating calcium and will allow the oxalate to bond up to it and be excreted, and reduce the amount of oxalate absorbed. This calcium should not be included in your daily requirement for bones (which should be taken on an empty stomach.)

    March 14th, 2011 1:04 pm Reply
    • Bee

      I juice veggies daily, usually 1-2 heads romaine, 4 carrots, half cucumber, and half pound spinach. Is this ok? I Loethe taste aand thickness of spinach juic. I notice no kidney issues, but i have been struggling with ssome health issues for several years and hence why I started juicing(uulcerative colitis, autoimmune disorders, chronic constipation, cfs, fms, nerve damage, etc)


      October 10th, 2013 11:40 am Reply
  • PattyLA

    Oh how I wish cooking eliminated oxalates. I got my first kidney stone while eating cooked spinach in my omelet most mornings. Now I know that while some of the oxalate leaches into the cooking water most remains in the food. Steaming or sauteing won’t eliminate any of it.

    My younger daughter is very sensitive to oxalates and cooking high oxalate foods doesn’t make a difference for her. While many people are just fine with oxalates, many others have serious health consequences from consuming them and I would hate for someone to cross oxalates off their list as a possible source of the problem just because they eat high oxalate foods cooked.

    March 14th, 2011 9:53 am Reply
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    If folks are sensitive to oxalates, then completely avoiding veggies that contain them such as spinach seems to be the best route to go. For those of us not sensitive to oxalates or who do not consume a high-oxalate diet, wilting the spinach before consuming (and discarding the cooking water) seems wise as this is the traditional preparation method – traditional cooking methods have their roots in maximization of nutrition and minimization of anti-nutrients.

    March 14th, 2011 9:42 am Reply
    • Django

      I like your original article in many ways, but you’re really side-stepping this issue.

      The point is that cooking or wilting does NOT significantly reduce oxalates. Yes, that may not be much of an issue for many people, but for those that it is an issue your article contains inaccurate information that could be harmful. How about an edit?

      March 15th, 2011 10:46 am Reply
      • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

        If wilting spinach did not improve nutrition and reduce antinutrients, traditional peoples would not have prepared it this way – they would have avoided eating it entirely or would have eaten it raw as cooking it wouldn’t have made any difference.

        March 15th, 2011 5:40 pm Reply
        • Oliver

          Sarah – with all do respect, sometimes you need to back away from that “traditional” stuff. You must realizes that these traditional families with their traditional meals all had traditional diseases – heart disease (butter will do that), diabetes, cancer, auto immune issues, high blood pressure, dental issues, gastro intestinal issues.
          You make it seem as if this diet because it was traditional that it was good, wholesome and healthy. You have to learn to break with some traditions or at least modify them as we move into this next century, with all of the new information that we have – based on new technologies that we have which didn’t remotely exist in Dr prices time.
          I am not saying we have to negate and dispense with Prices findings – but every great scientist from copernicus to newton to darwin to einstein, (even Sigmund Freud), to the current stephen Hawkings has had their work questioned, modified, rejected, advanced, tweaked etc etc .
          To cliing to Dr price’s every word as well as the person who wrote the Traditional book, like it’s the bible and “so it is written so it must be so” type of thinking, is handicapping your own personal growth and somewhat debilitating to what we can learn from this blog – Heck, even the bible gets re written over the years

          September 11th, 2012 9:50 am Reply
    • Sierra

      Oxalate always interacts with the biochemistry of the body- people who are sensitive are people who know that some of their symptoms are caused by this interaction, but they are not the only ones affected by eating oxalate. Traditional peoples who ate traditional diets had a different physiology then we do today because of the constant assault on our gut flora that modern life is. A thriving and robust got flora is essential to safely eat relatively high levels of oxalate. Anyone who has ever taken antibiotics, or whose mother or grandmother ever did, has been set up to poorly tolerate oxalate as the bacteria that helps us degrade it is very sensitive to antibiotics. Wilting spinach may reduce other anti-nutrients but it does not reduce oxalate for anyone. Including spinach in a diet has been shown to reduce calcium levels in the body. The information that you have posted here affects everyone, not just those of us who are aware that we are sensitive.

      March 15th, 2011 5:08 pm Reply
  • Ellen


    As far as I know the *only* up to date and accurate source of information regarding oxalate levels can be found in the files of the yahoo group Trying Low Oxalates and listed as the spreadsheets. They report on recent testing from the only two organizations that are doing these tests on an ongoing basis. They have tested some foods under various preparation methods and clearly show that with extremely high oxalates such as spinach even boiling and discarding the water make very little difference.

    Having lowered my oxalate intake several months ago I am learning that oxalate damage can be cumulative and very wide ranging.. Much more so than is commonly reported, even in the two articles on the subject that appeared in the Wise Traditions Journal recently. It is a topic deserving of much more research.

    March 14th, 2011 9:31 am Reply
  • Nancy

    Your information regarding oxalates is wrong and can easily be found contradicted within the information of the link you provided by William Shaw. Oxalates do not disappear when cooked And it is more than just greens containing high and unhealthy amounts.

    As suggested above, you really should research further and redo your post, the harm you can do by leaving it as is, is unjustifiable.

    March 14th, 2011 8:30 am Reply
  • Sierra

    Hi Sarah, I’m a big fan of your blog and while I generally agree your premise here about not eating veggies raw as much, I did want to point out that it is NOT true that heating oxalic acid destroys it or lessens it. I am very oxalate sensitive and have researched this thoroughly as it is extremely important to me and my son (who is mostly recovered from autism). I am also normally a big fan of NT but this is one thing that they got wrong.

    The only way to lower the oxalic acid content of food is to boil it as some oxalate is water soluble. The boiling liquid must then be discarded. This only removes a small amount, and so only helps with foods that are already borderline low enough to eat. Steaming and sauteeing does not reduce the oxalate content at all. All of the veggies that you list as high oxalate are still extremely high in oxalic acid after cooking- in fact, sometimes cooking INCREASES the availability of oxalate, for example in spinach and swiss chard (for reference, a low oxalate diet is normally between 40-60 mg per day):

    Raw baby spinach has 160 mg oxalate per 1/2 cup
    Raw spinach has 114 mg per 1/2 cup
    Spinach steamed 15 minutes has 697 mg per 1/2 cup !!!!
    Spinach, boiled has 334 per 1/2 cup
    Raw swiss chard has between 174-210 mgs per 1/2 cup (depending on color)
    Steamed chard has between 487 and 921 mg per 1/2 cup (depending on color)
    Boiled chard ranges from 293 to 375 mg per 1/2 cup

    These are the most recent testing values available. There are many old values available online that were done using less accurate testing methods. People with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, migraines, urinary or genital pain and problems including Vulvadynia, sensory processing issues, autism (according to the Great Plains lab, 84% of people with autism test as having an oxalate problem), visual disturbances or eye pain, or various skin problems are all likely to be sensitive to oxalates. Additionally, since oxalate binds to minerals and metals, having high oxalate levels in the body makes a person more likely to be injured when exposed to toxic metals such as mercury or lead.

    This is such an importnat issue, please do more research about it and re-do your post. Many people look to you for advice and while you usually are right on in this case this information is wrong and will actually hurt people.

    March 14th, 2011 2:26 am Reply
    • Django

      Wow, great info Sierra. I hope Sarah reads this and responds or reposts. It’s dangerous to have this misinformation out there.

      March 15th, 2011 10:43 am Reply
    • Greg Hill

      Sierra, I can’t help wondering about how much sense it makes to compare, for example, 1/2 cup of raw spinach to 1/2 cup of steamed or boiled spinach. I know whenever I cook spinach the physical volume decreases enormously. It would make much more sense to me to compare the contents of 1/2 cup of raw spinach leaves to what started out as 1/2 cup of raw spinach leaves and ended up as perhaps 1/8 cup of cooked spinach.

      September 25th, 2014 5:22 pm Reply
  • Jenn V.

    So, just noodling this through… would dried parsley/ chives contain oxalic acid? I guess they are not cooked but just dehydrated at low temp… Your thoughts? Thanks!

    March 12th, 2011 10:02 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Jenn, yes they would but if you are using them in small amounts as a garnish or whatnot, it should be fine. The idea is not to consume these veggies in raw green smoothies or to eat them frequently as in a daily spinach salad.

      March 12th, 2011 11:43 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this information. Since I usually have more raw spinach and other greens than I can eat, I cut them in small pieces and add them to my taco meat, along with onion and garlic. They practically “dissolve” in the frying pan, and I enjoy knowing that I am getting the “green” nutrition that is needed.

    February 24th, 2011 5:09 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      What a creative way to eat your greens! Thanks for sharing! :)

      February 24th, 2011 5:17 pm Reply
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  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Adam, you are absolutely right .. I am not at all interested in vaccination pseudo science as cooked up and presented as facts to the public. Being from a medical family, I’ve seen all the games that are played by Big Pharma to protect and expand profits and I am only interested in the true facts and unbiased science on this blog. “Science” isn’t all that it seems sometimes and one has to dig to find the source of the study and who funded it to be comfortable that the findings are truly objective.

    February 11th, 2011 10:09 am Reply
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Adam, yes the GAPS book is rather well sourced. Dr. Campbell-McBride MD talks about the Gergen institute which has used vegetable juice to detox cancer patients and help them get well for quite a long time (again, this is what I’m recalling .. the last time I read the book was last summer). I do know what you mean about most healthbooks, though. Not generally a good source for on target wellness info.

    February 11th, 2011 9:06 am Reply
  • J

    I’m not sure all of this is true. If you could email me the scientific research I would greatly appreciate it. I have helped several women come off of thyroid medication due to diet which is high in spinach, kale, etc including myself. Many people that take supplements have kelp in them and those aren’t cooked at all. Heat kills the vitamins and nutrients in it. The dark greens are loaded with B vitamins, and minerals that are needed for the adrenal because you can’t work on one and not the other.

    February 10th, 2011 9:14 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Here’s a great article by William Shaw Phd (Director of The Great Plains Laboratory for Health, Nutrition and Metabolism) on the role of oxalates in chronic disease. He writes that virtually everyone who eat raw spinach frequently will get kidney stones. I don’t doubt that you’ve helped people get well by eating raw veggies .. for a short period of time this can work as it is very ph balancing and detoxifying to the body. But to do this long term will steal your health if those veggies are the type that are best consumed cooked:

      February 10th, 2011 9:25 am Reply
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Adam, the source of this statement is from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD’s book called “Gut and Psychology Syndrome”. She discusses vegetable juicing as a method for gently removing toxins (as in impacted fecal matter) from the gut without too much stress to the body.

    February 10th, 2011 9:05 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Adam, no – not a laxative. Why don’t you refer to the book I source for details? Part of the detox is the easy to absorb minerals that the body uses to bind up toxins, if memory serves. Please refer to the book I sourced for details rather than post sarcastic comments. Thank you.

      February 10th, 2011 3:15 pm Reply
  • Sally

    Will freezing spinach break down the oxalic acid? or does it have to be cooking? what about freeze dried, since organic freeze dried spinach is available now and would work well directly in a smoothie?

    February 7th, 2011 11:58 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Sally, freezing does not break down the oxalic acid. A brief steam or cook to wilt the spinach is what is necessary.

      February 7th, 2011 12:16 pm Reply
  • Sally

    Shouldn’t cauliflower also be on the list to not eat raw? When I lived in Switzerland for a short time, 32 years ago, i lived a few months in a remote community in the Appenzel called Ebnat Cappel, there i remember seeing many older people sitting on the porch on this quaint care facility with huge goiters on their necks. In some cases they were bigger than their faces! I had never seen this before in my life or since. I wonder what it was in this area, reasonably remote and beautiful. Or if this is where they came for treatment. My German was poor and my Swiss German even worse so i never understood what this was all about, but the visual image has never left me.

    February 6th, 2011 1:41 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Yes, cauliflower is a cruciferous veggie and is listed above.

      February 6th, 2011 3:06 pm Reply
    • marinette

      Those isolated people also had no real access to seafood or sea vegetables, either, did they?
      It would be interesting to know if they specifically came there for treatment.

      May 24th, 2012 8:51 am Reply
  • Rachel Leigh

    Obviously, you haven’t done too much research on people who eat raw food diets.
    (By the way, what they do to the meat nowadays…I wouldn’t eat it if you paid me!)
    When you cook your food, evenly lightly, your immune system reacts to it as a toxin.
    It goes through a process that generates white cell activity against the food, because the body can’t recognize the cooked food, so it reacts to it as a toxin. Which isn’t good when your trying to get nutrients out of the food.
    And when you cook your food, your cooking out live enzymes in the vegetables.
    The only way to get the most out of the vegetables is not the cook them.

    February 1st, 2011 2:13 am Reply
    • Claudia

      There is meat out there that is raised properly. I often wonder why vegan propagandists seem to overlook that….

      Also, does this mean that generations of people have been eating toxic food for thousands of years and thrived because of it? The “science” that makes the claim that the immune system reacts to cooked food as a toxin makes no sense whatsoever.

      On the bright side, this claim works for raw dairy, which is extremely beneficial!

      June 7th, 2011 1:18 pm Reply
  • Diann

    Wow, very interesting. I knew some of those due to oxalic acid should be cooked, and of course the potatoes. I was rather looking forward to having tasty fiber-rich veggie drinks that I make myself; guess I’ll focus more on the fruit end of that deal. After I do more research.

    January 18th, 2011 10:13 am Reply
  • Ashley

    This is really interesting! I’ve already sent your post on milk off to my family at home (I’m living on res at university), but I think I’ll have to compile a list of ones that would be of interest to my dad; he was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years ago and went on this total health path because of it. He drinks green smoothies a lot from what I remember, so it’d be good for him to see more points of view on the subject.

    I’ve always thought it best to eat how people used to but that it depends on your personal background. I mean, a Japanese person would react differently to foods than a British person or an Irish person, for example. Your thoughts on this?

    January 14th, 2011 5:26 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Yes, cultural heritage is quite important. If you pickup a copy of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Dr. Price discusses the different diets of the various cultures. Best to stick with the ones that most closely mimic your own cultural heritage. I don’t do well on rice, for example, and so do not eat it often. But someone with Asian heritage may do quite well eating it more frequently.

      January 14th, 2011 7:01 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    Thank you for all of your very thought provoking posts! I have been doing the Body Ecology Diet for about 3 months now…So I am, of course, eating A LOT of cultured veggies (mostly napa cabbage, daikon, broccoli, carrots, celery, onion, etc) so this worries me a little. The cultured veggies are helping me lots (and I REALLY enjoy them!) I probably eat at least 1 cup per day. Do you think I’m safe if I try to eat more sea vegetables? I also try to make and consume coconut kefir as often as possible. Also, I’d love to hear any other thoughts you may have on elements of the Body Ecology Diet where I may need to take caution. I use a ton of ghee in my cooking as well…Thoughts on ghee?

    Thank you!!

    January 9th, 2011 8:34 pm Reply
  • Shauna

    Thanks for the advice, I will for sure cut down on them :)

    January 3rd, 2011 5:14 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Awesome. It is better to be safe than sorry and there are so many wonderful veggies to eat raw that are safe so why take an unnecessary risk with such a delicate gland as the thyroid. It is butterfly shaped for a reason I think! :) Think of a butterfly .. you only have to touch it’s wings slightly to damage and kill it. I think the thyroid gland is the same. So very delicate and needs to be protected vigilantly.

      January 3rd, 2011 6:29 pm Reply
  • Shauna

    I found this u-tube video that explains that it is safe to eat cruciferous vegetables raw, as long as you don’t have a thyroid problem and as long as you are getting adequate amounts of iodine in your diet. Sarah – can you watch this video and see if this information is good. I think it is, but I can always use another opinion.

    January 3rd, 2011 2:46 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Small amounts occasionally is ok, but it is not safe to eat them every day in the quantities folks are consuming them in green smoothies etc. Chris Masterjohn says the eating goitrogenic veggies fermented (such as sauerkraut is ok in small amounts as long as there is enough iodine in the diet and not a thyroid problem.

      HOWEVER, given that upwards of 80% of Westerners are hypothyroid to some degree, it is not wise to eat cruciferous veggies raw. I only eat them in very small amounts as fermented condiments. Its just not worth the risk!! Why not cook them in butter? Once you have thyroid problems it is so very difficult to undo .. it is foolish to roll the dice with this one and “assume” you don’t have a thyroid problem when most everyone does to some degree.

      January 3rd, 2011 3:00 pm Reply
  • Josh Zimmer

    Thanks for the article. Too many people cling to the assumption that raw vegetables are the healthiest way to to eat them. As for eating them cooked, wouldn’t the Weston Price people recommend using unpasteurized butter from pasture-fed cows?

    Josh Zimmer, AP – Sarasota

    January 2nd, 2011 12:22 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Josh, absolutely – grassfed raw butter is best. Unfortunately, some are unable to afford this luxury in which case store butter is an acceptable option.

      January 2nd, 2011 1:00 pm Reply
  • Shauna

    Any idea about Cilantro, does that have a high oxalic acid amount. Would it be safe to use in green smoothies on a daily basis ?

    January 1st, 2011 9:51 pm Reply
  • Angela

    Very interesting…have been reading/hearing a lot about green smoothies lately. I think the key to everything is to eat it in moderation. Nothing is going to be the be all and end all or miracle cure, etc. So, as long as we are eating a good variety (of healthy foods of course) we should be fine. I think when we start picking everything apart constantly it's hard to enjoy food because we're worried about it being bad for us. I really have to work on not being obsessed with the kinds of foods I eat as I'm a huge health nut. But to keep sanity in my house (aka not drive my husband crazy)I try to offer a good varied diet, not getting caught up in any one "superfood" of the moment. So, I'm really glad to have read this article to keep me from jumping on the green smoothie bandwagon because I know that would not go over well in my house. :)

    November 14th, 2010 3:06 am Reply
  • Kate

    Oh, I understand, Sarah, thanks !

    November 6th, 2010 9:39 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Kate, the only difference with walnuts is to make sure you store them in the fridge as they will easily go rancid in the pantry. They are more delicate than other nuts.

    November 5th, 2010 9:48 pm Reply
  • Kate

    thanks, Sarah, I bought Sally Fallon's book a couple of weeks ago and I am so happy about it ; it's the information I was hoping to find for years, and your blog gives the strengh to keep on ; I live with mcs, hope it will help. Really appreciate all the details you give me for walnuts ; I always heard about soaking other nuts but never walnuts.

    November 5th, 2010 9:26 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Kate, yes raw nuts should be soaked in filtered water with a bit of sea salt overnight and then dried in a warm (not hot) oven to preserve rawness. Raw nuts that are not soaked cannot be easily digested due to the copious anti-nutrients in the nuts themselves. Many folks who have trouble with nuts find they can eat them easily once they are properly prepared.

    November 5th, 2010 12:18 pm Reply
    • Susan

      They aren’t “anti-nutrients”, they are enzyme inhibitors. Geesh. And you soak nuts to get rid of them.

      December 2nd, 2012 9:39 pm Reply
  • Kate

    Hi Sarah,
    This article and posts are so interesting and helpful ; I am eating nuts lately, should they be soaked ?

    November 5th, 2010 10:26 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Yes – should be fine! No need to cook it to death.

    October 27th, 2010 6:48 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    What about blanched spinach/kale…cooked for about 2-3 minutes? Is that considered safe?
    – LOVE THE INFO!!! –
    ~ kat

    October 27th, 2010 2:36 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    I love this post! My mom was just here, reading one of the health magazines I get. I always just ignore things that don't fit with a deeper understanding of nutrition, like this, so when my mom read to me that one sort of cabbage was good raw and one wasn't, I told her that wasn't entirely true. But, the article was in print and I wasn't. I am going to have to forward her this! :)

    October 26th, 2010 7:18 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Eat a large spinach salad every day? It is virtually inevitable that you will succumb to kidney stones at some point from the oxalates according to p. 46 of the Spring 2010 edition of Wise Traditions magazine – article on oxalates by William Shaw Phd.

    October 25th, 2010 1:01 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Harmony, you hit the nail on the head .. a diet high in iodine will be very protective of the thyroid. Given that almost all Westerners eat a diet insufficient and iodine and most are overweight/obese indicating thyroid dysfunction, this does not work in our culture. Once the thyroid is whacked, simply upping iodine doesn't always fix it either. Someone who has been raised on a thyroid supportive diet has a much different tolerance for goitrogenic foods.

    October 19th, 2010 4:19 pm Reply
  • Harmony

    You say that traditional societies didn't eat much sauerkraut (which may be true), but in the traditional Korean diet kimchi (made from fermented raw napa cabbage or radishes) is more than a staple. It was what saw them through the winter, and they probably eat as much kimchi as rice. It's served at every meal (my mother-in-law was eating pizza once and went to get the kimchi out of the refrigerator because she couldn't stand not eating kimchi with a meal), even breakfast.

    How on earth can you reconcile that with what you're saying about thyroid problems? I know that Koreans eat a good amount of seafood and seaweed. Does that make up for it?

    (Very interested in this, since my family eats a lot of kimchi)

    October 19th, 2010 4:15 pm Reply
    • tach

      I was hoping someone would ask about this. My mother-in-law is Korean and eats kimchi with everything. She came over once when I had cooked a gumbo and brought kimchi. She’s always talking about how good it is for you.

      March 9th, 2013 9:43 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Broccoli sprouts are not toxic like alfalfa sprouts but are still best cooked in butter due to the goitrogens. If you put a few on a salad now and again and you eat lots of iodine rich foods, this is not a worry.

    October 17th, 2010 4:21 pm Reply
  • Jennifer

    Lots of great comments. Would this also be true, then, of broccoli sprouts?

    October 17th, 2010 3:10 am Reply
  • Meagan

    This is a good one. Raw spinach stuff is everywhere! I see athletes in the cafe loading up on spinach and HB eggs for iron and protein, but the iron really doesn't get used!!

    October 15th, 2010 10:23 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Anonymous, your argument for oxalic acid reminds me of an article supporting phytic acid that I read a few years back. The article was in support of eating freshly ground wheat flour raised the modern way with yeast – hence the bread was not properly prepared as in traditional societies (sprouted, sour leavened, or soaked). The author said that phytic acid helped chelate toxins and other baddies from the gut (true) and hence it was great to eat bread made the modern way (wrong). That woman has since suffered colon cancer which is one of the risks of eating too much phytic acid for many years. Sooooo, your oxalic acid argument while it may be true in theory – needs to be balanced against the negatives – as with the phytic acid is good for you baloney, Dr. Walker is going down the wrong path with this flawed and incomplete argument as well.

    October 15th, 2010 10:19 pm Reply
    • Fran

      You love basing your knowledge on “articles”…..

      February 5th, 2013 10:01 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Anonymous, as cited in the post, the book Nourishing Traditions is the source for the oxalic acid – don't eat your spinach raw info. Remember that digestive distress and damage can occur without any symptoms of indigestion. I certainly wouldn't be eating baby spinach raw if you have advanced cancer. Cancer is an autoimmune disease with its root in the gut anyway.. eating something that further irritates the gut is not a good idea.

    October 15th, 2010 10:13 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    Organic oxalic acid, defined as that which occurs in nature in its raw form, can actually be beneficial to the system. Once foods containing oxalic acid are cooked, according to the dean of juice therapy and author of Raw Vegetable Juices, Dr. Norman Walker, the oxalic acid becomes dead and irritating substance to the system. He feels that in its cooked form it binds irreversibly with the calcium and prevents calcium absorption. An excess of cooked oxalic acid may also form oxalic acid crystals in the kidney. In the live organic form of oxalic acid, Dr. Walker claims oxalic acid stones and calcium blockage do not occur because the organic oxalic acid can be metabolized appropriately. according to Dr. Walker, oxalic acid in its raw form is one of the important minerals needed to maintain tone and peristalsis of the bowel.

    October 15th, 2010 9:51 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    Well, while I think for the most part this was a great article and I couldn't agree more…I completely disagree with the raw spinach theory. I am battling advanced cancer and I am hyper-sensitive to digesting anything and everything to the highest degree and I have no problem with raw baby spinach. In fact, I do much better when I have a large salad of it every single night. My husband is an alternative doctor and I've never heard this before so would like to know the source of that information.


    October 15th, 2010 9:48 pm Reply
    • zbean26

      If you are doing better eating raw spinach, then by all means keep eating that salad. I think that there are as many ways to eat healthy as there are different people. I think that what may work for one, may not work for another. You are listening to your body and I think that is the smartest thing no matter what anyone else says. Good luck with your healing.

      June 5th, 2011 11:56 am Reply
    • Merina Alchemy

      Both lemon juice, and vinegar neutralize the oxalic acid in spinach. I usually add both of these ingredients into my salad dressing, and I believe it’s good to dress the salad just a few minutes before serving, long enough for the lemon juice and oil to do their magic, but not long enough to wilt the greens. Enjoy!

      March 5th, 2012 7:25 pm Reply
  • Sarah Smith


    October 14th, 2010 8:28 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Erin, wilting the spinach should be sufficient to neutralize the oxalic acid from what I've read. You certainly do not need to cook it to death by any means. That salad sounds amazing, by the way!

    Sarah, I suspect that 150 is not high enough especially for the goitrogens. To eliminate 90% of the goitrogens in cruciferous veggies for example, you have to boil them for 30 minutes! Simple steaming though will reduce them by 2/3 and save most nutrients, so this is the best way to go I think.

    October 14th, 2010 4:39 pm Reply
  • Erin

    What about wilted spinach salad with homemade bacon dressing? How long would you think it takes to neutralize the oxalic acid? I could always cook it a little bit more.

    October 14th, 2010 2:22 pm Reply
  • Sarah Smith

    A couple questions for you: would dried veggies such as dried parsley and chives also prevent a problem? I usually dry large batches of parsley (in the dehydrator at 150 degrees) for use in my homemade ranch dressing, and the dressing is so tasty that we eat a lot of it. Additionally, I recently started making kale chips and found that it is very easy to do in the dehydrator as well. Is 150 degrees sufficient to neutralize the oxalic acid and goitrogens?

    October 14th, 2010 2:21 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Considering that most hypothyroid folks would consider themselves "healthy" and don't even know they have thyroid problems until it starts causing major issues, I don't consider your argument to have much validity whatsoever. Eating goitrogenic foods other than small amounts occasionally as condiments like traditional societies that didn't even have thyroid issues at all is playing with fire. Once your thyroid goes, it is hard to fix it. Ignoring this traditional wisdom with modern day research propaganda is plain FOOLISH.

    October 14th, 2010 11:35 am Reply
    • Fonda LaShay

      Hi Sarah, I am new to the Traditional food world. But I am reading all I can about it. I Just read Real Food by Nina Planck and have just order Nourishing Traditions (cant wait for it to arrive). I have enjoyed reading your blog and watching your videos.

      I have hypothyroidism, I am only 23 and have had it almost 3 years. My doctors have me on sy-thyroid pills – but I grew up eating healthy and still believe that i can fix it by what I eat. I do not want to be dependent on a pill the rest of my life to have energy to get up and around. Do you have any suggestions on how to fix this problem. Is there like something (or combination of things) that I could eat religiously for some time to get it back in shape? I read about how you healed your child’s cavity and it just backs up in my thoughts that food will make or break you. I will not go into details, but I grew up on fairly traditional foods, but lots touch with them in my teen years.

      any help or idea would be greatly appreciated!

      June 5th, 2011 11:03 am Reply
      • Oliver

        Hi Fonda – I realise it is a year later (and now you have your own nice site!). At the end of the day – everyone is going to either be a critic or an expert – and many times both.
        Your personal journey will be fraught with “DATA” – as is all of ours. My personal journey has led me to understand that the only real “tradition” that matters is the original tradition – that is, the way we first lived on this planet 7 million years ago (depending on who u ask the timeline will differ). Every since that time, I call all other traditions variations on the original theme. Some traditions are not just variations of the original but an outright butchering of food and eating – can we say supersize me 😀
        As much as I love The usa we are notorious for distorting traditions.
        Hopefully you too will have my epihphany, which was not sudden as the word would imply, but more evolved over time. My evolved epiphany was that we are just like the other species and we should be eating as they eat – as they have eaten since the begining of their respective species (some of them for 400 million years – the shark for instance).
        Many say “but we are not all alike, we are a different species with different bodily functions and needs”. This is not so. We are all way more similar that not. We are actually made up of the same chemical elements as every living organism from oak tree to queen bee to leona the lioness; carbon, Hydrogen, phosphorus, iron, Oxygen, Nitrogen etc. And just like those other species, we need to be sustained on these same chemical elements – carbon, Hydrogen… There is no way around that. These chemical elements are the only things that combine to make us every nutrient known to the universe. And so too, every toxin.
        All things are toxic – by their very chemical nature. It is the amount of and the wrong combinations of, that can do every species in.
        For you – keep it real real simple. Ween your self off of the man made stuff eventually. Know that less is more in your body. Get to a point where few things only, enter your body – and water. When you can become more in tune with your body you can listen to it more than what doctors tell you (loved your graphic with the doctor saying “your in perfect health – wait here while I check what you should take for that”).
        At the end of the day, though I love burgers, bacon, and beer, the truth of the matter with diets, which one is best, pritican, south beach, low carb/no carb, high protein – or whatever they have out there — the best diet is the original diet – raw food. Hopefully we will all come to realise this. It is the most tried and true diet over every other diet – by seven million years! We just have to relearn which raw foods.
        Cash is king – so we may not get to this realization as a species – but you don’t have to follow the crowd.
        However – it is also no longer easy to just say raw is the best way. Our bodies have so genetically modified over the last 4 to six thousand years with the onset of cooked food and new crops that we never ate before (corn, wheat, rice, potatos, beans etc), and most recently in the past 100 years with processed food and curious farming and agricultural practises. To know which way is up any more is anyone’s guess. It’s also fair game for all of us to preach what is best…
        I look to the other species – they remind me how we should be eating – and that water is the only liquid required.

        September 10th, 2012 11:23 am Reply
      • Deborah

        Fonda, Read Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome and switch from synthetic to natural thyroid medication. If I could do over (I had my thryoid removed) I would try T3 only by finding a dr that believes in HEALING!

        September 14th, 2012 1:44 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    World's Healthiest foods says that goitrogenic foods "do not interfere with thyroid function in HEALTHY persons- even when they are consumed on a daily basis".

    Aren't goiters cause by lack of iodine?

    October 14th, 2010 6:55 am Reply
    • Rachel Leigh

      it’s an iodine deficiency, that’s one of the ways you can get goiters.

      February 1st, 2011 2:28 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    Most raw foodists are aware of the various toxins in raw veggies but don't believe it will cause issues unless someone is eating the same veggies each day for a long time period.
    Victoria Boutenko states that many greens contain some sort of toxin and reccomends not making green smoothies with the same leafy greens each day. Instead mix up the greens that go into the smoothie: one day chard, then lettuce, another day celery, next day kale and so on.

    October 14th, 2010 3:36 am Reply
  • Stanley Fishman

    Terrific post again, Sarah. Most traditional peoples cooked vegetables, except when they fermented them, and ate fruits, dairy and nuts raw. Maybe they knew something?

    Paul, the idea of using scallions with the butter sounds delicious, and I am going to try it. Thanks for sharing.

    October 14th, 2010 2:59 am Reply
  • Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship

    Balance is always the key for me. In my research, I found that spinach also has some great health benefits only when raw, so I do both when I have spinach on hand. Since I don't have a thyroid problem, I don't worry about it.

    However, I also have a great way to include spinach, kale, etc in my green smoothies: Leafy cubes! Check it out:

    :) Katie

    October 14th, 2010 2:56 am Reply
  • Stephanie B. Cornais

    Blown my mind. Again.
    I just recently got into sprouting and I was so proud of myself. But great, I have been eating something mildly toxic and immune suppressing! Ack!
    What are good things to sprout? I have tried alfafa, fenugreek, green lentils and clover.

    October 14th, 2010 2:25 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Ashley,

    I took off the stuff that was really cluttering up the site. I have a new search box instead which works GREAT .. check it out.

    October 14th, 2010 12:17 am Reply
  • Ashley

    Okay, what happened to your blog? The past couple of days i have been looking for links and your search bar doesn't work. There used to be links on the right bottom side of this page. Where can i find them now? I was trying to find a post if you had one on foods that contained vitamin B6. Maybe i missed something. I really enjoy your site. Thanks

    October 14th, 2010 12:15 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Oops, can't forget to add the raw nuts and seeds .. soaked and dried first thought to eliminate antinutrients and to maximize absorption as traditional societies practiced!

    October 13th, 2010 9:24 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Are you not a raw dairy fan? 50% is just a rule of thumb that I use myself that works very well for me. Including raw cheese, raw kefir/yogurt, raw milk, raw cream, raw butter and in some cases raw meat and eggs (I do eat most of my meat cooked but see my steak tartare post for a raw meat recipe), it is super easy to get 50% with little to no raw veggies except raw veggie juices and some fruit (I do not eat much fruit generally speaking). I do enjoy salads though made with veggies that are safe to eat raw .. with a raw dressing of course!

    October 13th, 2010 9:22 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    Hi Sarah
    Your posts are so timely! We have been trying out my daughter's juicer with veggies and fruit and we thought no fiber was a bad thing!Tina can probably get Nourishing Traditions at the library( that's where I got mine before I bought it)My husband has hypothyroidism so this info is very helpful, thank you

    October 13th, 2010 9:17 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    Wait! Aren't you the one that wrote 50% of our diet should be raw? What's left to eat raw, just fruit?

    October 13th, 2010 9:15 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Fermented sauerkraut still is goitrogenic and as such should be consumed as traditional societies did – as a condiment in small amounts. If you eat lots of grassfed BUTTER like I do, then you get plenty of iodine for your thyroid so a bit of sauerkraut is fine.

    October 13th, 2010 5:15 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Gloria, radishes are usually served on salad raw, that is true. A few here and there is not a big deal. Just roast them in olive oil/butter and they are quite nice.

    Hi Tina, Nourishing Traditions is the source I used with regard to neutralizing the oxalic acid by cooking. I've also read this a number of other sources as well. Google it and see what you come up with if you don't have a copy of NT.

    October 13th, 2010 5:14 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Green smoothies with cucumber, celery, zucchini, would be fine. Skip the kale and the spinach!

    Alina, oxalic acid is not neutralized by blending .. it must be heated.

    Beth, yes the veggies you list are a problem as well. I didn't do a complete list, just the ones most folks seem to eat raw a lot of times.

    October 13th, 2010 5:00 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    I love the stream of fascinating questions that your interesting posts generate — can't wait for some more of the answers!
    Here's another one, Sarah: should kohlrabi, mustard greens, chard and daikon be added to the cruciferous list?
    And speaking of veg issues, I just roasted jerusalem artichokes in butter and lard, and while they were delicious, they caused a bombastic gaseous upset. A google search taught me that this is caused by a substance called inulin, and that this can be helped by not harvesting them until a frost kills the top part of the plants. Another reason to get to know your farmers so you can discuss such pressing concerns!
    : )

    October 13th, 2010 4:45 pm Reply
  • Alina

    Me and my husband do green smoothies and quite often we use spinach. Would blending it on high speed (Blendtec) neutralize this oxalic acid? If not then should I steam it lightly before blending? How long should it be steamed for? Can I steam a batch of spinach for a week let’s say or should it be freshly steamed every day? Any other solutions when it comes to green smoothies? What a bummer!

    October 13th, 2010 4:20 pm Reply
  • Natalia

    I am going to have to chew on that one.

    The two I don't cook all the time are kale and spinach… no more green smoothies then ??


    October 13th, 2010 3:47 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    What can I substitute for RAW KALE/SPINACH in my morning green smoothie???
    – kat

    October 13th, 2010 3:11 pm Reply
  • Sarah Smith

    Great information. I already knew cruciferous veggies and spinach should be avoided raw, but didn't know that the list included radishes, chives, and parsley. A couple questions for you: would dried veggies such as dried parsley and chives also prevent a problem? I usually dry large batches of parsley (in the dehydrator at 150 degrees) for use in my homemade ranch dressing, and the dressing is so tasty that we eat a lot of it. Additionally, I recently started making kale chips and found that it is very easy to do in the dehydrator as well. Is 150 degrees sufficient to neutralize the oxalic acid and goitrogens?

    October 13th, 2010 2:59 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    What about fermented sauerkraut? Does that harm the thyroid?

    I cook most veggies and fruits that aren't fermented because it's easier to digest them.

    I knew that oxalic acid was in certain veggies but I didn't think cooking those veggies would neutralize oxalic acid. Can I get your source for that because I have given up all veggies that contain oxalic acid because I didn't think there was any way to neutralize the oxalic acid.


    October 13th, 2010 2:58 pm Reply
    • Django

      Unfortunately she is misinformed. Cooking high oxalate vegetables does NOT significantly reduce their oxalates.

      Best to avoid them entirely and stick to low oxalate veggies.

      March 15th, 2011 10:38 am Reply
      • Natschultz

        Hmm, are you SURE about that? The key is to dump the water after – that contains the Oxalates.

        Tannins can be removed by repeated rinsing (that’s how you can eat acorns), so steaming veggies and dumping the water should work as well.

        July 16th, 2011 4:42 am Reply
        • cat

          It also washes out the vitamins and enzymes. This is very poor advice

          January 21st, 2012 6:55 pm Reply
          • Krystina

            Cooking does not remove Oxilates, just skip these veggies.

            May 29th, 2012 7:07 pm
        • Cassie

          I’ve been a reader of a website called Worlds Healthiest Foods (I am in no way affiliated with that site). I’ve learned about oxylates from their descriptions of the various vegetables and issues (such as oxylates). The text for any given discussion is heavily footnoted with what appear to be reputable science. What I have learned is that steaming vegetables does in fact remove something like 40% of the oxylates but steaming veggies does not remove the nutrients (as much as other forms of cooking). Yes, throw the water out – it’s got the oxalic acid which is not good for anything. I have also read that lemon juice will neutralize the acid somewhat but I can’t find any further verification of that idea. Any chemists out there can probably confirm or question this assertion. The related interesting thing I read today about broccoli is that it is best to wait 5-10 minutes after cutting it before steaming it – that allows some of the good subtances to bind and protect themselves from damage by cooking.

          August 10th, 2012 7:45 pm Reply
  • Linda

    I eat a raw spinach salad nearly every day with no problems. My iron level last time it was checked recently was 13. I have no indigestion and if I don't eat it for a couple of days, my digestive system doesn't work as well. Spinach has been the thing that finally turned my digestive problems around. I eat enough meat, but not a lot(and we do not eat beef in our house).

    On prescription does not fit all.

    October 13th, 2010 2:36 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Linda, eating a big spinach salad everyday and it is virtually certain you will eventually succumb to kidney stones from the oxalates, according to Dr. William Shaw, Director of The Great Plains Laboratory for Health, Nutrition and Metabolism.

      February 10th, 2011 9:30 am Reply
      • barbara

        Out of 6 brothers and sisters and parents, one sister, one brother and my father all have kidney stones. They rarely if at all, eat spinach. My daughter out of my three children also has kidney stones. She will eat raw spinach perhaps several times a month and also cooked. Her last stones were tested and they were made of calcium oxalate. She does not eat any of the other vegetables listed raw for the most part. Heredity plays a big part. I eat the raw spinach, and other vegetables and have no problems with kidney stones and I am 62.

        August 20th, 2011 1:48 pm Reply
      • Stephanie

        Spinach is high in calcium oxalate, but so is chocolate, tea and nuts so consuming too much of any of those (healthy) foods has the potential to cause kidney stones. Many people eat these foods every day without every having a kidney stone. Drinking enough water daily will prevent them from forming as will lemons or water with lemon. And some people are just more prone to them and will get them no matter what they eat or drink.

        February 13th, 2012 9:48 am Reply
      • NEO

        Just like to mention that I had a friend with kidney stones. Docyors were going to use the non-invasive sound wave thing to break them up. He went online and discovered that if he could drink raw vinegar the stones would disappear on their own. Sure enough, after consuming the vinegar the stones (which were formed from oxalates) vanished making the doctors wonder how he did it…and it happened quickly!

        So, it’s my guess that if you include vinegar in your salads, you are probably doing wonders to keep the oxalates in check.

        just my two cents….

        February 28th, 2013 12:16 pm Reply
      • Mr Geist

        What most people think are facts are often just opinions or theories. Sarah, your belief that Linda will get a kidney stone does not make it so. Not to say Dr Shaw is wrong, I’ve read about oxalates from other sources, but to imply that every person’s body will react the same way is jumping the gun a bit, don’t you think?

        Same with the vegan/vegetarian/carnivore arguments. There have been some decent points made by both sides, but those sweeping statements or implications such as “vegans are pale” or “hardcore meat eaters have shorter lifespans” are fallacies. Everyone is different and we don’t know nearly as much as we think we do. Just because a few people in one population became ill does not mean the rest of the population will be affected the same way.

        As for your comment about alfalfa being toxic, well some relatives of mine have had great results with alfalfa in RELIEVING joint pain. Go figure.

        In any case, thanks for the info you’ve shared for us to consider and compare. I value your presence in the healthy food community.

        January 12th, 2014 9:29 pm Reply
        • noonehere

          Thank you for the great comment, Mr Geist. Nowadays we have so many people telling us what exactly we should eat and what we shouldn’t, when in reality we still have a lot to learn. Even scientific research can present conflicting or weak evidence for the nutritional benefits of certain food.

          April 12th, 2014 10:48 pm Reply
    • Svetlana Hull

      The minimum iron count should be 30 . Not 13 . You get to get the right info about it.

      September 23rd, 2011 12:30 am Reply
      • Lulu

        Depends on what units you’re using. The minimum to donate blood with the Red Cross is around 13 (which is above minimum needed for health)

        June 5th, 2013 1:18 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    Hi Sarah,
    Thank you for another great article!
    I have had hypothyroidism for the last 25+ years. I have to say that my doctors have not given me any information about eating so as to protect the thyroid. They just put me on synthetic hormone for decades (never feeling any better)until Dr. Mercola weaned me from it to the natural medicine Armour Thyroid.

    I can't stress enough how important protecting the thyroid gland and its function is! It affected me in many of the ways listed above, but it also affected my fertility (could only manage one full term miracle, who is now 17). I currently tend to suffer from severe PMS and fibroids, tire feeling and extreme difficulty losing excess weight.

    I have however made great progress by switching my diet from the traditional low-fat to the no-grain-no-sugar but healthy fats in the last couple of months. My PMS and fibroids have lessened considerably and my low energy level is slowly getting better to allow my to exercise three times a week.
    All this to just underscore the important role the thyroid gland plays in health.

    One question: how do you cook radishes? I've always served them raw in salads.
    Gloria :)

    October 13th, 2010 2:21 pm Reply
  • Raine Saunders

    I used to eat raw broccoli all the time, and in fact, I used to eat broccoli every day of my life practically – this was really only about a year ago…thinking I was doing myself a favor. But since then I've wised up and started cooking most of my vegetables. I haven't started lacto-fermenting yet, but I hope to start doing this soon. I still eat salads, but I always eat them with home-made olive oil and vinegar dressing or some other healthy oil like home-made buttermilk ranch or coconut oil. It is pretty amazing, though, how many people eat most of their vegetables raw. I guess the ones I see abusing this practice the most are those who are vegan and vegetarian. It makes me wonder how anyone who eats like this can still be functioning! Great post, Sarah!

    October 13th, 2010 2:10 pm Reply
    • Rachel Leigh

      Well, you want to know how I’m still functioning?…
      I can’t eat high protein foods, so the hormone-filled cows are out.
      I don’t get colds in the winter
      I don’t take pharmaceutical drugs
      I have clear skin
      I don’t eat sugar, processed foods, or fat
      I have lots of energy and don’t get tired in the afternoon
      My mind is completely clear and focused
      I know that I don’t have to worry about cancer, because of my vegan diet
      I don’t have to worry about any disease
      Just to remind you, the people that eat like this, don’t ever have to worry about being sick, tired, depressed, get diabetes, or cancers, ect. ect. and it’s all because they took the time to research about natural raw organic food. Foods that are actually used to push toxins out of the body. So, before you knock being a vegan, vegetarian or raw foodist, and take the time to actually research about it.

      February 1st, 2011 2:59 am Reply
      • Marcela

        I would suggest you do the same – and quoting this documentary doesn’t help. This is the documentary which features a raw food proponent, in which one of his ‘clients’ lost 15 pounds in bowel movements in one day – you call this healthy?? Or safe????

        And actually, you’re putting yourself at risk for disease because you’re denying your body of a lot of nutrients; in other words, you’re making yourself weaker. But, suit yourself – unfortunately, you won’t realize this until it’s too late.

        Is it any wonder veganism/vegetarianism was not founded on science, but ideology?

        March 30th, 2011 7:21 am Reply
        • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

          A baby just died recently because the vegan mother’s breastmilk was so incredibly nutrient deficient. This would never happen if the mother was eating meat.

          March 30th, 2011 9:30 am Reply
          • Faith

            Woa there. I’m vegan – was through my pregnancy and over two years of nursing, too. I bike commuted 12 miles per day through my second trimester. My baby was 8 lbs 4oz, 21.5″ long at birth and gained a half pound in her first 5 days of life off my copious, rich breastmilk. She was consistently in the 90th percentile in weight and 75th percentile in height through her first year. Once she started being mobile and eating our diet, she thinned out to be in about the 20th percentile which her doctor said is to be expected because that is what percentile her parents are in. She is exceptionally healthy, only having been sick enough to visit the doctor between well-child exams twice. We are conscious eaters and my husband, particularly, is well-informed about nutrition through his own curiosity, research and experience (though not professionally). He would probably very much agree with most of this particular post with the exception of cooking in butter – we prefer vigrin coconut or olive oil.

            Any sickly looking vegans you see out there are probably the ones who don’t eat enough vegies and eat too many processed foods.

            So please be careful with the broad labeling about vegans. Also, to the other readers, note that there are only a few vegatables being called out here not to consume raw, so don’t generalize that no veggies should be eaten raw.

            May 27th, 2011 7:03 pm
          • nick

            The baby you are referring to died of pneumonia and on autopsy was found to be nutrient deficient. The parents were told by a doctor she needed to be in hospital but instead they decided to treat her themselves with mud packs, natural remedies and such. This seemed to me to be a problem with the parents being idiots not vegans. Being nutrient poor is possible on any diet why dont you list all the stories of babies and people that die on meat based diets.

            August 3rd, 2011 2:49 am
          • Barb

            “Whoa there” as well, Sarah. Another vegan mother here who raised a sparklingly healthy, robust, happy child on vegan breastmilk. He’s now 17, and he’s needed medical care for illness only twice in his life. His IQ is over the top, and he’s known about town as a warm, kind, and blazingly outspoken individual. Never had an ear infection, ever. If you find my photo I think you’ll agree I’m not a bit pale, and I’m healthy as a horse. The mother you describe was undoubtedly not eating a balanced diet. It’s simply not accurate to state that nutrients are missing from a balanced vegan diet. That’s what the word “balanced” means.

            September 9th, 2011 2:50 pm
          • ShivaD

            Unfortunately some vegans and vegetarians need a reality check and a wake up call – YOU TOO ALSO DIE OF DISEASES!!! I find it funny that some of you guys are quick to claim that “that vegan/vegetarian didn’t eat right, hence their sickness”, however, the same goes with the majority of meat eaters who don’t eat right. There is NO CONCRETE PROOF that a person cannot be healthy eating meat – as a matter of fact we have our ancestry on our side – they ALL ate meat at some point (maybe not in excess like we do) and we are still here right? No where has there been a majority of people on a vegan/vegetarian diet throughout our history by choice – NO WHERE!! The ONLY culture I hear about outside of the US are Indians and, umm, they aren’t glimmering images of health. Vegan/vegetarianism is an idealist diet and thats ok if that’s what you want to do but please stop with the “your going to get cancer and die” theatrics – its really getting old. I see fat, out of shape, ill vegans/vegetarians all the time. We are omnivores by nature – which includes eating meat. If we weren’t supposed to eat it we wouldn’t produce the stomach acids to break it down. period – it’s just that simple. Sorry but we have to see the vegans/vegetarians produce generation after generation of healthy babies who grow up eating that way and live longer and healthier than healthy meat eaters – only then can such claims be made. Folks who “turned” later in life simply have no proof or history (centuries – not years) to show that they are healthier than someone who eats grass-fed pasture raised meat, poultry, eggs, etc. I see people who eat that way and avoid grains and beans who are just as healthy and in shape (some of them former vegans/vegetarians by the way).

            January 22nd, 2013 5:12 pm
        • Jason

          So here’s my question. How can anyone who has not made the decision to completely detoxify their bodies and eat an all raw diet have an idea what they are talking about? They can’t. They are simply regurgitating what society has taught them. Butter is not natural and, for that matter, neither is cooking the life out of vegetables. The information contained in this article is sadly mistaken and unfortunately misleading to people who may be searching for the only true healthy natural diet. So, for those of you who are searching for the truth, please disregard this article. I don’t believe the author is intentionally misleading you, but she is very wrong. None of the health risks, such as hypothyroidism, apply to someone on a completely raw-vegan diet. Check the facts or, better yet, try talking to the many others out there who have overcome disease and vastly improved their lives through this diet. I’m not sure why people find it necessary to try to disprove these real cases in which people have found, without any doubt, the true way humankind was meant to eat and live. Please, please, please look into the raw food diet for yourselves! You WILL BE GRATEFUL you did :)

          March 28th, 2013 10:17 pm Reply
        • robert

          “one of his ‘clients’ lost 15 pounds in bowel movements in one day — you call this healthy?? Or safe????” show me proof it’s dangerous or unsafe. also, it was one of his family members, not a client.

          “And actually, you’re putting yourself at risk for disease because you’re denying your body of a lot of nutrients; in other words, you’re making yourself weaker. But, suit yourself — unfortunately, you won’t realize this until it’s too late.” really? what nutrients? do more research, a well planned raw vegan diet is anything but nutrient deficient.

          October 14th, 2013 5:27 am Reply
        • Alice

          If you want science, read the book called “The China Study” – and then show me another book that is based on such MASSIVE scientific evidence and proves that animal protein is good for you… The author, Dr Campbell, a prof. emeritus at Cornell University, has been vegan for around 20 years, he’s now 80, runs 10 miles every morning. His friend, Dr Esselstyn, heart surgeon and Olympic champion has been vegan for even longer, he’s too 80, and is perfectly healthy. Their work and the scientific evidence behind their researches/practices convinced a guy called Bill Clinton to become vegan a couple of years ago. He must be an idiot, too… I think you’d be pretty shocked if you actually bothered to read the book and get know the facts. :/

          January 7th, 2014 10:33 am Reply
          • MRPALEO

            Dear Alice,

            Unfortunately, you do not understand “science”, the scientific method, or what it means to have an agenda…

            Denise Minger did an excellent job of reviewing the “China Study”, IF, as you say, you want to KNOW the science…


            As far as Bill being an idiot… self-serving, definitely, but not an idiot… lol…

            January 7th, 2014 10:47 am
      • Marina

        We now have excellent alternative choices to “hormone filled cows”, and websites abound in educating consumers about where to get healthy pastured organic wild grass fed (you fill in the word..) meats, eggs, raw dairy, wild fish, and whatever else. I would not knock anyone being a vegan or vegetarian, but I do know that almost nobody in this country could possibly raise locally their own vegan food they would need on a year round basis for healthy living. (keep in mind we are talking about millions of people, here) I don’t know of anyone raising their own sesame seeds, dates, avocados, sunflower seeds, or much in the way or beans and rice and quinoa. So most of it is trucked, shipped or airlifted at great fuel expense, and great financial expense in many ways as well. Buying grapes for 18$/# is not the lifestyle of the “common man”. The “raw foods movement” archives are FULL of stories of people getting malnourished, tired, sick, unable to recover from injury, and thus jumping ship after the phase wears out for them, or they mature, or both,. I also would not say “a vegan diet” prevents /heals cancer- I would say A GOOD DIET, based on balanced whole foods – has the potential, but not the guarantee, to do so.

        May 27th, 2011 11:46 am Reply
      • Natschultz

        WOW! It’s comments like this that give Vegetarians / Vegans a bad name! As a Vegetarian (Lacto-Ovo – I eat eggs and dairy) for the past 23 years I must say this is by far the most absurd, ludicrous assertion I have EVER HEARD! Vegan Raw Foodists can “Never get sick or get cancer?” Wow! Just, wow!

        BTW: My Grandfather lived to the the ripe old age of 87 on a strict diet of Grandma’s high-salt, red meat traditional European food, homemade (fermented) pickles, two packs of filterless Camels and a shot of VO Whiskey every day! He was fully alive and kicking (and yelling 😉 until the doctor punctured a hole in his colon and didn’t realize it until he bled out into a coma and could not be revived. You know what the nurses said to me when I got to the hospital? She said “We don’t understand what happened – he was so full of life and energy! We couldn’t keep him in his room – he kept coming out and harrassing us for Marmalade and apricot jam! He was so funny – he really kept us on our feet! And then, he came out of surgery and just went downhill – we just cannot understand.”

        Anyway, yes FACTORY FARMING / Industrial Agriculture is BAD! But this absurd notion of removing all “Livestock” from the food-chain to grow more grains and veggies is just ABSURD! Afterall, you cannot grow good crops without good sh-t! (manure)

        Pasture-raised animals are more beneficial to Planet Earth than any other life-form other than Sea-Life. They eat NATIVE WILD grasses that we humans CANNOT consume, and fertilize the land along the way! They also produce the necessary Methane and other Greenhouse gasses that keep our atmosphere viable for Organic Life of all sorts. Ban industrial farming and allow only pasture-raised hormone and antibiotic-free animals to be raised and the Earth will be back in balance in no time at all. Yes, food prices overall will rise, but so will human health in response – humans would consume less toxic, cheap “Franken-foods” and Greenhouse gasses would fall back to their natural NECESSARY levels (too many crowded animals = too much Greenhouse gas emissions for the atmosphere to absorb). Cows and chickens are not the problem – HUMANS ARE THE PROBLEM! If we truly “Get back to nature” then the human rate of population growth would by necessity level-out to meet what the Earth can naturally provide to sustain us!

        I may be a Vegetarian, but I’ll Defend to the Death your Right to eat Meat!

        July 16th, 2011 5:29 am Reply
      • Sandpunk

        Veganism prevents cancer. THat’s hilarious!

        September 9th, 2011 3:58 am Reply
        • Christina

          Yes, a vegan diet can prevent cancer! Pick up a copy of The China Study or watch Forks over Knives on Netflix.

          September 9th, 2011 4:11 pm Reply
          • tanya

            Hah, The China Study! This is sadly a bad case of misguided research, highlighting selective information and twisted statistics, as is common is “scientific” circles, written by a complete fanatic. I had to study this book as it was a core text for a course I was doing, which ultimately I gave up as this book provoked so many questions about the truthfulness of Dr Campbell’s research/conclusions, and indeed his personal integrity. I couldn’t take the course seriously after I realised how flawed the studies in this book are!

            Having said that though, my experience is that a more or less vegan diet is good as a cleanse – something that you’d do for a month or so to flush yourself out. I don’t believe humans were designed to be vegans, and I believe that we have special reciprocal relationships with our food animals (or should do) from a long way back; the problem that is happening now is a massive abuse of that relationship. And we could say the same for our food plants – is a plant any less alive and deserving of respect than an animal?!!!

            I love food, and I love to be strong and healthy, and I have tried eating in different ways throughout my life, but the thing that has always made sense to me and which has underlaid all my experiments is Whole Food: as nature intended! Yeah!

            September 20th, 2011 4:52 am
        • Kieran DSouza

          u r obviously laughing at your total ignorance

          January 15th, 2013 3:18 am Reply
        • susan

          My thoughts exactly….Beware…you can not say that since you are vegan, you will not get cancer. There are many things that cause or contribute to cancer.

          November 12th, 2013 12:32 pm Reply
      • Atticus

        Have you had any dental issues lately? It seems your diet is highly deficient of vitamins A and D (in their natural form), and of course vitamin K.

        December 24th, 2011 1:38 pm Reply
      • Emma Joscelin

        yay! way to stick up for the vegans Rachel!
        yeah that makes sense…let’s all take nutritious healing vegetables and slather them in hormone filled artery clogging ANIMAL FAT. this wacko reasoning might explain the obesity in America. People don’t want to hear that what they are eating is bad for themselves and the environment. They want to be told to eat more butter.
        You guys are pathetic.

        December 24th, 2011 10:05 pm Reply
        • Ursula

          Emma, you still believe the myth that animal fats cause heart disease? That has long been refuted. In fact, the heart runs on saturated fats, and new research (that is actually based on real science) shows that low fat diets cause heart disease!

          On the other hand, other than olive oil (which should never be used for cooking), vegetable oils cause disease and are bad for you.

          Weight gain is caused by too many carbohydrates, not animal fat. Actually, eating lots of saturated fat helps you to lose weight!

          So, actually, you’re the one who is pathetic, as you still believe old junk science.

          December 29th, 2012 11:54 am Reply
          • susan

            Why shouldn’t you use olive oil for cooking? Just curious….

            November 12th, 2013 12:37 pm
          • what?

            Carbs cause obesity? Ever heard of durianrider? 40 banana’s a day, 40 dates, mango, pineapple, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and has 3 percent body fat?

            Contrary to claims of the traditional living Inuit being immune from cardiovascular disease, evidence of severe atherosclerosis has been identified in several frozen mummies of Alaskan Inuit dating back to 400 CE and 1520 CE, both instances predating European contact.7 8 Atherosclerosis has also previously been identified in several artificially prepared mummies of Aleut-Unangan hunter gatherers who lived in the 18th century in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.9 10 Recently the HORUS study, which examined an additional five recovered mummies of Unangan hunter gatherers who lived in the mid and late 19th century found definite evidence of atherosclerosis in several major arteries in all three who were over the age of 25.11

            April 5th, 2014 4:45 pm
          • what?

            Pardon me, typo.

            Burnt off as *HEAT, not fat.

            April 5th, 2014 4:50 pm
      • Krystina

        This comment is silly. i was vegan for 5 years and thought I was very healthy. I didn’t eat anything processed, etc. Your post is a bit arrogant. My boyfriend at the time had been vegan for 12 years and developed many health problems due to his diet including Ulcerative Colitis,. This is a very serious disease that often leads to colon cancer. I know many long term Vegans who have become ill, malnourished or nutrient deficient. Just be very careful. And please, if you intend on becoming pregnant, do more research and consider some diet changes.

        May 29th, 2012 7:04 pm Reply
        • KarenL

          Apologies, Sarah, for this continued “hi-jacking” of your intent for this article, but I wanted to share about my “hippie” neighbor who has lived on the same lot for about 36 years and was a vegetarian for 35 yrs. She tended the land she lived on and grew most of her food. She believed that vegetarianism was best for her body and the earth. Then she started having problems… She started getting lumps, growths and teeth issues.

          Somehow she heard about Weston A Price and started reading more and decided to change her diet. Now half of her land is used to raise goats (for milk and meat) and chickens (for eggs) and she grows veggies on the other half to support herself and the animals she is raising.

          She feels better than she has ever felt and the health of her teeth is improving. She left vegetarianism behind about 5 yrs ago. She is a Sr citizen now.

          June 4th, 2012 3:04 pm Reply
      • Mel

        People that eat like this DO get cancer.

        November 24th, 2012 4:06 pm Reply
        • greg

          yep as a parent of a child who had cancer at 5 years old, i cant think being vegan would of stopped that? off course it must of been my fault for paying out on organic meat and veg? for snacks at school she would take peppers, tomatoes and stuff, not cause we want her to, but because she likes them. she is one of the healthiest eaters and drinkers in her school, yet alone year and was one of 43 children in 1 million 0-16 year olds to get leukemia, but im sure if we / her were vegan thins would not of happened?

          you cant sweep a nation and say if you eat vegan you don’t have to worry about ever being ill and not getting cancer? what an arrogant thing to say!

          i eat healthy, but i do eat meat too, very rarely ever eat white carbs at all, i train hard, drink tones of water, i do raw juice too as well as eat cooked veg.

          im only saying this as i stand as much chance of getting cancer as the next, you will see this if you live on a cancer ward over two years like i did with her! it gets all different people in all walks of life.

          stay on your diet, be happy and ill stay on mine, but don’t tell me that if my daughter had been strict vegan shed not of got cancer, that’s just horse cra……..

          January 10th, 2013 12:04 pm Reply
      • Josef Antincci

        Well said! Thank God there was someone here who stood up to ask, “What the $%&*???? I have been reading all the BS and lambs who agree with what they read here on the internet?!? Good God! I am NOT a vegan/vegetarian/raw foodest. I eat meat. I drink alcohol. I eat raw radishes for my liver function health. I eat raw ________ for my ________ health. I know what raw vegetables can, and have, marked improvements in my bodily functions. For the love of God just google this! And remember to consider the source for what ever motive may be. Don’t eat raw vegetables!?!?! Are you kidding me?

        May 10th, 2013 1:41 pm Reply
      • Kristine Winniford

        I’ve known several vegans and vegetarians who have gotten cancer, heart disease, sudden heart attach (and died), stroke, and depression has been a major factor in why others have begun to consume more animal proteins. Vegans often feel great for a few years, and then begin to have major health problems. I would wager a bet that you’ve been vegan for less than 3 years.

        June 8th, 2013 11:00 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth Walling

    What a great topic. I see people choking down raw broccoli (yuck!) all the time, thinking they're being "good" on their diet.

    On a side note, I always thought I hated vegetables until I starting slathering them with butter. Everything is better with butter.

    October 13th, 2010 1:49 pm Reply
    • Ariel

      Ha-ha! My sister and I have a joke in our kitchen; “If it didn’t have butter, it could have been much better!” We also say “What two things make everything better? Lemon and butter, of course!”

      October 6th, 2011 10:00 am Reply
      • Kieran DSouza

        Hey, that’s EXACTLY what I am having right now: Peas cooked in coconut oil (butter equivalent) and garnished with a freshly squeezed lemon!!

        January 11th, 2013 11:40 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    this was very helpful info! Thank you so much. I find it facinating how we keep learning new things about food.

    October 13th, 2010 1:42 pm Reply
  • Pavil The Uber Noob

    I really enjoy sauteing veggies in raw butter from healthy, pastured, cream producing cows. I usually flavor the butter with scallions before I add the main veggies. If I am low on butter, I use virgin coconut oil. I always saute on sub medium heat.
    I believe it was a prior blog from this site, that I discovered sauteing with butter. Never looked back.

    October 13th, 2010 1:19 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Harold, a little seasoning like sea salt is great. I really like Herbamare which is a blend of sea salt and some flavorful herbs. A light saute is fine or even a more thorough cooking if you prefer.

    October 13th, 2010 11:17 am Reply


      Be careful with “sea” salt, as ALL salt is sea salt, and legally can be labeled as “sea salt”, including regular sodium chloride, or the salt that comes from the desalination plants (which intensifies pollutants from seawater). I recommend only Himalayan salt….

      November 12th, 2013 1:00 pm Reply
  • Juliann

    Great article Sarah! I have been juicing celery, beets and a small bit of parsley first thing in the morning and I save the fiber to cook in butter in my veggie omelette an hour later, that way nothing gets wasted!!!

    October 13th, 2010 11:05 am Reply
  • TheFitnessFreak

    Thanks for the great info Sarah! I have Hashimoto's and have often wondered if the excessive raw spinach was too much for me. Now I know : )


    October 13th, 2010 5:59 am Reply
  • Suzanne

    Interesting info. I need to send this to my chiropractor-and is becoming a quack-o-practor. He is constantly shoving info. down your throat and lots about eating raw.

    October 13th, 2010 4:58 am Reply
  • Harold

    As for cooking the veggies in butter, would that mean a light saute?
    Add some seasoning?

    October 13th, 2010 3:45 am Reply

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