The raw foods diet cycles around every ten or twenty years. Its premise is that raw foods are healthier (have “live” enzymes or are more nutritious). A raw foods diet usually consists primarily of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other basic foods. While I am in agreement with people increasing their intakes of fruits and vegetables and nuts are certainly healthy additions to many diets, the raw foods diet is too restrictive to guarantee providing most people with all the vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and other nutrients needed for optimal health. Its premise also is false. As I discuss in The Origin Diet (Henry Holt 2001), humans have thrived for hundreds of thousands of years on diets composed of a mix of cooked and raw plants, nuts, cooked legumes, wild game, seafood, and other real food. While raw vegetables in salads are healthy and add variety to the diet and raw fruit is a great snack, many nutrients are actually better absorbed and available to the body when a food is cooked. For example, beta carotene is more available in cooked vegetables than in raw vegetables. The bottom line: You’ll be far better off focusing on minimally-processed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, nonfat milk products, whole grains and extra lean meat, and avoiding processed foods, than you are severely restricting your diet to only uncooked foods.