Vegan and Raw: Is the Thrive Diet Safe?

If you think veganism is extreme, you haven’t tried the thrive diet. Introduced by Brendan Brazier, former professional athlete and now author, the thrive diet is a raw, vegan lifestyle plan.

People who follow the thrive diet don’t count calories or limit food portions. Instead, they eat several plant-based meals throughout the day to maintain their blood sugar and energy levels.

The diet claims to aid in weight loss, boost energy levels, reduce stress, stabilize blood sugar and cardiovascular health, among several other health benefits.

What can I eat?

If you are planning to try the thrive diet, you can only consume plant-based whole foods that are either entirely raw or minimally cooked at low temperatures. In other words, these are foods that are as close to their fresh and natural state as possible. Among your options are all fruits and vegetables, including beans, seeds, hemp, cold-pressed oils, apple cider vinegar, and sea vegetables among many others.

The primary goal of this diet is to consume raw, vegan superfoods that deliver the nutrients your body needs without needing additional supplements. Each meal should consist of high protein, plenty of fiber, and healthy fats without a drop of animal product.

What can’t I eat?

A fully raw, vegan diet is straightforward — no animal products whatsoever. In addition, you need to avoid refined carbohydrates and foods that are high in starch and sugar. You are also encouraged to cut out or reduce your consumption of processed foods such as canned beans and lentils since they contain additives and are high in sugar, salts, and bad fats.

What are the health benefits?

People who maintain a plant-based diet can maintain healthier weights and have lower blood pressure and cholesterol than those who consume meat. A vegan diet has been shown in some studies to reduce the occurrence of high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and death by cardiovascular disease — although more extensive trials must be conducted to examine the long-term health benefits in more depth.

Brazier also asserts that following his plan helps reduce high stress and anxiety levels. However, these are merely anecdotal benefits that have not been supported by facts and research.

Is the thrive diet safe?

Although presented as a way to energize the body and aid in weight loss (among several other benefits), people who switch to an all-vegan diet are at risk of specific deficiencies. They may find themselves deficient in iron, vitamin D, calcium, DHA, and vitamin B-12 — all of which are rich in animal products.

If you are planning to follow the thrive diet, you may find the need to consume supplements (even though the diet discourages supplementation) to meet the recommended daily requirements.

A Word of Advice

Before making significant life changes regarding your health, seeking advice from a doctor is your best bet for success. As with any dietary change, the first step is to ensure that you do not have a serious health condition that may be worsened by a specific diet.


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