Other than munching on baby carrots or salads, Americans typically steam, bake, or grill most vegetable dishes. So what is up with this raw-diet craze that is sweeping the nation, and why should you consider putting raw, fresh tomatoes on your pasta instead of tomato sauce? Quality When cooking veggies, heating can deplete the vitamins, and damage the proteins, which takes away most of the benefits. Eating raw veggies also ensures that you are consuming more energy with a smaller meal! Preparation It's raw! How much prep time could you possibly need?! If you feel like being fancy you could always make a raw salad that takes more time, and many raw foodists become experts at blending and dehydrating foods. But all-in-all there is less time involved with raw food prep. Just be sure to wash your food thoroughly! Health benefits With a diet based on raw vegetables, research shows that problems such as heartburn, gas, indigestion and constipation can be significantly reduced! Weight loss You'll probably lose weight on this diet, since many raw foods are low in calories, fat, and sodium, and high in fiber. Gluten-Free With many people allergic to or avoiding gluten, it's good news that most raw foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, are naturally gluten-free!