Pretty much any diet will tell you that you can and should eat veggies including raw veggies. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a good diet that didn’t include various forms of veggies. Paleo, Atkins, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Mediterranean, diets for diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and many other diets have vegetables as part of what you should eat to get healthier or lose weight.
Raw vegetables are better than cooked as valuable nutrients haven’t been cooked out of them and they are high in good fiber.
I didn’t use to be a big raw veggies person and found it hard to even get myself to eat a salad. I have read many times that you should shoot for eating raw veggies or raw fruit at least 5 times a day. I thought 5 times a day was a steep hill to climb as I rarely use to even eat raw veggies once a day. But over time I came up with ideas on how to work these in comfortably.
*** Pre-make easy snacks like baby carrots, celery with a little peanut butter or cream cheese in the center, apple slices, cucumber sticks, etc. Put them in baggies and take them with you to work.
*** Make a big batch of coleslaw that will last a week and keep it in the fridge. It’s super easy to make if you have a food processor using cabbage and carrots. The dressing is just mayo, lemon juice, a little vinegar, a few spices and a sweetener (I use stevia). If you use very fresh, crisp cabbage, it lasts a week and is great with lunches or even as a snack.
*** Make it a routine to always start dinner with a salad, even if it’s a small one. It’s a great weight loss tip as it is proven to result in a lower calorie intake at dinner if you start with a salad as the fiber in the veggies helps you to feel full earlier. The only thing to watch is what dressing you use and how much. Loading a lot of high sugar and/or high fat dressing on will crank up the calorie count and (in the case of a sugary dressing) can increase your appetite. Find a healthy dressing you like and use it somewhat sparingly.
*** Mix berries (some of the lowest sugar/high fiber fruits) into lowfat or nonfat plain yogurt. I usually by a tub of organic lowfat yogurt, mix in a little stevia and vanilla extract and some organic berries and it’s almost like dessert it is so good.
*** Mix berries into oatmeal or granola.
Let me know if you have any other good ones to add!