The raw foods diet emphasizes eating uncooked and unprocessed foods, often those that are organic or wild-grown and foraged foods. While raw food diets tend to be vegetarian or vegan in nature, eating raw animal products is permissible if you make that choice. Sashimi, as a source of healthy animal protein, is uncooked fish, which is allowed on a nonvegetarian raw foods diet.
Sashimi is a type of sushi native to Japan, the first instances of which appeared over 200 years ago. Sashimi refers to thin slices of raw fish, which are sometimes cured or marinated lightly with soy sauce or alcohol to season the fish and preserve it. Sashimi can be made from a variety of fish and seafood; the most common are tuna, salmon, mackerel and yellowtail.
Raw Food Diet and Animal Products
Raw food diets that include animal products allow for fish and seafood, as well as other meats that can be safely eaten raw, including dairy, muscle meats such as beef, and in some cases, organ meats and eggs. As with vegetarian raw food diets, the animal products cannot be heated over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Supporters of raw food diets consider eating food cooked over this temperature limit to have lost the majority of its nutritional value. Sashimi, as it is left entirely uncooked, is allowed on a raw foods diet, as are other raw meat dishes, such as steak tartare.
Sashimi Safety and Benefits
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends eating a minimum of 8 ounces of fish or seafood as a protein choice each week. Many fish and other seafood are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce your chances of cardiovascular disease. To ensure the sashimi you eat is safe, choose sushi-grade fish, which has been checked, tested and approved for eating raw. Vary the type of sashimi you eat to ensure you get a range of different nutrients. When purchasing fish, let your fishmonger know you plan to eat it raw.
Vegetarian and Vegan Raw Foods Diet
Most raw food followers practice a vegetarian or vegan raw foods diet. These practitioners do not consume muscle meats, such as fish for sashimi, but raw milk and raw milk products, as well as raw eggs may be allowed for those on a vegetarian diet. A vegan raw foods diet abstains from all animal products, so milk, cheese and eggs are not allowed, although in some cases raw honey is included.
- University of Florida: History of Sushi
- The Complete Book of Sushi; Hideo Dekura et al.
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Sashimi
- 12 Steps to Raw Foods: How to End Your Dependency on Cooked Food; Victoria Boutenko
- The Raw Secrets: The Raw Food Diet in the Real World; Frederic Patenaude
- Harvard School of Public Health: Safety in Fish
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: What Foods Are in the Protein Foods Group?