Raw vegan is a diet that combines the concepts of vegan raw foods. It excludes all food and products of animal origins, as well as food cooked at a temperature above 48 °C (118 °F). A raw vegan diet includes raw vegetables and fruits, nuts and nut pastes, grain and legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, and fresh juices. There are many different versions of the diet, including fruitarian, juicearian, & sproutarian. In addition to the ethics of eating meat, dairy, eggs & honey, raw vegans may be motivated by health, spiritual, financial, or environmental reasons, or any combination of these. In terms of health, some raw vegans hold the belief that cooking foods destroys the complex balance of mirconutrients. They may also believe that, in the cooking process, dangerous chemicals are produced by the heat interaction with fat, protein, and carbohydrates such as advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and others. Other followers of a raw vegan diet place importance on spiritual gain. Forest gardening is a raw vegan lifestyle with a number of motives. For example, it can be viewed as a way to recreate the Garden of Eden. Developed by raw vegan Robert Hart, forest gardening is a food production system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruits and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables. The three main products from a forest garden are fruit, nuts and green leafy veggies. Forest gardens are arguably the world's oldest and most resilient agroecosystem.
The gourmet approach to raw veganism typically use dehydrators to "cook" food like crackers, and make dishes such as nut cheeses, "pasta" (usually zucchini cut as long curly strips), "soups", or green smoothies. A caution with the gourmet approach is the over consumption of fat, since by avoiding meat and cooked starchy foods such as bread and pasta, and consuming typical amounts of fruit (i.e. a few portions a day), calories are mostly obtained from fat in the form of nuts and seeds, oily salad dressing, nut cheeses, and avocados. Raw vegans who follow a low-fat approach to raw veganism seek a very specific nutritional balance of carbohydrates/protein/fat ratio from their diet, trying to ensure they have a sufficient intake of calories, and placing greater importance on those ratios than on their foods being raw. Most low-fat raw vegans (LFRVs) follow an 80/10/10 ratio, and some a more lax 70/10/20 or more strict 90/5/5, trying to achieve between 2000 and 3000 calories per day, averaged per week, and according to exercise levels (some athletes consume an average of 6000 calories per day). Obtaining such a high amount of calories from carbohydrates from raw foods requires consuming large quantities of sweet and ripe fruit, such as bananas and dates, generally blended or juiced. Considering that a typical banana provides 100 calories, a LFRV following a typical 3000-calorie regime requiring 80% of the calories coming from carbohydrates must consume 2400 calories of banana daily, i.e. 24 bananas, or 48 dates, or 5.3 litres of orange juice, which provides almost all the required intake of protein and fat to satisfy the ratio. Most LFRV also consume a large low-fat salad daily to ensure the required protein, mineral and vitamin daily intake is covered. The low-fat raw vegan lifestyle has been tried by several athletes. Several communities of low-fat raw vegans exist, one of which as of January 2013 had more than 15,000 members offering nutritional information and peer support.