It is unclear how much of a toxin, if any, would be set free if the fat molecule it is attached to is burned. The toxin is now free to attach to other fat molecules. If it does mobilize with other recently liberated toxins, in the case of extreme starvation, then the toxin could become toxic and overwhelm the liver.
In short, there are no foods or herbs that can magically bind and pull toxins from your blood or organs. The same would be true for cows or for any "vegan" animals that accumulate toxins in their fat; they don't cleanse themselves with their raw, plant-based diet.
At best, detoxification schemes (juicing, fasting) can help by virtue of not placing more toxins in our body for a day or two. And a healthful, plant-rich diet with plenty of water can, in general, help your liver and kidneys process and remove toxins more effectively, McDougall said.
Misconception #4: Raw veganism is healthful
Healthfulness when eating a raw, vegan diet is a challenge; it's not inherent. Many on the diet do lose weight by consuming fewer calories. But weight loss should not be the ultimate goal.
The most apparent problems are nutritional deficiencies, particularly for vitamins B12 and D, selenium, zinc, iron and two omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. Without taking supplements in pill form, it would be very difficult (and, for B12, impossible) to obtain a sufficient amount of these nutrients from raw, plant-based foods. [5 Key Nutrients Women Need as They Age]
Also, without access to a variety of foods year-round that can be eaten raw, one tends to rely on single-food sources.
"The problem with the raw food diet is where do you get your energy food?" asked Caldwell Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic, the doctor who convinced Bill Clinton to adopt a plant-based diet. "You get it from pouring down nuts," he said, and these are high in fat and not healthful when eaten in excess.
If it's not nuts, then it's bananas, which are healthful perhaps at a level of one or two per day, but not when providing the majority of your calories. Some people on a raw food diet rely so much on fruit that their teeth begin to erode: from acids in the fruits that wear down the tooth enamel, from sugar promoting decay, from dried fruit (another raw vegan staple) sticking to the teeth and further promoting decay, and from a general mineral deficiency.
The raw diet could be more healthful than the so-called S.A.D. ("standard American diet") of processed foods. But there is no evidence that, even given the resources to prepare a variety of raw foods daily, the raw vegan diet would be more healthful than the plant-based diets promoted by McDougall or Esselstyn, or than the diets that allow modest amounts of animal products.
Vegans would have to ask themselves what the added benefit would be from going raw if the raw diet offers no additional moral satisfaction, other than a reduced use of cooking fuel.
Misconception #5: Raw-only foods are natural
"No other animal cooks food," many a raw vegan has stated. One can just as well say that no other animal combines their kale and clover with tropical bananas in a high-speed blender to make the foods more palatable and digestible. Or, that no other animal plays chess.
Judging what is natural is a slippery slope. Humans around the world live to relatively similar ages on a multitude of different diets. Most of the reasonable diets that consist of grains, vegetables and meats will get you to at least age 70 if an accident orinfectious disease doesn't kill you first. A traditional, animal-based diet eaten by natives of Siberia is just as natural as a traditional diet eaten by unnamed tribes in the Amazon.