16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (2023)

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options. HOMEPAGE



Home Lifestyle

Julia Guerra


16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (1)

Yegor Aleyev / Contributor / Getty Images
  • Although there are some foods that are perfectly fine to eat raw, there are other foods that experts warn you should avoid.
  • Pumpkin seeds in their shells are hard to digest.
  • Raw flour in cookie dough and cake batter can give you food poisoning.
  • Raw eggplant can cause an allergic reaction.

Top editors give you the stories you want — delivered right to your inbox each weekday.

(Video) Don't Eat THIS Before Watching - 16 Exotic Foods That Could End Your Life?

Thanks for signing up!

Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go.

Some foods are safe to eat raw. For example, carrots can be consumed right out of the bag, and butternut squash and spinach can be tossed into smoothies. Other foods, however, should never be eaten raw because they can be difficult to digest or contain toxins that can make you sick.

INSIDER has compiled a list of 16 foods you should never eat raw.

Raw potatoes can irritate your gastrointestinal system.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (2)

AP Photo/Matthew Mead

Potatoes are starches that, when eaten raw, can cause bloating and other gastrointestinal issues, Gabby Geerts, a registered dietitianat Green Chef, told INSIDER. Raw potatoes can also develop dangerous toxins when stored in warm places. Therefore, potatoes should be cooked in order to break down the difficult starches and make them easier to digest.

Raw oysters can be dangerous for those with compromised immune systems.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (3)


"While not an immediate and definite cause of toxicity, raw oysters are a high risk of foodborne illness food," Moren told INSIDER. According to Moreno, anyone at risk for immunosuppression, pregnant women, and young children should not eat raw oysters under any circumstances.

Drinking unpasteurized milk can be dangerous to your health.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (4)

Frank Bienewald / Contributor / Getty Images

Raw milk has not been sterilized, which means there's a chance it contains E. colior salmonella, "typically from the cow's udders," Robert Glatter, M.D., an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, Northwell Health, told INSIDER.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 1993 through 2012, there were 1,909 illnesses and 144 hospitalizations linked to raw milk consumption. Though typically milk you buy in a store has been sterilized with heat to kill harmful pathogens and other bacteria, some states allow the sale of unpasteurized bottles, so make sure you're aware of what you're buying.

(Video) Most HARMFUL Foods People Keep EATING

Eating raw flour in any capacity can make you sick.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (5)


Glatter told INSIDER that consuming raw flour — including the raw flour mixed into cookie dough or cake batter — can potentially make you sick by upsetting your stomach.

"Uncooked flour in the dough or batter could contain E. coli, which if not baked under high temperatures, may lead to nausea vomiting or diarrhea," he said.

Eating raw kidney beans can lead to symptoms similar to food poisoning.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (6)


Raw kidney beans contain the substance phytohemagglutinin, which is a toxic plant protein especially found in red kidney beans. Consuming phytohemagglutinin can lead to "nausea, vomiting, diarrhea," or a combination of the three otherwise known as "gastroenteritis," aka the stomach flu, Glatter explained.

Bitter almonds can be deadly despite their remedial reputation.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (7)

David Silverman / Contributor / Getty Images

Glatter told INSIDER that while bitter almonds have been said to treat coughs, muscle spasms, and/or general pain, there are no concrete studies to suggest this, so you're better off taking theseclaimsas folklore.

"Uncooked or unprocessed bitter almonds contain hydrocyanic acid, which if ingested in high enough quantities could be toxic and potentially deadly," he said. "As few as seven-10 bitter almonds could potentially be lethal in a child, and 12-70 have been reported to be deadly in an adult."

Raw eggplant can cause a number of issues.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (8)

Tim Graham / Contributor / Getty Images

According to the Permaculture Research Institute, one raw eggplant contains roughly 11 milligrams of solanine, an alkaloidthat in larger quantities can be toxic.

Although you'd have to eat a significant amount of raw eggplant for the effects to be lethal, Glatter said eating raw eggplant can still lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Glatter said "to avoid any risk," he highly suggests cooking it well.

(Video) 10 Common Foods That Can Actually Kill You

Hot dogs should always be cooked through before eating.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (9)

Tech Insider

While hot dogs are typically pre-cooked, it's in your best interest to cook them through once more before eating.

"[Pre-cooked hot dogs] can still harbor listeria, which can only be killed by heat," Glatter said. Therefore, "it's best to thoroughly cook them to avoid any possibility of food poisoning."

Consuming raw or undercooked poultry can lead to food poisoning.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (10)


There are two main types of bacteria that put you at a high risk of food poisoning from poultry meats: campylobacter and salmonella.

"These bacteria typically contaminate fresh poultry during slaughtering," Glatter explained. If present, they'll stay present until they are cooked as the heating process generally kills the bacteria.

Lima beans should also never be consumed raw.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (11)

Stephen Osman / Contributor / Getty Images

Like kidney beans, lima beans should always be thoroughly cooked before consumption.

While kidney beans contain traces of phytohemagglutinin, lima beans contain cyanogenic glycosides, or natural plant toxins, which are meant to protect the plants "by releasing a deadly chemical when chewed raw," Geerts told INSIDER. As a result, when eaten in large quantities, lima beans can be deadly.

Raw mushrooms are hard to digest properly.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (12)


Mushrooms contain a compound called chitin, which is very difficult for the body to digest. Chitin is broken down in the cooking process, enabling digestion and nutrient absorption.

Raw green beans can cause stomach issues.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (13)


While raw green beans aren't necessarily poisonous, Geerts pointed out that, when uncooked, "they can contain higher levels of lectin," a protein that binds into sugar.

Lectin can cause digestive issues, however, if you blanch green beans — boil them followed by submerging them in cold water — Geerts said you can make them safer to consume by lowering the level of lectin.

(Video) Never Eat These 22 Exotic Foods Or You'll Die!

Raw eggs can carry salmonella.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (14)


"In order to ensure the [salmonella bacteria] has been killed, eggs need to be cooked to a safe temperature (145 degrees F)," Geerts told INSIDER. "If a recipe calls for raw egg, use pasteurized eggs or an egg product."

Raw yuca can cause food poisoning.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (15)

Edilzon Gamez / Stringer / Getty Images

Steven Segar, one of Thumbtack's highest-rated chefs, told INSIDER growing up in Latin America, he learned from a young age that yuca needs to be cooked through before eating it because the plant contains traces of cyanide.

"More specifically, yuca contains chemicals that will release cyanide when consumed raw," Segar explained. "Although the potency is not strong enough to kill you, it can make you very sick and is especially harmful to children and some animals."

Sprouts can be swarming with bacteria.

16 foods you shouldn't eat raw (16)


According to the US Food and Drug Administration, bacteria can seep into the seeds of sprouts before they've even grown to fruition. If this occurs, the bacteria can be very difficult to wash out and can cause illness if eaten.

The Center from Disease Control reported that from November 26, 2015 to April 7, 2016, 26 people across 12 states contracted salmonella in connection with alfalfa sprouts. As a result, some restaurants have made sproutsoptional or eliminated them entirely. After an outbreak linked to sprouts in 2012, Jimmy John's officially took the topping of its menu. Today it's available as an optional topping at select locations.

Read next

Features Freelancer Health


(Video) 16 Foods Your Staffy Should NEVER Eat


What foods should not be eaten raw? ›

These are the 6 vegetables that should never be consumed raw
  • Potatoes. Uncooked potatoes not only taste bad but can also lead to digestive problems. ...
  • Cruciferous Vegetables. ...
  • Red Kidney Beans. ...
  • Mushrooms. ...
  • Eggplant. ...
  • French Beans.

What can you eat raw but not cooked? ›

Here are seven foods that are best eaten raw.
  1. Nuts. You may love the taste of oil-roasted nuts, but the cooking process takes away some of the snack's nutritional value. ...
  2. Onions. Onions make you cry for a reason. ...
  3. Red bell pepper. ...
  4. Seaweed. ...
  5. Juice. ...
  6. Coconut. ...
  7. Blueberries.
Jan 13, 2015

What nuts can you not eat raw? ›

Bitter almonds

They're a variety of sweet almonds, but they contain hydrocyanic acid, which is a dangerous combo of hydrogen cyanide and water. According to the Spruce, it would only take about 70 raw bitter almonds to kill a fully grown adult. Yikes!

Which food do we eat raw answer? ›

Food items like cucumbers, carrots, radishes, beetroot and tomatoes can be eaten raw in the form of salads. Potatoes should be well cooked before consuming them.

What is the number 1 vegetable to avoid? ›

Vegetables that belong to the cabbage family such as cauliflower, Brussels, broccoli, and sprouts should never be consumed raw. These vegetables contain sugar that is difficult to digest. Eating these vegetables raw may lead to a number of gastronomical problems.

What are the 5 worst foods for arthritis? ›

5 Arthritis Trigger Foods to Avoid
  • Pasta. Wheat products — like pasta, bread, crackers, and bagels — may spell trouble for your joints, especially if you have rheumatoid arthritis. ...
  • Butter and Margarine. ...
  • Hamburgers. ...
  • Tomatoes. ...
  • Sugary Drinks.
May 31, 2018

What is the number 1 healthiest food in the world? ›

Lemons. Lemons have been widely regarded in the health industry as the world's healthiest food. The sour fruit is an alkalising powerfood; they have strong anti-inflammatory qualities and can even help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

What 3 foods cardiologists say to avoid? ›

Top Foods Cardiologists Want You to Avoid for a Healthy Heart
  • Red meat (including “the other white meat”) ...
  • Bacon, hot dogs, and other processed meats. ...
  • French fries and other fried foods. ...
  • Sugary drinks and cereals. ...
  • Potato chips and snack foods. ...
  • Full-fat dairy products. ...
  • Baked goods, cookies, and pastries.
Feb 1, 2023

Can you eat canned beans raw? ›

Although you can technically eat beans straight out of the can, even low-sodium varieties can be quite salty, so it's a good idea to drain and rinse them before eating them or cooking with them (unless a recipe specifically says otherwise).

What is the unhealthiest nut? ›

Worst nuts for your diet

Ounce for ounce, macadamia nuts (10 to 12 nuts; 2 grams protein, 21 grams fat) and pecans (18 to 20 halves; 3 grams protein, 20 grams fat) have the most calories - 200 each - along with the lowest amounts of protein and the highest amounts of fats.

What fish can't you eat raw? ›

Raw freshwater fish including grass carp, bighead carp or snakehead may carry parasites such as Chinese liver fluke, which can cause obstruction, inflammation and cancer of the biliary ducts in the liver. Chinese liver fluke contributes to the majority of local human cases of enteric parasites.

Can you eat raw eggs? ›

Raw eggs aren't safe to eat if they're unpasteurized. That means they could contain harmful bacteria. And even though eggs can be sold as pasteurized — meaning they're heated just enough so bacteria is killed off — you still shouldn't crack open an egg and start chowing down.

Is it OK to eat broccoli raw? ›

Healthy Eating

Broccoli can be eaten raw, cooked with meals, or as a snack.

What is the main enemy of diabetes? ›

When most people think of a diet that leads to poor diabetes control, they may think of a diet high in carbs and sugar. While those types of food do impact your blood sugars, consuming too many saturated fats can be an enemy against diabetes control,too.

What is the single best vegetable to eat? ›

1. Spinach. This leafy green tops the chart as one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables. That's because 1 cup (30 grams) of raw spinach provides 16% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin A plus 120% of the DV for vitamin K — all for just 7 calories ( 1 ).

What foods lubricate your joints? ›

Consuming healthy fats can increase joint health and lubrication. Foods high in healthy fats include salmon, trout, mackerel, avocados, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds. The omega-3 fatty acids in these foods will assist in joint lubrication.

What food calms arthritis? ›

To ease your arthritis pain, try these types of food:
  • Fatty Fish. Salmon, mackerel and tuna have high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Both of these have been found to help reduce inflammation. ...
  • Dark Leafy Greens. ...
  • Nuts. ...
  • Olive Oil. ...
  • Berries. ...
  • Garlic and Onions. ...
  • Green Tea.
May 30, 2018

What foods trigger arthritis attacks? ›

Red meat, such as burgers and steaks. Processed meats like hot dogs, brats and other sausages. Refined carbohydrates like the ones you find in breads and pastries. Dairy products, because for many people, casein, a protein common in milk, ice cream and cheese, has been shown to irritate the tissue around joints.

What is the one food you should eat everyday? ›

Experts suggest that there are certain foods that people should eat every day. These include lean protein and a variety of vegetables. Additionally, including foods such as olive oil, nuts, and berries can help people lower their risk of certain chronic conditions.

What food should you eat everyday? ›

Top 15 healthy foods you should be eating
  • Fish. ...
  • Broccoli or any of the cruciferous vegetables. ...
  • Beets. ...
  • Spinach and other leafy green vegetables. ...
  • Kale. ...
  • Peanut butter. ...
  • Almonds. ...
  • Mangos.
Apr 5, 2019

What is the absolute best food for your heart? ›

Foods to eat
  • Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, and trout)
  • Lean meats such as 95% lean ground beef or pork tenderloin or skinless chicken or turkey.
  • Eggs.
  • Nuts, seeds, and soy products (tofu)
  • Legumes such as kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and lima beans.
Mar 24, 2022

Which foods avoid heart blockage? ›

The best diet for preventing heart disease is one that is full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, poultry, and vegetable oils; includes alcohol in moderation, if at all; and goes easy on red and processed meats, refined carbohydrates, foods and beverages with added sugar, sodium, and foods with trans ...

What foods are hard on the heart? ›

Foods That Are Bad for Your Heart
  • Sugar, Salt, Fat. 1/17. Over time, high amounts of salt, sugar, saturated fat, and refined carbs raise your risk for a heart attack or stroke. ...
  • Bacon. 2/17. ...
  • Red Meat. 3/17. ...
  • Soda. 4/17. ...
  • Baked Goods. 5/17. ...
  • Processed Meats. 6/17. ...
  • White Rice, Bread, and Pasta. 7/17. ...
  • Pizza. 8/17.
Feb 10, 2021

Are Bush's baked beans good for you? ›

Baked beans provide fiber and plant-based protein. They're also a good source of thiamine, zinc, and selenium, which support energy production, immune function, and thyroid health, respectively ( 2 , 3 , 4 ).

Is it better to eat canned beans or bagged beans? ›

But what about nutritionally speaking? Are dried beans better for you than canned beans? The short answer is yes: Dried beans are more nutritionally dense, with more protein, fiber, iron, potassium and magnesium, and less sodium than canned beans. Still, rinsed canned beans are a close second.

What is the best nut to lower cholesterol? ›

Almonds and other tree nuts can improve blood cholesterol. A recent study concluded that a diet supplemented with walnuts can lower the risk of heart complications in people with history of a heart attack.

What nuts should you not eat? ›

Try to avoid dry-roasted, salted, flavoured or honey-roasted nuts, which come with extra salt and sometimes sugar too.

What are the top 5 nuts for the brain? ›

Nuts like almonds, pistachios and macadamias each bring something special to the table. Almonds help improve memory, pistachio nut oils help preserve fatty acids and prevent inflammation, and macadamias contribute to normal brain function. Yet, the top nut award certainly goes to the walnut.

Which nut has most protein? ›

With 9.5 grams of protein per 1/4 cup (37 grams), peanuts beat out all other nuts on the list in terms of protein content.

What nuts are good for blood pressure? ›

Tree nuts -- hold the salt! -- like walnuts and almonds can be a great source of healthy fats that help your heart. But for high blood pressure, your best pick is pistachios. They seem to have the strongest effect on lowering both your top and bottom blood pressure readings.

Can you eat shrimp raw? ›

Due to the risk of food poisoning, raw shrimp are considered unsafe to eat. Shrimp is a nutritious and popular shellfish. However, eating them raw is not recommended, as it may increase your risk of food poisoning.

What fish kills you if not cooked properly? ›

The Japanese delicacy fugu, or blowfish, is so poisonous that the smallest mistake in its preparation could be fatal.

Can you eat raw chicken? ›

Chicken can be a nutritious choice, but raw chicken is often contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria and sometimes with Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens bacteria. If you eat undercooked chicken, you can get a foodborne illness, also called food poisoning.

What food kills inflammation? ›

Here are 6 foods that can reduce inflammation:
  • Fruits and vegetables. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced inflammation. ...
  • Herbs and spices. ...
  • Nuts. ...
  • Legumes and wholegrains. ...
  • Healthy fats. ...
  • Tea, red wine and cocoa.

What is the number 1 inflammatory food? ›

Foods that cause inflammation

refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries. French fries and other fried foods. soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages. red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)

Can you eat raw potatoes? ›

Raw potatoes contain solanine and lectins, two compounds that can cause gastric distress and potentially make you sick. Additionally, raw potatoes contain resistant starch, which is difficult to digest, and their overall taste and texture is nothing like the potatoes you know and love. When in doubt, cook that potato.

Can you eat the shell of an egg? ›

Yes, you read that right. Eggshells are edible, and there's some pretty compelling evidence that eating eggshells can be good for your health, especially if you're looking to increase your calcium intake.

Is it safe to drink eggnog? ›

No. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, "eggs must be cooked to 160 degrees F to kill Salmonella that may be present. Adding alcohol inhibits bacterial growth, but it cannot be relied upon to kill it completely."

What vegetables should not be eaten raw? ›

These are the 6 vegetables that should never be consumed raw
  • Potatoes. Uncooked potatoes not only taste bad but can also lead to digestive problems. ...
  • Cruciferous Vegetables. ...
  • Red Kidney Beans. ...
  • Mushrooms. ...
  • Eggplant. ...
  • French Beans.

Is raw celery good for you? ›

Celery is loaded with antioxidants. These include well-known varieties such as flavonoids and vitamin C, as well as lunularin and bergapten. These and other antioxidants help to prevent the oxidative stress that contributes to cancer. Celery is rich in a phytochemical known as phthalides.

Can you eat spinach raw? ›

The milder, young leaves can be eaten raw in a salad, while the older ones are usually cooked (spinach has one of the shortest cooking times of all vegetables). It reduces very dramatically during cooking; a 450g bag will be just enough for two people. Read our guide on the health benefits of spinach.

What meats should not be eaten raw? ›

Raw or undercooked beef, pork, chicken and turkey are seriously risky to eat. Most raw poultry contains Campylobacter. It also may contain Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, and other bacteria. Raw meat may contain Salmonella, E.

What raw food can make you sick? ›

Raw foods of animal origin are the most likely to be contaminated, specifically raw or undercooked meat and poultry, raw or lightly cooked eggs, unpasteurized (raw) milk, and raw shellfish. Fruits and vegetables also may get contaminated.

Which fruit Cannot be eaten raw? ›

The fruit seeds and pits of apples, mangos, peaches, pears, and apricots contain a chemical known as amygdalin, which can turn into cyanide. And while you'd need to ingest tons of them to suffer the effects of poisoning, it's best to avoid consumption when you can. Next: The leaves of this root will poison you.

What is the healthiest raw food? ›

Maximise the amount of nutrients you are absorbing from your food by adding these five raw foods to your diet:
  • Broccoli. Commonly listed as one of the top five healthiest vegetables you can eat, broccoli is full of nutritional benefits essential to a healthy body. ...
  • Watercress. ...
  • Onions. ...
  • Garlic. ...
  • Capsicums.

What are the 3 vegetables you should not eat? ›

Nightshade vegetables, like peppers, potatoes, and eggplant, are are controversial, because many claim they can cause inflammation, according to Cynthia Sass, a registered dietician. This can lead to some pretty serious complications down the line: heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, to name a few.

What's the safest meat to eat raw? ›

Raw fish tends to be safer than other types of raw meat, as it's often frozen shortly after being caught — a practice that kills a number of harmful pathogens ( 9 , 10). On the other hand, chicken is more dangerous to eat raw. Compared with other meats, chicken tends to contain more harmful bacteria like Salmonella.

What is the safest meat to eat? ›

Steaks, pork chops, and other whole-muscle meats are the safest bet. That's because the cooking process can easily kill off bacteria on the cut's surface, while the inside of the meat is essentially sterile, protected from any potential pathogens—in theory.

Can you eat raw hamburger? ›

Yes, it is dangerous to eat raw or undercooked ground beef because it can contain harmful bacteria. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends not eating or tasting raw or undercooked ground beef. To be sure all bacteria are destroyed, cook meat loaf, meatballs, casseroles, and hamburgers to 160 °F.

Which two fruits Cannot be eaten together? ›

Try not to mix acidic fruits, such as grapefruits and strawberries, or sub-acidic foods such as apples, pomegranates and peaches, with sweet fruits, such as bananas and raisins for a better digestion. However, you can mix acidic with sub-acidic fruits. For a similar reason, you should not mix guavas and bananas.

What is the healthiest vegetable to eat raw? ›

1. Spinach. This leafy green tops the chart as one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables. That's because 1 cup (30 grams) of raw spinach provides 16% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin A plus 120% of the DV for vitamin K — all for just 7 calories ( 1 ).

What is the healthiest cooked food in the world? ›

Thai food is filled with intense flavors and tends to be rich in vegetables, making it one of the healthiest cuisines on the planet. Among the spices and flavors that make Thai food stand out are turmeric, coriander, ginger, lemongrass, and chili peppers.


1. 7 Foods That RUIN Your Liver
(Dr. Eric Berg DC)
(Braces By Britt)
3. 22 Common Foods That Will Kill Your Dog
4. 8 Healthy Fruits You Should Be Eating And 8 You Shouldn’t
5. 16 Alkaline Foods You Must Have In Your Daily Diet
6. Dangerous Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat
(Jaw-Dropping Facts)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Aracelis Kilback

Last Updated: 06/09/2023

Views: 5681

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Aracelis Kilback

Birthday: 1994-11-22

Address: Apt. 895 30151 Green Plain, Lake Mariela, RI 98141

Phone: +5992291857476

Job: Legal Officer

Hobby: LARPing, role-playing games, Slacklining, Reading, Inline skating, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Dance

Introduction: My name is Aracelis Kilback, I am a nice, gentle, agreeable, joyous, attractive, combative, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.