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Never eat these foods raw

Never eat these foods raw
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Besides raw meat and eggs, there are plenty of other foods you’ll definitely want to cook before eating, and some of them may surprise you.

Potatoes

Potatoes
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Yes, potatoes are a tuber-iffic mealtime staple but you should try to avoid eating them raw. “Eating potatoes raw can cause bloating and undesirable gastrointestinal effects, because potatoes contain starches that are resistant to being digested,” says nutritionist, Dr Lisa Davis. (Cooking the potatoes successfully breaks down these starches.) Even worse, if raw potatoes spend a long time in a warm or damp area, they can turn green and develop a toxin called solanine. If a potato appears to have green spots on it, you should avoid eating it altogether, because the solanine could cause food poisoning-like symptoms.

A baked potato is actually nutritious, here are some more foods that you can stop demonising.

Cassava

Cassava
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One word: cyanide. This root vegetable, a staple of South American cuisine, is packed with vitamins and minerals. But it’s also hiding a sneaky, potentially lethal ingredient. The leaves and roots of raw cassava contain cyanogenic glycosides, chemicals that release cyanide when eaten. Cassava is still edible, but make sure you wash it thoroughly, rinse it, peel it, and cook it before consumption.

Kidney beans

Kidney beans
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Here’s another normally healthy food that can be hazardous if eaten the wrong way. Red kidney beans are packed with protein, fibre and antioxidants, but eating them raw can wreak havoc on your stomach. “Uncooked kidney beans contain the toxin phytohemagglutinin, which can cause unpleasant gastrointestinal discomfort and symptoms similar to food poisoning,” says Davis. Make sure you boil kidney beans for at least ten minutes before eating them.

Did you know that beans can help you to overcome depression naturally? Read on to find out more.

Meat and poultry

Meat and poultry
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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. coli, yersinia and other bacteria.

Hot dogs

Hot dogs
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Hot dogs aren’t the most nutritious food as it is, but eating them raw can be downright dangerous. It’s a common misconception that, since they’re pre-cooked, hot dogs can be eaten right out of the package like lunch meat.

Milk

Milk
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You might hear ‘raw milk’ and wonder what that could possibly mean. You don’t cook milk! But raw milk is real, and it’s dangerous. Milk that comes straight from a cow, without being pasteurised, can contain harmful bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. In Australian milk must be pasteurised or ‘equally processed’ for consumption. The sale of raw milk for human consumption is illegal in Australia.

Sprouts

Sprouts
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Sprouts – they’re so healthy! What could possibly be wrong with them? Well, alfalfa and radish sprouts can contain harmful bacteria like E. coli, salmonella and listeria. Sprouts are grown in warm, moist conditions where these bacteria thrive. Because of this, you should aim to buy your sprouts as fresh as possible; consider buying them locally or from a farmers’ market. And, of course, wash them and cook them.

Flour

Flour
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You’ve probably heard, countless times, about the dangers of eating raw eggs and may have even been shooed away from raw brownie batter or cookie dough for that very reason. But the egg is only part of the problem; eating raw flour might be just as problematic. In recent years, raw flour has been identified as a potential health hazard. During its journey from wheat stalk to supermarket shelf, flour may have come into contact with pathogens such as E. coli, which can only be banished by cooking.

If you want to eliminate flour altogether, here’s the ultimate gluten free baking flour.

Lima beans

Lima beans
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Similar to kidney beans, lima beans should always be cooked thoroughly. Lima beans contain cyanogenic glycosides, a compound created to protect plants by releasing deadly hydrogen cyanide when chewed raw.

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