10 Foods You Should Never Eat Raw

person eating a raw potato

Cheapism / Bing Image Creator

Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
person eating a raw potato
Cheapism / Bing Image Creator

Keep on Cookin'

There are plenty of foods that are absolutely wonderful raw. Carrots, celery, strawberries ... the list goes on. But there are probably even more you should definitely cook before indulging. Whether they're dangerous or just downright disgusting, here are 10 foods you shouldn't consume in their uncooked forms.

Raw potato on wooden background

1. Potatoes

From mashed potatoes to french fries, potatoes offer us a myriad of culinary marvels. As such, you never really see anyone munching on a raw tater instead of one of the glorious cooked options. Even though raw potatoes have resistant starch content and contain more vitamin C, they can also be difficult to digest and contain antinutrients, which can interfere with digestion and nutrition absorption, according to Healthline

pea pods and immature seeds isolated

2. Lima Beans

It's a hassle to get the average person to eat lima beans cooked, but you shouldn't eat them raw either. Limas contain a compound called linamarin, which converts into the poisonous chemical compound cyanide when consumed. Cooking lima beans is essential to making them safe to eat. Although a handful of raw lima beans might not be too harmful, eating too many of them might cause abdominal and digestive issues, according to Eating Well.

Person holding a raw egg with two yolks

3. Eggs

We know: there are raw eggs in mayonnaise, egg nog, hollandaise, and a slew of other delicacies. We've also seen bodybuilders tossing raw eggs into their protein shakes. But it's not exactly recommended (or appealing) to crack an egg right into your mouth and lap it all up, yolk and all. Salmonella, guys. C'mon.

Hanging cluster of black elderberries Sambucus nigra

4. Elderberries

Elderberries are known for their immune-boosting properties, but they can be poisonous in their raw form. You'll want to boil these bad boys down before consuming them so you can reap their benefits without, you know, poisoning yourself.


5. Bitter Almonds

Raw bitter almonds contain the toxin known as glycoside amygdalin, which also converts into cyanide when consumed. Boiling, roasting, or even microwaving them may reduce their toxic content, but further study is needed, according to Healthline. Thankfully, bitter almonds are not the variety you'd typically find in the grocery store. They're found in the wild and commercial settings, and are used to create extracts.

Sweet almonds, on the other hand, are safe to consume and those are the variety you'll usually find in the grocery store. That said, it's best to avoid moldy almonds and for those who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems should avoid sprouted sweet almonds.

Safe snacking, everyone.


6. Rice

You're asking for a world of problems if you eat uncooked rice (and a lot of raised eyebrows, too, because YUCK). Consuming raw rice can cause foodborne illnesses, gastrointestinal issues, dental problems, and a laundry list of other no-thank-yous, according to Healthline.

Pile of raw green beans isolated on white background.

7. Green Beans

Uncooked green beans have higher levels of the protein lectin, which can sometimes lead to troubles with digestion, so it's best to cook your beans before you eat them (not to mention, they'll taste better with some butter and seasonings). 

Olives in a Wicker Basket

8. Olives

Raw olives are extremely bitter. You need the brine. We repeat: You need the brine. This is one of those foods that is completely transformed from its raw to edible forms. Respect it.

whole eggplant on wooden background

9. Eggplant

Eggplants aren't dangerous to eat raw, but they're also not nearly as tasty that way, and cooking them will rid them of lectins, making them easier to digest.

Stack of Pumpkins on display

10. Pumpkin

Okay, so technically you can eat raw pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, but that doesn't mean you should. Raw pumpkin may have slightly more nutritional value than the cooked version, but it also tends to be more bitter, stringy, and fibrous. Yum. But raw pumpkin and pumpkin seeds can also harbor bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli., which can lead to foodborne illness, according to Healthline.

Also, who carves pumpkins and licks the pumpkin guts off their fingers? Anyone? Yeah, no. Disgusting. Don't do it.