Raw Vs Cooked – What’s The Big Deal?
Raw vs Cooked – what’s the big deal?
As I’ve been journeying along my path to increased health and wealth, I’ve had to answer this question for myself and to many many others along the way. I definitely encourage a high raw diet wherever that’s possible and practical, as it really does transform bodies and minds.
I’ve read many references on the debate and found that this explanation by Arthur Baker, gives a complete argument that satisfied many a hungry mind.
Grab a cup of herbal tea, put your feet up and enjoy the read. It’s worth it.
Raw Fresh Produce vs. Cooked Food by Arthur M. Baker, MA, MHE
Eighty million species on earth (about 700,000 of which are animals) thrive on raw food. Only humans apply heat to what they eat. Humans on average as a race, die at or below half their potential life span of chronic illness that is largely diet and lifestyle related. Domesticated pets also are fed cooked, processed, packaged food that likewise is denatured by heat. As a consequence, they suffer human-like chronic ailments including cancer, arthritis and other degenerative diseases.
The typical species in its natural pristine environment lives seven times past its age of maturity. Humans normally mature in their late teens to early twenties. Our average potential life span in robust wellness is actually in the range of 120-140 years. This is never actualized due to the effects of heating food and not learning to skillfully handle psychological stress through self-mastery (see Essentials of Health). Humans have been on earth for millions of years. Prior to mastering fire perhaps less than 10,000 years ago, humans thrived on a diet of nothing but fresh, live, unfired foods as furnished by nature in their whole unadulterated state.
Presently, humans apply heat to the bulk of their food day in and day out prior to consumption. Like eating ash from the fireplace, microscopic burnt nutrients are toxic. Slowly and silently as the decades pass, the harmful effects of consuming these toxins accumulate. Humans are biologically adapted to raw fresh produce (see: Biological Adaptations: Diet is Species Specific). Eating raw fresh produce as a staple rather than cooked food keeps your body vibrantly healthy at nearly any age.
Scientific Research Proves Raw Food Protects Against Cancer and Heart Disease
Scientific evidence shows that raw vegan diets decrease toxic products in the colon (From: J Nutr 1992 Apr;122(4):924-30). Shifting from a conventional diet to an uncooked vegan diet reversibly alters fecal hydrolytic activities in humans, according to researchers, Ling WH, and Hanninen O, of the Department of Physiology, University of Kuopio, Finland. Results suggest a raw food uncooked extreme vegan diet causes a decrease in bacterial enzymes and certain toxic products that have been implicated in colon cancer risk.
Researchers have also found that a diet rich in raw vegetables lowers your risk of breast cancer, and eating lots of fruit reduces your risk for colon cancer, according to a study published in the May 1998 issue of the journal Epidemiology. Including fresh fruit as part of your daily diet has been associated with fewer deaths from heart attacks and related problems, by as much as 24%, according to a study published in the September 1996 issue of the British Medical Journal.
Excessive Heat Denatures Nutrients
Burn your finger and skin tissue dies. Overly apply heat to food and nutrients are progressively destroyed. Fresh food prior to wilting or rotting sustains life to a high degree of wellness. Harvested food from field and orchard provides raw materials to replenish your cells and tissues. Overly cooking food destroys live plant and animal tissue whose nutrients no longer bear any relationship to your living body. A diet containing an abundance of raw, unfired food maximizes well being.
The chemical changes that take place to individual nutrients, as excessive heat is applied will now be examined. It is well understood and recognized in scientific literature that heat breaks down vitamins, amino acids and produces undesirable cross-linkages in proteins, particularly in meat. When food is cooked above 117 degrees F for three minutes or longer, the following deleterious changes begin, and progressively cause increased nutritional damage as higher temperatures are applied over prolonged periods of time: proteins coagulate, high temperatures denature protein molecular structure, leading to deficiency of some essential amino acids, carbohydrates caramelize, overly heated fats generate numerous carcinogens including acrolein, nitrosamines, hydrocarbons, and benzopyrene (one of the most potent cancer-causing agents known), natural fibers break down, cellulose is completely changed from its natural condition: it loses its ability to sweep the alimentary canal clean 30% to 50% of vitamins and minerals are destroyed, 100% of enzymes are damaged, the body’s enzyme potential is depleted which drains energy needed to maintain and repair tissue and organ systems, thereby shortening our life span, pesticides are restructured into even more toxic compounds, valuable oxygen is lost, free radicals are produced, cooked food pathogens enervate the immune system, heat degenerates nucleic acids and chlorophyll, cooking causes inorganic mineral elements to enter the blood and circulate through the system, which settle in the arteries and veins, causing arteries to lose their pliability, the body prematurely ages as this inorganic matter is deposited in various joints or accumulates within internal organs, including the heart valves.
As temperature rises, each of these damaging events reduces the availability of individual nutrients. Modern food processing not only strips away natural anti-cancer agents, but searing heat forms potent cancer-producing chemicals in the process. Alien food substances are created that the body cannot metabolize.
For example, according to research performed by cancerologist Dr. Bruce Ames, professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at University of California, Berkeley various groups of chemicals from cooked food causes tumors: Nitrosamines are created from fish, poultry or meat cooked in gas ovens and barbecues, as nitrogen oxides within gas flames interact with fat residues; Hetrocyclic amines form from heating proteins and amino acids; Polycyclic hydrocarbons are created by charring meat; Mucoid plaque, a thick tar-like substance builds up in the intestines on a diet of cooked foods. Mucoid plaque is caused by uneliminated, partically digested, putrefying cooked fatty and starch foods eaten in association with protein flesh foods; Lipofuscin is another toxin: an accumulation of waste materials throughout the body and within cells of the skin, manifesting as spots in the liver as liver and in the nervous system including the brain, possibly contributing to ossification of gray matter and senility.
From the book Diet, Nutrition and Cancer published by the Nutritional Research Council of the American Academy of Sciences (1982) and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Office of Toxicological Sciences, additional carcinogens in heated foods include: Hydroperoxide, alkoxy, endoperoxides and epoxides from heated meat, eggs, fish and pasteurized milk; Ally aldehyde (acrolein), butyric acid, nitropyrene, nitrobenzene and nitrosamines from heated fats and oils; Methyglyoxal and chlorogenic atractyosides in coffee; Indole, skatole, nitropyrene, ptomatropine, ptomaines, leukomaines, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, cadaverine, muscarine, putecine, nervine, and mercaptins in cheese.
It is no coincidence since 1950 as processed food proliferated that cancer rates in the United States have steadily increased and are now at the highest point in history. The effect from consuming overly cooked food is minimal nutrition. The body is forced to raid its dwindling supply of nutrient reserves and remains hungry for quality nutrients after a typical meal on the SAD diet (Standard American Diet). This leads to further hunger even though the stomach is full. The result is chronic overeating and rampant obesity seen nationwide.
Scientific Research: Denaturation: What Cooking Does to Protein
Cooking denatures protein. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, denaturation is a modification of the molecular structure of protein by heat or by an acid, an alkali, or ultraviolet radiation that destroys or diminishes its original properties and biological activity.
Denaturation alters protein and makes it unusable or less usable. According to Britannica, protein molecules are readily altered by heat: Unlike simple organic molecules, the physical and chemical properties of protein are markedly altered when the substance is boiled in water. Further: All of the agents able to cause denaturation are able to break the secondary bonds that hold the chains in place. Once these weak bonds are broken, the molecule falls into a disorganized tangle devoid of biological function.
According to Britannica the most significant effect of protein denaturation is the loss of the its biological function. For example, enzymes lose their catalytic powers and hemoglobin loses its capacity to carry oxygen. The changes that accompany denaturation have been shown to result from destruction of the specific pattern in which the amino acid chains are folded in the native protein.
This is why the term dead food, referring to cooked food, is often stated. A result of denaturation is lowered solubility. In the case of egg white, a gel or coagulum is formed when heat is applied, thereby forming enzyme resistant linkages that inhibit the separation of constituent amino acids.
You can see coagulation of protein take place on a macroscopic level when you fry an egg. The clear protein gel surrounding the yolk whitens, thickens, and coagulates into a glue-like consistency. Digestive enzymes (peptones and proteases) cannot readily break down coagulated protein molecules once they fuse together. Not only are heated proteins unavailable to your body, worse yet: the indigestible, coagulated protein molecules tend to putrefy as bacteria in the body feed upon this dead organic matter. Bacterial enzymatic by-products are carcinogenic. Coagulation occurs on a microscopic level in all cooked protein molecules whether witnessed or not.
In Britannica is the acknowledgment that cooking destroys protein to make it practically useless. Utilize raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds as your source of protein (amino acids). By eating The Fresh Produce Diet, you are assured of maximum biological value of protein and other consumed nutrients. (For further detail, see: The Truth About Protein and The China Project: Avoid Animal Protein).
As you consume more fresh produce as a staple, the body progressively requires less food. As you eat more nutrient rich raw food, the body steadily becomes healthier, and its metabolic efficiency increases. So does its ability to absorb and assimilate more nutriment. Only about one-half the amount of protein if eaten raw from protein plant food is necessary (via nuts and seeds) rather than from cooked animal protein.
The Difference Between Heat from Cooking and Digestive Chemistry
Physiologists claim that cooking and human digestion are virtually the same: that cooking is a form of predigestion where heat is used to hydrolyze nutrients that would otherwise be hydrolyzed at body temperature through digestion.
There are two ways to denature the proteins: chemically using digestive enzymes, or through the use of heat. Via heat, the body does not have the recombinant ability to utilize damaged denatured protein components (amino acids) and rebuild them once again into viable protein molecules.
This due to the enormous heat exposure during cooking, that denatures the protein molecule past a point of being bioactive, whereas body heat is too low to effect the protein molecule so adversely. The body does not require heat to reduce proteins to amino acids. It does a fine job of this chemically through enzymes. Chemically digested protein can be reused, whereas most of the heat denatured protein molecules cannot.
Raw Plant Protein Is Best
The Fresh Produce Diet includes protein predominantly in raw form. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts do not require cooking to increase their palatability or digestibility. When proteins are subjected to high heat during cooking, enzyme resistant linkages are formed between the amino acid chains. The body cannot separate these amino acids. What the body cannot use, it must eliminate. Cooked proteins become a source of toxicity: dead organic waste material acted upon and elaborated by bacterial flora.
When wholesome protein foods are eaten raw, the body makes maximum use of all amino acids without the accompanying toxins of cooked food. Some high-protein plant foods such as soybeans and lima beans contain naturally occurring toxins thought to be neutralized by heat. It is best not to eat these at all, since cooking does not totally remove the toxic effect of these foods.
Further Scientific Research on Detrimental Effects of Thermal Energy on Nutrients (Warning: this next section is rather tedious)
According to the textbook Nutritional Value of Food Processing, 3rd Edition, (by Karmas, Harris, published by Van Nostrand Reinhold) which is written for food chemists in the industrial processed food industry, changes that occur during processing either result in nutrient loss or destruction. Heat processing has a detrimental effect on nutri-ents since thermal degradation of nutrients can and does occur. Reduction in nutrient content depends on the severity of the thermal processing.
Effect of Temperature on Rate of Destruction of Various Food Components
Component minutes at 250 degrees F Ea(kcal/mol)
Vitamins 100 to 1000 20-30 Quality factors 5 to 500 10-30 (texture, color, flavor) Enzyme inactivation 1 to 10 10-100 Vegetative cell inactivation 0.001 to 0.01 80-200 Spore inactivation 0.1 to 5 50-200 At 121 degrees C (249.8 F) the nutritional components decreased by 90%
At relatively low thermal processing temperatures, the destruction of enzymes is greater than that for microorganisms. The temperature range where the destruction rate of enzymes equals that for microorganisms is generally 270-290 degrees F. The fact that application of thermal energy to foods reduces the nutritive value of some components cannot be contested.
Degradation of Protein, Amino Acids and Carbohydrates: The Maillard Reaction
Various heat-utilizing techniques are employed in the commercial processing of food. Destruction of one or more nutrients often occurs during baking. This adverse effect on nutrients is more intense in the crust portions since the interior (crumb) of most baked foods rarely approaches oven temperature. While the heat of baking denatures protein, the quality of protein is adversely affected by nonenzymatic (chemical type) browning: the Maillard reaction.
It is ironic that the desired dark crust on bread is a result of the Maillard browning reaction that is known to reduce the nutritional value of bread. Maillard reaction products appear to have no nutritional value for the mammalian system. In fact, they may be of toxicological concern, as studies have also shown them to raise cholesterol. The Maillard reaction primarily affects the basic amino acids of which lysine is particularly significant. Maillard reactions are complex and are responsible for the odors and flavors of freshly baked products.
Specific Limiting Amino Acids
The first nutritionally limiting amino acid for humans in cereal grains is lysine. Methionine is the first limiting amino acid in legumes and has received particular attention in fortification of soy-based foods. Methionine presents potentially serious odor and flavor problems in fortification projects. It may not be used in infant foods or foods containing added nitrates or nitrites.
Lysine, the most limiting amino acid in grain products, is not the only amino acid destroyed during the Maillard reaction; almost all amino acids are adversely affected. In breads made with flour, significant losses of all essen-tial amino acids except tryptophan occurs. The loss of essential amino acids such as lysine and methionine during extrusion processes is of interest because of potential impact on protein quality.
A study of Maillard reactions on the loss of reactive lysine during extrusion was conducted by using soy protein enriched wheat flour. Lysine loss increased rapidly with increasing temperatures. Free amino acid loss has also been reported in the extrusion of dried potato flakes.
At 1600 degrees C, all amino acids measured were reduced extensively, with the average destruction rate being 89%. At extrusion temperatures less than 1300 degrees C, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, and serine were lost to a surprisingly high degree. Clearly, the elevated temperatures lead to a substantial loss of availability of amino acids during the ex-trusion process. Lysine became less available nutritionally with conventional baking than with either microwave baking or steaming.
The physiological effect of a diminished lysine value after toasting of bread has been studied in weight gain in rats, and protein efficiency ratio (PER) of breads toasted to varying degrees of brownness. The toasted breads fed to the rats had a significant effect on growing rats. Weight gain was especially low with diets consisting of dark-toasted bread.
In toasting bread, the greater surface area exposed to toasting heat allows a greater proportion of the product to become browned and lysine destruction is greater. For example, thickly sliced bread would be less susceptible to nutritional loss than thinly sliced bread since less surface area is exposed.
In addition to amino acids, the effect of baking on vitamins has also been widely investigated. Vitamins are heat-labile, with thiamin and vitamin C being the most susceptible to baking losses. When the pH of the baked product rises above 6, nearly all of the thiamin is destroyed. Such conditions exist in a variety of chemically leavened baked goods including cookies and crackers. In high-protein cookies, calculations revealed thiamin losses exceeding 90%.
In addition to baking, vitamin B6 and pantothenic losses could be as high as 91% in canned food. The recommended -daily allowance (RDA) for these two nutrients probably can not be obtained from a menu of refined, processed, and canned foods. When we treat foods with heat, we lose up to 97% of the water-soluble vitamins (Vitamins B and C) and up to 40% of the lipid soluble vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E and K).
Heat treat-ment also profoundly affects the absorption / utilization of certain minerals primarily through cleavage of complexes that renders these minerals less absorbable. Phytate, fiber, proteins, and certain minerals are particularly suspect as components of these complexes.[Vitamins and minerals need to be consumed in an organic colloidal and naturally chelated molecular form to be absorbed, assimilated and utilized by cells and tissues during metabolic processes. Heat deranges the molecular arrangement of vitamins and minerals, thereby liberating its carbon. They are returned to an inorganic, ash-like form as found in soil. Inorganic nutrients are treated as toxins by your body. (For detail, see: No Need for Supplements).]
Fats and Carbohydrates
The Maillard reaction adversely affects the available carbohydrate and fatty acid content of baked products. At extreme baking conditions, linoleic acid and possibly other fatty acids are converted to unstable hydroperoxides, which affects both the lipid and vitamin nutritive quality of the product.
Fats Are Rendered Carcinogenic:
Heating also changes the lipids. These changed fats are incorporated into the cell wall and interfere with the respiration of the cell, causing an increase in cancer and heart disease. Acrolein, nitrosamines, hydrocarbons and benzopyrene are generated when fats are heated. Each are carcinogenic, cancer causing substances.
Deep-fried foods are the worse such as fried chicken, french fries, onion rings, potato chips, corn chips, cooked beef, chicken and just about all cooked meats due to their high fat content. Cancer is the number one killer of children in the United States and this is one significant reason why.
Oils tend toward rancidity especially when heated. Consume these in very small amounts, if at all. Paul Addis, professor of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota, says ”Rancid oils are one of the factors that are important in heart disease. Oils turn rancid when the fats are broken down in cooking, and, unarguable, these fats are toxic.”
High heat applied to oils during frying turns them into hydrocarbons that can cause cancer. Typical frying temperature is about 400 degrees F and can reach up to 600-700 degrees F. When fats / oils are heated to such temperatures the CIS fatty acids are converted to TRANS fatty acids. The unsaturated fats then begin to behave like saturated fats.
When heated, they raise rather than lower serum cholesterol levels (about 50% of the cholesterol increasing effect of saturated fat) and can raise LDL cholesterol by nearly as much as saturated fat. Besides the extra fat consumed, this is another reason why fried foods contribute to hardening of the arteries.
When oil is reheated to frying temperatures (as in deep fryers), the fat is more likely to develop the cancer producing agents acrolein and benzopyrene. Very hot temperatures also destroy vitamins and alter major proteins. Temperatures up to 1000 degrees F especially when one re-uses cooking oil (as in fast-food restaurants), breaks down the polyunsaturated molecule and free radicals then form. These are fragments that have combined with oxygen to produce poisonous peroxides. They are toxic due to their strong oxidizing (rusting) capacity, as they damage and destroy cells.
Bake some yams or sweet potatoes. Notice the sweet sticky goo oozing from the skin that partially turns to ash from the excessive heat. Youâ€™re witnessing sugar molecules (carbohydrates) carmelizing, fusing together like sticky molasses. Similar to protein coagulation, carmelization also occurs on a microscopic level when all foods are sufficiently heated, whether or not it is witnessed.
When complex carbohydrate sugar molecules are carmelized or fused together, amylases (digestive enzymes) cannot cleave them into constituent simple sugars for use as an energy source. Not only are they unavailable, but the heat turns them into an ash-like toxin.
Amino Acids Deaminize
Protein molecules under ideal eating and digestive conditions are broken down into amino acids by gastric enzymes. Every protein molecule in your body is synthesized from these amino acids. Protein you consume IS NOT used as protein: it is first recycled or broken down into its constituent amino acids AND THEN used to build protein molecules the body needs.
There are 23 different amino acids. They link together in different combinations in extremely long chains to create protein molecules, like individual rail cars form a train. The amino group gives each amino acid its specific identifying characteristic that differentiates it from the others. Excessive heat sloughs off or decapitates the amino group. Without this amino group, the amino acid is rendered useless and is toxic.
Heating Food Past 117 Degrees Deranges Enzyme Molecules
When food is heated past 117 degrees, enzymes are destroyed. This is not a very high temperature. Consider the instructions on frozen food items that are sitting in your kitchen freezer at home. Pre-heat oven to 350-400 degrees. When cooking, the higher the temperature the worse the damage to your food.
Enzymes are specialized protein molecules that perform numerous catalytic physiological functions including breaking down food during digestion. Expose food enzymes to heat and nearly all are inactivated. The body then must utilize energy to generate more of its own digestive enzymes. Heat of less than 117 degrees does not denature the food enzymes, however. Using food dehydrators that blow hot air on food until it cooks at low, safe temperatures allows for delicious, creative recipes such as using uncooked dehydrated garbanzo beans to make raw falafel, and dehydrated live crackers of various flavors.
Most physiologists cringe at the raw food enzyme theory. They claim that digestion depends on enzymes that the body generates, and not food enzymes. Enzymes in unripened fruit however, slowly break down its nutrients. As the fruit ripens, starches are reduced to sugars, fats are reduced to fatty acids, and proteins are reduced to amino acids.
But it’s not the food enzymes doing the work, says registered dietitian Roxanne Moore, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Fiber and antioxidants of which fruits and vegetables are prime sources, make the difference. Overall, the less cooked the fruit or vegetable, the more nutrients and fiber it retains. Moore says. If you don’t want to eat raw vegetables, how you cook them determines how much of the nutrients survive, she says. A few tips: use shorter cooking times, steam and microwave instead of boiling. Rely on fresh produce, which has more nutrients than processed or canned varieties.
Theory aside, eating raw food is a smart step toward good health. Consuming more fruits and vegetables gives your body a noticeable energy boost without harmful stimulants. (See: Stimulants and Supplements: Literally A Waste of Energy—Understanding Compensatory vs. Non-Compensatory Stimulation).
When Cooking Is Better?
Some nutritionists and biochemists erroneously claim that raw isnâ€™’t always best. Sometimes cooked food gives more nutrients for the buck, say Rutgers University and Taiwanese researchers at the 1999 annual American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco. They found that the body more easily absorbs iron from 37 of 48 vegetables tested when boiled, stir-fried, steamed, or grilled. Absorbable iron in cabbage jumped from 6.7% to 27% with cooking. Iron in broccoli flowerets rose from 6% to 30%. What the researchers were apparently unaware of, is the potential harm of high inorganic iron absorption.
NOTE: There are numerous instances when cooking releases a nutrient here or there – like lycopene in tomatoes, or when cooking breaks down toxins in something you couldn’t eat raw. However, what they forget to say it that if you eat primarily raw foods, you wan’t have a prostate problem so won’t bee needing any extra lycopene…and you won’t be needing to eat anything that would otherwise be toxic anyway. – Robert, ed.
The Danger of Increased Inorganic Iron Absorption
The reason for iron becoming more absorbable with cooking is that heat breaks down cell structure more completely than chewing alone. The ferrous iron (plant form) is changed to a more elemental inorganic form that is more easily absorbable in the intestine. But the more elemental iron begins to overload the system since it is relatively difficult for the body to eliminate.
The iron in cooked food is altered by heat. Iron absorbed from cooked food is detrimental compared to raw. There are several forms of iron, and the body alters them to suit its needs. Elemental iron is inorganic. After cooking, the structures and bonds have been radically altered. Excess inorganic iron can be a problem. It is associated with: increased infection, the generation of heart disease, predisposition to formation of free radicals, and free radical damage has extensive implications including the promotion of atherosclerosis, premature aging and cancer.
If you chew raw carrots well, you get as much iron as if you ate cooked mushy carrots. Thoroughness in mastication is just one factor governing the ultimate utilization of any nutrient. The health of the entire gastrointestinal tract has to be considered, as does the vitality of the individual (see: Nerve Energy), their blood purity, and the presence of all symbiotic factors involved in the absorption and utilization of iron.
Keep in mind the reasoning and trust, that Nature has provided the perfect balance of available nutrients in fresh plant foods which we are designed for (see: Biological Adaptations: Diet is Species Specific). By the application of heat we upset that balance.
Food, Nutrients, Digestive Activity, and the Effects of Cooking Food supplies the following nutrients:
NUTRIENT DIGESTION DIGESTIVE USED BY OVERLY COOKING CREATES ENZYMES BODY FOR CAUSES
- protein amino acids hydrochloric acid body structure deaminization pepsin, pepteoses enzymes, blood coagulation ACID environment steroids numerous toxins
- carbohydrates simple sugars salivary amylase energy carmelization (complex) pancreatic amylase dextrinization ALKALINE environment
- fats fatty acids bile cell structure numerous carcinogens: hormones, energy acrolein, nitrosamines
- vitamins (no change) – – – – – – metabolism returns to an (organic) inorganic state
- minerals (no change) – – – – — metabolism returns to an (organic) inorganic state
- phytochemicals (no change) – – – – – – wards of reduced to an (natural cancer fighting chemicals) free radicals ash-like state
- fiber (no change) – – – – — keep colon healthy loses fibrous nature regular elimination becomes saturated
- water H2O – – – – – – plasma / blood – – – – – – – – – – (body removes inorganic minerals) medium for all metabolic reactions
Practical Considerations: Living in Society
Cooking DOES NOT increase digestibility of foods. The more a food needs cooking, the further it compromises health: a prime indicator it is NOT one that you are biologically adapted to. This means you should not be consuming it as a major component of your diet. Our society however, is centered round a cooked food lifestyle. You can still enjoy cooked foods and be healthy to some degree. If you eat cooked foods, practice proper food combining.
Food combining allows your digestion to operate smoothly, without food fermenting or putrefying in your digestive tract. Aim for a minimum of 85% raw food of mostly fresh produce. Use transitional cooked food recipes. Enjoy your food, including your cooked food. But donâ€™t kid yourself. You will NOT achieve optimal wellness unless you consume a Clean–Burning Fresh Produce Diet;.
Cooked vs. Raw Food and Pottenger’s Cats
Dr. Francis M. Pottenger Jr. MD wrote about his experiments with 900 cats over a period of ten years. Pottenger fed raw meat to a portion of his test cats, and fed cooked meat to the other test cats. Pottenger wrote, Cooked meat fed cats were irritable. The females were dangerous to handle, occasionally biting the keeper.
Cooked meat and a pasteurized milk diet led to progressive degeneration of the animals. He compared healthy cats on raw foods with those on heated diets with mention of parallel findings among humans in Dr. Weston A. Priceâ€™s worldwide studies. Behavioral characteristics, arthritis, sterility, skeletal deformities and allergies are some of the problems that were associated with the consumption of all-cooked foods.
The cooked meat fed cats suffered with pneumonia, empyema, diarrhea, osteomyelitis, cardiac lesions, hyperopia and myopia (eye diseases), thyroid diseases, nephritis, orchitis, oophoritis (ovarian inflammation) and many other degenerative diseases. No cooked food is benign. Cooked foods act malignantly by exhausting energy, inhibiting healing, and decreasing alertness, efficiency and productivity.
Pinpointing the Pathogenic Nature of Cooked Foods: Leukocytosis
An increase in white corpuscles in the bloodstream is indicative of pathology. White corpuscles are the body’s first line of defense against toxic or harmful substances. The typical white corpuscle count is about 6,000 per cubic millimeter. When this count doubles, triples or increases four or five fold it is evidence of a diseased condition even if outward appearance does not reflect it.
Dr. Kouchakoff of Switzerland conducted over 300 detailed experiments, which pinpointed the pathogenic nature of cooked and processed foods. Food heated to temperatures of just 120 to 190 degrees F (a range usually relegated to warming rather than cooking which, nevertheless destroys all enzymes), causes leukocytosis. Leukocytosis is a term applied to an abnormally high white corpuscle count.
On Raw Food, Leukocytosis Does Not Occur
Within a short time after eating food cooked at these low temperatures, white corpuscle counts tripled in the participants of Dr. Kouchakoff experiments. When raw foods were added to the meal, foods cooked in this low temperature range did not cause leukocytosis. At cooked temperatures higher than 190 degrees, no amount of raw food offset the pathological effects of heating, and leukocytosis always occurred.
There is no proliferation of white corpuscles when uncooked, raw fresh produce food is eaten. On the contrary, the constant daily fight against the toxic effects of cooked food eventually exhausts the immune system, causing age-related illness and premature death.
NOTE: This research was done in the 1930’s, as I recall, and has never been confirmed. Nobody it seems has done the same experiment to disprove it either – in almost 80 years. Hmmm? Meanwhile, cooked food proponents will always remind you that this research hasn’t been verified, and was also poorly designed. Nonetheless, it is indicative of something, and they still teach in medical schools that digestive leukocytosis is normal after eating. Is it? – Robert, ed.
White Blood Cells and the Immune System
A spontaneous multiplication of white corpuscles takes place in normal blood immediately after the introduction of any virulent infection or poison since white corpuscles are the fighting organisms of the blood. The human body contains hundreds of defensive mechanisms including leukocytes, lymphocytes, plasma cells, monocytes, basophils, neutrophils, eosinophils, and granulocytes to clear the circulation of toxic materials. These serve to protect and continuously purify the body against the ravages of poisons.
White blood cells patrol your circulatory system and defend against alien potentially harmful substances that have been absorbed or injected into the body. White cells are sanitation engineers maintaining the purity of tissues, lymph, and body fluids. If poisons, bacteria, fungi (yeast), metabolic wastes, cooked food debris, or other foreign substances enter the blood, they are engulfed by white blood cells. White cells tolerate nothing abnormal in the circulatory system. Some of what is apprehended is recycled as food, especially organic materials. High concentrations however, overwhelm your immune system.
When pharmaceutical or recreational drugs, medicinal herbs, nutritional supplements, inorganic nutrients and cooked foods are consumed, leukocytosis occurs. An abnormal proliferation of leukocytes are released into your bloodstream from lymph glands and bone marrow where they are normally held in reserve until needed, to apprehend harmful alien substances before they disrupt and chemically unite with a significant number of cells and tissues.
In the process, white cells go on a suicide mission sacrificing themselves while protecting the greater good of the organism. In the aftermath of eating cooked food or taking drugs, the white cell count rises to between 12,000-20,000 per cubic millimeter of blood. After clearing the bloodstream of toxic debris your white cell count decreases back to normal, about 4,300-7,000 per cubic millimeter of blood.
Healthfully Normal White Blood Cell Counts vs. Ordinary WBC Counts in the Typically Toxic
Although ordinary, this pathological average WBC count of 4,300-7,000 is exceedingly high and is based on the general populace who routinely consume junk food, cooked foods, condiments, soft drinks, teas, coffee, tobacco, and fermented foods: all of which cause abnormal proliferation of white cells. This phenomenon repeated each meal, each day, each week, each year for decades slowly lowers resistance to disease and hideously drains your immune defensive response.
On the contrary, those who consume a clean-burning diet of predominantly raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds have white cell counts well below 4,300: and are mistakenly regarded as immunodeficient! The truth is: those who are REALLY suffering immunodeficiency diseases (as in AIDS) have destroyed their capacity to generate white blood cells, from constantly ingesting drugs or massive transfusions.
The healthy body is parsimonious, harvesting its resources strictly according to need. Your system is very economical in that it does not maintain faculties beyond what it requires. Healthy individuals whose blood streams are pure have lower white cell counts in circulation. The remainder is held in reserve within bone marrow, capillaries, and lymph nodes for times of emergency.
Raw fresh produce foods strengthen your immune system, alleviating the need to deplete its reserves. Overtime however, an enervating typical lifestyle routine gradually drains the bodyâ€™s tremendous capacity to throw-off toxins. The average American is self- poisoned 20-40 times DAILY. Each bout lowers body vitality as chronic disease slowly develops.
Raw foods are easily digested, requiring only 24-36 hours for transit time through the digestive tract, compared to 40-100 hours for cooked foods. Eating overly heated nutrients increases the threat of putrefaction and disease. As you consume cooked carbohydrates, proteins and fats, you are eating numerous carcinogenic products generated by heat.
Bacteria Decompose Dead Organic Matter (Cooked Food) In the Body
Overly cooked foods literally wreck our body. They deny needed nutrients to the system since heat alters foodstuffs such that they are partially or wholly damaged. Nutrients are coagulated, deaminized, caramelized and rendered inorganic and become pathogenic. Virulent bacteria find soil in dead food substances whereas they cannot exist on living cells
Cooked food spoils rapidly, both inside and outside our body, whereas living foods are slow to lose their vital qualities and do not as readily become soil for bacterial decay. Bacteria decompose the trash in our digestive system just as they do in soil. Bacterial action renders usable some waste materials that would ordinarily be expelled. Bacteria are essential to live and without them our existence would not be possible.
Yogurt Requires Dead, Cooked Pasteurized Milk
After eating cooked food, bacterial populations multiply exponentially. Consider what happens to milk while yogurt is made. If you start with raw milk and add a culture of bacillus bulgaricus the culture dies before it sours the milk.
But if first pasteurized or boiled, the milk is no longer fresh and is rendered lifeless. In making yogurt, it is then cooled to 100 to 110 degrees F and the bacterial culture is added. Bacteria then spoils (ferments) the milk by feeding on dead organic molecules, thereby producing yogurt in 6 to 8 hours. Note that the bacterial culture could not act on raw fresh milk whereas in a dead state, the milk readily became decomposing soil for bacterial proliferation.
Cooked food is dead organic matter that bacteria feast on. As a result, typical meals of protein, starches and sugars quickly ferment and putrefy. The metabolic by-products of bacterial activity include acid excreta, vinegars, alcohols, indole, skatole, nitropyrene, ptomatropine, ptomaines, leukomaines, hydrogen sulfide, cadaverine, muscarine, putecine, nervine, mercaptins and ammonias.
Our stomach becomes a cesspool of fermenting starches, sugars and putrefying proteins especially when eaten in incompatible food combina-tions as is typical in society. Indigestion occurs, and bacteria feed upon most of the food rather than your body. Digestive juices are no longer secreted when the digestive tract is vitiated. Under this condition, the digestive canal seeks to divest instead of digest.
Healthful Changes that Occur When Adopting a Raw Food Diet
Three important changes immediately occur when you adopt a raw food diet. First is the improved quality of nutrients taken into your system. Raw fresh produce is nutrient dense, largely pre-digested nutriment that is easily absorbed into your blood. Heated nutrients are denatured and of inferior quality, which are among the reasons why people commonly overeat cooked food. While their stomach feels full, their physiology craves nutrients and remains nutritionally starved.
The second important change that occurs on raw food cuisine involves what you STOP eating. No longer introduced into your system are devitalized, refined, heat-damaged toxic nutrient remnants. Energy is no longer wasted that previously was devoted to flushing these nutrient antagonists away from cells and tissues or quarantining them into fat cells, cysts, warts or tumors and abnormal growths. Instead, this energy is now redirected to enhance internal cleansing and further maximize the unfoldment of wellness.
The third major change on a fresh produce diet is the cessation of overeating. Overeating saturates the body with degenerated unnatural foodstuffs that constipate or clog the bloodstreamâ€™s nutrient delivery and sewage cleansing system. The blood delivers nutrients and oxygen to living cells, and carries away their toxic metabolites generated during ordinary cellular metabolism. This is why obesity is a serious condition. With too much food, the body is overburdened with inferior nutritionless empty calories.
High fiber, high water content fresh produce abolishes constipation of the bowels, cells and circulatory system. Obstructions are cleared and blood flow increases to each and every cell in the body. Enhanced blood flow is significant for two reasons: as mentioned above, blood delivers nutrients and oxygen to living cells, and carries away their toxic metabolites.
Raw Food and Athletes
Superb athletic performance on a raw food diet are not unheard of. Dr. Douglas Graham has been a 100% raw fooder for 17 years. He coaches professional athletes and consults with trainers from around the world. As a college gymnast he coached the springboard diving team. A national level competitor himself, Dr. Graham went on to train a trampoline team. After only three years under his tutelage, all seven members of the team won age group National Championships. Dr. Graham has trained professional athletes from many fields, including tennis legend Martina Navratilova and NBA pro basketball player Ronnie Grandison. He has advised Olympic athletes from four continents in a wide variety of sports.
Dr. Karl Elmer experimented with top athletes in Germany, producing improvement in their performance by changing to a purely raw food diet. Raw food provides you with more strength, energy and stamina. On raw food, the mind, memory and power of concentration is more focussed. Raw food leaves you energized rather than the typical tired feeling after meals. The tendency toward sleepiness after cooked meals is forsaken. Raw fooders require less sleep and achieve a more restful sleep.
Raw materials that the body needs to build wellness are not cooked materials. Nutrient values expressed as Percent of Recommended Dietary Allowance [RDA] per Calorie on nutrition charts are highest for raw foods. Potato, brown rice, winter wheat, pasta, and bread donâ€™t even make it to the Recommended Dietary Allowance.
Don’t get bogged down with figuring out yet another diet or baffled over how to cook (or not cook) your veggies or fruits. Whatâ€™s most important is that you actually eat them. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends 3 to 5 servings of vegetables, and 2 to 4 servings of fruit every day, which is satisfied each meal on The Fresh Produce Diet. This amount is a far cry from the 3.6 servings of fruits and vegetables combined, that Americans are now eating, which includes junk food such as french fries, potato chips, ice berg lettuce and ketchup on a burger.
On raw food: energy levels will increase, less money is spent at the grocery store (processed snacks are alarmingly expensive), sugar and fat cravings slowly subside since the sweet tooth is satisfied with sugar in fruit, and nutrient dense fat is obtained from raw nuts, seeds and avocado weight also normalizes: it’s almost impossible to overeat fresh produce plus its colorful, and delicious. No matter how you slice it, making room for raw does only good.
Raw food is also good for plants. When grasses are separately covered with fertilizers that are both raw and cooked, the grass grown with the raw fertilizer grows 400% more tonnage, over that grown with the same amount per acre of cooked food fertilizer.
The World’s Scriptures
According to Dr. Bernarr Zovluck, if you consult ancient scriptures and sacred writings, in Eden people did not eat cooked food with burning fire. Chinese, Egyptian, Indian and Hebrew accounts indicate that people were expelled from Paradise for using fire to cook food. Methuselah because he ate only raw foods, lived to an old age.
The Bhagavad Gita says, Pious men eat what the brilliant forces of nature leave over them after the offering. But those ungodly, cooking good food, sin as they eat. They’re speaking of illness caused by fire-cooked food.
In the Essene Gospel of Peace, a third century Aramaic Essene manuscript, Jesus is described as saying, Cook not your food with the fire of death, which is the fire that blazed outside you, that is hotter than your blood. Cook only with the fire of life, that is the natural heat of the day.
Professor Edmund Szekeley wrote concerning the Essene scrolls, Eat nothing, therefore, which a stronger fire than the fire of life has killed. Cook not, lest your bowels become as steaming bogs.
- Maximize your well-being and strengthen your immune system by consuming an abundance of unfired raw fresh produce at each meal.
- Heat destroys nutrients, wholesale. Not only are heated nutrients unavailable to your body, the heated food debris becomes TOXIC which overwhelms your immune system.
- Stop saturating your body with toxins and undermining your immune system. Avoid an abundance of cooked food and junk food.
- If you cook, heat food conservatively. The lower the heat for the shortest duration, the better.
- Use transitional recipes, proper food combining, and organic food sources to achieve at least an 85% raw food diet.
Do It for the Health of It!
World Copyrights reserved 2000 Arthur M. Baker MA, NHE Self-Health Care Systems
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