By Wes PeteresonA kitchen is nothing else than a chemical laboratory producing millions of completely new chemical substances that basically never existed in the wild and if, then very occasionally by accident. Cooking will randomly produce millions of different sugar and protein combinations commonly called Maillard molecules.Throughout the biggest part of our evolutionary history, the one before processing, human beings have never ingested the amount of Maillard molecules we ingest today. The recent introduction of dairy products and grains has equally brought new chemical substances such as new proteins into the dietary spectrum of humans within a very short period of time.Key Points Regarding the Effects of Cooking on Food and HealthThe food's life force is greatly depleted or destroyed when it is cooked. The bioelectrical energy field is altered and greatly depleted, as is graphicallydemonstrated with kirlian photography. Live and bioactive raw food is severely diminished.
The biochemical structure and nutrient makeup of the food is altered from its original state. Molecules in the food are deranged, degraded, and broken down. The food is degenerated in many ways. Fiber in plant foods is broken down into a soft, passive substance that loses its broom-like and magnetic cleansing quality in the intestines.
Nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are depleted, destroyed, and altered. The degree of depletion, destruction, and alteration is simply a matter of temperature, cooking method, and time.
Up to 50% of the protein is coagulated. Much of this is rendered unusable. High temperatures also create cross-links in protein. Cross-linked proteins are implicated in many problems in the body, as well as being a factor in the acceleration of the aging process.
The interrelationship of nutrients is altered from its natural synergistic makeup. For example, with meat, relatively more vitamin B-6 than methionine is destroyed, which fosters atherogenic free radical-initiating homocysteine accumulation that is a factor in heart problems.
The water content of the food is decreased. The natural structure of the water is also changed to something far less than optimal.
Toxic substances and cooked "byproducts" are created. The higher the cooking temperature, the more toxins that are created. Frying and grilling are especially toxin-generating. Various carcinogenic and mutagenic substances and many free radicals are generated in cooked fats and proteins in particular.
Heat causes the molecules involved to collide, and repeated collision causes divalent bonding in order for new molecules, and hence a new substance, to form. They have even been named "new chemical composites".
Unusable waste material is created, which has a cumulative congesting and clogging effect on your body and is a burden to the natural eliminative processes of your body.
All of the enzymes present in raw foods are destroyed at temperatures as low as 118 degrees Fahrenheit. These enzymes, named "food enzymes" are important for optimum digestion. They naturally aid in digestion and become active as soon as eating commences. Cooking destroys 100% of these enzymes.
Eating enzyme-dead food places a burden on your pancreas and other organs and overworks them, which eventually exhausts these organs. The digestion of cooked food uses valuable metabolic enzymes in order to help digest your food. Digestion of cooked food is much more energetically demanding than the digestion of raw food. In general, raw food is so much more easily digested that it passes through the digestive tract in a half to a third of the time it takes for cooked food.
After eating a cooked meal, there is a rush of white blood cells towards the digestive tract, leaving the rest of the body less protected by the immune system. From the point of view of the immune system the body is being invaded by a foreign (toxic) substance when cooked food is eaten.
Putrefactive bacteria, particularly from cooked meat, dominate the natural population of beneficial intestinal flora resulting in dysfunction in your intestine, allowing the absorption of toxins from the bowel. This phenomenon is variously called dysbiosis, or intestinal toxemia.
A buildup of mucoid plaque is created in the intestines. Mucoid plaque is a thick tar-like substance that is the long-term result of undigested, uneliminated cooked food putrefying in the intestines. Cooked starches and fats in particular are a major culprit in constipation and clogging of the intestines.
Cooked foods cause a build-up of toxins and waste material in many parts of the body, including within individual cells. Some of these toxins and wastes are called lipofuscin, which accumulates in the skin and nervous system, including the brain. It can be observed as "liver spots" or "age spots."
Cooked foods cause malnutrition at the cellular level. Because cooked foods are lower in nutrients, in addition to containing wastes and toxins, individual cells don't receive enough of the nutrients they need.
Cooked foods cause a tendency towards obesity through overeating. Because the cells don't get enough nutrients they are so to speak "always hungry" and hence "demand" more food. Cooked food is also less likely to be properly metabolized, which is another factor in excess weight gain.
From time to time the body experiences detoxification crises also called purification or healing crises. This happens when toxins are released through the skin or dumped in your bloodstream for elimination by the liver, kidneys, and other organs. The symptoms may include headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, colds, bronchitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, and diarrhea.
The immune system, having to handle the massive daily invasions of toxins and toxic by-products, eventually becomes overwhelmed and weakened. A key factor in the aging process.
The wastes, toxins, mutagens, and carcinogens that build up within cells, as well as the daily onslaught of excess free radicals eventually cause some cells to become cancerous - killing an estimated 30% of Americans.
In general, the natural aging process is accelerated by cooked food. People who switch to raw food often become biologically and visibly younger.
After eating a cooked meal there is a general increase in the white blood cells in the blood and a change in the relative proportions of different blood cells occurs. This phenomenon is called "digestive leukocytosis".
Leukocytosis and Cooked FoodIn 1930, research was conducted at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry in Lausanne, Switzerland, under the direction of Dr. Paul Kouchakoff. The effect of food (cooked/processed vs. raw/natural) on the immune system was tested and documented.
Dr. Kouchakoff's discovery concerned the leukocytes, the white blood cells.It was found that after a person eats cooked food, his/her blood responds immediately by increasing the number of white blood cells. This is a well-known phenomena called "digestive leukocytosis", which means that there is a rise in the number of leukocytes, or white blood cells, after eating.
Since digestive leukocytosis was always observed after eating, it was considered to be a normal physiological response to eating. No one knew why the number of white cells would rise after eating, since this appeared to be a stress response, as if the body was reacting to something harmful, such as infection, trauma, or exposure to toxic chemicals.Back in 1930, Swiss researchers of the institute of Chemical Chemistry studied the influence of food on human blood and made a remarkable discovery. They found that eating unaltered, raw food or food heated at low temperatures did not cause a reaction in the blood. In addition, if a food had been heated beyond a certain temperature (unique to each food), or if the food was processed (refined, added chemicals, etc.), this always caused a rise in the number of white cells in the blood.
The researchers renamed this reaction "pathological leukocytosis", since the body was reacting to highly altered food. They tested many different kinds of foods and found that if the foods were not overheated or refined, they caused no reaction. The body saw them as "friendly foods". However, these same foods, if heated at too high a temperature, caused a negative reaction in the blood, a reaction that is found only when the body is invaded by a dangerous pathogen or trauma.The worst offenders of all, whether heated or not, were processed foods that had been refined (such as white flour or white rice), or homogenized (a process in which the fat in milk is subjected to artificial suspension), or pasteurized (also seen in milk, flash-heated to high temperatures to kill bacteria), or preserved (chemicals added to food to retard spoilage or to enhance taste or texture).
In other words, foods that were changed from their original God-given state. Good examples of these harmful foods are: pasteurized milk, chocolate, margarine, sugar, candy, white flour, and regular salt. The researchers found that if these altered, chemical foods were chewed very thoroughly, the harm to the blood could be lessened. In addition, another amazing finding was that if some of the same food in its raw state was eaten with the cooked counterpart, the pathological reaction in the blood was minimized. However, avoid these unnatural, processed foods; replace them with delicious whole foods for optimal health.
Dr. Mercola's comments
More and more I am coming to realize that the bulk of the food that we eat should not be cooked. That is one of the main reasons why drinking one quart of vegetable juice is so important to obtaining and maintaining your health.
I would encourage you to obtain at least 50% of your food as uncooked. The vegetable juicing and a salad at lunch will easily put you over that volume.
The raw egg yolks in the juice are an important part of the raw food approach. If you are healthy and have large amounts of vegetables, the salmonella is not going to be an issue for you, especially if the eggs are free range and organic.
In some cases daily juicing might cause some loose stools, which are easily resolved with some good bacteria.
I am still in the process of increasing my percentage of raw food eaten to over 90% of my total daily food intake. My nutritionist, Jim Marlow, recently encouraged me to start eating raw ostrich meat and I have found that to be quite enjoyable and not really much different than the way I would normally prepare my meat at medium rare.