Contrary to popular belief, cooked foods are harder to digest than raw foods. The best source of nutrition for humans are natural, unadulterated and unprocessed foods. Best foods of them all are raw fruits and vegetables. This is why I prefer to practice the fruitarian diet.
It turns out that cooked food can kill you, especially if it is overcooked or burnt. Everyone eats cooked foods, but most people do not know the chemical effect that cooking has on the food we eat and how that affects our body.
What Happens When You Cook Your Food?
When you cook your food, regardless of whether it is on a stove, and oven, a grill, a microwave or a frying pan the molecular structure of that food becomes denatured, deranged and/or degraded. Thus those molecules are changed into new configurations. Cooking basically transforms your food. This can actually be very bad for you. These chemical mutations tend to create carcinogenic substances and other byproducts that are toxic to your body.
Grilling, barbecuing, smoking and frying are the worst and most toxic approaches to cooking. Some people call these “the fires of death”. Steaming on the other hand, is considered the healthiest approach to cooking. However, steaming also may affect your food on a negative way.
Heat destroys the nutrients that are naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables. This is especially true to water soluble vitamins like vitamin B and vitamin C. Perhaps more importantly, heat (when it over 112 or 118 degrees, depending on different research) destroys the food’s enzymes. Some people such as Nancy Lee Bentley, co-author of Dr. Mercola’s Total Health Program agree with these statements. Nancy has shown that new research suggests enzymes become de-stabilized with temperatures as low as 72 degrees. (Side note, I am only using Dr. Mercola’s name here because he is very well known. That being said, I do not subscribe to any of his health advice given that he is most likely full of Sxxx.)
Why is the de-stabilization and destruction of enzymes important?
Enzymes are used to break down food into smaller pieces. This allows them to be digested and absorbed by your body. The pancreas is known as the main production center for endogenous enzymes. These are the enzymes that are formed inside the body. On the other hand, raw foods are the main source of exogenous enzymes. These are the enzymes that are formed outside the body. This is the reason why people can eat cooked foods and still be able to digest them. Even if the foods they eat do not have any live enzymes, the body can still utilize the enzymes produced by the pancreas to digest the food. The problem is that this is a very ineffective process. From my perspective it is quite ridiculous, given that it takes energy and nutrients to create enzymes inside your body.
Those who eat cooked foods are spending energy to absorb energy through a very inefficient process. This is one of the many reasons why eating heavy cooked food meals can leave you feeling so tired and exhausted. People can survive on cooked foods for many years. However, these habits tend to lead to cellular exhaustion, which may lead to a weak immune system more susceptible to disease. There are some cultures who have a tradition of cooking their foods, yet, they are able to get away with it, partially, because they know how to properly cook their foods utilizing the aid of specific herbs and spices that help with the digestive process. That being said, this is still not as efficient as eating raw, enzyme rich foods, such as in the case of the fruitarian diet.
As a general rule of thumb. The longer you cooked your food, or the more heat you use, the longer it will remain undigested, seating as it putrefies and ferments in your digestive track. As proteins putrefy and fats go rancid, they irritate the lining of your digestive track, causing inflammation. These irritated cells allow the undigested food to pass through, leading to diseases such as leaky gut syndrome.
In 1930, Dr. Paul Kouchakoff of Switzerland studied and documented the effects that cooked foods and raw foods have in the human body. His findings show that food that was cooked, when ingested, initiated a white blood cell rise called “digestive leukocytosis. This reaction is similar to a stress response caused by an infection or trauma. Many researchers and doctors in modern days have observed this same reaction, however, they tend to regard it as a normal reaction to eating.
Kouchakoff found that raw food did not cause this immune reaction. Only food that has been heated above 118 degrees, or processed such as in the case of refined sugars, can lead to this reaction. The foods that triggered the strongest reaction were processed and refined foods such as pasteurized and homogenized milk, margarine, refined chocolate, sugar, candy, white flour and table salt, regardless of whether they had been heated or not. It has been reported that the average cancer risk due to amine exposure in cooked foods multiplies by 2,000x for people who eat large amounts of well-done and flame broiled meats on a regular basis.
Toxic Byproducts from Cooked Foods
Heating foods creates an impressive amount of toxic byproducts which are very unhealthy and dangerous to our bodies. It is scary to realize that so many of us have, and continue to consume these toxins every time we eat cooked foods. The following toxins have be found on any type of cooked foods, regardless of whether they came from carbs, fats or proteins:
Acrylamides: Cancer causing byproducts from cooking carbs such as such as breads, potatoes, pastries or any starch.
Ally aldehyde, butyric acid, nitrobenzene and nitropyrene: Toxins formed from heating fats and oils.
Epoxides, Hydroperoxides, unsaturated aldehydes: Generated when heating fat from meat, milk, eggs, and fish.
Furfural / furans: Toxins spawned by heating sugars.
Heterocyclic Arnines (HCA’s): Toxins from heating amino acids (proteins) such as meat, fish or chicken.
Indole, skatole, nitropyrene, ptomatropine, ptomaines, leukomaines, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, cadaverine, muscarine, putecine, nervine, mercaptins: Toxic by-products found in cooked cheeses.
Methylglyoxal and chlorogenic atractyosides: Chemicals from heating coffee beans.
Nitrosamines: As nitrogen oxides in the gas flame from gas ovens or barbecues interact with fats, these toxins are created.
Polycyclic Hydrocarbons: Carcinogens generated from the charring meat.
Hydrogenated oils/Trans fats: These man-made fats, also called hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats, developed to allow processed foods to sit on a shelf for long periods of time without going rancid. Today, many common foods are cooked in these trans fats. Consumption of these can lead to obesity, heart disease, increase of bad (LDL) cholesterol and decrease of good (HDL) cholesterol.
Heating “healthy” cooking oils, such as olive oil, denatures the oil molecules and causes the oil to turn rancid, which is very acidic and unhealthy for human consumption.
Unhealthy Effects of Cooked Food in the Human Body
Most people in the United States, and around the world, have grown up used to eating cooked foods. These tend to be included in every meal and even snacks. The consumption of these foods, although unknown to most people, have had a great contribution in the raise of disease and obesity in the global population. The following is a list of the effects of cooked foods in the human body:
Digestive leukocytosis: Leukocytosis refers to an increase in white blood cells, created to attack foreign invaders inside the body. This reaction is common when you get sick, it also happens when you eat cooked foods.
Accelerated aging, lowered pH and free radical formation: Buildup of toxic acid waste materials, often known as “free radicals”, tend to accumulate in the skin and various organ tissues throughout the body, including the liver, nervous system and brain. When your pH becomes acidic you start to rust from the inside out, this is commonly seen in cases of cancer, where organs are literally chewed up by acids stuck inside the tissues.
Weakened immune system, disease production and overworked and enlarged pancreas and other organs: Constant circulation of toxic acidic waste overworks your white blood cells and makes you weak. This dis-empowers your body to fight other pathogens that may enter into the body through foods, water, air or contact with foreign chemicals. Over the long run, this tends to lead to all sorts of ailments and diseases such as headaches, diabetes, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, depression, arthritis, osteoporosis, and various cancers thrive.
Intestinal toxemia, unfriendly flora build-up and more difficult digestion: Countless colonies of bacteria take over the colon as they feed on undigested and un-eliminated cooked food that is putrefying in the intestines. This can lead to an imbalance in the intestinal flora of the colon, which further worsens digestion by creating more toxic byproducts.
Toxic waste accumulation and mucoid plaque build-up in the blood and colon: Congestion in the bowels can lead to clogging and absorption of toxins into the bloodstream. This accumulated waste in the blood vessels can lead heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and even erectile dysfunction, as well as gout, arthritis and various cancers. Detox reactions may be caused by this toxic buildup, and as the body tries to rid itself of these acids people may experience runny noses, headaches, asthma and diarrhea, to name a few.
Malnutrition & deficiency of important nutrients: Eating cooked food may lead to feeling hungry and malnourished, which leads to craving more food. I certainly can vow for this as I have experienced the difference between having a large meal of fruits and a large meal of cooked food. Whenever I eat fruits, my body eventually tells me to stop as it feels completely satiated. On the other hand, when I eat cooked food, my body keeps telling me to eat more and more and even when I feel stuffed I don’t actually feel satiated and the only reason why I force myself to stop eating in those cases is because I simply can’t fit more food in my stomach.
Depletion of the food’s life force: Cooking literally kills food and removes its bioelectrical energy. Cooked food is considered dead food.
Increased risk of diseases of all types: Cooking food, especially at high temperatures, burns away the anti-disease and anti-cancer properties of these foods. Diets lacking raw vegetables and fruits is considered one of the main causes of every disease from breast and colon cancer to heart disease, diabetes and even arthritis.
Transitioning to a Raw Vegan, Fruitarian Diet
Even if you are not ready to be 100% raw you are still able to make better choices towards the “live side”. By simply being conscious of the effects of cooked foods you can start to choose more raw fruits and vegetables and lean away from cooked meats and other toxic sources. Start making better choices and you will start to see your health improve gradually. For some great advice on how to transition to a fruitarian diet I recommend you read this wonderful article I wrote about it.
There are other helpful articles that you can read to understand more about the benefits of the fruitarian diet as well as a number of excellent books about detoxification and the fruitarian diet. I recommend you read The Detox Miracle Sourcebook, The Detox Mono Diet and The Raw Cure. Other recommended books on the fruitarian diet include Destination Eden, The Fully Raw Diet, The 80/10/10 Diet and Becoming Raw.
Additional Recommended Reading about the Fruitarian Diet
“With the proper diet, no doctor is necessary. With the improper diet, no doctor can help.” – Gabriel Cousens