Monday, October 15, 2018

What is the effect of cooking on health?

For most this question is getting off into the weeds. Even the idea one could survive (much less thrive) eating nothing but fresh, whole raw foods is ridiculous. So bear with me for a few moments while I introduce a particular perspective you may not have been exposed to. I'm going to let a raw foods proponent of many years experience do the heavy lifting for me, a gentleman who also was featured in a previous blog "Fasting - How Does It Work?"

So there is research supporting this point of view. Think about it: leukocytosis and inflammation occur simultaneously. Inflammation should not be suppressed unless it goes to dangerous levels, it is part of the normal process of the body healing itself. Obviously inflammation should be prevented in the first place by achieving high levels of health. Allowing inflammation to run its course, essentially the same thing as allowing the body to heal itself, does not sell many drugs, herbs, and suppliments however! So it's not likely to be something we hear from traditional MDs, or even naturopaths and other alternative medical practitioners.

In addition to the inflammation problem we know the net reduction of micronutrient content of cooked foods is substantial, and correlates to how cooked those foods are: fresh, ripe, raw, whole foods have as much micronutrient content as they ever will, and cooking reduces that net content by the degree to which it is cooked.

Here's one other point that is even more obscure than the points about inflammation and micronutrient content; it has been suggested to me (by someone who probably knows) that the greatest source of greenhouse effect is the net global effect of cooking food. Recently we commonly hear that modern day practices of animal agriculture contributes more greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere than all transportation combined, pretty new information for most of us...for years the prevailing idea was transportation was the greatest contributor. If it is true the net global warming effect of cooking food is greater than any other a microcosmically few people must be aware of it at this point.

It would be irresponsible to not mention that one cannot begin eating raw foods exclusively and hope for great results without first coming to some understanding how its done so that we get our needs for energy (sufficient calories) and nutrition met. It's not complicated, it's more that we have never been exposed to these ideas. It's also not difficult, depending to some extent upon where we live and how much access to quality raw foods we have there.

Finally it's worth noting that the whole food plant based diet used to reverse chronic conditions by leading edge MDs (ie the MDs that achieve the greatest net result with patients) such as McDougall, Esselstyn, Barnard, Ornish, and Fuhrman is some mix of fresh/raw and cooked foods, and they believe that mix is practical and healthful. It can also be helpful to make diet and lifestyle changes in a context that is more familiar with what we are used to doing already.

Meanwhile we can begin immediately to access the benefits of fresh, ripe, raw foods by eating more fruits and salads everyday.

It's that easy.

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