Science Proves the Benefits of the Raw Food Diet – Part 3

Raw Fresh Produce vs. Cooked Food – Part 3
by Arthur M. Baker, MA, MHE

Author of Awakening Our Self-Healing Body

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 dur-ing 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 ï‚· 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 it’s unarguable, these fats are toxic, Addis says.

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.

Carbohydrates Carmelize

Bake some yams or sweet potatoes. Notice the sweet sticky goo oozing from the skin that partially turns to ash from the excessive heat. You’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.

Live Enzymes?

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 isn’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.

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: ï‚· 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:


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 don’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. Price’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.

World Copyrights reserved 2000 Arthur M. Baker MA, NHE Self-Health Care Systems

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Science Proves the Benefits of the Raw Food Diet – Part 3 — 1 Comment

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