Cooked vs Raw Food
So much has been written about health foods, We have stores dedicated to health food, But we have missed out one very important and inexpensive health food - raw food.
Raw food - fruits and vegetable salads - are extremely healthy. One should try to 50% of our food in raw form and this is not too difficult. Let's say you have your breakfast purely consisting of fresh fruit and a big portion of raw vegetable salad at lunch and dinner. The raw food component of your meals goes to over 50% immediately!
Problems with cooking
The problem with cooking is that the heat destroys most of the nutrients. Vitamins are very heat sensitive. Cooking damages certain foods, making it difficult to digest. Paradoxically raw food is easier to digest than cooked food. Digestion times:
Raw fruit - 30 to 60 min
Raw veg - 60 to 120 min
Cooked food - 4 to 8 hours!!
Here's what cooking does to food:
high temperatures denature protein molecular structure, leading to deficiency of some essential amino acids,
overly heated fats generate numerous carcinogens including acrolein, nitrosamines, hydrocarbons, and benzopyrene (one of the most potent cancer-causing agents known),
natural fibres 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,
pesticides are restructured into even more toxic compounds,
free radicals are produced,
Physiologists know that the white blood cell count rises after the ingestion of cooked food. This is called leucocytosis and is considered normal. Only thing is, it does not happen when you consume raw food. Since the white blood cells are the defenders of the body against its enemies, this indicates that the body looks as cooked food as an enemy to be wiped out! However, this does not happen if you eat a raw salad first and then the cooked food. That's why we suggest eating a salad BEFORE your cooked meal and not after.
Benefits of raw food
Raw food contains at least 70% water, but the heat of cooking drives most of this water out. So the food becomes concentrated in calories so we put on weight easily. The same quantity of cooked food has much more calories than an equal quantity of raw food.
Eating cooked food does not give enough exercise to the teeth, gums and jaws. Residues of cooked food in the mouth attract bacteria. Dental problems are the result.
Does a food need to be altered from its natural raw state, by cooking, before you can eat it? If so, it is not ideal for us. Eating the food raw means you get the full value of the food - all the vitamins, minerals, nutrients, fibres, water in the right proportions.
Why not eat 100% raw
In theory, this is ideal, but in practice, it is very challenging. Because of the low calorie of most raw food, you would have to eat huge amounts of food to meet your daily calorie requirements. And you might tend to overeat on fruits and nuts, which could cause issues.
Methods of cooking
Deep frying is to be avoided like the plague. The very high temperatures of the oils (300-600 deg C) derange the molecular structure of the food and it becomes carcinogenic. Microwaving is even worse. Steaming is the best method of cooking, followed by stir-frying, dry roasting and boiling. The less heat used, and for less time, the better.