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Positive vs Negative Effects of Cooking Foods
Copyright by Loren Howe

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This is the conclusion of a six-part nutritional health article on dietary changes and choices that can either result in renewed health or the tearing down of health. Read part one on food and your health

The Evolution of Food Continued.... The use of fire in food preparation was perhaps the most earth-shattering event in the history of human dietary evolution, and yet today it is entirely forgotten." Almost no one considers the implications, benefits, or problems associated with our most basic food processing technique.

This information is the copywritten material of Loren Howe Do not reprint without express permission from author.

Benefits of Cooked Foods
First let's look at the benefits of cooking and then, the benefits of restoring traditional dietary and health practices."

As mentioned, cooking degrades toxins in rancid meat and poisonous plant foods. Cooking also kills deadly bacteria in infected meat or dairy products.

Secondly, cooking weakens the cell walls within our food, making the calories and nutrients more available to digestion. After living thousands of years with these benefits, humans have become dependent to varying degrees.

Many people have lost some of their ancestors' digestive efficiency and toxin resistance. Animals, including chimpanzees, may be able to eat large quantities of raw leaves for example. However, without cooking, modern humans are often unable to resist the toxins or obtain sufficient nutrients from these foods.

Humans now have difficulty obtaining sufficient calories and nutrients from many uncooked food sources. Most of our current food staples would be poisonous or provide diminished nutrition without cooking. These benefits have allowed the human population to grow so large that greater society is now dependent on cooking. and once a behavior is accepted by society, few people question it, however there are often hidden disadvantages.

What Cooking Does to Food:

When food molecules are heated it is not only the toxins that are destroyed. Heat indiscriminately destroys toxins, vitamins, and any other complex molecules. The food's entire structure changes.

A simple example is a clear egg albumin turning white as the heated protein is denatured. As this process continues, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates degrade and recombine in nearly infinite variety." The more radically affected protein and carbohydrate molecules change color to black or brown.

These darkened particles are generically called Maillard particles." Maillard particles are simply random compounds formed by cooking." It is clear that food changes radically during heat processing.

It would be extremely unlikely that all of these changes were positive or that humans had time to fully evolve and overcome all of the negative aspects. "

There have been a vast number of claims regarding the damage which cooking does to food. These include destruction of enzymes, creation of toxins, destruction of beneficial nutrients/phytochemicals, and allowance of poisonous and sub-optimal food sources into the general diet. As with any dietary controversy, we could endlessly analyze each side's argument. There are easier ways however.

Societies have empirically adjusted to dietary changes. Over thousands of years, most cultures develop standard diets and food preparation methods based on trial and error. This knowledge represents the cumulative experience of millions of individuals over hundreds of generations." "

Rather than theorize or conduct limited studies, it is almost always simpler and more effective to learn what our ancestors traditionally ate and how they prepared their food."

It is also important to recognize that every sub-population and individual has genetic variability. It is necessary to keep an open mind, experiment, and follow your instincts in order to arrive at an optimal individual diet for yourself at any given period of your life." conclusion: traditional vs. modern diet"

To learn much greater detail regarding traditional dietary and health practices, you can read The Real Story of Money, Health, and Religion, by Loren Howe available in paperback or $1.25 download at LuLu Online Bookstore

Related: Common Nutritional Terms and Their Meanings

Wholistic Health Disclaimer: The views on nutrition and health presented here are the views of Loren Howe. They are not presented as replacement for medical attention.