AHHA SELF-HELP ARTICLES COLLECTION
   


Nancy Appleton, Ph.D. is a retired nutritional consultant living in Santa Monica, California. She has created advanced curriculum for National Institute for Nutritional Education and authored numerous books including Lick The Sugar Habit, Healthy Bones, Lick The Sugar Habit, Healthy Bones, Suicide by Sugar, Stopping Inflammation, The Curse Of Louis Pasteur and Killer Colas. You can contact her via her web site www.nancyappleton.com


The American Holistic Health Association has compiled a collection of self-help articles to support your efforts to enhance your own health and well-being.

This article is part of the
article category
ENHANCING YOUR LEVEL OF WELLNESS
and the sub-category
NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTATION

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Have you ever wondered the best way to eat food - raw, slightly cooked, moderately cooked or well done? Do you know that the way you prepare food can determine whether you can get all of the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and simple sugars from your food? Although all of the nutrients might be in the food, if the food is cooked incorrectly the food will not digest and metabolize optimally. The nutrients become less available to the body.

There is enough evidence to show that the more food is cooked, the more difficult it is to digest and metabolize. The higher the temperature that food is cooked, the longer it stays in the gut. This makes it more difficult for the food to absorb and work on a cellular level where it needs to work.

When the food cannot work at the cellular level, the cells can become deficient and/or toxic. This leads to deficiency and toxicity of the whole body making the body less able to function optimally. All food deteriorates during commercial food processing and during storage. Three different things happen to food that is overcooked or over-processed:
1. Destruction of essential amino acids.
2. Decrease in digestibility.
3. Production of anti-nutritional and toxic compounds.

It is the liver's job to detoxify toxins, but the liver can become overloaded and unable to do its job. In the bloodstream, the undigested or partially digested food (in the form of macromolecules) is in too large a particle to get into the cell to function. Undigested or partially digested food moves through the bloodstream causing havoc in the body.

When food is heated past the heat-labile point, its chemical configuration changes. Pasteurization, deep-frying, and barbecuing are all forms of cooking where food is heated past the heat labile point. The body does not understand these new chemical configurations and does not have the enzymes to digest the food easily.

However, the immune system comes to the defense of the body, and makes these undigested particles back into substances that the body can use or escorts them out of the body. We ask our immune system to do the job that our digestive system did not do. The immune system was not designed to do this on a daily basis, every time we overcook foods or over-process foods. Over time the immune system becomes exhausted and the door is opened to infectious and degenerative diseases.

Unfortunately it is not only foods heated past the heat labile point, such as potato chips, other fried foods, barbecued foods, dried milk or eggs, cake mixes and such, that cause this reaction. There is evidence that shows that foods cooked past 112 degrees Fahrenheit are more difficult to digest. Foods in this category include fried foods, pressure cooked foods, barbecued foods and most processed foods. Also sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, corticosteroids, antibiotics, aspirin, and many prescription, over-the-counter and street drugs can cause upset body chemistry. This upset causes undigested food to get into the bloodstream with all of the consequences.

From this research and the principle of the heat labile point, it seems that the best way to cook food is the least way. If you do cook your food, it is best to lightly steam, bake, stew, stir fry or use a slow crock cooker. Eat as few over-processed and overcooked foods as possible.

The state of balance (homeostasis) is the key to health. As long as your body is in homeostasis, it is healing. When it is out of homeostasis, it is on the degenerative disease process. The foods that keep the body in balance are natural foods. God made food for health. Man made food for shelf life, beauty and profit, and not necessarily in that order.