I was never much of a cook. I couldn’t seem to get that timing thing down quite right. Over time, I actually learned to like very well-done, often times totally burnt food, especially toast and pizza. Back then, my smoke detector doubled as my oven timer as well as my “time for dinner” bell, and my mantra to my intimidated friends became, “Oh, just scrape off the burnt part and eat it- it’s not gonna kill ya!” Although the firefighters of Engine #9 came over to see me many times, my guests usually only came over once; for some reason they always wanted to go out to eat.
Well, after years of being a pyrofoodiac- I discovered raw food; (no, I’m not talking raw meat or even sushi) fruits, veggies and their juices and raw nuts & seeds. In their natural, unadulterated, untouched by man, UNcooked and certainly UNburned state, these foods really can heal all that ails ya. It turns out, it’s that cooked food- especially the burnt stuff- that WILL kill you!
Yes, I know exactly what you thinking, “EVERYONE eats cooked food!” But not everyone knows what the cooking of food actually does to the food and even more importantly, what that cooked food does to your body when you regularly consume it.
So, what could possibly be so bad about cooking your food? Does something in the food change when you heat it? What exactly is IN cooked food?
Whenever you cook food- whether it’s on a stove top, in an oven, on a grill, in a microwave, or in a fryer, not only does the molecular structure of the food become denatured, deranged, and/or degraded, but those molecules are changed into new chemical configurations (this is a bad thing) and carcinogenic and mutagenic byproducts are formed, the degree to which is dependent on the cooking temperature, time cooked and method of cooking. Grilling, barbecuing, smoking and frying are the worst offenders; they are literally the fires of death, but steaming also affects the food. You know that old saying that there are more nutrients in the water of steamed veggies than are actually left in the veggies when they are done steaming? That’s because heat destroys nutrients, especially the water soluble vitamins like vitamin C and all the B vitamins. The heating of food also destroys the food’s enzymes. In fact, 100% of the food’s enzymes are destroyed at temperatures as low as 118 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, the oxygen and water content of the food is drastically decreased, fats are carcinogenized, carbs are carmelized, and proteins are coagulated and become virtually unusable by the body. Even the fiber in food loses that sweeping-like action in the colon.
The heating of food also creates toxic byproducts. Here is a list of some of the dangerous byproducts you are most likely unknowingly consuming every time you eat cooked food, whether it’s a carb, a fat or a protein:
Acrylamides: These are the cancer-causing byproducts of cooking carbohydrate foods such as breads, potatoes, pastries or any kind of starch. Even the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) acknowledges acylamides. In fact, on their website (www.fda.com) they have a list of the amount of acrylamides found in various common cooked foods, but you better believe the processed/fast food industry doesn’t want you to know about this!
Ally aldehyde, butyric acid, nitrobenzene and nitropyrene- The book, Diet, Nutrition and Cancer, published by the U.S. FDA’s Office of Toxicological Sciences and the Nutritional Research Council and the American Academy of Sciences lists these toxins as being formed from heating the fats and oils in food.
Epoxides, Hydroperoxides, unsaturated aldehydes: These are generated when heating fat from meat, milk, eggs, and fish.
Furfural/furans: These toxins are spawned when sugars are heated.
Heterocyclic Amines (HCA’s): Add heat to amino acids (proteins) such as meat, fish or chicken and these poisons will be served up.
Indole, skatole, nitropyrene, ptomatropine, ptomaines, leukomaines, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, cadaverine, muscarine, putecine, nervine, mercaptins These toxic byproducts have been found in cooked cheeses.
Methylglyoxal and chlorogenic atractyosides: Heating the coffee bean produces these chemicals.
Nitrosamines: As nitrogen oxides in the gas flame from gas ovens or barbecues interact with fats, these toxins are created.
Polycyclic Hydrocarbons: These carcinogens are generated from the charring of meat.
Hydrogenated oils/Trans fats: These man-made fats, also called hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats, were specifically developed so a processed food could sit on a shelf for a long period of time without goig rancid. Many of today’s common foods are also cooked in these trans fats. Consuming trans fats can lead to obesity, heart disease, increases in the bad (LDL) cholesterol and lowering of the good (HDL) cholesterol and it contributes to a host of other debilitating health problems.
Keep in mind, when heating even the most common cooking oils, such as olive oil, the heat denatures the oil molecules and causes the oil to turn rancid.
What happens to the body when we eat cooked food?
We have became a “Pyrofoodiac Nation;” consuming excessive amounts of cooked and overcooked food at each and every meal- including snacks- to the point of great disease and utter destruction! Here is what happens to the body every time we eat cooked food:
●Digestive leukocytosis: The term leukocytosis refers to an increase in white blood cells, indicating the body is in attack mode. This commonly occurs when you are sick; your white blood cells come out to protect you. It may surprise you to know this immune response also occurs when you consume cooked food. It is referred to as digestive leukocytes, but it’s interesting to note, this reaction does not occur after eating raw/uncooked food.
●Accelerated aging, lowered pH and free radical formation: Also called, lipofuscin, a build-up of toxic, acidic waste material often referred to as “free radicals” accumulates in the skin (and reveals itself as age spots), liver, nervous system and brain when consuming large amounts of cooked food. Your pH becomes acidic and you are literally rusting from the inside out. That’s enough to get me to eat raw, uncooked food more often!
●Weakened immune system, disease production and overworked and enlarged pancreas and other organs: When you are not getting the proper nutrients, your white blood cells are always out in attack mode and toxic wastes are in full circulation, you weak and overworked body breeds common ailments such as allergies, headaches, sinusitis, diabetes, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, depression, arthritis, osteoporosis, and various cancers thrive.
●Intestinal toxemia, unfriendly flora build-up and more difficult digestion: Colonies of unfriendly bacteria take over the colon as they feed on the thick tar-like, undigested and uneliminated cooked food putrefying in the intestines. There is also a significant decrease in the quantity of healthy intestinal flora in the colon, often leading to digestion difficulties.
(Note: Scientific evidence reveals (J Nutr 1992 Apr;122(4):924-30) a plant-based uncooked diet decreases the toxic load in the colon and decreases the unfriendly bacteria and other dangerous byproducts that contribute to colon cancer.)
●Toxic waste accumulation and mucoid plaque build-up in the blood and colon- A congested bowel full of putrefied cooked food can lead to a back-up and reabsorption of toxins back into the bloodstream. This accumulation of wastes in the blood vessels can contribute to many of today’s common circulatory problems such as heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and even erectile dysfunction and may also contribute to many other common health challenges such as gout, arthritis and various cancers. In addition, common ailments such as runny noses, headaches, asthma and even diarrhea can be signs of a “healing crisis” where the body is overwhelmed and is trying to rid itself of unwanted mucus and toxins.
●Malnutrition & deficiency of important nutrients– Many of those who regularly eat cooked food find themselves always hungry and always eating but totally malnourished, for the nutrient make-up of cooked food is diminished significantly, so the body is always craving more and more.
● Depletion of the food’s life force– As shown in kirlian photography, cooking literally kills food; its bioelectrical energy is destroyed. After cooking, the food is considered “dead.”
●Increased risk of diseases of all types– The cooking of food, especially at high temperatures, literally burns away the anti-disease and anti-cancer properties of food. A diet lacking in raw veggies has been implicated in everything from breast and colon cancer to heart disease, diabetes and even arthritis.
Even if you are not ready to become a 100% raw foodie, you can still do your body good by making some positive food changes and eating less cooked food. Begin slowly by increasing your raw food intake; choose fresh salads over fried onions rings when eating out and avoid all the obviously unhealthy cooking methods with your entre’, such a deep frying, barbecuing and charring. Replace your acidic morning cup-o-joe or pasteurized orange juice with a fresh, unpastuerized alkaline green veggie juice and even pick one day a week to eat only raw/uncooked food. Over time, you will start to feel the difference, your skin will glow and your body will thank you with great health.