7. Negative Nutrition: Harmful Foods And Practices
Foods have varying degrees of beneficence in the human diet. They also have varying degrees of pathogenicity in the diet. Our finest foods are the raw materials of our nutritive processes. Our worst foods are vitality-sapping junk the body must struggle to contend with.
7.1 Condiments Are Drugs
Condiments are substances used to enhance or modify flavors and tastes. That could include sugar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, vinegar, onions or anything else added to a dish to alter its flavor. In using the term today, we mean specifically pungent substances that are excitants, not whole foods that we’d eat liberally of for their own sake.
If we cut up bananas and then mix in some diced mango, the flavor enhancement is really stunning. Yet we would, not refer to the mango as a condiment. It is a food that we could make a meal of for its own sake. Likewise, tomatoes and nuts or avocado added to a vegetable salad really give the salad zest. Yet we do not usually call tomatoes, nuts or avocados condiments, for they are whole foods, any of which we can easily eat alone as a meal.
Thus condiments narrow down to those substances that are used exclusively and only to modify flavors. Vinegar, salt, pepper, basil, MSG, mint, sage, garlic and hundreds of other herbs and substances are used only as excitants to the taste buds.
There is one quality about all condiments that make them unfit for the human diet: they are all pathogenic. As excitants or stimulants they are inherently poisonous. The body has thousands of guardian angels. The fact that taste buds and other cells and senses of the mouth, esophagus and stomach are put into a frenzy by certain substances is a warning. Accelerated functions and senses make us more aware of flavors in the foods condiments are combined with, but the excitation is a guardian faculty broadcasting an alarm. If you were trying to eat salt, pepper or vinegar in and of itself, you wouldn’t get very far. They have no food value at all and, in fact, are indigestible! And that’s the key to the body’s objection to them. Body senses can detect the difference between foods and nonfoods. Foods are welcome and those items which the body cannot utilize for lack of enzymes to digest them or because of an outright anti-vital character, the body becomes excited or stimulated as a response. Unfortunately, humans have become so perverted as to seek this excitement as an end in itself. Many, if not most, people are seeking kicks.
Anything which the body treats as an anti-vital substance; anything which it cannot digest and use easily and efficiently; anything that presents problems by making chemical unions with body fluids and cells that excite and stimulate, are to be shunned. They all fulfill the definition of drugs which is another name of poisons. Discontinuance of them by habitues begets “withdrawal” symptoms just as occurs in deprived drug addicts.
Nature seasons foods natural to our palates with all the taste-satisfying nutrients we require. Flavors galore abound in them. Artificial seasonings do not really enhance their taste. Only a perverted palate seeks the kicks and “thrills” that are unnatural to our dietary.
7.2 Cooking Is Pathogenic
Cooking creates diseases on several counts. The most salient are as follows:
- Cooking deranges and destroys nutrients. To the extent that this occurs, we are denied needed vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential fatty acids and other nutrient factors.
- The deranged nutrients become, via cooking, unusable substances that are toxic in the system. This is readily evidenced by the doubling and tripling of the leukocyte count in the blood in half an hour to an hour after eating a meal of cooked foods. Any poison or drug taken into the body occasions the same body response.
- The body must expend tremendously of its nerve and other energies to expel the offending substances of cooked foods and to clear itself of their contamination. Cooked food eaters have “hangovers” and “withdrawal” symptoms just as do drinkers of coffee, tobacco smokers or other drug addicts who forego their regular round of stimulation.
The body cannot build really healthy cells and tissues with poor quality materials. That which must be cooked to be palatable is not worthy of the human diet. Cooking makes it less so! Shun cooked foods and guide your clients to raw foods. Living foods of our adaptation are the road to magnificent health, and anything less than the ideal results in development, growth and functions that are less than ideal.
Thus cooked foods as articles of diet are pathogenic in that they poison us on one count and result in deficiencies on yet another count.
7.3 Processed, Refined and Preserved Foods
Anything used as food that is not in its original natural state has been tampered with.
Processing is altering or preparing foods or both.
Refining means “making finer” or reduction to a purer state. Thus white flour is refined wheat. Though some chemical processes are used in making it white, essentially the process of refining of wheat flour is mechanically accomplished by milling. Refining sugar is the extraction of sugar from sugar cane or beets and, through cooking and chemical processes, obtaining sucrose.
Preserving involves treating foods so they will be usable for a much greater length of time than is normal in nature.
The processing of foods involves anything that alters foods (including steps that do not alter them significantly or nutritionally). While the shelling and vacuum packing of nuts is processing, these processes do not detract from the value of the nuts. On the other hand, cooking fruits and adding sugar, preservative chemicals such as salt, etc., and then sealing them in cans and jars are very destructive processes. Drying the same fruits alters the fruits so that they can be preserved but does not alter them so significantly that they’re, a liability in the human diet. Most processed foods in the marketplace are unsuitable in the human diet in the first place before any alteration, refining or preserving occurs.
Examples of this are processed meats, refined cereals, pasteurized and homogenized milk, etc.
Canned foods have a shelf life of years and years. But they are not acceptable in the human diet even if they were good foods prior to canning. They might be acceptable only against the reality of eating them or starving to death. If canned foods only are eaten, death is rather quick and certain. That happened to many who were involved in the great Alaska gold rush, to those who were involved in the digging of the Panama Canal and to others in similar projects. This contrasts with excellent health that results from a diet of proper foods eaten in the raw state.
Freezing is a method of preserving foods. Frozen foods are not as wholesome as fresh foods. Their primary drawback is that the freezing bursts many cells and occasions degeneration due to oxidation. Freezing does not affect some foods at all, notably foods with low water content or very oily in texture. Dates, dried fruits, nuts and seeds may be frozen and kept fresher. Dried fruits, though not as wholesome as their fresh counterparts, are wholesome. Nuts and seeds are well-preserved by lack of moisture and air in their own shells. Vacuum packing and a nitrogen media do not harm many foods and preserve them with food values intact.
Some foods are coated with paraffin, oils, waxes and other preservatives. If these substances have not penetrated the protective skin or covering and can be readily removed, they are suitable for food if they meet other dietary criteria. Removal may be accomplished by a bath in a mild solution of hydrochloric acid, vinegar, chlorox or even very warm water in some cases. If the solution is warm it will be chemically more active and more readily unite with the oils, waxes or paraffins. Moreover, the warmer the solution the more likely waxes and paraffins are to liquify.
Processing, refining and preserving are done commercially to give foods longer shelf life, to change their structure so as to make them marketable, to make them more palatable, to enhance flavors or for a number of other reasons. However, refining renders foods deficient in one or more ways even if they were suitable items of diet to start with.
But the final insult is in “embalming” foods with preservatives to protect from spoilage, bacterial degeneration or oxidation. Preservatives are, one and all, poisonous. That is the character of a preservative. It must be an antibiotic, an antioxidant or have some quality to maintain appearances of wholesomeness. Needless to say, that which is poisonous to bacteria is likewise poisonous to human cells. That which is poisonous interferes with digestion as much as do deranged portions of cooked foods.
As a rule/steer away from all preserved foods and give preference to fresh ripe fruits with some vegetables, seeds and nuts.
Food processing is also done in the home, as well as commercially, for, as stated earlier, it comprises anything done to alter foods from their original form. Cooking, grinding, chopping cutting, peeling and blending are all at-home food-altering processes. Of these, however, cooking is by far the most destructive of foods’ nutritional value and is, therefore, the primary at-home process to avoid (or keep to a minimum). Even the other at-home processing should be limited to some extent. For example, you may serve juices sometimes but whole fruits (and vegetables) most of the time. Or you may prepare cut-up salads sometimes but, serve whole fruits or vegetables most of the time. A larger portion of the nutrients are left intact in whole foods as a rule. One notable exception to this, however, is sesame seeds. Because they are so tiny, they normally do not get thoroughly masticated, even by very conscientious eaters. Therefore, grinding them and using them immediately may be a beneficial at-home process. Food preparation will be studied in depth in a future lesson.
7.4 Foods Not Suited to the Human Dietary
Any food that does not meet all the criteria heretofore cited is not a food of our natural adaptation. Foods of our adaptation meet our needs in every respect. Only fruits meet all our various needs.
Humans would not survive very long on a total meat diet. Shorter yet would be our lives if we ate a meat diet that had been cooked—well-done. We can survive two to three times as long on our fat reserves as we can upon an exclusive diet of meat. The body lives very poorly on a protein diet, being only about 30% efficient in converting proteins into fuels (carbohydrates), our primary need. This compares with about 90% to 95% efficiency in converting the sugars of fruits into energy.
Humans cannot live on condiments and seasonings, raw of cooked. Condiments are used for their poison content, not for their nutrient content. Nor are we physiologically equipped to live on milk or milk products, eggs, fish or other animal products. Also, we are not suited to handle a diet heavy in fats and proteins, even if they are consumed totally raw, something most unlikely in our society because it can abide unnatural foods only if denatured by cooking. We need fats and proteins only in small amounts. Larger amounts are a toxic burden, tax our digestive systems and use up too much vital energy.
Humans cannot live on herbs in the current frame of reference because they, like condiments, are toxic and do not possess food values for the most part. Vegetables or plant fare as leaves, stalks, stems, grasses, etc. cannot comprise the mainstay of the human dietary because we cannot obtain our caloric needs from these types of foods. Few vegetables appeal to the palate as such anyway. Some vegetables, notably lettuce, are prized because of their relative sweetness and texture. Chlorophyll is normally bitter and we’re turned off by bitter substances. Our natural foods appeal to our senses, and none appeal to our senses as do fruits, a sure indication that fruits are our natural preference because of natural adaptation. In the cooked state, vegetables appeal more because of the conversion of their starches to dextrin, a form of sugar.
A diet consisting almost entirely of oily foods is not suited to our needs. We can utilize a small amount of oil with benefit. This need can be met incidental to primarily carbohydrate fare. Oily foods are handled very slowly. (Digestion usually takes four to six hours.)
While oils are highly concentrated sources of calories, the body cannot make use of them with the facility it utilizes monosaccharides. Those who eat heavily of nuts and oily fruits exhibit problems and are not as healthy and vigorous as those on primarily carbohydrate fare.
There are groups of people who practically exist on coconuts. But they are eaten at a stage when the oils have not been formed to any extent. The coconuts are still primarily carbohydrates.
Starches also comprise an incidental part of our diet. We cannot survive on an exclusive diet of raw starches. First, we have a very limited capacity to digest raw starches. In light of this capacity, we cannot meet our needs for fuels and other nutrients on a raw starch diet. Secondly, most starches are contained in microglobules of cellulose that neither chewing nor digestion will break down. Hence we are not naturally equipped to eat raw starches as are birds with craws or animals that have a plethora of starch-splitting enzymes.
Our ability to utilize grains, tubers and other starchy foods relies upon the agency of cooking. However, some of these foods, notably the turnip, rutabaga, sweet potato, carrot and others, can be utilized raw only because of their sugar content. The traditional potato is entirely unsuitable, being repulsive to normal tastes when raw. Raw grains are repulsive to normal tastes for the same reason—we reject starch foods naturally with our natural equipment that evaluates foods beneath a conscious level. We can force ourselves to eat these foods and even pervert ourselves to the point we value them just as we value condiments and drugs. But this is contrary to our nature, not in accord with it.
Humans cannot utilize milk in its raw or cooked state. Raw we do not have the enzymes (rennin which ceases to be secreted in humans at about age three, the proper weaning age) to break down casein with which milk proteins, calcium and other nutrients are bound. At about the same age we lose the ability to secrete lactase, an enzyme that reduces lactose, the milk sugar, to monosaccharides. Therefore, most of our people are said to be “lactose intolerant.” We cannot utilize fermented milk products because lactic acid and putrefaction by-products are toxic to humans just as they are to the bacteria that excreted fermentation by-products as bacterial defecation. There are very few products of bacterial activity that we can use. (Vitamin B-12 is a notable exception.)
Humans cannot live well on exclusive vegetarian fare even if it includes fruits referred to as vegetables (such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, squashes, pumpkins, etc.). Foods that must be cooked are third- and fourth-rate foods and should form no part of the dietary. Only the stark reality of being deprived for inordinately long periods of proper foods should force us to eat foods that are less than ideal in the diet.
7.5 Dietary Follies of Health Seekers
Seeking out wholesome organic foods free of unnatural fertilization and pesticides is most laudable. But it is relatively meaningless and ineffective if a person then proceeds to take organic foods and cook them. Much of the advantage is wiped out. Organically grown foods are always superior to their nonorganic counterparts undergoing the same amount of processing, cooking, etc. But it is preferable healthwise to eat conventional produce uncooked than organic produce in a cooked state.
Many health seekers believe food supplements are necessary because we have deficient soils. We do have truly deficient soils, as they would not produce foods that require the minerals in which they’re deficient. We have many soils, even in their virgin state, that are deficient in something or other that makes them unsuitable for certain plants or trees. We have many soils that have lost the capability of growing corn, potatoes, wheat and other staples but which will still grow grasses and legumes. These soils can be built up very quickly if certain minerals are judiciously added (using organic methods). The deficient soil/deficient food complex is fostered among health seekers by fractionated food purveyors who are peddling a synthetic manufactured supplement or so-called natural supplements, both of which are far inferior to whole foods. Supplements can in no way make good any partial deficiency that may exist. The synthetic supplements are not usable in any circumstances, and the body treats them as drugs. It is the stimulus of drug effects that we mistake for health effects. We mistake the energy an exhausted horse shows under the whip as beneficient when, in fact, it is pathogenic. Even if part of the supplements are obtained from organic sources (as a fraction of a given supplement, say 5 to 10% only) so they can be represented as natural, they are still worthless. They’re also worthless if extracted entirely from organic sources. The body uses nutrients in context with other nutrients as a team. The shameful reality is that these supplements are obtained, as a rule, from the same products grown on the same “deficient” soils about which they warn us.
Health seekers often buy waste products that are sold as health products. An example of this is the beer manufacturers’ waste product—brewers yeast. Another example is the waste product of sugar manufacturers—molasses, which is a totally unusable and harmful product. Some health seekers buy or have bought the wastes of other manufacturers, too, especially the wastes of cheese manufacturers and meat processors. Whey, liver, gelatin and other wastes are thought to be healthful when, in reality, they are worse than worthless.
Many health seekers also buy minerals from unusuable sources. Many drink sea water, eat sea salt, drink hard mineralized waters, eat molasses, dolomite and/or take mineral supplements. All these contain inorganic minerals which are not only not usable by the body but which harm it grievously. In seeking health, many people fall victim to pathogenic practices foisted upon them in the name of health.
Many health seekers are likely to (or do) fall victim to alternate schemes of drugging. They are often persuaded to take a multitude of herbs and toxic plants because they are supposed to cure or prevent disease. Molasses and other waste products are also touted as medications. However, the truth is that health is built only by healthful practices. Diseases do not have to be prevented for the body will not initiate and conduct diseases unless the need exists. If everyone discontinued those practices that pollute their bodies, there would be no occasion for disease. In any event, so-called medication can never help and will only cause further harm to the body.
Among the many pernicious plants and herbs touted as healthful because of their toxin content, not their food content, are onions, garlic, comfrey, aloe, cayenne peppers, mints and innumerable others. In seeking health, many concerned individuals end up further polluting their bodies, thus creating more disease.
7.6 Drinking Habits Are Damaging to Health
Humans are not naturally drinking animals, for we have no natural equipment for that practice. Drinking is done artificially with the aid of tools. Our natural diet is usually water sufficient.
In addition, drinking as practiced today is almost totally pathogenic. Drinking pure (distilled) water is not pathogenic, but substances which occasion its drinking are usually pathogenic. (Sometimes, of course, extraordinary heat and/or vigorous activity lay the bases for drinking pure water.)
Most drinking is of poisoned drinks. Sugared and flavored drinks are toxic, as are coffees, cocoas, sodas, beers, wines, whiskeys, teas of all kinds, etc. Even fruit and vegetable juices are far less than ideal because they represent fragmented rather than whole foods.
Most drinking amounts to drug habits rather than acts supplying needed water. It bears reiterating that almost all drinking is pathogenic.
- 1. What Constitutes Nutrition? (Definitions And Concepts)
- 2. Food Is An Element Of Nutrition
- 3. Physiological Criteria Foods Must Meet
- 4. Nonfood Nutritional Factors
- 5. Discussion Of Conventional Nutritional Teachings
- 6. Discussion Of Human Eating Habits The World Over
- 7. Negative Nutrition: Harmful Foods And Practices
- 8. A Survey Of Unconventional Dietetic Schools And Their Fallacies
- 9. The Physiological Necessity Of Proper Food Combining
- 10. Nutritional Miscellany
- 11. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: The Paradise Diet by Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: The Elements Of Nutrition by Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #3: Nutrition, A Hygienic Perspective by Ralph C. Cinque, D.C.