3. Physiological Criteria Foods Must Meet
Every creature in nature has become adapted to securing and nourishing itself on particular foods. All natural equipment and faculties dispose to this specialization. Humans are not exceptions to this rule. Because we have developed tools using our capabilities and can supply ourselves with an abundance of anything on earth as food does not in any way alter our physiological adaptations and specializations.
Every creature has basic nutritive requirements. Our biology books detail these rather impartially and correctly for animals. But the books and teachings that concern human nutrition do not deal impartially with the subject. Our educational establishment is the captive of our mammoth industrial complex. This means they prostitute their teachings to cater to the needs of those whose grants support them. Thus, human nutrition as taught in our society is dictated, not by physiological faculties and needs, but by the wishes of those food industries that stand to gain from the miseducation that panders to their products.
3.1 Food Adaptations of Various Species
The food specializations of various species are categorized by general designation. Some of these categories are as follows:
- Herbivores (grass and vegetable eaters such as cattle, sheep, goats, deer, horses, rabbits, etc.)
- Graminivores (animals that subsist on grains—birds primarily)
- Insectivores (bats, birds and creatures that subsist on insects)
- Frugivores (fruit-eating animals—primates and anthropoids, humans, orangutans, apes, monkeys, etc.)
- Carnivores (animals that live on the flesh, bone, offal, etc. of other animals—cats, dogs, lions, tigers, wolves, buzzards, hawks, eagles, jackals, etc.)
- Omnivores (animals such as swine (pigs, hogs) that live off a mixed diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, flesh, offal, etc.)
As you’re aware, the bee lives on the nectar of blossoms and flowers and the pollen with which it becomes incidentally contaminated. All the bee’s equipment befit it to seek out flowers, land upon or hover over them, withdraw nectar the flower has secreted especially for the bee, and to return to its hive where it shares its harvest with other bees, the surplus being stored as honey. The bee is excellently equipped to meet its needs amply in this manner. Humans cannot meet their needs this way. Neither can cattle, horses or pigs. They’re equipped in their own special ways to meet the needs of their adaptations.
As a sidelight on the symbiotic relationship of life, we might note that the flower created the nectar for the bee in exchange for a service. The flower or blossom is a step in the plant’s creation of seeds. Before a seed can be formed, fertilization must take place and to insure this fertilization the bee is enticed by nectar. Incidental to the taking of nectar the bee contaminates itself with pollen. At the next flower the bee contaminates the flower’s pistil with this pollen. This incidental fertilization is the service the plant induced the bee to perform with the nectar secretion. Who said plants weren’t smart?
3.2 Range of Food Processing Capabilities
Humans are endowed with certain natural capacities and limitations in the acquisition, processing and utilization of foods. Human development (which endowed us with our faculties and capabilities) specialized and restricted our equipment and capabilities for food gathering and processing to certain foods just as in the case of other animals. The faculties of most creatures are developed so as to make disposition of surpluses or to survive scarcities. Surpluses are either stored as reserves or are excreted. Redundancies beyond needs and ability to readily excrete founder humans and other animals that are so unwise as to overeat.
In ascertaining the criteria that a food must have to satisfy human needs, we must be cognizant of the capacities and capabilities of the organism as well as the properties of the food.
3.3 Food Adaptations of Humans
Humans are classified as frugivores because they have the equipment to harvest and efficiently process only a class of foods called fruits. Humans are not alone in this class. For millions of years humans subsisted solely, exclusively and only on fruits. That is the way it was expressed by Dr. Alan Walker of Johns Hopkins University, an anthropologist who conducted extensive research into the dietary background of humans. Even though humans have eaten foods outside their dietary adaptations off and on for perhaps hundreds of thousands of years and have eaten some cooked foods for tens of thousands of years, there has been no physiological change that would justify straying from our natural dietary.
Our adaptations are strictly as fruit-eaters as you will see in subsequent lessons.
3.4 The Dietary Requirements That Determine Our Ideal Foods
Natural foods for humans must satisfy the following criteria and nutrient needs:
Foods Must Be Non-Toxic
First and foremost the food must be toxin-free. None of the compounds and substances in the food should present a digestive problem. The body must have enzymes adapted to handle every substance within the food. Toxic substances are those which the body cannot use as food. Substances that the body cannot use but which it cannot prevent absorption of (as in alcohol, cholesterol, drugs, etc.) are toxic.
Foods Must Be Edible in the Raw State
The food must be edible in its living or raw state as nature delivers it up for us as food. If we cannot eat our fill of a food in its raw state with relish and make a meal of it that meets all or most of our nutrient needs, then it is not a natural food for humans and should be shunned in favor of foods that do.
Foods Must Have Sensory Appeal
Foods of our adaptation have great sensory appeal. They are a delight to the eye, their aromas tantalize the sense of smell and their substance is an unqualified gustatory delight.
Foods Must Be Digested Easily When Eaten Alone or Properly Combined
Foods of human adaptation undergo practically no digestion in the stomach and humans can absorb the chyme and chyle of their natural foods with very little chemical elaboration in the stomach and small intestine.
Foods Must Be Digested Efficiently
While ease of digestion necessarily also implies efficiency of digestion, this entry relates to another aspect of efficiency. That which is eaten represents a certain amount of energy potential. To derive this energy from food, the body must expend energy to obtain it. The ratio of energy obtained relative to energy expenditure determines the ratio of efficiency.
For instance, we spend a mere 30 calories of energy in the process of appropriation, chewing, absorbing, transporting and assimilating 400 calories of watermelon. On the other hand, we may spend 280 calories in the digesting meat to obtain 400 calories. The efficiency with which we handle foods with monosaccharides versus the inefficiency with which we handle protein foods indicates most emphatically the types of food to which we are naturally adapted.
In processing food for use, we expend two kinds of energy. We expend metabolic energy, which is the chemical and mechanical energies expended, and we expend nerve energy. For instance, we use very little nerve energy in digesting watermelon. But, in processing foods to which we are not biologically adapted, an enormous expenditure of nerve energy is occasioned. Meats may cause nervous exhaustion due to the body’s frenzied activities in dealing with proteins, uric acids and other toxic substances in them. Though we may feel exhilarated while expending nervous energy just as we feel “a pick-me-up” when taking coffee (which really drains nerve energy), the stimulation occasioned by eating unsuitable foods such as meat is an indication of the inefficiency with which the body handles it.
Foods Must Have Protein Adequacy
Our natural foods must supply us with our protein requirements of about 25 grams daily. The less protein eaten down to the point of adequacy, the better. Protein is taken into the body for replenishing amino acid components needed for a multitude of applications. There are three things you should keep in mind relative to protein digestion:
- the body can recycle up to two-thirds of its proteinacious wastes to meet its needs;
- protein digestion requires an expenditure of energy equivalent to about 70% of its total caloric content; and
- neutralization and elimination of the toxins of protein degeneration (putrefaction) uses up vast amounts of nerve energy which, though stimulating at the time, exhausts and debilitates the body.
We must not feel compelled to eat protein foods as such in order to achieve protein adequacy. Almost every food natural to humans has about 4% protein dry weight, an ample amount to supply our needs. Further, most of our natural foods contain the amino acids we need.
Foods Must Be Adequate in Vitamin Content
Some 30 vitamins have been determined to be needed in various quantities in the human diet. The vitamins must be in the diet in an organic context with other nutrients to be useful.
Foods Must Be Adequate in Mineral Salts
Our only source of the minerals of life is from food. Only in food are they in the organic context which we can use. Under no circumstances can the body make use of inorganic minerals as might be ingested with water, supplements or powdered rock (as with dolomite).
Natural Foods Must Supply Our Needs for Essential Fatty Acids
Those food factors which the body requires but cannot itself synthesize are said to be essential. The essential fatty acids are linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic. Essential fatty acids are unsaturated fats. They occur in practically every fruit, nut, seed and vegetable in ample quantities to supply human needs.
Natural Foods Must Supply Our Needs for Caloric Values
The energy we expend must be derived from our food intake. The foods which most efficiently and easily supply our caloric needs are those with high monosaccharide content. Sweet fruits are at the top of the list in meeting these requisites.
Natural Foods Are Water-Sufficient to Meet Our Needs in Most Cases
Foods to which we are biologically adapted normally meet all our water needs. This is obvious, for we have no water-drinking faculties other than suction which is necessary for swallowing food. Fruitarian species normally do not drink water.
Natural Foods Are Alkaline in Metabolic Reaction
We require foods that are alkaline- or base-forming when metabolized. Almost every food of our adaptation is base-forming, even if it has an acid pH in its natural state. Should we eat any acid-forming foods, such as nuts, they should be offset at the same meal with alkaline-forming foods such as green leaves or other vegetable fare.
These are the criteria or requirements for foods that are natural to the human dietary. Only fruits, and especially sugar-containing fruits, meet all these needs ideally. Nothing else meets all these requirements. As further lessons will demonstrate, the requisites of life can be amply met on a totally fruitarian regime.
- 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.