1. Changing To A Nutritionally Superior Diet
1.1 Raw Food
It is relatively simple to plan an optimally nutritional diet. For optimum nutrition, eliminate the denatured foods, and enjoy the greatest possible variety of raw fruits and vegetables, as they are seasonably available, plus approximately two to four ounces of raw, unsalted nuts and seeds per day, in addition to sprouted seeds and grains.
If you persevere in adhering to this all-raw food diet, you will eventually achieve the highest pinnacle of health possible for you. Those who are willing and able to quickly progress to an all-raw food diet from the plant kingdom will have amazing and seemingly miraculous health improvement and potential for longevity.
1.2 The 80% Raw Food Diet
If you are not yet willing or able to change to the all-raw food diet, a good start is the 80-90% raw food diet. If you have been a conventional eater and now concentrate on the use of uncooked foods to this extent, you will achieve a radical improvement in your food program, and, consequently, in your health.
As indicated in Lesson 22, an 80% raw food diet is not difficult to achieve. It can be appetizing, interesting, varied, satisfying end economical. The best plan is never to eat cooked food more than once a day, as part of one meal. Try for more and more days on raw food only.
1.3 Body Chemistry
The English poet, John Dryden, said, "We first make our habits, and then our habits make us."
As indicated in Lesson 22, the body chemistry is largely determined by the food that is eaten. When the diet is altered and the new diet maintained for a given length of time, the enzymes, body fluids and glandular secretions become increasingly adapted to the influences and requirements of the new food-just as they necessarily adapt to the junk foods that are eaten. The important difference is that the adaptation to the junk foods involves health deterioration, while the readjustment to a nutritionally superior diet is in the direction of improved health.
If you live on a conventional diet, which by all the recognized standards is said to contain enough nourishment, that diet will still fail to support normal physiology. The percentage of raw food is usually very small and, except for the fresh fruits and vegetables (usually a very small amount), practically everything in the conventional diet has been denatured.
Long-term storage of food, careless handling in shipping, and the refining, preserving and cooking processes destroy delicate and tender vital food factors and flavor. These altered foods become dull, flat and insipid, requiring seasonings to make them palatable. A future lesson will discuss in detail the destructive effects of all these processes.
The addition of vitamins to such diets will not render them adequate. Humans have not learned to create living substances. They cannot synthesize living substances in the laboratory, only chemical imitations. Neither can they extract them, in the kitchen or in the laboratory, without greatly impairing or destroying their food value. A more comprehensive discussion of the futility of the use of food supplements to replace missing elements in food and the actual harm that they can cause, will be given in a future lesson.
1.4 Organically Grown Food
A plausible argument has been offered that foods which are not organically grown are deficient in vitamins and minerals, and therefore we should take supplements. The superiority of organically grown foods is undeniable, but this problem cannot be solved, or even palliated, by taking nutrients out of their proper context.
Furthermore, whether or not an orange is organically grown, it still contains Vitamin C—the orange cannot be grown without it. It is true that the total nutritional value is impaired by the use of the chemicals, yet it is not totally destroyed.
But, as to the argument that commercially grown foods are practically devoid of nutrients-that is not biologically possible. Fresh, good-tasting food must contain substantial quantities of nutrients, regardless of how it was grown.
You should certainly make Herculean efforts to grow your own fruits and vegetables to the greatest extent possible. For whatever food you cannot grow yourself, you should try to secure as much organically grown as possible. For the rest, you should obtain the freshest, best quality obtainable, and you will achieve far better health than conventional eaters, plus a "serendipity" bonus: Dr. Burton says that Hygienists can save up to 30% on their food bills and up to 74% on their medical care bills. This lesson will help you in your quest for the best food available.
1.5 The Vegetarian Diet
Some people have misgivings about changing to a vegetarian diet. They may be worried about complete proteins, essential amino acids, or obtaining all of the amino acids at every meal. These are groundless concerns. All nuts, except the hickory, contain complete proteins, with all the essential amino acids—verified through experiments by Cajori, Kellogg and Berg. In addition, a generous supply of raw green leafy vegetables, sprouted seeds and grains, and raw fruits, will assure an adequate supply of all nutrients needed in the diet.
These nutrients are stored in the body and utilized by the cells as needed. If the body were not capable of storing nutrients, we could not fast for lengthy periods. Nowhere in Nature is there any evidence of the necessity for complicated maneuvering to obtain all of the essential amino acids at each meal.
You may be concerned about Vitamin B-12 and fearful that, on a preponderantly vegetarian diet, you might become a victim of pernicious anemia. But the fact is that more meat eaters than vegetarians suffer from this affliction. Pernicious anemia appears to arise, not from a shortage in the diet, but from impairment of the ability to absorb B-12. Study after study has revealed that this deficiency is due not to dietary inadequacy, but to failure to absorb the vitamin from the intestinal tract.
Putrefactive bacteria can destroy friendly bacteria, thus inhibiting the synthesis and absorption of B-12. Putrefaction in the digestive tract can be caused by the ingestion of flesh foods, bad food combining or overeating of concentrated proteins.
A more exhaustive analysis of the myths surrounding Vitamin B-12 will be given in a future lesson. In this lesson, it is simply desired that you establish in your mind that the foods recommended for your selection are the best of all possible foods.
A future lesson will deal at length with the destructive effects of flesh foods.
For the present, in order to establish in your mind the advisability of omitting flesh foods from your shopping list, a few points on this subject will be made.
The best protein foods for humans are raw, unsalted nuts and seeds. Dr. Hoobler, who did some research at Yale University, proved conclusively that the protein of nuts and seeds provides greater nutritive efficiency than that of meat, milk and eggs. And of course, nuts and seeds have the distinct advantage over animal foods of being delicious in their fresh, raw state.
John A. Scharffenberg, M.D., Director of Community Health Education at San Joaquin Community Hospital, Bakersfield, California, has marshaled the scientific evidence against flesh foods in his book, "Problems with Meat."
A meat-based diet is deficient in natural carbohydrates and fiber, high in saturated fat and excessive in protein, resulting in bone degeneration and greater work for the kidneys and liver. It can lead to calcium and vitamin deficiencies and a shortened life span.
Dr. Lendon Smith, M.D., from Portland, Oregon, incorporates in his writings many of the same ideas Hygienists have been advocating for years. On the Phil Donahue show (WTSP-TV, September 8, 1980) he recommended using nuts, seeds and legumes instead of meat. He said a bowl of lentil soup has as much good protein as a beefsteak. In fact, he emphasized that meat is not a good food, and his family does not use it more than once or twice a month. He said milk causes many problems and that people should eat as much raw food as possible—raw fruits, vegetables and nuts and seeds. He advised that foods processed by humans should be avoided, and he specifically' mentioned the lack of nutritional value of boxed cereals. He declared that when a person gets sick, there is always a diet, component in the cause, and he advocated fasting one to four days for alleviation of minor problems.
It is true that it is possible to experience a protein deficiency on a poorly-planned diet. An adequate supply of protein in the diet is indispensable to normal health and well-being, and a protein-deficient diet will certainly not contribute to your health and longevity. But an adequate diet is not dependent on animals for food, nor is it necessary to play a numbers game with amino acids at each meal. My book, "The Happy Truth about Protein," gives more details on this subject.
In fact, humans are dependent on the plant kingdom for their nourishment. If they do not get it first-hand by eating plants, they get it secondhand by eating animals that have eaten plants.
A study by the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Defense Fund revealed that the breast milk of vegetarian women contained significantly lower levels of pesticide residues than that of meat-eating women. This could have a relationship to the ability of the fiber in the plant foods to help in the removal of pesticides from the body. Another reason for lower pesticide residues in the bodies of vegetarians is the fact that plants contain lower levels of pesticides than do flesh foods.
Vegetables and nuts contain about 1/7 the pesticide residues of flesh foods, fruits and legumes about 1/8 as much, and grains about 1/24 as much. This is due to the concentrating factor, as the contaminant goes through the additional link in the ecological chain, and the animal concentrates the pollutant in its body.
Actual tests in Great Britain have shown the pesticide level to be highest in meat-eaters, lower in lacto-vegetarian (that is, vegetarians who use dairy products) and lowest in total vegetarians.
The Environmental Protection Agency did a study (about 1979) with laboratory rats, showing that dietary fiber helped remove pesticides from their bodies. The study pointed out that fiber is not just an inert substance that provides "roughage," but has some qualities that are just coming to light.
This particular study showed that pectin (a form of fiber found in fruits and succulent vegetables) could significantly affect the body's metabolism of at least one pesticide—lindane. (Organic Gardening, July 1979)
The best source of dietary fiber is whole foods. The use of a fragmented food, such as bran, in an attempt to add supplementary fiber to a deficient diet, only causes more problems. It is not in a form readily acceptable by the body without stress, may cause a loss of vital mineral elements, and its action is similar to that of a laxative, ultimately resulting in inhibition of the body's ability to act for itself.
An intelligently planned vegetarian diet has none of the disease problems associated with the use of meat, and provides a dependable source of all the nutrients, including protein.
If you eat a generous amount of raw food and include approximately two to four ounces of nuts and seeds daily, as well as sprouts, greens and fruits, you cannot help but get an adequate supply of protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, hormones-and chlorophyll, such as only green plants can supply. And this is a foolproof diet that will contribute to health improvement and longevity.
Home > Lesson 24 - Selection And Storage Of Most Wholesome Foods, Part I
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