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Cooking primal food too long is bad?

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  • Cooking primal food too long is bad?

    Hello all fellow primal food fans,

    Iím just transitioning this into my life and Iím making it an expectation to keep it for a life long journey.
    A question has been in my mind for quite some time, and it relates to cooking food and how it can alter itís nutritional value. Whether it would be towards plant or animal foods.
    After doing some research about a half a year ago, I found that consuming raw plant foods is very alkaline for the body Ė thereby it helps prevent acidity and disease to form. And I have also learned from different websites that the more you cook food, the more you can make it less nutritional dense. Like when you think of it, if you cook broccoli in the boiler too long, it will be like mush and no taste or nutrition.
    From personal experience, I have found that by making my food consumption to about 80-100% raw (by becoming a raw vegan some time ago) that I went through some detox symptoms like never before. But in the long run of that journey I did notice I lost a lot (like all) fat, became about 6% body fat, but I became very thin because I wasnít eating protein rich animal foods.
    That being said, I believe it would be right to say that consuming alot of raw plant foods that are cleaned and washed thoroughly, in addition to good quality animal foods that arenít overly cooked, and maybe learn about some healthy raw animal food dishes like sushi, would be a good decision to stick with.
    Looking forward to all feedback!,

  • #2
    I prefer to cook plant foods until they are soft enough to digest the fiber more easily. Meat on the other hand, I prefer as undercooked as is safe.

    As for the acid alkaline theories. I'm not sure that I believe that it is as straight-forward as some sources make it seem. There are many traditional societies that consumed a lot of animal products without enough alkaline plant matter to balance it out. Yet these people did not have bone density loss or the diseases that we blame on being "too acidic."


    • #3
      There are many competing theories about whether raw food or cooked food is better for health.

      Some nutrients are diminished by cooking, other nutrients are made more available to the body by cooking. Some anti-nutrients are removed by cooking. One important idea to consider is that is was the very development of cooking food that contributed to the successful evolution of humans (humans are, after all, the only animals to cook food).

      It's likely that the answer to the OP's question is that it's a good idea to include both cooked and raw foods in a primal diet.
      Last edited by liza; 12-13-2010, 04:22 PM.


      • #4
        Balancing it all out

        It makes total sense. Everything should be balanced out, because I found that when I became a near 100% raw vegan I found I lost alot of muscle mass, and I wasnt feeling my best.

        I think then that having a balance of cooked foods and raw foods, and also a balance of plant foods and animal foods, is a great thing to consider.

        I find that if I do not consume enough plant foods, and juat plainly animal foods, I sometimes feel more aches and headaches for some reason. Also, like I have acid waste that causes heartburns and chest aches as well. But personally, if I find I eat at least some vegetables cooked and raw, and balance it out, then I feel the best and healthiest.


        • #5
          You can try Raw Paleo

 do you look, feel, and perform? -- Robb Wolf

          My Blog.


          • #6
            Many plant foods technically increase in nutrient density with thorough cooking. As the cooking progresses nutrients normally bound up in cell walls are released from their chemical bonds or slightly altered in form which often times increases their bioavailability, or the ability of your body to utilize. There are some notable exceptions from this (VitC in particular), but as long as you're not disposing of any liquid used to cook the vegetables/meats then you're fine. Where people most often times run into a problem is when they do use a water based cooking method like braising or boiling and then discard of all of the water. While the fat-soluble nutrients will still mostly be in your cooked item, after about 5 minutes of cooking the majority of water soluble nutrients have moved into the liquid medium that you're cooking with.

            This is why it's often times best to just simply reduce the cooking liquid after you've cooked your item and then use that reduced liquid as part of the finished dish. You're at that point assuring that you retain the majority of "lost" nutrients!
            "You can demonstrate the purpose and limits of human digestion with a simple experiment: eat a steak with some whole corn kernels, and see what comes out the other end. It wonít be the steak."


            • #7
              I generally steam, roast (skin on where possible) or stir fry my veges. I never boil them in water. So does this make a difference to nutrient loss?
              F 58 / 170cms / SW 131.5 kgs / Current 112.4/ GW 65
              following Primal Lifestyle and swimming my way to health

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