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Thread: What's harder to digest: raw or cooked? page 3

  1. #21
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    If you move away from Nutrition articles and instead search through Food Science/Food Chemistry articles then you'll see almost nothing but a solid wall of papers discussing changes in the bio availability of various nutrients in response to different cooking procedures. It mainly depends upon the type of cooking procedure used, the intensity of heat, the duration, and additional products/chemicals/foods that are added during the cooking process. You end up with studies showing a transfer of nutrients (good and bad) into meats by the oil you cook them in (another reason to not use rancid oils), those showing that tomato almost always is better cooked, and how antioxidants are leeched out of vegetables/fruits through water cooking methods such as boiling/simmering yet if you ingest the water used along with the produce then you end up with a net increase over just the raw product.
    "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 won’t be the steak."
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Wire View Post
    Personally, I think that raw food ideology is based on some serious misconceptions. The idea that plants actually contain the enzymes necessary for their own digestion doesn't make sense in an evolutionary context. Most plants, with the exception of fruit, do not want to be eaten. It in no way serves the biological purposes of the plant to provide for its own digestion. Any plant that did substantially provide for its own digestion would quickly be eliminated because it becomes such an attractive food source for any animal. The reality is that most plants actively discourage you from eating them, especially in their raw form. Sometimes this means a toxin that gives you an upset stomach, locks up nutrients, or in the most extreme cases kills you. Plants would not evolve mechanisms for their own digestion. Nature would select for plants with the strongest defenses against being eaten.

    Now it is true that humans have been selectively breeding for some time and plants have been getting more edible but they are still a far cry from actively supporting digestion. This whole idea really smells of Mother Nature worship like the world was built with everything we could ever need(Fruitarian logic and pretty much total bullshit).

    As far as your reference to the speed of digestion, I would suggest to you that just because something passes quickly does not mean its being digested efficiently. My hypothesis would be that raw food is relatively indigestible, and your body has very little use for it. Therefore it is excreted as quickly as possible. My advice to anyone who makes vegetables a regular part of their diet is to cook the living hell out of them. Breaking down the fiber as much as possible, and eliminating as much of the plants own enzymes as possible should ensure better access to the basic nutrients in plants.

    I am highly skeptical about the biophoton idea, again because it based largely on fake science. Organisms do not "store" light energy. Producers like plant use light energy as a catalyst for building sugars. Herbivores can convert these sugars into animal biomass, and carnivores can convert animal biomass into more biomass(although usually less than the herbivores). Sugars are the basis of most plant energy and structure. Foods with the highest "light energy" content would simply be the ones with the most sugar, fat, protein, calories, or whatever name you'd like to call them. If your looking to eat the most "light energy" you'd simply have to eat the most energy dense foods.

    Overall, I'd say that cooking food is perhaps the most important technique developed in human history because in most foods it makes nutrients more bioavailable than was ever previously possible. (at least to humans, WE ARE NOT HERBIVORES).

    ***EDIT

    I wanted to add, digestion one of the most intensive processes your body undertakes. We sacrifice a fair amount of energy and nutrients in the hopes of obtaining even more from the food but this is not always the case. Ensuring that you get the most basic nutrients out of your food really takes a lot of pressure off of your body. In my opinion, cooking is basically predigestion and greatly eases the stress of actual digestion.

    Redwire- I agree with you BUT why would one feel exhausted after eating steamed veggies and normal energy after raw produce?
    I so Badly want to eat my veggies cooked but it leaves me feeling really sleepy? Yet raw veggies leve me gassy, cramps, but not tired?
    Wow, should humans even eat much veg? Any science to back this up?
    Btw-i take high qualitity food enzymes :-/

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizzychan5 View Post
    once we learned how to create and use fire, our brains grew in size and our teeth shrank. Why is that? Improved digestibility of vegetable matter. Have you tried to eat a raw sweet potato? I know I can't, its nasty, but so delicious cooked. Light My Fire: Cooking As Key To Modern Human Evolution

    (sorry to be graphic here) I know if I eat too many salads of lots of mixed greens and other raw vegetables, when I go to the bathroom and I can see some/a lot of the non digested plant matter in the toilet. If I ate a giant plate of cooked greens and other vegetables (similar to the raw salad), I never see anything recognizable in the toilet latter.

    We cook and ferment our vegetables so we can weaken and/or burst the cell walls of the plant so we can digest them better. Raw vegans love their blender, because it breaks down the vegetable or fruit matter for better digestion. We cook for the same reason.
    Lizzychan5- do you notice you have to use the loo less when you cook your veg instead of having it as raw salads?

  4. #24
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    From personal experience, steamed vegetables digest much better than raw vegetables.

    After skimming through the following two links I found, it seems an optimal diet consists of a balance of both raw and cooked vegetables. A lot of it depends on which vegetable we're talking about and/or a specific nutrient one is trying to acquire more of. This is because while cooking increases the bio-availability of most nutrients, it diminishes that of a few others.

    One should also consider that most people have non-optimal gut flora; their intestinal bacteria is thus not as capable of breaking down cellulose.

    Fact or Fiction: Raw veggies are healthier than cooked ones: Scientific American
    Raw Vegetables Vs. Cooked Vegetables | LIVESTRONG.COM

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alykat View Post
    I so Badly want to eat my veggies cooked but it leaves me feeling really sleepy? Yet raw veggies leve me gassy, cramps, but not tired?
    Maybe this is a sign that your body can't deal with too many veggies regardless of how they are prepared?


    Quote Originally Posted by Alykat View Post
    Wow, should humans even eat much veg? Any science to back this up? /
    This site has a TON of well written, well researched articles and science written mostly by former vegans, vegetarians, and fruitarians whose health suffered as a result of their diets, and who are now promoting an omnivorous paleolithic type of diet.

    It discusses exactly why cooked food is superior to raw food, the harm in eating plant based diets, etc...The website is not the most userfriendly (it kind of looks like it was designed in the 1990s), but the quality of the writing is worth that minor aggravation.

    Beyond Vegetarianism--Raw Food, Vegan, Fruitarian, Paleo Diets

  6. #26
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    Yay! Thank you BestBetter, I will check it out :-)

  7. #27
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    Thank you Bosnic :-)
    I'll read up on there too :-)

    I'm going to Be steaming my veggies this week and see how it goes....

  8. #28
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    I think it is some time quite difficult to answer, as it depends on how strong your digestive system is. It depends on invidual or personal digestive characteristics. But beside that fact, i think that cooked food is more easily digestable than raw food. Which means raw food is harder to digest.
    Last edited by Waugh; 07-16-2014 at 11:58 AM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by keekerriy View Post
    I specialize in helping others maximize their work output without supplementation.
    So keekerriy appears to be a spam-bot, a very unoriginal & repetative one at that...

    Alykat, how slowly & thoroughly are you chewing & savoring your food? Optimal digestion depends largely on surface area, saliva & being relaxed & not in a hurry when eating.

    Also, HCL acid is not a bad thing to look into. Most people with symptoms of acidic stomach (heart burn or any gastric upset) actually are lacking in enough HCL acid to properly & fully digest proteins. The symptoms are nearly identical in both hyper & hypo acidic stomachs.

    There are those on here who poo poo all supplementation outright, but why not be open & explore if certain benign forms can serve you well, at least in the short term to regain or build greater digestive health? I found it to be helpful for a couple of months to use Betain HCL when I was meating out & broad spectrum enzymes for my plant based part of my diet too - in the beginning of my transition. I don't do betain HCL (much) or enzymes pills (at all) like I used to, but I still believe it might help you if you are having issues w/ meat & veggies too. For about $20- $25 bucks it might be worth a try. At Whole Foods or TJs w/ your receipt, you can take them back if you are unhappy with your purchase after a week or 2.

    I know raw foodists insist on their uncooked enzymes, but cooked food is easier for your body until you build up a strong enough digestive fire to handle all or mostly raw. Some people never will, others can handle all/mostly raw. Both are good, in my experience, in their proper time & place.

    Tis the fall & winter season now, time for soups & stir fries, not so much steamed veggies all the time or too many big salads. Though I do like a nice winter salad with my thick soups on some cold wintery days but not night meals. I've an iron stomach, so I'm not a good gauge to go by.
    "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
    "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
    "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown


  10. #30
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    Harder to digest and goes thru you leaving more waste the body wants to let go of - why they call raw foods "cleansing". Cleansing but not as nourishing.

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