Would you stop using your microwave?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Doberluv, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Raw vs. cooked. http://www.drfuhrman.com/faq/question.aspx?sid=16&qindex=4

    Certainly, there are benefits to consuming plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. These foods supply us with high nutrient levels and are generally low in calories too. Eating lots of raw foods is a key feature of an anti-cancer diet style and a long life. But are there advantages to eating a diet of all raw foods and excluding all cooked foods? The answer is a resounding “Noâ€. In fact, eating an exclusively raw-food diet is a disadvantage. Excluding all steamed vegetables and vegetable soups from your diet narrows your nutrient diversity and has a tendency to reduce the percentage of calories from vegetables in favor of nuts and fruits which are lower in nutrients per calorie.

    Raw vegetables are dramatically low in calories and we probably only absorb about 50 calories a pound from raw vegetables. Our caloric needs cannot be met on a raw food diet without consuming large amounts of fruits, avocado, nuts and seeds. This may be an adequate diet for some people, but in my 15 years of medical practice catering to the community of natural food enthusiasts, raw foodists and natural hygienists, I have seen many people who weakened their health on such raw food, vegan diets. Frequent fungal skin and nail infections, poor dentition, hair loss and muscular wasting are common on such fruit-based diets.

    Unfortunately, sloppy science prevails in the raw-food movement. Raw food advocates mistakenly conclude that since many cooked foods are not healthy for us, then all cooked foods are bad. This is not true.

    The idea that stirs the most enthusiasm for this diet is the contention that cooking both destroys about fifty percent of the nutrients in food, and destroys all or most of the life promoting enzymes. It is true that when food is baked at high temperatures—and especially when it is fried or barbecued—toxic compounds are formed and most important nutrients are lost. Many vitamins are water-soluble, and a significant percent can be lost with cooking, especially overcooking. Similarly, many plant enzymes function as phytochemical nutrients in our body and are useful to maximize health. They, too, can be destroyed by overcooking. However, we cannot paint with this brush of negativity over every form of cooking.

    Only small amounts of nutrients are lost with conservative cooking like making a soup, but many more nutrients are made more absorbable. These nutrients would have been lost if those vegetables had been consumed raw. When we heat, soften and moisturize the vegetables and beans we dramatically increase the potential digestibility and absorption of many beneficial and nutritious compounds. We also increase the plant proteins in the diet, especially important for those eating a plant-based diet with limited or no animal products.

    In many cases, cooking actually destroys some of the harmful anti-nutrients that bind minerals in the gut and interfere with the utilization of nutrients. Destruction of these anti-nutrients increases absorption. Steaming vegetables and making vegetable soups breaks down cellulose and alters the plants’ cell structures so that fewer of your own enzymes are needed to digest the food, not more. On the other hand, the roasting of nuts and the baking of cereals does reduce availability and absorbability of protein.

    When food is steamed or made into a soup, the temperature is fixed at 100 degrees Celsius or 212 Fahrenheit—the temperature of boiling water. This moisture-based cooking prevents food from browning and forming toxic compounds. Acrylamides, the most generally recognized of the heat-created toxins, are not formed with boiling or steaming. They are formed only with dry cooking. Most essential nutrients in vegetables are made more absorbable after being cooked in a soup and water-soluble nutrients are not lost because we eat the liquid portion of the soup too.

    Recent studies confirm that the body absorbs much more of the beneficial anti-cancer compounds (carotenoids and phytochemicals—especially lutein and lycopene) from cooked vegetables compared with raw. Scientists speculate that the increase in absorption of antioxidants after cooking may be attributed to the destruction of the cell matrix (connective bands) to which the valuable compounds are bound.

    Another fallacy promoted in the raw food movement and on the web is that the fragile heat-sensitive enzymes contained in the plants we eat catalyze chemical reactions that occur in humans and aid in digestion of the food. This is not true. Plant foods do not supply enzymes that aid in their digestion when consumed by animals. Our body supplies exactly the precise amount of enzymes needed for digestion; we are not ill equipped to digest normal food. The plant enzymes are broken down into simpler molecules by our own powerful digestive juices and even those that are absorbed as peptide size pieces (or with some biologic function) do not function to catalyze human functions. So it is not true that eating raw food demands less enzyme production by your body. A healthy body produces the precise amount of enzymes needed to digest the ingested food appropriately and the enzymes our body uses for other processes are unique to our human needs and are not present in plants. We make what we need from the proper materials.

    In conclusion, eating lots of raw foods is a feature of a healthy diet. I always encourage people to eat more raw food. One of my common statements is—the salad is the main dish. Raw food is necessary for digestive efficiency, proper peristalsis and normal bowel function. Certain foods, especially fruit, avocado and nuts undergo significant change with cooking and are best eaten raw. Baking, frying, barbecuing and other high heat cooking methods that brown and damage food form acrylamides, which are carcinogenic. Browning and other high heat cooking methods should be avoided. Cooking techniques like steaming vegetables, stewing foods in a pressure cooker and soup making, do not have these drawbacks. They do not brown foods or form acrylamides.

    Eating raw food is necessary for good health and is an important feature of a healthy diet. But that does not mean that one’s entire diet has to be raw to be in excellent health. It also does not mean eating an all raw diet is the healthiest way to eat. It is healthier to expand your nutrient density, your absorption of plant protein and your nutrient diversity with the inclusion of some conservatively cooked food in your diet.

    Link LB ; Potter JD. Raw versus cooked vegetables and cancer risk.
    Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004; 13(9):1422-35.

    Ismail A ; Lee WY. Influence of cooking practice on antioxidant properties and phenolic content of selected vegetables. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004; 13(Suppl):S162.
     
  2. ACooper

    ACooper Moderator

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    Yes, nutritionally we should all eat our veggies raw, never consume sweets, give up fried foods, blah blah blah, LOL........that's not going to happen, so I attempt to do the best I can where I can ;)

    I was just going by the link information stating (whether true or false) that microwaved broccoli loses something like 97% of certain things whereas steamed broccoli loses 11%. That's very dramatic (again, if any part of it is accurate)
     
  3. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Oh I have read many an article/study on food losing nutrients when cooked (by various methods) and other articles/studies on the increasing of digestibility of food by cooking (by various methods) but to date I haven't seen many (any?) that discuss net digestible nutrients. Which is interesting as that would seem to me to be the most logical point to look at.

    And all foods raw thing.. Tomatos.. they are MUCH better for you cooked in many ways than raw.
     
  4. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    I didn't mean cooked in general lol I'm sure there are plenty of healthy ways to eat veggies and cook them.. I meant the way I COOK THEM
    It's a fact in my case because anytime I cook vegetables in an attempt to eat them I end up trying to hide them or make them semi-decent tasting by eating them along side or in incredibly unhealthy foods lol which kind of negates the healthy thing

    So what ends up happening is the only time vegetables I consume are healthy are when they are totally raw

    I am beyong un healthy when it comes to eating but I'm trying.. I eat sweets constantly, can't stand vegetables, eat twice a day..
    the only things saving me at this point are my daily multivitamin and the fact that I exercise a lot and drink lots of water..
    other wise, I'd probably just be a giant carb by now lol
     
  5. eddieq

    eddieq Silence! I ban you! Staff Member

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    Presented with all of the information in this thread, I've decided not to discontinue use of my microwave, but instead discontinue googling "why microwaved food is bad for you" :)
     
  6. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Well, I do both cooking, usually gently with not too much heat and raw, as in snacking on carrots or whatever... or salads. So, which ever way is better, (cooked or raw) if there's a question about it, this way, at least you're covering all bases as best as you can. And if it's done in the microwave sometimes and sometimes on the stove, well, at least sometimes you might be getting some nutrients if they discover that one or the other is no good. They're always changing their minds anyhow. You can't possibly keep up.
     
  7. Kristen1980

    Kristen1980 Guest

    My mom through out her microwave years ago and just uses a small portable oven. It heats food up but takes forever! I've gotten so used to my microwave I honestly don't think I could part with it but those links were an interesting read!
     
  8. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Well, I wonder what the Vita mix machine does to the vegetables, with those blades traveling at 250 mph. lol. I just made my breakfast and it consisted of a hunk of zucchini, a hunk of egg plant, 1/2 carrot, chunk of beet, a kiwi , about 7 frozen strawberries, crushed flax seed and chocolate almond milk. So, the vegetables are raw, but they're completely pulverized...liquid. All healthy stuff except for the sugar in the almond milk. But hey...it tastes like a milk shake. Oh, I forgot to add some spinach and the protein powder. Oh well...next time.
     
  9. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    I don't use the microwave. It tastes better cooked the "normal" way. lol. Also, I'm always fighting anemia and iron supplements are revolting. By reheating my food in a cast iron skillet, the extra bit of iron adds up over time.

    Plus, I have never found a way to reheat slightly dried out day old rice in a microwave that makes it taste good vs. throwing it in a skillet with a little oil, water, chicken, and a bunch of stir fry veggies. nommm
     
  10. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I would so use cast iron skillets if I could lift them. LOL. That's an interesting way to get a little extra iron. :)
     
  11. Kristen1980

    Kristen1980 Guest

    Mom does this too :p
     
  12. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    I don't use a microwave for much anyway. Once and a while for heating some water or milk for hot chocolate in the winter is about it. I dont' like stuff reheated in the microwave all that much, but do use it on occassion.

    I think food is it's best in it's most natural form. I subscribe that as much as we know or think we know, nature is usually not wrong. She has a much broader vision than humans seem to.

    I've taken my share of nutrition courses over the years, just got back from a weekend of it again. 24 credit hours in one 3day weekend, fun for all let me tell you, but no need to bore you all as much as it bored me :)

    Some things are made more digestable, some things not, some things we think are healthy, others aren't, then we find out 20 years later the "not" provides a very important function somewhere in some chain of events that will keep us healthy or what we thought was a healthy nutrient is or isn't for totally different reasons than we previously thought.

    One thing I've learned over the years is nutrition doesn't have to be that complicated. that's my story and i'm sticking to it.

    Eat a variety
    Eat real food (how nature intended) and that's about it.

    if you cook your veggies most of the time, probably not a huge deal. If you cook some and eat some raw, i think it's probably better.

    if you're heating a can of dinty moore beef stew made with crap meat, and GMO veggies in a microwave every day for dinner and think you're eating healthy, I'd have a few issues with that.

    Variety and real foods that's about it.

    GMO is not how nature intended it, beef stuffed fat with corn is not how nature intended it, chickens on steriods is not how nature intended it, grain pulverized to dust, stripped of all nutrients only have some added back and formed into cereal isn't a "health" food no matter how much advertising they do.

    Sure it might be better than starving, but variety and real foods beat it every time. At least in my opinion. You're not going to go wrong eating that way. Still waiting for the study that comes out and says eating a variety of real foods is unhealthy.
     
  13. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    I was kind of wondering this as well. People pulverize veggies like that for their dogs. :confused:

    Anyway, when I was pregnant I drank raw green shakes every day. Spinach, kale, collards, swiss chard, goat milk protein powder, all pureed into a goo like you're talking about. The first time I ever felt Samuel kick was after drinking one. Oh my gosh he'd go crazy. There must have been something good in there that he liked.
     
  14. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    SO on board with this, RTH!

    But that's when I was a crazy, stupid, natural bodybuilder "ruining" my health :rolleyes: NOW the medical community is acting like they've discovered all those things they castigated us for years ago.
     
  15. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I'm exactly the oposite from you Fran, I only eat vegetables if they aren't cooked except for a couple exceptions. For the most part, hate them cooked. Whenever we have corn on the cob one has to be left for me uncooked. Making stuff for tortilla's? Leave all the peppers and onions raw so I'll use them.

    The reals subject though, I don't use the microwave for a ton since I typically don't like the taste/texture it gives things. But when it died for a week I kinda felt lost, didn't realize how much I use it for everyday little things like heating something up for the dogs, warming up the syrup, melting butter etc.
     
  16. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    The one thing I really use a microwave for is bacon. Face it, it's hard to make bacon any more unhealthy than it already is ;)
     
  17. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Nooo bacon in the oven.. easy and sooo tasty.
     
  18. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Bacon is gross no matter how you cook it.
     
  19. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    Mmmm bacon. In all reality I think RTH has is just about right. As far as the microwave - I'm not really all that worried about it - I'm far more concerned about what qualifies as food suitable for human consumption and the toxic contamination of food sources by hormone and heavy metal tainted water.
     
  20. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    Blasphemy!!!
     

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