Cooking for making nutrients more readily available? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-09-2016, 11:34 PM
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Cooking for making nutrients more readily available?

Hello again,

This is a very interesting concept for me - cooking for making nutrients more readily available. I heard about it in another thread.

I'm not exactly enthusiastic about cooking for making one nutrient more readily available and destroying many other nutrients in the process.

But anyways, since I am addicted to knowledge, I would like to ask which fruits or vegetables are supposed to be cooked in order to make which nutrients more readily available.

Until now I've only found that tomato should be cooked in order to get more lycopene. So I would like to know about more such foods and nutrients.

As a raw vegan myself since some four years ago, I do not eat massive amounts of food and I do not feel like I'm missing any nutrient, and I am very intrigued how did some people actually get to this idea, that they somehow have to eat massive volumes of raw food in order to get all their nutrients, is there any nutritionist or scientific study claiming that?

Monkeys and primates do not cook and also they don't need to eat massive amounts of raw food in order to get enough nutrients. Even if they eat no meat at all (meat is a rare treat, if eaten at all). How can that be then?

Why only the humans have to cook or to eat massive amounts of raw food in order to get enough nutrients, unlike any other animal?

Last edited by spaveg; 03-09-2016 at 11:47 PM.
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#2 Old 03-10-2016, 01:16 AM
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Because humans have more brain development. Our nearest primate cousins actually eat massive volumes of raw food and still apparently haven't got enough nutrition for their brain to evolve.

The evolution of the human brain is said to have required a massive shift in the way humans ate - specifically, cooking.

Yes, cooking food makes it easier to digest so we can absorb maximum nutrients. While some nutrients are lessened by cooking, others are released. Flax oil is a great example of something that should not be cooked. However on the whole we get more energy from cooked food.

Starvation even in evolved humans will affect your brain eventually. I'm very wary of people who say they're fine after a couple of years, because some things take years to show, and may hit you as dementia in older age.

Of course careful raw vegans apparently make sure to get their proper nutrition sources, but it frankly costs more to do that, and as someone who has lived in Los Angeles and taken yoga and gone to cold pressed juiceries, I know how much anorexic people hide behind veganism, and how destructive that general message is to getting omnis to realize how healthy a vegan diet can be.

There are so many people who have been turned off completely from veganism by trying raw or fruititarian.
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#3 Old 05-29-2016, 02:16 AM
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Sorry for the long break, I was sooo busy lately.

In my view, cooking was necessary mainly for two things: making meat easier to digest and making starch (potatoes, wheat, rice, other cereals and grains) easier to digest.
Without a lot of other sources of food, the people had to rely on meat and starch in order to survive, so they had to cook.
When eating those foods, you had to cook in order to absorb maximum energy, not nutrients. There is a significant difference between the two - energy sources are just a part of the nutrients. Cooking makes you get more energy from starch but in the same time it might drastically reduce the amount of vitamins, minerals, useful bacteria, etc that we ingest and make use of.

So cooking was necessary in the past but that's simply not the case anymore. Today we have plenty of sources of food, fruits and vegetables that our ancestors didn't even know they exist. Today we can get enough energy from raw vegetable fat, instead of eating meat and starchy foods.

AFAIK, as everything in nature, animal brains actually do evolve. The fact that a gazelle can't speak doesn't mean the animal is not learning valuable lessons in it's life and it doesn't mean the animal is stupid. There are numerous examples of animals showing amazing signs of intelligence. We are also better than animals not only because we are more intelligent (the amount of people who seem to be less intelligent than the animals is absolutely staggering by the way), but simply because our body allows us to grab and make use of tools. If we would be able to give to a crow the body of a human being I think we would see fascinating results. Even though the crow has a brain the size of a peanut and eats raw food. Evolution of the physical body (limbs that can grab, mouth that can articulate words) doesn't automatically imply more intelligence and brain energy requirements. How much energy the brain of an intelligent crow needs, comparing to the brain of a retarded human being, by the way? So this is a non argument.

As a raw vegan, I think that the biggest problem in the human nutrition today is the carbohydrates (starch and refined sugars), and that's a far bigger problem than meat. You can get to obesity, high sugar levels in the blood and all kind of troubles much faster by consuming starch than by consuming meat.
Transitioning to whole foods is one of the most important steps towards a healthier life (my view, ofc). But removing carbohydrates from the diet is even better.
Once you drop eating starchy foods (potatoes, cereals and grains), there is actually no need to cook anymore. Except meat, of course.

As for the other nutrients, there are two arguments that I've found until now:
1. Lycopene. Some people say that cooking tomatoes makes Lycopene more available, inducing the idea that you have to eat cooked tomatoes but they forget about basic questions: How much Lycopene we need every day? How many raw tomatoes we have to eat in order to get that amount of Lycopene? And how many cooked tomatoes? How can it be that the people could live for thousands (or millions) of years without cooked tomatoes and even without tomatoes? Were they all sick from any lack of Lycopene? How can it be that actually the vast majority of animals can live without cooked tomatoes and without tomatoes at all? Is there any study showing that people not eating cooked tomatoes get any health problems?
2. Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene. Cooking carrots makes more of it available, some people say. That raises the same questions: entire populations in certain parts of the world could live well without cooked carrots and even without carrots at all. Most of the animals don't need cooked carrots and not even carrots in order to live well. Again, there are no studies (AFAIK) proving that without cooked carrots, the humans get any health problems

Therefore the idea that we have to cook the vegetables in order to get enough nutrients is absolutely baseless. In fact, it looks more like a scam, and it's presented with an appearance of scientific argument. While in fact there is no science whatsoever in suggesting that we have to cook the vegetables in order to get enough nutrients.

I've also practiced yoga and most of the people that I was practicing yoga along with were not anorexic, they looked absolutely average, and some were even obese.
Frankly, I can't see how it costs more to get enough nutrients by eating raw. But what I do see is that you simply save a lot of time by not cooking.

Our brain needs a lot of energy? Fine, you can get enormous amounts of energy from fat. The fat will be broken into ketones which will feed our brain. The brain can feed with both glucose or ketones, so eating avocado and other vegetable fats is a good and healthy (and intelligent) idea. Finally, the human brain evolved enough in intelligence in order to understand what better feeds it.

Last edited by spaveg; 05-29-2016 at 03:07 AM.
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#4 Old 05-29-2016, 03:33 AM
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Ketones do not feed the brain, they are acids that are created when the body is forced to use fats for energy because there is no glucose available in the body.
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#5 Old 05-29-2016, 07:34 AM
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spaveg you are allllllllll over the place!
it's useless to question why some animals or cultures dont' eat this or that particular food. Nutrients are found in various foods, in different ways. Give one feline cooked carrots and another raw carrots and neither gets any vitamin A. They need it preformulated through another animals digestion. Yes, there are other foods with lycopene besides cooked tomatoes.
What really irks me with your argument is you seem to present it as some kind of evolved trait that shows raw diets as optimum. What you're really saying is modern transportation and refrigeration allows us to thrive on raw fruits and veg that didn't have access to previously. That's not evolution, it's modernization, and extremely inefficienct and environmentally unsound.
Using lyocopene as an example, cooking tomatoes about doubles the amount of nutritionally available lycopene. Tomatoes are grown in areas where raw fruits like guava, that are high in lycopene in their raw state, aren't grown. Cook tomato or use fuel to transport guavas?
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#6 Old 05-29-2016, 06:09 PM
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Hi spaveg,

Several months back, you made a series of posts which claimed that starchy whole foods are harmful. You even told a woman with type 2 diabetes that she shouldn't eat lentils. This particular post of yours was properly deleted by the moderators, since the American Diabetes Association specifically recommends legumes:

Spaveg, your "view" is irrelevant to the study of nutrition. My view is also irrelevant. Nutrition is a science, not a matter of opinion. It's true that many people agree with your anti-starch opinions, but these opinions are not supported by the weight of the peer-reviewed nutrition literature. Starchy whole foods (beans, lentils, unpeeled potatoes, whole grains) are healthy.

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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization

Last edited by David3; 05-29-2016 at 06:16 PM.
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#7 Old 05-29-2016, 06:49 PM
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@spaveg - multiple members have addressed your questions, and challenged your ideas, on this and other threads. We have provided well documented research that you have chosen to ignore. You cannot continue to make invalid comparisons or use anecdotal experiences as 'evidence'.
Please refrain from posting unscientific information.
For now I will close this thread for moderation
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