There is no doubt that the cooking of food is an unnatural process invented by man comparatively recently in his evolutionary development. Although cooking may render certain foods, such as cereals, more readily assimilating to human digestion, and render some foods more palatable, generally it is a destructive process which seriously depletes the nutritive value of food.

Valuable enzymes in live raw food help keep the blood clear of poisons. It has been estimated that 80% of diseases are caused by improperly digested foods and their by-products being absorbed into the body. A diet containing mostly cooked food has proven to be detrimental in more ways than one. Cooking may suit the taste palate, but it destroys essential nutritional components, vitamins, minerals and natural enzymes protective against cancer and in so doing 80% of the nutritional value of the food is lost, mainly devoid of enzymes, as found in raw food.

According to Paul Kouchakoff, MD, of the Institute of Clinical Chemistry, Lausanne, the white blood cell count of a healthy person increases to a level proportional to the degree to which the food has been heated or processed, and may double or even treble. This effect is called 'leucocytosis'. As civilization 'progresses' and food becomes more and more preserved, processed and cooked, and generally less and less natural, so humans everywhere display more signs of disease, much earlier in life.

Dr Herbert Shelton, referred to earlier, in his book Superior Nutrition, said: "Cooking destroys in part, if not wholly, the oxidizing factors of foods. This simply means that cooking 'bums' those portions of foods that the body ordinarily oxidizes. Once these substances have been oxidized, they cannot again be oxidized in the body, hence they are useless as food. Heat, by speeding up oxidization, turns food into sludge before it is eaten. For example, certain amino acids, lysine and glutamine are destroyed by the cooking process. The losses that are produced by cooking may not result in serious trouble until later in life and all of their effects do not show up for two or three generations".

Consider the following points:

When the nutritive value of food is decreased, more food must be eaten to achieve satisfaction of the appetite, and because the culinary art of cooking is designed to artificially stimulate the appetite, over-eating naturally follows.

All foods, particularly if cooked, to a greater or lesser extent introduce toxic substances into the body, which must be eliminated. Some toxins come directly from the food when digested and others are formed as by-products of the body metabolism. The more food eaten, the more toxins are produced, and the faster will be the degeneration of the body's vital organs.

Apart from wear and tear on the vital organs, toxins and mineral wastes above the capacity of the body to eliminate, gradually accumulate in the arteries and other body tissues. This process is greatest when cooked food is eaten, and least with raw food.

Natural enzymes in fresh food are destroyed at temperatures above 48C (118F). While some authorities argue that this does not matter because enzymes are destroyed anyhow by the acid in the stomach, there is much evidence to prove that not only do food enzymes achieve a significant degree of pre-digestion of food in the upper part of the stomach before being neutralized by stomach acid, but also sufficient enzymes survive to reach the intestine and are absorbed for use in the body.

When food or drink is heated above about 82C (180F) a further damaging effect occurs which increases in severity with the degree of heat. When the cooled food is eaten, the body suffers a pathological challenge which is indicated by a sudden increase in the white cells in the blood, known as leucocytosis. Some highly processed meats for instance, may cause a while cell increase of 300%.

Although the reasons were not understood, the harmful effects of cooked food have long been known. In 1829, Vincent Priessnitz of Silesia described the "inflamed and brittle" flesh of a pig which had been fed on cooked food all its life and compared it with the "firm and healthy" flesh of pigs fed on raw food. A diet of raw fruit and vegetables formed the basis of treatment at Louis Kuhne's celebrated clinic in Leipzig, Germany, 100 years ago, and has ever since been the basis of treatment in the many other famed sanatoriums of the world.

The importance of enzymes in food is not only that a load is taken off the pancreas, but possibly more important, the food is more completely broken down before assimilation from the intestine, so improving the entire metabolic processes within the body. The observations of researchers, J. M. Rabinowitch, J. A. Urquhart and others, described in the paper, Lipase versus Cholesterol (1983) by Dr Howell, demonstrate this fact.

The value of enzymes in raw fruit and vegetables is well known, but just as important are the enzymes in foods of animal origin. Animal protein, raw, contains the proteolytic enzyme cathepsin, and animal fat, raw, contains adipose lipase. All these food enzymes work to pre-digest their particular food component in the upper (cardiac) section of the stomach before being inactivated by the acid in the lower stomach. The research shows that the resultant more thorough breakdown of these foods in the intestine enables the body to more efficiently metabolize the protein, fat and cholesterol, thereby reducing the tendency to atherosclerosis.

It is preferable that food should be eaten at about body temperature; if food is eaten cold, digestive action cannot proceed until the food has been warmed in the stomach. Hot food can damage cells lining the digestive tract.

If raw food is allowed to "ripen" before eating, such as when meat is hung for several days, it becomes actually partially pre-digested by its own enzymes. In 1935, Dr Urquhart, in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, described how Eskimos did not cut up caribou meat until the animal had been dead for a few days. Similarly, freshly caught fish were buried to be later eaten uncooked in a partly decomposed state. The Eskimos gained a health benefit from this practice, said Dr Urquhart who described from his own experience how hard-working sled dogs could maintain top condition on such food whereas on a diet of fresh fish they weakened and lost weight after two weeks.

Further evidence that natural enzymes in uncooked food play a significant part in the digestive process is the fact that herbivorous animals although requiring large quantities of digestive enzymes, have very little in their saliva and have a pancreas of less than half the size compared with their body weight, than humans, who eat mainly cooked food. This shows that the digestive enzymes required by the animals must be furnished mainly by their food.

Allowing for differences in anatomy and so on, that this comparison is still valid is indicated by the fact that hypertrophy of the pancreas of animals occurs when the diet is changed to heat-denatured, enzyme-deficient food. Experiments by Dr Jackson, Department of Anatomy, University of Minnesota, showed that on such a diet, otherwise properly balanced, in a period of 155 days the pancreas and submaxillary glands of rats increased in weight by 20-30%, while the pituitary and suprarenals decreased in weight.

Accompanying the enlargement of the pancreas brought about in the digestion of cooked food are changes in the gonads, adrenals, pituitary and other ductless glands. A study of people killed accidentally showed that all those over fifty had a defective pituitary gland, the master gland of the body.

As already mentioned, the destruction of enzymes is not the only harm caused by heating food. Japanese experiments with baby mice showed that when fed milk which had previously been heated, the mice did not survive. Using milk previously heated to 80C (176F) for half an hour, mice survived only three weeks. The higher the temperature to which the milk was heated the shorter was the survival time--120C (248F) caused death in one week, and 140C (284F) caused death in three to five days. The famous Pottenger experiment (see Milk, this chapter) throws further light on this subject in view of the fact that raw meat was included in the cats' diet. The most significant fact revealed by this experiment, apart from the lethal effects on the experimental cats, was that the the excrement of these cats was poisonous to the ground, rendering it sterile and unsupportive of plant life, whereas in the pens of the healthy cats the ground was fertilized and supported flourishing vegetation.

Possibly the best examples of the harmful effects of cooked food are the studies of animals in the Philadelphia Zoo by Dr H. Fox, described in his book Disease in Captive Wild Animals and Birds (1923). For many years the mortality of animals kept in captivity was very high and attempts to breed them were not very successful. When it was realized that it was false economy to feed animals cheap food such as restaurant scraps etc, and their diets were changed to natural raw foods, straight away the animals' health improved and the mortality rate dropped to very low levels, while at the same time the animals began to breed normally.

It was mentioned earlier that Vilhjalmur Stephansson adopted an all-meat diet with disastrous results, all the worse because of consuming the meat cooked. A more recent study of Angmagsalik Eskimos, a community of about 1,000 on the east coast of Greenland, showed an average life span of only 27.5 years, mainly due to premature degeneration of adults. Their diet consisted of 95% flesh food. The study was by Hoygaard and Pedersen, Copenhagen 1941. This short life span appears to be worse than in the earlier reports on Eskimos elsewhere, and the writer speculates whether the Angmagsalik Eskimos had adopted the practice of cooking their food.

There is an association between the cooking and processing of food and the incidence of cancer, and conversely, it is a fact that cancer patients make the best recoveries on completely raw vegetarian food. In some cases, the reversion to even a partly cooked diet allowed the cancer to reappear.

This shows that when vital organs are at their lowest state of function, only raw foods make it possible for them to provide the proper body chemistry to maintain health. It follows then, that if raw food permits an otherwise ruined body to restore itself to health, so must raw food provide the maximum benefit to anybody--sick or well.

Dr Max Garten in his book The Health Secrets of a Naturopathic Doctor (1967) described how his health had not much improved by becoming a vegetarian, and how this led him to try a completely raw food regimen. He said: "The results were electrifying; within a few days I felt much stronger with a return of my former enthusiasm. Many of my patients whom I had been able to convert to this new diet also reported similar results". Dr Garten observed that putrefactive bacteria in the colon increased not only with the eating of meat but also with the degree of heat used in cooking all food, and with this increase so also did the odiferous aspects of the stool increase along with the appearance of aches and pains. He said: "It could only he deduced that certain agents in the diet were either missing or had been altered by the heat.

"The respective protein content of the vegetarian diet had also been found to be indicative of changes in the intestinal flora, legumes such as beans, lentils, peas etc. equally contributing to the display of putrefactive changes."

Thus, although vegetarians usually are healthier and outlive meat-eaters, they may not maintain very good health or live to a very advanced age if they continually cook their food.


People become vegetarians to improve their health and extend their lives. Some vegetarians go a step further and consume their food mainly uncooked, while others go even further and limit their diet to fruit, which they claim to be the natural food of man.

Their argument is sound for a number of reasons, but one way or the other, it is a fact that, in reasonable variation, fruit can provide the full complement of all required nutrients in adequate quantities, remembering that the requirements for protein and fat are much lower than generally believed, Therefore, instead of being considered merely an accessory to conventional meals, fruit should be considered in its own right as a staple food. The advantages of a fruitarian diet are:

It provides complete nourishment with the minimum of extraneous substances capable of "sitting" up the tissues.

It is most easily digested, minimizing the energy required for digestion (which is substantial) thereby minimizing total food (calorie) requirements.

It is palatable.

It is easily obtained and easily prepared.

It satisfies the appetite when sufficient has been eaten--fruitarians are always lean.

Minimum but adequate protein is provided,

Minimum but adequate essential fats are provided.

Maximum energy is available from what is eaten, with only carbon dioxide and water, which are entirely non-toxic, as the byproducts.

It provides the body with adequate amounts of pure water.

It results in a favorable alkaline internal state.

Favorable intestinal flora predominate in the bowel.

No constipation occurs.

No auto-intoxication occurs.

The body de-toxifies itself.

The blood is clean and low viscosity, there is good circulation with low blood pressure.

There is the least wear and tear and the least "silting up" of all the body organs and tissues.

It is less expensive than a diet based on animal protein.

That it is the only single food substance which alone can sustain human life, even without drinking water, indicates that fruit is indeed man's natural food. Further substantiation of this view is that there are about forty distinct anatomical, physiological and biological features of humans which show unquestionably that the human body is designed mainly for a fruit diet, notwithstanding the fact that, like all animals, they can survive less successfully on a wide variety of foods. These features range from natural fondness for sweet foods, jaw and teeth structure, salivary secretion, length of digestive tract, size of pancreas, stereo color vision and so on. In fact in all these respects, humans are practically identical today with the more primitive primates in the wild which, whenever possible, live on fruit.

   Evidence of the suitability of fruit as a staple food and not just as an accessory to the conventional diet is to be seen by observing fruitarians who live entirely on a wide variety of fresh fruit, and who display lean, youthful bodies, low blood pressure, clear vision and unimpaired faculties, even with advancing years.

   A well-known human peculiarity never before connected with this argument but which provides almost conclusive evidence, is that humans, like all primates, are incapable of making Vitamin C in their bodies whereas other animals can (excepting guinea pigs and fruit-eating bats). Basing their argument on this fact, it is strongly advocated by many authorities that people should take large amounts of supplementary Vitamin C to compensate for this "error of Nature" which they put down to an unfavorable mutation in our evolutionary past some millions of years ago. To prove this argument completely wrong, and at the same time prove that man is a natural fruit-eater, consider:

The only mutations which persist to become a universal feature of a species are favorable ones. Unfavorable mutations can not possibly do so.

A genetic change preventing the synthesis of Vitamin C in the body, to become universal to an entire species, must therefore have been, at the time, a favorable change.

The only possibility of such a genetic change being favorable is for the species to have been already getting more than adequate Vitamin C, and that any more was undesirable.

The only source of "excess" Vitamin C in Nature is a diet of raw fruit. (Only certain tropical fruits contain such high levels of Vitamin C; many fruits contain only small amounts.) Therefore it is clear that the human diet ideally, should be based mainly on fresh fruit, and that past errors which have led to widespread Vitamin C deficiencies are dietary--not genetic--errors.

   Obviously some fruits are more nutritious than others, and quality will vary according to the quality of the soil in which they are grown. Commercially grown fruit may contain various levels of insecticide poisons, in which case the fruit should be carefully washed or peeled. At the time of this fifth edition, the author has subsisted almost entirely on commercially grown fruit for 15 years, all the while working long hours seven days a week, and has maintained excellent health.

We have chosen the fruit at random with a preference for tropical fruits, and included dried fruits from time to time without any attempt at being scientific about it. It is claimed by some people that such a diet will eventuate in high blood triglycerides and this is why Nathan Pritikin limited fruit. The increase in triglycerides is supposed to follow elevated levels of blood sugar after eating fruit, but this does not occur with eating raw fruit, particularly eaten at whim throughout the day rather than in three large meals.

An objection to acid fruits such as citrus and pineapples, particularly if unripe, is that eaten in excess, the acid may cause erosion in the enamel of the teeth. It is interesting to note here that with good body chemistry and a clean mouth, teeth, like bones, are self repairable. With half my teeth jammed with fillings, maybe they are beyond self repair, but at my regular pilot medical check-ups, I enjoy being told by my doctor I have the arteries and blood pressure of a schoolboy. That makes fruit taste better still, even on a winter's day.

   A convert to a fruitarian diet was the Indian movement leader, philosopher and statesman Mahatma Gandhi, who after experiencing poor health throughout his youth became a student of nature cure at the age of 32. First he became a vegetarian and then a fruitarian. After six months as a fruitarian, he said (quoted from his book The Health Guide):

   "A period of six months is all too short to arrive at any definite conclusions on such a vital matter as a complete change of diet. This, however, I can say, that, during this period, I have been able to keep well where others have been attacked by disease, and my physical as well as mental powers are now greater than before. I may not be able to lift heavy loads, but I can do hard labor for a much longer time without fatigue. I can also do more mental work, and with better persistence and resoluteness. I have tried a fruit diet on many sickly people, invariably with great advantage. My own experience, as well as my study of the subject, has confirmed me in the conviction that a fruit diet is the best one for us."

   An interesting personality is champion weightlifter, Wiley Brooks, of Venice, California. Most unconventional, Wiley, 6 feet tall and weighing 135 lbs, at age 45 could, from a squat rack, lift 935 lbs. He eats only raw fruit and fruit juice.

 Dr de Lacy Evans, who devoted most of his professional life to the study of patients, populations, and the factors involved in the aging process, said of fruit:

   "There is, therefore, a simplicity, a reason, a wonderful philosophy in the first command given to man--Man may live entirely upon fruits in better health than the majority of mankind now enjoy. Good, sound, ripe fruits are never the cause of disease, but the vegetable acids, as we have before stated, lower the temperature of the body., decrease the process of combustion or oxidation--therefore the waste of the system--less sleep is requited, activity is increased, fatigue or thirst is hardly experienced: still the body is well nourished, and as a comparatively small quantity of earthy salts are taken into the system, the cause of old age is in some degree removed, the effect is delayed, and life is prolonged to a period far beyond our 'threescore and ten'."


   Apart from the sort of food that you eat, the way in which it is eaten is a health factor in itself.

   When food is consumed more frequently but in smaller amounts ie. frequent snacks instead of three full meals, the level of blood sugar (glucose) remains steady. If the same amount of food is eaten in large amounts widely spaced, the blood sugar may rise too much after eating each meal resulting in an increase in triglycerides and possibly a degree of hypoglycemia as the sugar level subsequently slumps.

   At the Longevity Center, small main meals are served interspersed with four snacks throughout the day. The snacks are perhaps soup, fruit, salad or a baked potato.

   Experiments by Dr Grant Gwinup, University of California, Irvine, and by Dr Pavel Fabry of Prague, Czechoslovakia, with human subjects, and by Dr Clarence Cohn at the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago with animals, demonstrated that spreading food intake by frequent snacks throughout the day caused lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than when the same food was taken in three meals. When taken in one large meal a day, cholesterol and triglyceride levels increased. Dr Fabry, whose study covered 1,133 men aged 60-64, provided data showing that those men eating three meals or less per day had a significantly higher incidence of CVD symptoms than those eating the same rations in five or more meals.


   Everybody agrees that pregnant women and growing children should be properly nourished even if no one else is. Advice abounds on how this should be accomplished, and for some reason or other the various "authorities" say that extra protein is needed, milk should be guzzled to get calcium, and so on. "If such special measures are not necessary," the question is asked by concerned mothers, "will a simple natural vegetarian diet provide adequate nutrition?" And the answer is: of course it will. A diet which enables a feeble invalid to heal ulcers, strengthen porous bones, build new muscle, repair lung tissue and then go running for miles outdoors is certainly adequate for pregnant or nursing mothers, and has been demonstrated to produce optimum health and growth in children once they are weaned, which should never be in less than a year.


 Milk, when it is provided from the mother's breast, is a perfect food for a baby, providing of course that the mother herself is healthy and on a nutritious diet. Because in the past many undernourished children have benefited from cow's milk given them at school, milk has gained a reputation as being essential for growing children.

Milk is not a natural food for any species of animal except for the very young fed by their own mother. Mothers' milk is structured exactly to the requirements of the infant, changing slightly as the child grows. According to Dr Steven Gross of Duke University, even when a child is born prematurely, the milk of the mother at that time has different concentrations of protein, sodium and chloride, suited specifically for the premature infant's needs.

It was important, said Dr Gross, that premature babies be fed milk from the natural mother and not other human milk or milk formula because milk other than from the baby's own mother could not be properly tolerated. Even after normal births the mother's milk continued to change in protein content etc. to suit the needs of the baby as it grew. Apart from nutritional aspects, the natural mother's milk contained immunological substances which convey protection against infection until the infant's own immune system developed.

And because in early life babies do not manufacture in their bodies sufficient enzymes for normal body metabolism, they are dependent on the natural enzymes furnished in their mothers' milk. The danger of feeding babies formula or pasteurized milk, devoid of enzymes, can be seen to be a major factor in the cot death problem (see Chapter 21).

Cow's milk is responsible for more allergies than any other substance (see the section on allergies later in this chapter and also Chapter 19). British studies, reported in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, found that up to 40% of children were sensitive to it. Another study, in Denmark, showed there has been a dramatic fall in the incidence of childhood diabetes since breast-feeding has come back into vogue.

Cow's milk contains a fair amount of fat and cholesterol, is practically devoid of Vitamin C, and has three times the amount of sodium compared to human milk. As already mentioned, cows' milk contains over twice the amount of protein as human milk and can cause hypernatremic dehydration in bottle-fed babies because of the large amounts of water required to flush from the body the waste products of protein metabolism. Thus cow's milk causes the problem of bed-wetting, 90-95% of all cases being attributable to it.

Even when it is necessary to wean a baby early, there is no necessity to give the child cow's milk. Tests have shown that whether cow's milk, a mixed diet, or a vegetarian diet is given, the growth rate is the same. Milk cannot be considered a good food, particularly pasteurized, and together with other dairy products should be avoided, except perhaps for small quantities of raw milk and non-fat milk products. Although raw milk contains valuable nutrients in addition to its harmful ones, much of these are destroyed if the milk is pasteurized.

A medical paper, The Effect of Heat Processed Foods and Metabolized Vitamin D Milk on the Dentofacial Structures of Experimental Animals by Dr Francis Pottenger (1946) described tests on cats where one group was fed raw milk, another group pasteurized milk, and a third group evaporated milk and condensed milk. The experiment was continued for four generations of cats.

All generations on the raw milk group thrived. The other two groups deteriorated from the start. They suffered a lowered condition and the second generation was depleted by stillbirth, miscarriage, spontaneous abortion, or resorption in the uterus. The survivors had many defects which included eczema, calcification of tissues, anatomical defects, neuroses and abnormalities in neuromuscular co-ordination. Anatomical differences between the sexes became less apparent and homosexuality appeared.

The third generation was greatly depleted and there was no fourth generation at all; there was not even an attempt at reproduction by the third generation.

In another paper by Dr Maurice Bowerman of Beaverton, Oregon, titled "Milk and Thought Disorder" (Journal of Orthomolecular Psychiatry , Vol 9, No 4, 1980), Dr Bowerman described the damaging effect of milk on five of his psychiatric patients who had suffered for years from confusion, detachment, poor memory, poor mental efficiency, and paranoid thinking, all accompanied by fatigue. Two had been hospitalized. When milk was removed from their diets four patients became symptom-free and the fifth improved.

Dr Howell points out that once upon a time people maintained vigorous health and achieved long life on diets containing large amounts of dairy foods. But this was before the era of pasteurization.

One reason for the harmful effect of pasteurized milk, according to Dr Howell, is the destruction of the natural enzymes present in raw milk which are at least 35 in number, without which enzymes milk cannot be properly digested. No wonder infants develop allergies to milk and dairy products. One of the most important enzymes in raw milk is lipase, the enzyme which breaks down fat, says Dr Howell. Thus raw dairy products do not result in high cholesterol levels and the rapid onset of atherosclerosis.


Yoghurt has for a long while been accepted as a health promoting food, and the evidence usually quoted to support this belief is the supposed longevity of people in Bulgaria who regularly consume yoghurt.   Investigating this belief, experiments by American and French doctors in the 1890s and early 1900s on both animals and humans, showed that lactic bacillus cultures from yoghurt included in the diet brought about a diminution of intestinal putrefaction caused by harmful anaerobic bacteria which accompanies meat in the diet. Thus yoghurt taken with the Western high fat/meat diet must convey some benefit at least if the yoghurt is unpasteurized. Although yoghurt is considered to be a dairy product, the fact that it has been "reprocessed" by the yoghurt bacteria into a more digestible form than milk makes it a far more preferable form of food.

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