Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cooked foods and Glycotoxins

"Cooked foods are Poison!"

So says a popular raw food author.  In fact, he says it on just about every other page of his book.  I thought it extreme and exaggerated when I first read it years ago, but now...
I have some perspective.  I've been a raw food advocate for several years.  During this time I've eaten a 100% raw diet for many months at a time.  I ALWAYS feel better.  Not just a little better.  MUCH better.  I remember about six weeks into my introduction to "raw fooding" I felt like I was 12 years younger! 
I also have perspective as a practitioner and health coach.  When I put my patients or clients on a diet richer in raw foods they do better.  Period.  That is true almost without exception.  I believe most chronic disease is caused by or made much worse by diet.
Not convinced?  There is an abundance of research to support these ideas.  Here's just one, for some food for thought.  In 2002 a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that the rate at which we age increases with a diet of high-heat cooked foods because dietary glycotoxins induce inflammatory mediators (Proc Nat'l Acad Sci USA, Nov 2002).  That means cooked foods cause inflammation.
Glycotoxins, also called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, are the result of a protein molecule binding abnormally to a glucose (sugar) molecule.  This happens from processing food with high heat.  They are toxic and cause chronic inflammation, contributing to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and many other chronic diseases. .  They are found in any foods that are heated or cooked until they are brown (over 300 degrees).  That would include bread - think yummy crusts, and meats - think grilled, barbecued, and anything well done.
Since meats are especially prone to developing this problem when cooked most commercial pet foods are very unhealthy.  Avoiding glycotoxins is just one reason why I strongly advocate for raw food diets for pets.
One thing you can do to significantly reduce your toxin intake is to add more raw foods and low heat processed foods to your diet.  If you really want to feel a huge difference go 100% raw for one month. It will change your life. If you are on any meds be sure to monitor yourself well. Many diabetics, for example, will have significantly decreased need for insulin. You'll feel different even after just one week.
For an easier approach I suggest picking one or two favorite things to add to your diet daily.  My personal favorites are bananas and Isagenix brand meal replacement shakes (they actually say "non-denatured" right on the label!).  It's easy for me to eat a shake or a banana (or four!) every day.  Another way is to cook with techniques that use more water.  This helps prevent the glycation reaction.  Steaming, boiling, poaching, stewing, stir-frying, and slow cooker (crock pot) cooking are all great ways to avoid glycotoxins.
Finally, you might like to visit my Facebook page Rosendale Raw.  I will be posting recipes there and creating community for support in this great adventure of the raw life.  I also host a pot luck for raw food fun once a month, on the first Sunday of the month.  If you are in the Hudson Valley region please join us!

3 comments:

Megan Jones said...

I didn't really think about cooked verse raw for pet food. My cat is fairly picky so we just go with something that she will eat. Though we should make sure that she is getting the nutrients she needs to be going strong.
http://www.tukwilapethospital.com/site/view/170928_Services.pml

Jennifer Davies said...

It's hard, because I've heard so many different things online. Some people say raw food for pets, some say cooked only. I guess the only way to know for sure is to talk to a veterinarian about it.
Jenn | http://www.belmontavevet.com.au

Cynthia Rhose said...

I have been looking for an animal caregiver that can offer my dog alternative methods of treatment. I am not the most willing person when it comes to giving my dog medications. So if there is a natural remedy first, I will always go to that first.
Cynthia | http://www.allpaws.us

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