There is a lot of discussion about the benefits of eating raw foods. So we asked Dr. Fuhrman the question "is raw food better than cooked food?"
Cooking can cook some enzymes, for example in green vegetables. Other vegetables are better off cooked, where cooking can enhance nutrient absorption.
If you want to dig into this a little more, this is an excerpt from an article Dr. Fuhrman wrote:
"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 “No”. 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
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. Click here to continue reading the article:
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body makes after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Vitamin D functions as a hormone because it sends a message to the intestines to increase the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. By promoting calcium absorption, vitamin D helps to form and maintain strong bones.
Because vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium in the gastrointestinal tract and stimulates osteoblastic (bone-building cells) activity, vitamin D has been generating lots of interest lately in the medical literature. Borderline low levels of vitamin D have been found to be very common in the United States and Canada.
It is estimated that over 25 million adults in the United States have, or are at risk of developing, osteoporosis. Adequate storage levels of vitamin D help keep bones strong and help prevent osteoporosis in older adults. Vitamin D deficiency results in diminished calcium absorption, and has been linked to a higher incidence of osteoporosis-related bone fractures seen in post menopausal women and older Americans.
It is extremely important for individuals with limited sun exposure to ingest supplemental vitamin D.
Vitamin D is more effective than calcium for protecting and building bone. Most people do not have adequate levels of vitamin D. Often a multi-vitamin containing the RDA for D is simply not sufficient to bring blood levels up to the ideal range, especially as we age.
Up to now, much of the public attention on vitamin D has been related to its protective effects on bone health, via increasing calcium absorption. But it is now known that vitamin D has several other critical functions.
Vitamin D insufficiency is thought to be a key contributor to many human diseases including several cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and autoimmune diseases.1,2
Scientists have found that Vitamin D has biological actions in almost every cell and tissue in the human body. What is troublesome is that vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a pandemic, affecting 30-50% of the population.2,3
Vitamin D regulates several genes and cellular processes related to cancer progression. Some of the most groundbreaking findings in nutrition science in recent years have been evidence of the powerful protection provided by vitamin D against common cancers:
* Breast cancer: About 75% of women with breast cancer are vitamin D deficient.4 A 2009 meta-analysis of 19 studies established a strong inverse relationship between circulating vitamin D levels and breast cancer – women in the highest vitamin D range reduced their risk of breast cancer by 45%.5 read more
* Colorectal cancer: A 2009 review of 25 studies found that sufficient vitamin D levels were consistently associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer.6 Even after diagnosis with colorectal cancer, higher vitamin D levels are associated with reduced mortality.7
* Cancers of the prostate, pancreas, lung, and endometrium are also associated with vitamin D insufficiency.2,8
For most people, the principal source of vitamin D is production by the skin in response to sunlight. Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D, and achieving adequate vitamin D levels via sun exposure is difficult, considering that most of us work indoors, and cover our body with clothing, especially in the winter months. Plus, sun exposure to assure optimal Vitamin D status may damage and age the skin increasing wrinkling and the risk of skin cancer.
To maintain adequate blood levels of vitamin D, it is extremely important for individuals with limited sun exposure to ingest supplemental vitamin D.
1. Holick MF. Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80(suppl):1678S- 88S
2. American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2009 Update. Dallas; AHA:2009. Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Circulation. 2008 Dec 15.
3. Lee JH et al. Vitamin D deficiency an important, common, and easily treatable cardiovascular risk factor? J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 Dec 9;52(24):1949-56.
4. Hines SL et al. Breast cancer survivors and vitamin D: A review. Nutrition. [Epub ahead of print]
5. Chen P et al. Meta-analysis of vitamin D, calcium and the prevention of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009 Oct 23. [Epub ahead of print]
6. Zhou G et al. Optimizing vitamin D status to reduce colorectal cancer risk: an evidentiary review. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2009 Aug;13(4):E3-E17.
7. Ng K et al. Prospective study of predictors of vitamin D status and survival in patients with colorectal cancer. Br J Cancer. 2009 Sep 15;101(6):916-23. Epub 2009 Aug 18.
8. Peterlik M et al. Calcium, vitamin D and cancer. Anticancer Res. 2009 Sep;29(9):3687-98.
"A woman is 10 times more likely to have an osteoporosis-related fracture than being diagnosed with breast cancer or 5 times more likely than having a heart attack."
This video explains why the conventional wisdom about Osteoporosis prevention is incorrect. If you have been told to look at drugs or increase your dairy intake, you need to understand that there is a lot more to this issue.
We also have a short audio clip from a much longer PEERtrainer interview with Dr. Joel Fuhrman responding to the following question in our interview with him:
"If I don't eat dairy how am I going to get my calcium requirement? My family has a history of Osteoporosis."
Here is Dr. Fuhrman's answer to this question- it is interesting because his answer is more complex than what we commonly hear:
He mentions a new DVD on Osteoporosis in this clip, and we thought the following statistic would be of interest to our readers:
-A woman is 10 times more likely to have an osteoporosis-related fracture than being diagnosed with breast cancer or 5 times more likely than having a heart attack.
We know this is a matter of concern to many of our readers. The DVD Osteoporosis Protection for Life— was just brought to market by Dr. Fuhrman.
This is how he describes his approach:
"Osteoporosis can be combated most effectively through proper nutrition and exercise -- without medication. Osteoporosis Protection for Life is a butt-kicking, bone-building workout and nutritional educational program designed to effectively build muscle strength and bone mass. The DVD combines detailed dietary advice, supplements and special exercises that offer a significant improvement over drug-treatment for osteopenia and osteoporosis. Best of all-- it takes only a few minutes a day or fifteen minutes twice a week."
We will be sending out a link to more of the interview with Dr. Fuhrman, and please feel free to ask any questions. We also feature many of his ideas in our coaching programs, and have a very good communication channel with him and other experts in the areas of diet, fitness and health. We recently featured a leading Yoga expert in a new installment of our Point Of No Return coaching program and are continually looking to identify and engage leading voices.
We also help you put the ideas you like into practice- whether you are into calorie counting, Weight Watchers, Fat Smash Diet, Beck Diet Solution- we help you identify the things that will make you successful in your efforts.