Raw Food Explained: Life Science
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(NAVS Western Coordinator and Board Member Dixie Mahy reports on a 2-day class presented by Dr. Aly at the 23rd World Vegetarian Congress….)
Although a qualified medical doctor Dr. Aly utilizes vegetarian diet, fasting, and non-drug therapy. He stated that scientific thought is just now coming to favor vegetarianism, and that early scientific errors have been made which have taken a long time to correct.
Error #1) Scientists thought that since protein was the most important nutriment in the body for growth and repair, and that since animals were rather similar in construction to humans, meat was therefore the best food for the human body.
The error was that they did not realize that the body can build up its own human protein from proteinaceous food sources within the vegetable kingdom.
Error #2) Scientists thought that by refining carbohydrates—which the body needs for energy—it would make them easier to assimilate, e.g.: pure white sugar, white flour, polished rice, etc.
The error was that, most unfortunately, the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes are largely destroyed in refining, processing, or even in long cooking; and the body needs these nutriments.
Error #3) Scientists thought the body needed more dietary fat than it actually does, and began recommending too much in the diet.
The error was that, although the body needs fats, it gets an excessive amount of saturated fats as a result of high meat intake and saturated oils as a result of processing.
The Protein Myth
Dr. Aly discussed more fully the “protein myth” perpetrated by western scientists, who made two major errors on protein: As previously noted, proteins from the vegetable kingdom were considered inferior; and the protein minimum daily requirement was set at a figure far too high for the body’s actual requirements. (In addition, it should be noted, the RECOMMENDED daily amount was arbitrarily set at DOUBLE the supposed minimum amount proven adequate, -ed.)
In the East, the question was, “How little protein do we need?” But in the West, the question was “How much protein do we need?” Scientists are now starting to slowly correct their mistakes. Ironically, for example, they once recommended the optimum “to make sure” but today modern scientists recommend the minimum of before (1/2 the former recommendation) as the optimum of today.
Dr. Aly went on to state that meat is not a good energy source as it is not easily combusted and needs several enzymatic processes to metabolize, with lots of waste products, nitrogen waste, uric acid, and urea, which the body disposes of with difficulty. Waste from protein cannot be disposed of so easily as waste from carbohydrate. (Consider that carbohydrate breaks down easily with water, h3O, as a waste product which the body can easily get rid of through perspiration, or via the lungs or kidneys.)
On the other hand, the kidneys are the only way of eliminating protein waste. When there is an overload, material is stored in all connective tissues, etc., throughout the body. This overload along with no exercise, will eventually destroy the kidneys and/or the heart.
The Circulatory System
Dr. Aly cited new scientific findings showing that the walls of capillaries are destroyed by waste products from protein and excessive protein which is stored there. These studies were made by Prof. Lother Wendt of the University in Frankfurt, Germany. (Unfortunately, these studies are only available in German at this time—a language spoken fluently by Dr. Aly—but hopefully they will be translated for American scientists, doctors, and nutritionists.)
Dr. Aly went into great detail showing how important the circulatory system is for good health, and how the combination of saturated fats and too much animal protein causes many diseases not usually thought of as being directly associated with it. The arteries, veins, and capillaries carry the nutriments and oxygen for all the cells of the body. Every cell is dependent on this circulatory system for its nourishment.
All waste products from the metabolic process are returned to the blood vessels to be eliminated from the body. Thus, good circulation is essential! The walls of the blood vessels need to be elastic, thin, permeable. When excess fats and amino acids are deposited on the walls of the blood vessels, the walls become thick, inelastic, and impermeable.
When the passageways become narrowed, occlusions can occur causing (for example) a coronary of the heart. Another less known effect, however, is the above-mentioned interference with cell metabolism. When the long chains of amino acids from animal protein along with saturated fats catch on the small pores of the walls of the blood vessels—especially the capillaries—the surrounding cells become undernourished.
Normally, the capillary walls should be 300 angstroms thick (an angstrom is a unit equal to 1/100,000,000 of a centimenter). If the walls become thicker, 500 to 1000 angstroms, nutriments and oxygen are unable to get to the cells adequately and waste products cannot get out. Even diseases such as cancer may be caused by this clogging of the vessels as these cells deteriorate and become susceptible to numerous diseases. There is also the theory that the body has to raise the pressure to force the blood through the clogged vessels, in order to get nutriments to the cells. Again, perfect circulation is essential to perfect health!
Dr. Aly feels that a person would be much less likely to get excessive amounts of protein from vegetable sources. Protein in general in the vegetable kingdom is not so highly concentrated as animal protein is, and he views this as a desirable feature rather than undesirable as was formerly thought. The body can make up its proteins provided the essential amino acids are present.
He believes in complimentary proteins such as beans and corn, and felt that a vegetarian diet containing a variety of foods is adequate for promoting and maintaining good health. (It is also now known that so-called “complete” proteins are also widespread in the vegetable kingdom, as in most nuts and seeds, and leafy greens. Even “incomplete” proteins may often rank a mere few percentage points lower than an arbitrary dividing line, in one or two of the essential amino acids and thus be stigmatized as theoretically inferior—yet it is quite possible to utilize even such erroneously-classified “incomplete” protein foods as the only concentrated protein sources, without resorting to combinations at all. -ed.)
Dr. Aly did not feel that protein concentrates as a supplement are necessary in a balanced vegetarian diet.
Harmful Effects Of Salt
Dr. Aly discussed the overuse of salt in the diet and its consequences. Natural sodium is needed in the body only in small quantities, one to five grams. Sodium is found naturally in foods, so one can live well without adding inorganic table salt to food at all. (See: chapter on Salt Eating in Dr. Shelton’s Vol. 11, chapter on Salt is Poisonous, in his Superior Nutrition, and Lesson 29 on eliminating condiments from the diet.)
Table salt (sodium chloride) causes osmotic changes in the blood. The tissues fill with fluids and then must be cleaned out through the kidneys and skin. At Dr. Aly’s clinic, he puts his patients on a modified fast, giving them fluids, juices, and water to get rid of the sodium chloride. (He prescribes an alkaline vegetable juice program—e.g. carrot juice—rather than a plain water-fast, as he feels the juice counteracts acidity.) Too much salt overtaxes the kidneys. Regular doctors give their patients diuretics which take fluid and salt away, but are harmful as they also take away essential minerals.
Salt causes more fluid in the blood vessels, and the body tries to force elimination of the fluid to get rid of the salt. The combination of salt, animal protein, and saturated fats—all so typical of the average American diet—forces the blood pressure to rise.
Dr. Aly discussed the importance of the intestinal flora in the lower intestines. Lactobacillus acidophilus is necessary in the intestines to help digest, food and to produce vitamins B12 and K.
The intestinal walls serve an important function in acting as “traffic police” to prevent poisons from passing into the body. He felt that allergies are caused by the loss of the flora in the intestines and poisons getting into the blood. He emphasized the beneficial effects of eating raw foods as they have their own enzymes for digestion, and these are destroyed by cooking. That is one reason why more food is needed when it is cooked.
He felt that a high-protein diet is not necessary if one has good intestinal flora. He cited the study of New Guineans of Mt. Hagen, who are very healthy people although they eat 15 to 20 grams of vegetable protein a day (compared to current recommendations of 45 to 55 grams for the average adult female and male). Amazingly, these New Guineans put out far more nitrogen than could be accounted for with their meager protein intake. Dr. Aly felt that they must have good flora and are producing their own protein.
Dr. Aly does not recommend such a small amount of protein for most people, as there are so many things in modern society that interfere with good intestinal flora. He felt, for example, that the artificial fertilizers have depleted the trace minerals in the soil, which are therefore deficient in the fruits and vegetables. Organic manure, for example, would be better; and bacteria in the soil would be just as necessary as in the intestines. He also felt that pesticides, artifical colorings, etc., are all carcinogenic, allergenic, and harmful to the health although they make things look good and sell better. He believes that additives destroy the natural intestinal flora.
Regarding vitamin pills, his view is that they contain what scientists know, but not what has not yet been discovered; and that the natural fruits and vegetables in a fresh state and organically grown if possible, are more desirable. He recommended that a strict total-vegetarian (using no dairy foods or eggs) eat three to five grams of parsley every day, as it helps the intestinal flora (which in turn produce vitamin B2).
Superiority Of Natural Unrefined Foods
Dr. Aly went into great detail regarding the superiority of natural unrefined foods. He cited studies by Prof. Burkitt, and the English studies by Cleave and Campbell, the Saccharine Diseases, which state that most diseases arise from abuse of refined products. They say that essentially the diseases are different symptoms of the same problem.
Dr. Aly demonstrated what occurs through the refining of a grain of wheat, for example. This takes away the vitamin E, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, the wheat germ, and an essence that scientists do not as yet know about. What remains is mainly carbohydrate. He asserted that scientists know about elements, but they do not know about the essence of life itself. Putting a few of the known synthesized vitamins back into the refined flour cannot make it equal to the original whole grain.
Although scientists could even copy the wheat grain exactly as they know its component parts, it still would not grow. Yet grains found in tombs 4000 years old will still grow. There is a life essence locked in, which scientists do not know how to reproduce. That essence is destroyed by refining. (He added that grains can be stored in dry tins if kept cold and dark, but they will not store well after they are ground.)
Nutritional Disaster Of Refined Sugar
Dr. Aly was adamant that if white sugar were banned, everyone’s health would improve. He explained, that there is a constant blood sugar level of 80mg in the blood, needed for muscles and organs. When white sugar is eaten and gets into the blood, it gives a high blood-sugar level of 150 to 200. Low blood sugar is bad—no energy—but the body has no use for high blood sugar either.
The body takes it and stores it as fat. If an apple or an orange or an unrefined carbohydrate is eaten, it takes a longer time to get the sugar and energy; thus there is a normal rise in the blood sugar level. When refined sugar is eaten, it gets into the blood stream quickly, and the blood sugar level becomes too high; insulin is then secreted to break down the sugar and store it in the body as glycogen. Then the blood sugar drops below normal level, and there is a feeling of a lack of energy.
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If a lot of refined sugar is eaten, the pancreas is overworked. People who eat refined sugars for “quick energy” are taxing their systems and not really getting lasting energy, because the body will over-react and drop the blood sugar level below normal, and they will then have less energy than before. Unrefined carbohydrates will provide an even, long-term energy level, and not the “yo-yo” effect of extreme high followed by extreme low.
Although honey, maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, dates and other dried fruits are in varying degrees better than white sugar as they have other nutriments, they too will cause high blood sugar if too much is eaten, as they are highly concentrated though not refined. (It is often recommended to soak dried fruit in pure water overnight, to reconstitute it in fluid content and reduce the sugar concentration, -ed.) He also felt that too much of fruit juices would not be good as the sugar gets into the bloodstream too quickly, and that it would be better to eat fresh fruit.
In summing up, the best diet for good health would be a balanced vegetarian diet containing a variety of (if possible) organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and dairy products if desired.
Reprinted from the Vegetarian Voice, September/October and November/December 1976.
Raw Food Explained: Life Science
Today only $37 (discounted from $197)