The following is an excerpt from the book, Conscious Health. Written by award winning author, Ron Garner.
In this article I will talk about:
The true and very interesting story about the Pottenger Cats experiments and what we can learn from this study regarding our own health and disease processes
Taking stock of your health situation as you start your health program
How to monitor your own health by measuring your acid-alkaline balance at home
Foods and drinks that should be avoided.
WHY YOU NEED TO TAKE CONTROL
I want to bring us back to the question: "Who is responsible for your health?” Other people might be sympathetic if you get sick or are suffering with a health condition, but it is you who is doing the suffering. It’s your life. And to get out of that suffering or improve your situation you need to understand – nutritionally and natural-health-wise – how you got there. So I am going to tell you the true story about the Pottenger Cats, which illustrates the consequences of eating food that is not natural and does not contain enough live nutrition to create health in the long term.
The Pottenger cats study
Dr. Francis Pottenger is one of my heroes. He was a medical doctor in California and he wanted to know the difference that eating raw versus cooked food makes to health. So from 1932 to 1942 he conducted nutritional experiments with 900 cats. He divided them into groups and fed them various combinations of raw and cooked food. But for simplicity sake we will talk about just two groups – the raw food cats and the cooked food cats. To maintain sperm consistency throughout the generations, all female cats were bred by raw-food males. Raw food cats were fed raw meat and raw unpasteurized milk. Cooked food cats were fed cooked meat and pasteurized milk. All cats were given a supplement of cod liver oil.
Outcomes of this study
The results were as follows: the raw food cats continued to be healthy normal cats from generation to generation. However, cooking food can denature it in several ways making it a deficient diet for complete health. Mainly, enzymes are destroyed and protein is denatured which reduces or eliminates the ability of these proteins to be properly digested. As such, the first generation cooked-food cats developed diseases, illnesses, and deficiency symptoms –similar to what we see in our human population – near the end of their lives. Emotional and nervous problems began to appear. Structural problems in their bones and teeth began to happen. The second generation cooked-food cats developed disease problems around mid-life.
Third generation cooked-food cats developed disease problems at the beginning of their lives, with many dying before they were six months old. And here is the surprising part – there was no fourth generation cooked food cats produced! Either 3rd generation parents were sterile, or 4th generation cats were aborted before birth.
Some people might be saying: "Interesting, but we are not cats,” and that’s true. But while later studies have found that cooking food destroys taurine, which is an essential amino acid that cats must have to be healthy, cooking food also destroys another essential amino acid, lysine, which humans must have to be healthy. (The human body cannot manufacture lysine; it must be obtained from raw or partially-cooked food, such as nuts, beans, peas, lentils, meat, eggs, and raw-milk cheese.) Cooking at temperatures over 105 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 to 48 degrees Celsius) also kills all the natural digestive enzymes in raw food. So in my opinion, we have much to take notice of from the Pottenger Cats experiment results.
Where is the good news?
The good news from the Pottenger Cats experiments is that when the cooked food cats were switched back to a healthy diet for cats, they gradually returned to normal health again. Depending on how many generations they had been on a deficient diet, it took from one to four generations to do this.
So, what about an eating plan for us?
Well, for us humans I am not suggesting that we must eat an all-raw diet. I always suggest easing in to it gradually, with the eventual objective of achieving 50% raw. And even if you get partway there it will be a great improvement because millions of North Americans eat no raw food at all and very few vegetables.
Calories are misunderstood
Millions of people trying to lose weight are told to watch the amount of calories they eat because more calories tend to put on more weight. That is true – partly, because it is the calories and proteins in cooked food that are the problems. In recent studies, scientists have found that cooking food increases the amount of energy or calories that it provides to your body, whereas eating raw food leads to weight loss. However, in my opinion, this is only part of the explanation. Cooking food may increase available calories but it also kills live nutrients such as enzymes and probiotics, and distorts protein molecules making them less bio-available to the human body. Further, because cooked protein molecules are changed from their natural configurations, the body sees them as foreign invaders and revs up the immune system to deal with them by increasing the white blood cell count. This does not happen with raw foods because they retain all their live ingredients in a natural form that is easily recognized and processed by the body.
The body runs more efficiently with an adequate intake of raw food – both in digesting and metabolizing it, and in eliminating the wastes resulting from it. When one significantly increases the intake of raw organic ripe fruits and vegetables, the usual side benefit to feeling healthier is a shedding of some extra pounds of body weight. My conclusion regarding calories is that they certainly matter in cooked food, but have no consequence in a diet of raw food.
Introducing more raw food into your diet
If you are starting from a diet containing very little raw food, or if you are sick or elderly, you will need to take some time before you change over to more raw food. It is best to concentrate on nutritious soups and broths containing an assortment of cooked vegetables and some animal protein. As you gain in strength, add raw foods slowly to give your digestion system time to adjust to this new form of food.
A healthy diet takes time to transition to as you begin to feel the benefits of improved digestion, elimination, and more energy. It’s not hard to do either when you are shown how. I like to say that changing over to the new healthier diet is an add-to diet, not a take-away diet. You gradually add more of the good foods to your plate and slowly reduce the not-so-good foods. In time, as your taste buds change their preferences, the good foods become more appealing and they tend to push some of the other foods off the plate. The slow and steady plan is best unless you are trying to correct a serious health situation and you don’t have much time. In this case you would want to make the transition much faster.
How long does it take for changes to happen?
Since we live much longer than cats do, when we change over to a nutritious diet that satisfies our physical nutritional requirements and we work to detoxify our bodies, we can usually see improvements in energy and how we feel in a fairly short time. But if you already have a disease in progress, it could take several months to a few years to completely reverse the health damage that has been done in your body during your lifetime up until now. Like the cats, it depends on how serious our health conditions are when we start, and how serious we are in making the efforts and lifestyle changes that are needed. That part is up to you. How badly do you want it?